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Switch to Forum Live View The Invisibility of The Black Atheist
10 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2008 - 9:46PM #11
Posts: 9,244
Thank you for an interesting thread Wrath! I've bookmarked both this thread and your blog and look forward to the ideas and conversation this is sure to spark!

Maybe you're already addressed this in your blog but I haven't had time to read it all yet. Why is it that so many black Americans are willingly turning to the chains of Islam? I understand that many turn away from Christianity, I mean who WOULDN'T want to shed their history and maybe vindicate their ancestors forced to convert to Christianity when they were slaves. But talk about stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire. Really, why DON'T more Black Americans turn to secular philosophy?

I currently keep up with a few contemporary black thinkers  such as Larry Elder, Thowas Sowell and of course, OBAMA (although I'm not sure he's a thinker yet) and as far as I know, they all adhere to Christian values. This is of great interest to me not only on the merit of the question you pose, but on a more personal level as well. One of my nephews is bi-racial. He knows he's different from his pale skinned little brothers and when he learns he's adopted, we (as in his family) all want to make sure he has role models to be proud of. We all agree we DON'T want him to grow up with the archetype of victim mentality we see from the likes of Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton. :)

Kind regards,


P.S. If you could get on Oprah, I bet a lot of other black atheists would come of of their closets... :)
Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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10 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 3:44PM #12
Posts: 170
Hey Wrath.
This is a great topic. Thanks for starting it.

I've been talking to some other people about this very thing.
Having grown up in the Southern US and being steeped in protestantism, I only have a few observations I've made to add to the discussion.

I think that in any community where religion is a key part of the societal fabric the way that church is in the black community, choosing something else is an abject rejection of the community values.
The church isn't just a church. It's a heritage. It's a sign of trust and faith in one's elders.
To reject it is to tell the community that you are rejecting them, and I would say that they take it as an insult to their parents, grandparents, and so on. It's turning your back on your village, so to speak.

I think that this is the way that it is for most who choose a philosophy or religion altogether different from their heritage. Just like when the first slaves converted to Christianity. Or, a nice Jewish boy decides to become a Southern Baptist.

It's bigger than just rejecting the church itself. And, doing that takes a lot of courage. And, the realization that you may wind up completely alone with your philisophical correctness- without the safety of the village to catch you when you fall- is daunting for most.
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 5:57PM #13
Posts: 973
I asked an African American christian man who is a mentor of mine, about why the bible seems to say slavery is ok. His answer was "I dont know but all i know is that i am a slave of Jesus Christs." I was kind of surprised that he even wanted to use the word slave. As the church teaches everyone is a slave of something wheter it be sin or Jesus Christ. 
Anyways i personaly do not know any black athiests. But i also dont ask up front what peoples religious views are. I does the black community treat black athiests? I know how Bush treats them or how he talks about them as being UnAmerican.
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9 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 6:03PM #14
Posts: 973
And we all know Bush is behind the times.
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10 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2008 - 1:36PM #15
Posts: 26,191

I suspect we're talking about poverty and lack of education here.

Religion has always meant community.  The oppressed have routinely shown remarkable solidarity amongst themselves.  When you're starving, or the landlord's banging on the door for the rent, or you really, really need a hit, a bit of uncritical community goes a long way. 

No surprise, then, if the religion prevalent in this community reflects the community.
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