Black atheists say their concerns have been overlooked for too long

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Sikivu Hutchinson photo courtesy of Diane Arellano.

Sikivu Hutchinson photo courtesy of Diane Arellano.

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(RNS) “There are people in our community that ... are only going to sit down and listen to you talk about separation of church and state for so long,” said Kimberly Veal, a Chicago-based black atheist.

  • GREAT STORY! Thank You, Kimberly.

    I can’t wait to hear about more Atheists of color.
    More, please.

    Many great black Americans are forgotten because they were Atheist.
    Humanist pioneers, A.Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin are forgotten today
    and it is a national disgrace.

    ” ‘Atheism,’ she continued, ‘is not enough.’ ”

    So true.
    Atheism is not an endpoint – it is a beginning!
    Can’t wait to hear more about this group and others like it.

  • Rustin is sometimes described as an atheist (e.g., http://blackatheists.wordpress.com/2010/08/14/hello-world/), but I haven’t seen any documentation to support that. He was certainly raised Quaker, and the Quaker influence led him into social justice work.

  • socialjusticeNOW!

    Atheism and social justice do not intersect. As noted critical race theorist Dr. W. Kamau Bell’s scholarly research has shown, atheism is the highest form of white privilege. There are very few atheist POCs, and those that exist are simply trying to ape white privilege. In doing so, they oppress themselves and other POCs.

  • Larry

    Very funny.

    W. Kamau Bell was just annoyed his show wasn’t picked up for a 3rd season on FXX.

  • Nonsense.
    Atheism means “I don’t believe in a God”

    That is all it means.
    You are conflating Atheism into a series of rules and regulations which are somehow against humanitarianism and justice.

    Nothing could be more ridiculous. Religion clearly claims people guilty and gives no recourse at all – God is an absolutist dictator unaccountable to anyone.

    The most unjust thing ever invented is religion.

  • @SocialJustice,

    “Cassius Clay” learned that his name was inherited from the black slave masters of the south who had owned his grandparents and great-grandparents before them. ‘Clay’ was the name of the slave master.

    It was this Christianity that endorsed slavery that Cassius rebelled against and he BECAME A NON-BELIEVER IN JESUS CHRIST because he was disgusted that anyone could think this Jesus was a loving god.

    He decided to become a Muslim because he connected it to Africa – and there was a possibility that he could get a name which actually meant something.

    The name he chose was Mohammed Ali.

    Don’t kid yourself that Jesus or Yahweh is a friend of the oppressed.

  • Larry

    Max, its a joke reference.

    His Dr. W. Kamau Bell is a comedian who used to have a show on the FX (and FXX) network.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totally_Biased_with_W._Kamau_Bell

  • socialjusticeNOW!

    Not a joke. You are applying your own privileged, kyriarchal white supremacist definition of “Dr.” in which a person must attend a white-approved college and attain a white-approved degree from white professors.

    I am applying my own social justice definition. As an oppressed person, I can have my own definition of a Ph.D. derived from my own lived experiences, and I say Kamau Bell has one. By denying this, you are othering me and erasing my lived experience. In kyriarchically dismissing Dr. Bell as a “comedian,” you seek to deride his critical insights into racial dynamics in the US.

  • Doc Anthony

    A snippet from the article:

    “Atheism,” she continued, “is not enough.”

    True. In fact, prophetic.

    The sheer fact is that Atheism is NEVER enough. That entire religion, offers you nothing but a deep inner emptiness and uncertainty.

  • Larry

    I am reminded of an exchange in Life of Brian

    http://montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Life_of_Brian/8.htm

    REG: Why don’t you shut up about women, Stan. You’re putting us off.

    STAN: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.

    FRANCIS: Why are you always on about women, Stan?

    STAN: I want to be one.

    REG: What?

    STAN: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me ‘Loretta’.

    REG: What?!

    LORETTA: It’s my right as a man.

    JUDITH: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?

    LORETTA: I want to have babies.

    REG: You want to have babies?!

    LORETTA: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.

    REG: But… you can’t have babies.

    LORETTA: Don’t you oppress me.

    REG: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!

    LORETTA: crying

    JUDITH: Here! I– I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’, but that he can have the right to have babies.

    FRANCIS: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.

    REG: What’s the point?

    FRANCIS: What?

    REG: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?!

    FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

    REG: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

  • Larry

    Now there is a joke post!

  • Hi Larry – yes, and it is funny 🙂
    I agree.
    I’ve been addressing the theists like SocialJustice.

  • Doc Anthony

    Here is a side question for you Max, and it IS sincere. In another discussion forum, I’m dealing with some atheists who call themselves “agnostic atheists.”

    It’s like they want to have their cake and eat it too. They calling themselves atheists when it suits them, but then, if you tell them something like “Atheism means “I don’t believe in a God; that is all it means,” they switch and say they’re agnostics too but yet they are still atheists.

    So here’s the question (and I’m only asking to see for myself, I am not fishing for anything and I am not going to steal or quote any of your statements anywhere):

    What is your position concerning “agnostic atheists”? For you, is that position for real, or is it jsut a cop-out?

  • Doc Anthony

    Actually Larry, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about what exact benefits you get from the religion of atheism. And I, for one, can see a loss but sincerely don’t see a gain, coming from that religion.

    So would you care to offer some benefits that atheism does for Larry? And don’t forget to discuss what you hope for and look forward to in the, umm, afterlife!

  • Larry

    “Actually Larry, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about what exact benefits you get from the religion of atheism”
    Just off the top of my head:

    1. I would not have the pressing need to make up nonsense in defense of irrational belief.

    2. I would not be compelled to engaged in petty hatred of given groups based on arbitrary irrational causes.

    3. I do not need to outsource my moral thinking to authority figures of sketchy provenance.

    4. I don’t have to have faith. I can rely on belief supported by evidence and the ability to honestly say, “I don’t know”. Rather than have to pull something from my posterior to explain the world around me.

    5. Religion (especially Abrahamic ones) are notoriously insular about who they associate with. Interfaith relations and marriages are strongly discouraged out of pure tribalism. Christians, especially of the more obnoxious variety, are expected to try to convert anyone around them not of their faith/sect. It makes for obnoxious, uncivil interactions.

    6. I am free to avoid arbitrary and capricious nonsense customs that faith demands. [keeping Kosher, avoiding being around dogs, avoiding honest discussion of adult relations, having to shun heretics…]

    7. It means my beliefs are distinct from yours. You don’t paint a rosy portrait of religious belief.

  • @Doc,

    “What is your position concerning ‘agnostic atheists’? ”

    Glad to answer this.

    Agnostic means – “I don’t Know if a god exists”
    Atheist means – “I don’t believe a god exists”

    One is about ‘knowledge’ the other about ‘belief.’
    Notice that neither one is a claim.
    I do not claim God is impossible. God may exist for all I know.
    But I do not Know.
    And I do not believe.

    I am therefore an Agnostic Atheist.
    I think Agnostics are also non-believers because they have already stated that they don’t know if a god exists. If one doesn’t know you might as well admit you do not believe.

    My opinion about God’s existence:
    So far I have seen NO evidence that God is a real thing.
    But God may be real and it is possible that we have not yet figured out how to demonstrate it or discover it conclusively – certainly none of the explanations by any of the religions appears to show a real god.

    My opinion about Agnostic Atheists then is that I think it is redundant. It is like saying “I’m a not-knowing, non-believer”.
    But it is honest so I think it is fine.

    Most Christians think Atheism is a claim that God is impossible, or that God absolutely does not exist. This is not true.

    Most Atheists are fascinated to entertain any evidence which would show a real god conclusively. Because we have not seen such evidence we tend to be very doubtful it exists. So we say “God isn’t there” or “It APPEARS” that god is non-existent.

    Finally, there is something called “HARD ATHEISM.”
    These individuals claim that god is absolutely impossible.
    I am just as skeptical of HARD ATHEISM as I would be of someone making a religious claim.

    Without any evidence that God is a real thing,
    and without any evidence that we can KNOW what a god would want from us, it appears to me that most religious practices are very dangerous and should be abandoned until such time as a true god – or truth about God – can be established CONCLUSIVELY.

    If a God exists it should be easy to demonstrate. And so far it has not been easy to demonstrate AT ALL.

    So I remain an Agnostic Atheist who is – in the meantime – also against religion.

  • Shawnie5

    LOL! Well, no one ever accused Muhammad Ali of being a genius.

    For centuries, while slavery lay dead in Christian Europe, the Muslims were busily dragging African slaves (as well as European ones) across the Sahara and the Red Sea, with mortality rates that far exceeded anything seen in the Trans-Atlantic trade. Slavery’s reappearance in the west was the direct result of age-of-exploration meets Muslim-slave-trade. Even after the First and Second Great Awakenings ended the slave trade in the west, Muslim slave traders continued business despite the best efforts of the British navy to shut it down. And slavery continues even today in Muslim Africa.

    What a great legacy to adopt…not.

  • @Shawnie,

    You missed the point, as usual.
    Muhammed Ali rejected Jesus. I did not say he made a better choice by going to Islam – all religion is brain rot including yours – but he chose a culture which would give him a name he could believe in.

    SocialJusticeNow was saying Non-belief and Social Justice do not go together – I was pointing out that is WRONG.

  • Dudley Jones

    Dear Doc Anthony
    Sorry about the out-of-sequence post to an issue you raised before, about the difference between atheists and agnostics.
    Bertrand Russell himself was not always consistent on this, and sometimes referred to himself as an agnostic, and sometimes as an atheist. I might be wrong, but I think he was technically an agnostic, but might refer to himself as an atheist in casual speech. Personally I think this is a probably a non-issue unless you are writing a paper that is going to be graded by a fussy person.
    best wishes

  • Two things. First, atheism has nothing to do with all of those other issues. It’s a lack of belief in a supernatural being/creator/god. One can be a right-wing nut job or a tree-hugging liberal kale-eater and still be an atheist. BUT, that said, don’t forget that the majority of the whites who travelled south in the ’60’s were mainly Jewish atheists and other nonbelievers; Goodman and Schwerner were white Jewish atheists, killed for their efforts in Freedom Summer. It doesn’t matter what the church says, their role in the movement was either very slight or very negative. And many of the blacks they associated with didn’t like that at all, even though for the most part they accepted their help. So this conference is not an atheist conference if it doesn’t center on the wall of separation between church and state, it’s something else. And don’t rag on white atheists, like anybody else we do what we can and are eager to help.

  • Well said, Larry. I don’t think Doc has been minding his definitions. An atheist is a person who lacks belief in god or gods, that’s not a religion, it’s not even faith. The main thing to me is the lack of a sense of guilt that drags on so many Christians. Atheists have a real chance at genuine happiness because we don’t feel “damned” right off the bat, as those who believe in the bible do from the fable of Adam and Eve. Guilt is what makes half of the RC priests alcoholics by age 35, it’s what fuels a depressive mental state always in chains of its own making, it’s what makes Doc write those silly, harassing comments. If you’re not making good points, get off the wall, all you’re doing is revealing yourself, and it’s not pretty. Get some help.

  • @Doc Anthony,

    “….the religion of atheism.”

    Non belief is not a religion. Otherwise, as a non-believer in Zeus and Thor you would be spending all your time ‘NOT BELIEVING’ in Zeus and Thor as an activity of some kind. Understand?

    “I…can see a loss but sincerely don’t see a gain, coming from that religion.”

    Again, it isn’t a religion. As a non-believer in God i gain reality. And lose nothing.

    “offer some benefits that atheism does…?

    ATHEISM brings me to Breathtaking beauty, understanding of the world around us, RAPTUROUS PASSION FOR LIFE, CULTURE, LITERATURE, POETRY, MUSIC, ARTS AND LOVE AND PEOPLE!!!

    “And don’t forget to discuss what you hope for and look forward to in the, umm, afterlife!”

    Sorry, there is no afterlife in Atheism. At least not one we know about.
    And we don’t spend time wishing for great things later we enjoy people right now!! Such a blast!!!

  • “Guilt is what makes half of the RC priests alcoholics by age 35”

    So true.

    WE ATHEISTS ARE HERE TO HELP!!
    QUIT THIS NONSENSE!!!! BE HONEST!
    BE TRUE TO YOURSELVES!!!!

    THE CLERGY PROJECT!

  • Diogenes

    To the original point, I don’t see how ethnicity or race plays into the question of belief or non belief at all. It seems people try to carve out a special niche into which only a handful of others can fit, in order to obtain some quality of uniqueness; i.e. POC who are atheists. This is merely an absurd form of narcissism, as is the notion that POC who adopt atheism are merely mimicking the broader ‘white’ culture.

  • Pingback: Black Atheists Hold First-Ever Conference in Los Angeles This Weekend | BCNN1 WP()

  • Doc Anthony

    That’s okay Mr. Jones, this setup does cause out of sequence responses, that cannot be helped. Thanks for offering your reply along with the others.

    This is not the first time I’ve asked about “agnostic atheists.” It’s just that every time I ask, I never get quite the same answer from whichever agnostic atheists I’m asking.

    The statement “There is no God” apparently is NEVER quite everything that is really meant, whenever a person says “I am an atheist.” So I continue asking.

    But I do appreciate each persons answers, for sure.

  • Doc Anthony

    What’s this? NO AFTERLIFE in Atheism? Then what you described earlier about your life (and it’s a good desription)…

    **RAPTUROUS PASSION FOR LIFE, CULTURE, LITERATURE, POETRY, MUSIC, ARTS AND LOVE AND PEOPLE!!!**

    …will die when you die, won’t it?

    You’ll lose not just your life when you pass away, but ALSO the things that made your life worth living and worth experiencing. None of your virtues and joys and pastimes will survive.

    In fact, as you age, you’ll see many of these things slipping away from you (same for me too), and you and I will increasingly know in mind and body, that the day of passing is closer and closer. The day of losing it all.

    Therefore, what HOPE does your atheism give you as you see this inevitable process of loss taking place, Max? (also Larry and Jack and Dudley, this question is for you too.)

  • Larry

    Don’t feel so bad Doc. Many religions other than Christianity don’t have an afterlife either (or not an eternal one anyway). It is hardly the great motivator of humankind as you would think. Your view of religion is very biased towards counting views of only your faith. Very much part of the insularity and enforced ignorance your religion requires as part of membership (as I described above)

    Judaism is extremely vague on the subject to the point of discounting it for the most part. Buddhism and Hinduism post the afterlife as a stopover for souls on their way to rebirth/reincarnation. Buddhism specifically points to the annihilation of the soul as the ultimate form of spirituality.

    The problem with the Christian afterlife is it isn’t all bliss. You can have either eternal joy or eternal torment. All based on the most ridiculously arbitrary and capricious reasons.

    Of course the whole notion of wasting the only life you know with absolute certainty to exist. Doing so for one life whose existence is ultimately unknown, in order to wager that your belief and actions were deemed correct by the wildly inconsistent and arbitrary standards of your God can appear silly. The converse of Pascal’s wager.

    Also being rather culture deaf you are unaware of the concept of the beauty of impermanence.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mono_no_aware
    Things that are cherished precisely because they are unique and transitory. Nothing survives, so we must appreciate it in life. The impermanence of life makes it cherished and worthy of protection. None of this deferment to vague concepts which lack evidence. If your appreciation of the lives of others is dependent on whether it will affect your afterlife prospects, it is self-serving and amoral. (meaning there is no morality in Christian morals)

    No matter what you say about an afterlife, you don’t actually know one exists nor ever will. Belief does not equal actuality. The one thing we know with absolute certainty of evidence is that people “live on” in the memories of others. With the lives they touched upon. One has hope because one knows that this is the only real path to immortality. The one embraced by Achilles in the Illiad. To be remembered for one’s acts and who they affected.

  • Eric

    Why is everyone so eager to argue semantics when it comes to the word “atheist”? Are we ruled over by the Great Dictionary? Organized atheism, atheism as a political movement must have goals and values. Given that atheists generally agree that one of the problems with religion is how it has been used to oppress people, it’s not exactly a stretch to see that an atheist group wants to tackle issues of injustice. Given that as the article mentions, one of the reasons there aren’t more black atheists is the services Churches provide to the black community, services that are necessary because of issues of poverty and discrimination, it’s not exactly a stretch that addressing those issues would be of concern to many atheists. Who are you to decide what atheism means for everyone else? If you don’t like it, don’t join their group. Or start your own that works on the issues you care about.

    And by the way, given a strict definition of atheism as solely indicating a lack of belief, separation of Church and State is just as much mission creep as anything else. You could be an atheist that thinks Churches play a positive role in government.

  • Charles Freeman

    So, this conference is unique. It concentrates on black social justice issues and excludes white folks’ concerns. Over the last five decades, how unique is that? Not much! It includes all types of religious leaders, as well as some black secularists. Their focus is black justice, not Christian discriminatory practices. Most of us secularists would agree that atheism doesn’t usually get around to addressing areas outside of religious ideologies and practices. Most of us would also agree that creation of a secular way of life is very importand to us, and that atheism only gets us part way there. Understanding of biological foundations and dynamic relationships with our physical earth and universe also get us part way there. We are embedded in physical and historical social contexts that dictate much of our morality and human behaviors. How can anyone exclude portions of humanity that are not black from involvement in a conference such as this?

  • Charles Freeman

    Irrelevant to my statement and question. News of this conference may not be appropriate material for RNS, but could be of interest in some other context. A conference of black and other skin color atheists could be of larger consequence.

  • Dudley Jones

    Dear Doc Anthony

    If you love someone, why would the love be any less if you think maybe you are both going to be extinguished when you die?

    If I love music or literature, why would I love it any less because I am going to die? It is less wondrous?

    Realization of impermanence makes relationships more precious. , not less. Impermanence is one of the basic marks of experience.

    One of Bertrand Russell’s teachers thought the whole time thing was a mistake, and that time is an illusion. Today you can find physicists who hold the same view. (I am not sure, but I think the Catholic Church teaches that the deepest level of reality is timeless.)

    best wishes

  • @Eric,

    “Organized atheism, atheism as a political movement must have goals and values.”

    Perhaps. We Atheists don’t believe in God.
    Our goal, for those of us who care about this, is to get religious nonsense out of our public laws (prayer in town meetings, creationism out of schools…etc). And to listen to what other Atheists think the needs are.
    Black Atheists are incredibly important. Religion has been especially disastrous to Black communities.

    “You could be an atheist that thinks Churches play a positive role in government.”

    If God doesn’t exist it is wrong for a church to preach that God does exist.
    If God doesn’t exist then Gods are manmade.
    We already know that Government is manmade.

    So if God doesn’t exist, government doesn’t need a manmade church to help it find solutions to manmade problems. God becomes useless nonsense (which it is).

    We are much better off without the nonsense of church.

  • @Doc,

    “what HOPE does your atheism give you as you see this inevitable process of loss taking place, Max?”

    First
    I don’t think a lot about death. It will happen. I absolutely cannot stop it. Neither can you. I don’t look forward to it but…I KNOW it will not hurt to be dead. Death? *shrug*

    Second:
    Hopefully I will leave behind something good for my children or grandchildren to make their lives easier, slightly more free, more ready for their contribution and ready to help to make the world more decent and kind.

    Third:
    Frankly, I’m having too much fun with my family, friends, and things I love to do every day which fill my time up with worthwhile joys.
    I live in the present. The HERE AND NOW and it is a beautiful thing.

    Fourth:
    There is absolutely no rule which says I cannot hope for another life someday, many billions of years from now…perhaps after the big bang turns into the big crunch and starts all over again someday – who knows? Infinity is a very long time. We simply don’t know.
    There is nothing wrong with HOPING! The problems begin when you make a claim that something is a fact when there is no evidence for it.
    Just dont bring a god into it unless you have evidence for it.

    Life is a ‘gift’ without a giver.
    At least that is what all the evidence shows.
    And if God exists, he can’t blame me for not seeing evidence of him. I certainly tried for a long time!

  • @Charles Freeman,

    “How can anyone exclude portions of humanity that are not black from involvement in a conference such as this?”

    Cut these people some slack. Black Atheists are a very, very tiny minority. The issues they have to deal with are absolutely unique and uniquely troubling. Black identity in some parts of the country is immediately tied to the Black Church. It is not unlike Jews who try to identify as Atheist while still being ‘jewish’ culturally.

    We need to respect our black brothers and sisters and give them a bit of privacy and the space they need – they are part of the movement and they need to be healthy and safe and work out their own headaches, which are very problematic already.

    I have no doubt black atheists will play a huge role as they find ways to interact with the larger white atheist group which is most of the atheists generally.

  • deloresbanks

    we only can witness to what we know GOD THE FATHER GAVE US A FREE WILL TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THE LORD JESUS.YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ACCEPT HIM I ONLY ACCEPT WHAT I UNDERSTANDS.IF YOU DONT BELIEVE THERE IS NO GOD THAT YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR CHOICE.YOU SAY YOU HAVE NEVER SEEM ANNY PROOF THERE IS A GOD,THERE ARE MANY GODS BUT ONLY ONE HOLY GOD.I WOULD NEVER TRY AND CONVINCE YOU THERE IS A GOD BECAUSE GOD DONT NEED MY HELP.BECAUSE BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS LIFE,HE WILL SHOW HIMSELF TO YOU.YOU MAY NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT IT OR TELL SOMEONE THAT YOU CALLED UPON HIS NAME IN YOUR TIME OF NEED.WE ONLY KNOW ABOUT GOD WHAT HE ALLOWS YOU TO KNOW.TO KNOW GOD IS PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP.THE BUILDING THAT HAS THE CHURCH NAME ON IT IS NOT THE CHURCH I THINK I NEED TO TELL YOU,THAT THE CHURCH IS A BODY OF BAPTISZE BELIEVERS.RELIGION DONT SAVE YOU FROM HELL,ITS JUST A WAY OF LIFE WE CHOSE TO LIVE.BUT GOD IS COMING BACK AT THE CHURCH WITHOUT SPOT OR WRINKLE.I KNOW HOW FUNNY AND STUPID,BUT GOD TAKE THE STUPID AND FUNNY THING OF THIS WORLD,AND MAKE GOOD OUT OF Them. what is man? piece of dirt that god molded then he blew into his nostril the breath of life, we are the very breath of god.maybe you came from a monkey,i didn’t, I know if the monkey said man came from them why the hell is they in a cage.swinging from trees.god thoughts are not ours .time belongs to god his time is not our time.man runs out of time

  • rob

    @delores .. according to the bible our self will only becomes free in Christ and
    if our self will could choose Jesus we would not need the Holy Spirit..

    NO ONE CAN say Jesus is lord (and mean it ) unless they have the holy spirit..

    John 6:44
    1 Corinthians 2:14
    Ephesians 2:8-9

  • rob

    no matter what color atheism comes in there just part of the larger non Christian groups that have from the dawn of time caused most of the worlds problems from murders to wars .. all these groups have one thing in common belief in a different God than Christians for atheists their god is just them selves proving there the most ignorant of the the larger non Christian group..

  • rob

    why not there god is the most ignorant..

    its the god of self.. which belongs in the larger group labeled non Christian..

    And then they want to know why Americans don’t wan’t to vote for them ..

  • @Rob,

    “non Christian groups from the dawn of time caused most of the worlds problems”

    Like the Good Samaritan?

    The Good Samaritan was NOT Christian!
    It is Jesus who is telling the story.

    You demonstrate why ignorance is nothing to be proud of and why ‘faith’ is just plain ignorance.

  • rob

    @ ATHEISTS MAX other wise known to me as Satan’s concubine — Your so ignorant about the bible . In the good Samaritan Jesus was teaching “his” people how to be a good neighbors Knowing that the old Adam has a sinful desire of serving self only .. HE DID NOT WANT US TO BE SATANS CONCUBINE’s like atheists are .. He was warning us about the sins of omission .

    as the bible says the man with out the spirit can not accept the things of the spirit they are foolishness to him .. 1 Corinthians 2:14

  • rob

    SATAN concubines try to use scripture the same Tactics Satan tried with Jesus.

    YET WITH OUT FAITH IN JESUS THEY CAN NOT PLEASE THE REAL
    God or his people .. Hebrews 11 verse 6———– 1 COR 12 VERSE 6

  • rob

    ATHEISTS amore complete definition
    Some one who believes in just dust stuff ( their own selves as their god..
    yet dust and ashes they return to)
    some one who believe in the most foolish of all god’s them selves..
    some one who is Satan’s concubine a mere slave of Satan not even knowing that SATAN is screwing with them in hopes they never find Jesus as Satan tries to get back at Jesus triumph on the cross over sin death and the devil.. And uses them as his means to do so.. there getting well you know what by Satan and he has them liking it..

  • rob

    all the faith in Jesus DOES NOT COME BY PEOPLES will ..Romans 10 :17

    REJECTION OF faith in Jesus is ALWAYS because of peoples will.

    acts 7:verse 51 Mathew 12 VERSE 37

  • @rob,

    The Good Samaritan was not a Christian.
    Are you telling me Jesus was wrong to use this NON-CHRISTIAN AS AN EXAMPLE OF GOODNESS???

  • Jonathan J. Turner

    The black community has produced a considerable body of art — black American music (BAM), that is — to which they cleave; which declares and orchestrates their entire history, including their Christian faith history; and which will not fall down nor go away in troubled times; and which black Americans have given to all humanity as well; and which by its living spirit alone denies all atheism.

    Black atheists: your problem is not the privilege of white atheists; your problem is the persistence of black believers who continue to hold you in lower regard than white believers hold white atheists.

  • @Jonathan J. Turner,

    “black music……which by its living spirit alone denies all atheism”

    Wow!!!! – so Wrong.
    Black music is a yearning for a real god not a validation of God !!!
    – ever heard of the Blues !!!?

    It is not a confidence IN a god. It is confidence in one’s dignity and human spirit despite the SILENCE of a god.

    You can’t make God exist by pointing to Black Music – Black music is not evidence of anything but suffering and struggle. And the Black struggle itself is not a sign not of God, but the sign of oppression thanks to the entire philosophy of God, especially Yahweh and Jesus:

    God said, “Make slaves of those around you…women and children… into your permanent property to pass on to your children’s inheritance.” – (Leviticus 25:44-46)

    “Slaves, do not run, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are PERVERSE.” (1 Peter 2:18)

    A song denying God’s absence
    is only a man denying he is broke, or a man denying he is alcoholic or a woman denying her daughter is dead – it is pure hope.
    No sign of god’s answer at all – thus, the blues.

    Black music is too smart and too brilliant to be put to the service of something so disgusting and abject as a ‘god’.

  • Jonathan J. Turner

    Well, why don’t I let a musical example support my opinion; then after, you can hate it for its godliness, OK? Or, it’s your turn for a musical example? Or both?

    For an example, I offer a spontaneous performance of Tomorrow by the Winans family at Whitney Houston’s funeral, with an introduction by Rev. Marvin Winans:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua9LASjx_nc

  • @Jonathan Turner,

    I don’t hate the song for its godliness. I love Gospel music.
    I hate that people give a real god credit for an amazing song. All I see and hear is awesome people singing an awesome song.
    God’s role is….what?

    God didn’t write it. He didn’t sing it. And he didn’t inspire it.
    We picture god in our minds because he doesn’t exist any other way – and he doesn’t exist outside of our minds as far as anyone can tell.

    Beautiful songs such as the one you share do not prove god. They prove much of humanity is longing for the god of their imagination; loving, benevolent and supportive, to be REAL. There is no evidence this god exists.

    CULTURE is an entirely human enterprise. It is an excellent replacement for a real god (that is why it thrives).
    It is an attempt through poetry, literature, music, choirs, art, painting, film, landscapes, opera, performance, architecture, etc….to deal with human suffering and to bring joy and meaning to life.

    Meanwhile many great Christian works of art were created with no influence of a God or even the belief in a god:

    Atheist composer, Irving Berlin’s – “White Christmas”
    Atheist artist, Charles Schultz – “Charlie Brown Christmas”
    Atheist actor, Max Von Sydow – “Greatest Story Ever Told”
    Atheist artist, Dr. Seuss – “The Grinch who Stole Christmas”

    Furthermore, there are many great black artists who are Atheist
    and who knew how to swing much better than the Winans you mentioned. Just to name two of the greatest:

    Atheist, Miles Davis
    Atheist, Charlie Parker

    I don’t know why people insist on needing a god. Especially when you point to culture – culture is more than enough.

  • Diogenes

    Appropriateness vis’ a’ vis’ RNS is never an issue apparently, however what is usually more inappropriate are the facile arguments that spin away with great centrifugal force from the original point.

  • Kwame

    I hope Black Atheists focus more on developing a business minded culture within the black communities. There are a lot of black men and women becoming successful business people, however they’re leaving black communities behind because economic progress in black communities takes a back seat to social justice which is the main reason why black neighbourhoods continue to suffer economically which leads to continuous cycle of poverty in Black communities.

    If Black kids can’t even conceptualize what progression in a black neighbourhood looks like they’ll continue to sell drugs, join gangs and terrorize their own neighbourhoods because they’ll see no hope for the future. Asian culture is focused on hard work and building businesses which gives Asian children somewhere to go if white people or other races don’t want to hire them. With African American kids if they don’t make it into white society which many black kids feel like is selling out they’re left with little to no hope for economic progress in their lives which helps keep this cycle violence and poverty continue.

    African americans have done well in the arts and entertainment fields it’s time we as atheists make a conscious effort to focus on building strong economic foundations in our neighbourhoods so our children can feel like economic equals in American society! social justice is constantly evolving, and although it’s important to fight for social justice it’s not going to pay the bills, it’s not going to raise property values, it’s not going to bring businesses and jobs to black communities and without jobs and economic opportunities our neighbourhoods will continue to struggle.

    Even Native American’s have casino’s to provide jobs to their people although that’s not enough it’s the future thinking of bringing revenue to their community that we should be focused on. Even if you fix the social justice issue black communities are going to be left with no jobs, which is going to make some black people do things, criminal things to get paid, which forces the cycle to continue which then forces the good black people to fight for social justice for the black people committing crimes.

    I hope Black atheists don’t get caught up in the same trap and cycle the religious African Americans are in, where they’re basically just waiting for Jesus, allah or whatever God to come save them from the mess that the “devil” created. My two cents!

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  • I guess understanding gravity could be seen as a province of white privilege as well…

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