Law School Discussion

Religion & Black People

Religion & Black People
« on: December 31, 2008, 03:54:00 AM »
I grew up in a very religious household. Now I'm an agnostic. I don't think there is any way to prove of disprove the existence of God. Furthermore, if I were born China or Indonesia, I would have been reared as a Buddist or Muslim respectively. I think Christianity is en-vogue in the black community. I guess people reason "Well my parents are a christian so this religion has to be the ulitmate truth." I not going to be consigned to a religion because somebody told me so.

Through childhood and to present I have been disenchanted with pimps in the pulpit. I think it's a racket. Recently my sister(who lives in the ATL) told me that she stopped going to Creflo Dollars' church because he uttered this comment, "Jesus isn't coming back for a broke church." Moreover, 4 out of 5 people in the church are women. I feel the men get up there and appeal to the women's emotions, become smitten simultaneously. They are just pimpin' the women. I chose not to fall victim to quackery and demagogy.

Lastly, these preachers stand in the pulpit and conclude that Jesus is the way etc. they seem to forget that the whole premise of relion is faith. There is too much hubris connected to it. Futhermore people tend to modify religion to accomodate modern times. Leviticus suggests that slavery is acceptable and that eating shellfish is an abomination. When or when aren't you supposed to take the text literally? You have all these religions in the world, all proclaiming that their religion is the ultimate truth, but again nobody really knows.

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 11:10:03 AM »
Christianity wasn't 'in vogue' in the black community, it was part of a support system which helped said community through generations of dehumanizing and oppressive treatment. 

I'm genuinely not trying to insult you but you seem to speak about both the black community and organized religion with no real insight. Have you recently come to self identify as black or are you generally just not very observant? This isn't about being religious (though full disclosure, I am), this is about understanding the history and social context of powerful societal forces. Whether or not you belive in Christianity, if you are a socially aware and reform minded black American inclined towards helping your community, you will interact at some point with the black church. But don't worry, I'm sure that acting like everyone else is stupider than you will work really well in engaging those people who you think the church traps (your post is brimming with compassion for them - maybe you are also part of the problem).

Gosh, that got a bit hostile, didn't it! Lol. Interestingly enough it's not really the religion part which annoys me, it's the lazy assumptions about 'black people and the church'. There is so much stellar political and social analysis out there on these issues, I just wonder why I, who am 2 years younger than you, but have worked for multple non profits, faith based and secular, can see all of these multi-layered contradictions and tensions, yet would never think to blithely announce them on the internet while you seem really take pride in your one dimensional analysis.

Irony abounds: there's a biblical verse and being a fool and keeping silent that comes to mind.

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 05:38:09 PM »
Christianity wasn't 'in vogue' in the black community, it was part of a support system which helped said community through generations of dehumanizing and oppressive treatment. 

How are you certain that it was Christianity that is responsible for helping the black community navigate through dehumanization? Perhaps it was the desire to be seen as a human being, the desire for civil rights, the desire to be free. See that's the problem. You have been programmed to assume Jesus is responsible for the seismic advances black people have made in America. Mahatma Gandhi was the leader of the Indian independence movement which inspired civil rights and freedom movements across the world. Well, his religious belief was Hinduism. I suppose Hinduism is responsible for the Indian independence movement and Christianity is responsible for the advances for Blacks in America. People like yourself tend to attribute the positive things that happen  to Christianity by default, "Ohh, I can't determine another reason to why good things are happening, Jesus has to be responsible."

If you are socially aware...reform minded...etc... you will have to interact with the black church.

Even if I do interact with the black church in some capacity, that does not mean that I have to be a Christian or play an integral role in the Black church. Furthermore, just because I don't hold the same convictions as the Black church does not mean that "I think everyone else is stupider" than I am.

Moreover, (in my opinion of course) you're simply relious because A: you were raised into it, and have bought into its placebo effect nature. B: Christianity is the most popular religion in America, and you are just moving with the masses.

Also, (in my opinion) all of the above is perfectly fine, you're religious tenets are your prerogative, however, that does not guarantee you will be in "paradise" once you enter the other side of the grave. Lastly, you sure didn't illustrate the virues of "God's love" with your personal attacks, and attempts to belittle me, after all should'nt I be considered as "God's child" despite the fact that I may have upset and annoyed you?

"I am agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of." - Clarence Darrow

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 05:34:48 AM »

You really aren't very smart, are you? Believe me, I'm refraining from deeper personal attacks only out of courtesy. A tip for the future: reading is a good skill. It's fun to see a few words and spout nonsense, but generally trying to understand complete sentences before you start a three year academic program is probably wise.

Let's deal with your points in turn.

1. 'Jesus was not responsible for civil rights.

*Sigh*. Firstly, that's not what I said. What I said was that it was a powerful social force in African American history. Which it was, this is historical fact. The black church has been a substantial part of black culture and civil rights movement for generations. This is not to say that 'Jesus helped people' or whatever wider claims you are attributing to me, only that the black church has status in the African American community for socio-political reasons. It is not 'in vogue' any more than race is 'in vogue'.

Your point about a 'yearning to be free' powering civil rights is just further evidence of your stupidity. The yearning for freedom and equality is probably innate and universal to all human beings. Of course it is at the heart of any movement for equality or freedom. No one is saying that chrstianity created it or even owns it, what I am saying is that the African American church had a crucial role is organizing for civil rights in American history. This is fact. After people want freedom, they generally have to do things like march, fight even, and get bills passed and the church played a huge role in this. This is why a lot of African American people have a connection to and respect for the church. Again, this is fact. You pretending that people like christianity just because it is in 'vogue' is insulting to the history of the oppression of African Americans and the struggle to overcome it. People gave their entire lives to the cause of freedom and these are people who would be in their 70s and 80s, and the children they raised would have watched their parents be beat down, abused, despised and seen the black church as one of few institutions which supported the community through these times. And you dare insult or look down on them because you don't think they are sufficiently 'detached' or as 'enlightened' as you. Maybe the women in your church are being preyed on but that doesn't mean you're not a self righteous fool. You would think that you would want to help them and help the church be better but you have no empathy or understanding of their feelings and frankly are not mature enough to own it.

2. Interacting with the black church means being a Christian

 ::) I never said that. You just hear what you want to hear. I said that you needed to bring a different attitude to your dealings with it. I am telling you (though I'm sure you won't hear it) how many strong factors contribute to people's commitment to the church. If you try to interact with the church without taking the strength of those feelings and their origin into account, you are gonna look like a fool, though I doubt you will ever end up doing anything useful with your life anyway.

3. You're Christian because you were brought up in it.

Good God, it's like talking to someone who's slow. Gonna take this point really slowly for you: my parents raised me in a Christian home. I was raised to believe in God and to be a Christian and so that obviously was my default position. Then as I got older I came to question my belief system and look deeper into it, and after weighing it up... I decided that I believed in God and wanted to be a Christian. Now, wait a second, isn't this the same thing that happened to you except you decided to be an agnostic?

Wow - give me a call when you mature into adulthood. People made different choice to you so they must not have thought about it! Many many people get to an age where they question and reassess their beliefs, prejudices, biases and choose different paths, and they choose many different things. And what do you say to people who aren't raised as christians but choose it anyway? Do you understand how unbelievably arrogant it is to assume that only people with your exact viewpoints have ever had any independent thought? I have friends of all religions and atheists and agnostics too, I have my beliefs and they have theirs and I respect them even when I disagree with them. But to imagine that I am the only one of us who has ever been able to look back critically or rationally at my own life or upbringing, to imagine that I am the only one to ever make a 'real choice', everyone else just being a slave to the masses or their parents, is so far beyond arrogance, it's unreal. This is what I mean that you think you are smarter than everyone else. I bet you hold onto your agnosticism as a way to try to differentiate yourself as smarter than people because it is the only thing you can cling to. Your arguments are vague and moronic - I'd worry about worry about the basic stuff like stringing coherent thoughts together before I go after the big fish like disproving God. 

Here's another crazy idea - you are yet to show that just because something is believed from childhood, that makes it untrue. In other words, you are yet to show that christianity is false just because my parents taught it to me. Guess what else my parents taught to me - equality, justice, love - are all these things invalidated because I didn't independently discover them in my twenties?

And by the way, just because something is believed by the masses doesn't make it wrong either. If I was brought up locked in a cellar by a child molester I would have a set of beliefs and values which would differ from most children. I think we would all agree that 'most children''s beliefs would be right in that case.

We teach our children many beliefs becasue we think they are right and this is the main issue - whether or not something is right or wrong doesn't turn on whether it is taught to you as a child, it turns on whether it is right or wrong. I don't tell my children to grow up and make up their own mind about whether 'child molestation is wrong' or 'murder is wrong', I teach them as children and I'm sure you'd agree with that.

If you were born in the 1850s into a rich white family in Alabama I bet you'd be racist and ignorant. Does that mean that that racial equality and economic justice are not universal concepts that are always right? Just because you'd be a racist in that family doesn't mean that racist and not racist are morally equal standards. So you're probably saying - so how do we know which religion/viewpoint is right? We each make a judgement call and what people chose can be different. It's not clearcut and believe me, you have nothing to teach anyone. So whether or not God exists or Christianity is right is nothing to do with how I was raised or you were raised. My upbringing doesn't prove or disprove God, arguments about God's existence do.

Thus your main point 'you're only a Christian because you were raised one' is useless'. Being raised a christian doesn't mean you can't choose it, and just because it is being socially communicated doesn't make it false.

Look, I get it. You are basically approaching this as a child trapped in an argument with mommy. You think you are free and detached, you are just as reactive and blind as all the people you look down on. Grow up and see the world as it actually is - social institutions and people are complex and the world is full of shades of grey. Try to approach it with a bit of compassion and one mindedness instead of throwing the equivalent of a ten year intellectual tantrum when you are hit with the disappointment of adolescence.

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 01:43:24 PM »
Wow. A woman who is a Christian and a psychologist. I feel like I owe you some money for that brilliant psycho-analysis.
"you won't make anything out of your life, you really aren't very smart are you?"- Well I guess it's safe to say that I'm not your favorite guy. lol. That is perfectly fine with me. Obviously you are emotionally fragile, I touched on a sensitive, quagmire of a subject that you simply aren't ready to digest. I'm sorry if I hurt your delicate feelings, maybe you need a hug or some sort of consolation. And just for the record I'm an idiot, you are intellect incarnate, and I should develop an iota of a brain before I enter a conversation with someone as brilliant as yourself. I'm sorry, really, I'm sorry, after all ignorance is bliss. right? lol.

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 05:18:45 AM »
You have no response to any of my substantive points. I'm actually shocked. I thought you'd at least try to pick apart a tangential point in the hope of saving face.

hmmm. So you hide behind what you think is humor. You must spend your time with complete retards if you've been allowed to get away with that up to the age of 25. Well, I'm not just a psychologist, but also a life coach. My advice to you - turn off the tv and pick up a book. Right now you probably couldn't hold your own against a well informed teenager.

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 12:38:31 PM »
Word. Thanks coach! I'll do that. Incidentally, picking apart your "tangential" quotes is not worth my time. I'm above saving face, you should save some prozac. Lastly, I don't argue with fools.

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2009, 01:15:34 PM »
That's cute

Why don't you educate me? I mean I'm such a fool you should be able to lick me into shape in no time. And while I've demonstrated that you're a moron, all you've done is tell me that I'm a fool. Why don't you show me that I'm a fool by stringing a coherent sentence together to refute my arguments.

I mean, are you sure you don't have the time? I mean you thought you had time to start a discussion topic about religion and black people and post it on a discussion forum for comment. I would think you would have all the time in the world to show that, beyond being able to spell those words correctly, you have any conception of what they actually mean and the connection between them. 

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 03:56:55 PM »
Lollypop, I have no desire to continuously engage in a circular conversation of recrimination with an asinine individual. You are entitled to your own opinion, and that's fine, however, I'm not inclined to oblige to your invitation of oneupmanship. Now, on the other hand, if you feel that I'm a very interesting, mesmerizing and captivating man....I would be more than willing to drop you my contact information, then you could get to know me on a more personal, intimate roll out.

Re: Religion & Black People
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 05:46:51 PM »
Haha, thoroughly trounced in the argument, the man still asks for sex.  Great conversation.

Lollypop, I have no desire to continuously engage in a circular conversation of recrimination with an asinine individual. You are entitled to your own opinion, and that's fine, however, I'm not inclined to oblige to your invitation of oneupmanship. Now, on the other hand, if you feel that I'm a very interesting, mesmerizing and captivating man....I would be more than willing to drop you my contact information, then you could get to know me on a more personal, intimate roll out.