Saturday, 10 April 2010

The Roots of the Black American Christian Culture:

 Re-posted from the The Dyslectic Atheist

Back in the 1970s when I was in my teen years; I did the nightclub and afterhour’s club thing at least 2 or 3 times a week. Do to my successful business dealings; I always had a lot of money, and I was into gambling, mostly playing blackjack - and there was always a floating game going on, somewhere in the city. There where at least 20-30 regular players, and at least two games going on at any given time. And these games would float around between the homes of the players.

I would sit around the table playing with pimps, whores, dope-dealers, preachers and deacons, and many types of others people. As I would sit there playing cards and listing to all the latest gossip – like who had died, who had been murdered, who was cheating on their wives, and who was fucking who; the subjects of religion and politics would almost always come up, and almost always the arguing would began as well.
Most of the talk back then was about Watergate and Nixon – and how the black man was being fucked over by the white man. Most had strong opinions in these matters, and the fact that I was the only one there who believed that Nixon wasn’t such a bad president; I simply stayed out of those types of arguments. However, when the subject turned to religion and me being an atheist; I was always dragged into the conversations.

About half of the players were not into the church thing; and about half of them didn’t believe in god or Jesus. Some of them would try to be as intentionally offensive about religion, as they possibly could. They would say things to the Christians at the table, who believed in the story of the “virgin-birth,” they would say things like: “so you believe a snake, crawled-up that little bitch’s ass, and made your savior Jesus?” most of these conversations would become real heated at times; and just before the guns and knives started coming out, one of the preachers would intervene. He would say things like: “do you really think that Jesus would approve of a Christian killing someone over something as petty as this.” Then someone would say to the preacher: “do you think that Jesus approves of you gambling with the churches money?” then after a while, things would calm down again, and the game would resume.
As a teenager I just couldn’t understand, how someone could feel so passionate over a belief, that it would drive them to shoot someone. I started wondering why black Christians, were so much more uncompassionate to the non-beliefs of others, in their beliefs in god and Jesus, than the white Christians are.

In many of these less heated conversations, someone would always ask me why I was an atheist and why I didn’t believe in god. Explaining my position on god and religion back then to black Christians was always extremely hard. Most black Christians back then, were highly superstitious; and they saw the world of religion, as clear black and white issues, and with no middle ground. In their deluded little world of Jesus VS Satan; either you were with Jesus, or you were with the devil. With them there were only two types of black people – those who served Jesus, and those who did not. They would say things to me like: “you can’t serve two masters – either your serving Jesus, or your serving the devil.”                     
I would simply say that I don’t serve any master, and I only live my life for the love of life itself. And I just cannot subscribe myself to a belief which is based on nothing more, than a bunch of silly stories, written in an old book. So most of them, simply believed I was just plain evil, and the fact that I understood many more things about the world than they did; lead some to believe that I had made some kind of pact with the devil.
I was highly into math, science and electronics; and I had started repairing things like TV’s radios and stereos for people, when I was about 14, and I was making a lot of money doing that. Then when the cable companies added the first pay channel; I started designing and building devices, which allowed someone to watch the pay channel(s) for free. And I was making real good money back then.
What I found even more amazing than the black Christians attitudes of this conceived little black and white world of good and evil of theirs, was the fact that most were profoundly superstitious in almost every facet of their lives. If it rained on a Tuesday, they believed that was an unlucky day to play cards. If a black-cat crossed their path, than that was an unlucky day as well. Most had lucky shirts and other things for each day of the week. There were even a few of them who would get up from the table when I would sit down; they even would say things like: “Satan’s here – and I know I’m going to start losing my money.” But the only real thing which was really going on there was that I was just playing, the mathematical odds at the table.
Aside from what I learned through playing cards with these people; there were the private conversations that I had with these gambling preachers and deacons. Most of them were not as superstitious and ignorant as the rest of the people were; in fact two of them were highly intelligent, and could clearly see what was going on with me at the table. I became good friends with both of them, and we would almost always put our money together in the pot, when one of us was dealing.
What I found most interesting was the fact that they both were only religious on the surface; and they were just as skeptical about religion and god(s) as I was. And they believed that they were only performing a needed service for the black people. And do to the fact that over the years here in America, religion and Christianity had become so ingrained in the black culture; that most blacks would be totally lost, without their beliefs in religion and Jesus.
I started wondering if this had any relationship to the reasons why so many black people, never left the plantations after being freed as slaves. After a life of being owned by their masters, I’m sure that many of them felt lost without their masters as well. Still, I just couldn’t get the serving of the two master’s thing, out of mind. Black people in this nation had never even heard of Jesus, until they had arrived here. They were indoctrinated into the Christian-cult, by slave owners telling them, that Jesus was their white savior and master, who watches over them from the sky (so if I’m not watching your black-asses; then he is).  And only if you worship and love him; then he’ll keep you safe (I can only imagine what a hellish fucking life, it would have been to live as a slave back then – I know for a fact, that I would have not made it; “fuck them, and their fucking savior!”) this was simply a ploy to train them to love the white men (I simply find this so appalling on so many different levels).
In a free society, why would someone still feel the need to serve a master; other than it’s the same slave mentality. Then there’s the fact that some black people feel the need to outdo other races in everything, including stupidly and ignorance. I recently witnessed this with PROP 8 in California. The largest contributor was the Mormon Church; a longtime racist organization, which only until recently, excluded blacks from its priesthood. And in the 1950s and 1960s, the church fought just as hard to limit the rights of black people, as they’re now fighting to limit the rights of gay people (if black Christians believe that it’s Ok to discriminate against gay people, because it’s in their bible; then they need to look a little further, because it says the same about them too).
In 2010, black people still believing that old slave story is just astounding to me; that there’s a 2000 year old white master which is still watching them from the sky. I believe that we as black people can continue to grow and move forward, only by letting go of our fear, silly superstitious religious beliefs, and our slave mentality. Instead of worshiping and loving some imaginary space-god; and hating everyone else who has different beliefs – turn that same love to oneself, and our people.

(To be continued)     


MissKris said...

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. Its too bad that so many of our people will not educate themselves on the history and origins of Christianity. I imagine if they did, they would definitely re-evaluate what they believe in and know that living a good life and treating people the way you want to be treated does not require religion or a belief in a god. Great post!

MPrelated said...

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you. So I am NOT the only thinking black American! Yippee!!! As someone who has emerged from, yes, a branch of Christianity I have come to definitely view as nothing but a cult: Protestant, Apostolic Pentecostal, yadayadayada, it is truly terrible the degree that black Americans hare addicted, yes ADDICTED, to religion. Worse, they are promoting and revelling in a bastardized version of true Christianity, and DO NOT EVEN KNOW IT because they are so damned ignorant. The ones that run around saying silly, brainless, slogans like "God bless you", "I'd rather be a saint than an ain't", "..he/she is an accuser of the brethren", "God don't like ugly", "Have a blessed day"...ugh!!! Wouldn't know true religion if it jumped up and bit them in the ass. Not coincidentally, black Christians, especially the women, are THE most intolerant, bitchy, spiteful, envious, hateful, insecure, gossiping, manipulative, hypercritical and hypocritical, physically unappealing creatures on God's Green. They are lazy (wouldn't think of engaging in true scholarship relative to the Bible and its candidacy for textual criticism), judgmental (HATE pretty, single, smart newcomers; often labeling these as [possessing a 'jezebel' spirit), and spend so much time trying 'doing church' it makes one wonder how their actual homes can be clean and orderly places in which to live, let alone raise rational (i.e. intelligent, thinking) offspring! There is an interesting read by a woman who explores the cult aspect of the so-called Black Church and the harm it has inflicted upon the black community. It has a title somthing like "The Black Church: Where Women Pray and Men Prey". A little observed point is that the Black Church is male-dominated and oriented. Many if not most blatantly promote men, while marginalizing and minimizing the talents and contributions of women. Black women who are ultra-churchified are active participants in their own victimization. The silly bitches.

Anonymous said...