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Thread started 03/16/21 3:36pm

uPtoWnNY

It's Okay to Let Go: Why It's Time for Blacks to Walk Away from Christianity

I recently found this wonderful book from J.L. Ford. This brother sounds like me nearly 40 years ago, when I started to question things after studying history in depth. He doesn't bash christianity or its followers...he just offers explanations as to why it doesn't work to the benefit of black people. These quotes nail it;
"When pictures of a white-savior god hang on the walls of black chrches and homes, who does that benefit?
"When the most atrocious acts are done to us (Charleston, SC church massacre), we pray for comfort, and then we tell the ones who hate us that, if they just ask god for forgiveness, they can still find a place in heaven right along the same people they harmed."
Great stuff
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Reply #1 posted 03/16/21 5:34pm

TrivialPursuit

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Interesting quotes. I don't disagree with them.

I'll offer this adjacent thought: I believe what the Black voice in the church hasn't ever been able to say to anything beyond what seems to be a vacuum of Christian white supremacy is that the characters in the Bible are dark skinned. (This, considering they were all real, cuz I'm not here to debate the authenticity of the events or people in the Bible; we're just going on the presumption that it is for this conversation.)

Christianity's purest forms have been tainted, white-washed, and rewritten by colonialism and white supremacy. People from the middle east and northern Africa are suddenly white, blond-headed, and blue-eyed.

I mean, the furthest a movie has gone with the visage of Christ on film is someone with a slightly Italian/olive skin tone, dark hair and a beard. Still arguably white. The message is still, even in Christianity and quite literally, that of the white saviour swooping in to save everyone else. Why? Because whites are superior - in white's eyes. So the whole idea of the white saviour really stems back to a Caucasian version of Christianity. (Remember the low-key hubbub around Black Jesus on Good Times?) Maybe there have been movies with a Black Jesus, but I don't remember them off-hand.

Then you have white supremacists like Megyn Kelly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Tucker "what even is white supremacy?" Carlson, and even 🎃 perpetuating white supremacy in Christianity, and even things like "Santa was white, obviously." Really, Megyn? How is Santa white? Where is that obvious? Where is it obvious Christ was white?

The Black church needs to define its own version of Christ, in skin-tone and reality of geography, evolution, etc. It needs to embrace that and speak truth to it despite what anyone else says. Adam wasn't made from the dirt of the ground and turned out white. Dirt is brown or red.

I don't believe God has color, but I do believe Christ did because he was in human form. That was the point of God coming in human form - to understand the human condition first hand. And if, as the Bible says, Christ faced every temptation and trial that we all would in life, it stands to reason that he had to face racism as a man of color. We see racism all through the Bible anyway, so to believe Jesus was a man of color really isn't so far-fetched.

I am interested to read this book though, and will look for it. I've been reading a lot of books on racism and white supremacy et al since mid-2019. I just needed to learn more than I thought I knew about it. I'm glad I was ever-so-slightly ahead of the curve when bigger incidents like the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd happened. I was looked at like I had two heads by some of my fellow alabaster Americans when I brought up white supremacy and police brutality and all its accoutrements.

Now, to start the Black Jesus conversations...

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #2 posted 03/16/21 9:17pm

Margot

I agree. I can understand how you would feel that way.

It benefits people to explore the tenets of several religions to get a sense of what feels right; kind of a right of passage as an emerging adult.

I was raised Catholic but those beliefs haven't resonated since I was 18.' Eastern Thought'

is a much better fit.

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Reply #3 posted 03/17/21 8:38am

uPtoWnNY

TrivialPursuit said:

The Black church needs to define its own version of Christ, in skin-tone and reality of geography, evolution, etc. It needs to embrace that and speak truth to it despite what anyone else says. Adam wasn't made from the dirt of the ground and turned out white. Dirt is brown or red.

Good luck with that happening, especially among older black folks. I tried explaining that to my mother (R.I.P.) decades ago to no avail.

We (black Americans) are a lost people. I'll believe that to my dying day.

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Reply #4 posted 03/17/21 11:56am

onlyforaminute

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I've never read the book so I don't know the points in it. I've heard this argument all my life from various points of views. Does it note the shift in the black community embracing traditional religions such as acknowledging the ancestors and the Orishas?
[Edited 3/17/21 12:00pm]
Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #5 posted 03/17/21 2:02pm

coldcoffeeandc
ocacola

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Jesus was from a middle Eastern country and he was Jewish

So he'd look middle eastern or black.

The Romans were white and changed Christianity to suit them so I assume that's where the belief that he's white came from? I'm white and have never seen a black or middle eastern Jesus which is strange as it would have been very unlikely he was a white man. I absolutely think he should be depicted as he probably was it is non sensical to not. Jesus is the salvation. To anyone who would have an issue with that the question would be do you care the colour of the doctor that saves you? Or course not.
[Edited 3/17/21 14:13pm]
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Reply #6 posted 03/17/21 4:17pm

TrivialPursuit

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coldcoffeeandcocacola said:

Jesus was from a middle Eastern country and he was Jewish, So he'd look middle eastern or black.


If you trace it back to his upbringing and where he was born (what would be today's citizenship qualifications), he was a Jew born on Arab land, thereby making him both Jew and Arab.

I always found that interesting when folks blindly support Israel or have Palestinian hate.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #7 posted 03/17/21 4:49pm

onlyforaminute

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OIP.t272M7JHoiQ4c4AkqY3lOwAAAA?w=118&h=180&c=7&o=5&dpr=1.25&pid=1.7

R1857caa399c88a6b28f84ad912b8a215?rik=%2B%2Ba%2B2w6MOHqdVA&riu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.customaniacs.org%2Fforum%2FCM_show_preview.php%3Fattachmentid%3D104741&ehk=awwKTJ38%2BqiSr0xfi8YPFd5XPesHNxu5bCTKybdwxdQ%3D&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

I never saw the part 2 I'll be checking it out this week.

........

.....

[Edited 3/17/21 16:51pm]

Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #8 posted 03/17/21 5:42pm

coldcoffeeandc
ocacola

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TrivialPursuit said:



coldcoffeeandcocacola said:


Jesus was from a middle Eastern country and he was Jewish, So he'd look middle eastern or black.


If you trace it back to his upbringing and where he was born (what would be today's citizenship qualifications), he was a Jew born on Arab land, thereby making him both Jew and Arab.

I always found that interesting when folks blindly support Israel or have Palestinian hate.



You know I never made that last connection. Interesting, interesting observation.
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Reply #9 posted 03/17/21 6:17pm

TrivialPursuit

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coldcoffeeandcocacola said:

TrivialPursuit said:


If you trace it back to his upbringing and where he was born (what would be today's citizenship qualifications), he was a Jew born on Arab land, thereby making him both Jew and Arab.

I always found that interesting when folks blindly support Israel or have Palestinian hate.

You know I never made that last connection. Interesting, interesting observation.


I tried my best to find it on my Tumblr, because I once broke down where modern day Bethlehem, Nazareth, etc are located, and how his cultural upbringing etc would be squarely between Jew and Arab today.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #10 posted 03/18/21 10:14am

onlyforaminute

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Anansi is the King of Stories, the trickster, the joke maker, and the teacher of those who would follow these traditions. Anansi can be summoned by those with a gift for stories, either to listen to a well-told tale or to help someone who is talented but just beginning to become a master storyteller.
.....
...
Stories about a spider-god, Anansi or Ananse, were first told in Ghana by the Ashanti people. They were not written down but recounted from generation to generation. Gradually the stories grew and spread across Ghana and then all around West Africa. In Ghana they are called “Anansesem” meaning spider tales.
.....
....
In this short story Brer Fox gets tricked by Brer Rabbit again. This story has roots all the way back to a traditional story about a spider named Anansi. Anansi eventually became known in Southern United States as Aunt Nancy. Brer Rabbit, like Anansi, is a trickster. Although both characters are physically weak they can utilize their wit to get out of unpleasant situations or cause mayhem.
Brer Rabbit and Brer fox seem to be equal peers in the animal society that they live in. In this and other tales, Brer fox tries hard to please his peers and apparently the plantation master. In “Brer Rabbit tricks Brer Fox again” the fox arrives first and the rabbit tricks the fox into jumping into the well and looking like a lazy animal. Brer rabbit tricks Brer fox into situations that ridicule Fox and makes Rabbit look like the Hero.
Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #11 posted 03/18/21 11:44am

coldcoffeeandc
ocacola

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TrivialPursuit said:



coldcoffeeandcocacola said:


TrivialPursuit said:



If you trace it back to his upbringing and where he was born (what would be today's citizenship qualifications), he was a Jew born on Arab land, thereby making him both Jew and Arab.

I always found that interesting when folks blindly support Israel or have Palestinian hate.



You know I never made that last connection. Interesting, interesting observation.


I tried my best to find it on my Tumblr, because I once broke down where modern day Bethlehem, Nazareth, etc are located, and how his cultural upbringing etc would be squarely between Jew and Arab today.



This is by far my favourite thing I've learnt this year. Really so interesting. Thank you!
[Edited 3/18/21 11:44am]
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Reply #12 posted 03/18/21 12:32pm

lust

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TrivialPursuit said:



coldcoffeeandcocacola said:


Jesus was from a middle Eastern country and he was Jewish, So he'd look middle eastern or black.


If you trace it back to his upbringing and where he was born (what would be today's citizenship qualifications), he was a Jew born on Arab land, thereby making him both Jew and Arab.

I always found that interesting when folks blindly support Israel or have Palestinian hate.



Assuming for a moment that Jesus existed as described in the New Testament, he was born in Judea (that’s where the name Jew comes from), he was not “born on arab land”. The Arab invasion of (the region that was by then known by its Roman name) Palestine happened 600 years after the death of Jesus so he was not Arab. This is in no way meant as a slight against Palestinians or Arabs. It’s just a total misnomer to suggest that Jesus was born on Arab lands as that would be like saying “insert important Native American character” was born on British land in New England in the year 765 and was therefore both American and British. The Arab empire moved up from Arabia and conquered much of the Middle East and North Africa and even into Southern Spain. But again, that began with Mohammed in the 7th century.

But it’s a completely understandable and common misconception.
[Edited 3/18/21 12:47pm]
If the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it!
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Reply #13 posted 03/19/21 9:40am

PurpleJedi

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This is a loaded topic because it's not about skin color but rather faith.

It's 2021 and most reasonable, well-adjusted people KNOW that Jesus of Nazareth was an Aramaic-speaking, bronze-skinned Jew.

So the issue of having white saints or a white portrayal of Jesus is only an issue to people who have failed to make the distinction between Gospel and Imagery.

The real issue, and something that was the catalyst for my own abandonment of the Christian faith, is the imperialism aspect of Christianity.

Christianity and Islam both spread the faith mainly by the use of the SWORD, not the WORD.

My Native American cousins and Mesoamerican brothers were violently converted to Catholicism by the Spanish & European conquistadors who tore down their temples, burned their books, killed their shamans, and tried to erase their indigenous cultures.

Budhism by sharp contrast, is spread by willing indoctrination.

YES I AM AWARE that there are modern converts to Christianity - an army of missionaries are stationed around the world at any given time helping poor communities for the price of a sermon.
But if we are talking in general & historical terms, it was the sword, gunpowder & mounted armies that resulted in the Christian and Muslim faiths to spread far & wide.

SO... yeah to me it's less about skin color and more about the history.

By St. Boogar and all the saints at the backside door of Purgatory!
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Reply #14 posted 03/19/21 10:23am

onlyforaminute

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It's up to the OP to specify.
Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #15 posted 03/19/21 10:30am

2freaky4church
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Atheisism is a white cult. Atheists see a dark void, with no morality, no love, no nothing. Blacks got saved by Christianity, especially with how they saw Exodus, Babylon, Rome, love of the other, orphan, widow.

Cornel West says this is why you could never have a black ISIS. Thank them and make American grreat for the first time.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #16 posted 03/19/21 11:36am

Empress

2freaky4church1 said:

Atheisism is a white cult. Atheists see a dark void, with no morality, no love, no nothing. Blacks got saved by Christianity, especially with how they saw Exodus, Babylon, Rome, love of the other, orphan, widow.

Cornel West says this is why you could never have a black ISIS. Thank them and make American grreat for the first time.

Like hell we do - WTF?? Shows how much you don't know about atheists.

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Reply #17 posted 03/19/21 12:06pm

lust

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Empress said:



2freaky4church1 said:


Atheisism is a white cult. Atheists see a dark void, with no morality, no love, no nothing. Blacks got saved by Christianity, especially with how they saw Exodus, Babylon, Rome, love of the other, orphan, widow.



Cornel West says this is why you could never have a black ISIS. Thank them and make American grreat for the first time.



Like hell we do - WTF?? Shows how much you don't know about atheists.



At least he’s consistent with what he doesn’t know. It’s not just atheism. His ignorance is very inclusive.

The bible sanctions slavery. And two weeks ago Freaky tried to argue that it doesn’t demand that gays be put to death (it does) because “it’s talking about men who rape boys” apparently oblivious to the next verse of “the good book” which says that both people have to be put to death which is even worse because if Freaky’s argument is correct, the victims of child rape should be put to death.

And with no sense of irony, the dude thinks it’s atheists who lack morality!
lol

Fortunately very few Christians (despite their claims to the contrary) get their morality from the bible. They pick the good bits and ignore the bad because their own inherent sense of right and wrong is far better than their bible so just like atheists, they don’t need religion to be good people.
If the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it!
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Reply #18 posted 03/19/21 12:24pm

onlyforaminute

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But atheist don't hold value to any religious faith whether that faith has a history of atrocities or not. So why not step up to the plate and be honest instead of nit picking?
Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #19 posted 03/19/21 2:15pm

lust

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onlyforaminute said:

But atheist don't hold value to any religious faith whether that faith has a history of atrocities or not. So why not step up to the plate and be honest instead of nit picking?


Sorry, who is this addressing? I don’t understand the point that’s being made.
Atheists don’t believe that any gods exists. That’s it. That’s the only generalisation that can be made.
If the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it!
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Reply #20 posted 03/19/21 2:26pm

onlyforaminute

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lust said:

onlyforaminute said:

But atheist don't hold value to any religious faith whether that faith has a history of atrocities or not. So why not step up to the plate and be honest instead of nit picking?


Sorry, who is this addressing? I don’t understand the point that’s being made.
Atheists don’t believe that any gods exists. That’s it. That’s the only generalisation that can be made.



It was directed generally. I have no idea if the OP is atheist, they haven't answered. I don't really engage in discussions about any singular faith with those who value none of them. Seems like a moot point to me.
Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #21 posted 03/19/21 2:27pm

IanRG

PurpleJedi said:

This is a loaded topic because it's not about skin color but rather faith.

It's 2021 and most reasonable, well-adjusted people KNOW that Jesus of Nazareth was an Aramaic-speaking, bronze-skinned Jew.

So the issue of having white saints or a white portrayal of Jesus is only an issue to people who have failed to make the distinction between Gospel and Imagery.

The real issue, and something that was the catalyst for my own abandonment of the Christian faith, is the imperialism aspect of Christianity.

Christianity and Islam both spread the faith mainly by the use of the SWORD, not the WORD.

My Native American cousins and Mesoamerican brothers were violently converted to Catholicism by the Spanish & European conquistadors who tore down their temples, burned their books, killed their shamans, and tried to erase their indigenous cultures.

Budhism by sharp contrast, is spread by willing indoctrination.

YES I AM AWARE that there are modern converts to Christianity - an army of missionaries are stationed around the world at any given time helping poor communities for the price of a sermon.
But if we are talking in general & historical terms, it was the sword, gunpowder & mounted armies that resulted in the Christian and Muslim faiths to spread far & wide.

SO... yeah to me it's less about skin color and more about the history.

.

Imperialism resulting in the spreading of Buddhism is widely prevalent. Imperialism resulting in Christian and Islamic places of worship and writings being destroyed and people killed is widely prevalent and is and has been done by people of other religions and atheists just as it has been done by people from these two. The issue was and always will be power, not religions or belief systems with or without a theistic base.

.

Beliefs as a part of culture will always be part of why people of different cultures have exerted their power over other cultures and destroyed or assimilated that other culture. BUT the cause of this is POWER, not beliefs on skin colour, race, religion, politics etc etc.

.

The book at the heart of this thread is not about religion, it is about power. Removing the power over the author's people by others and a limitation on the author's people by an area of their beliefs. The two quotes by the OP are about power: The power of imagery that has been seriously and erroneously miss-used by some to elevate their people over the author's people. The power of allowing and refusing forgiveness for atrocities as a method of keeping or taking power by seeking to re-unite or divide them after these events.

.

History is not about skin colour or religon, it is about power.

[Edited 3/19/21 16:06pm]

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Reply #22 posted 03/19/21 2:47pm

onlyforaminute

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The tool of the slave master was to rip away the very foundation of their captives which was their religious faith especially here in the Ststes. Leave people with nothing they are ripe to gravitate to whatever they're fed.
Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #23 posted 03/19/21 2:49pm

lust

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onlyforaminute said:

lust said:



Sorry, who is this addressing? I don’t understand the point that’s being made.
Atheists don’t believe that any gods exists. That’s it. That’s the only generalisation that can be made.



It was directed generally. I have no idea if the OP is atheist, they haven't answered. I don't really engage in discussions about any singular faith with those who value none of them. Seems like a moot point to me.


Ahh ok. In that case you probably won’t to engage with me which is totally fine but I’ll say (and I only speak for myself) firstly when any discussion takes place around the concept of faith, it should first be defined what each party means by the term in order to avoid talking across each other.

As for focusing on some belief systems but not others, it’s purely out of a case of some beliefs are more harmful than others. Whilst yes I have a general issue with “faith” as I define it which is to hold a belief that is not evidently true, I really don’t care as long as people don’t use that faith to cause harm to others.

To take it away from religion and into the wider realm of skeptical inquiry which is what informs my atheism, I’m not bothered by Bigfoot believers but am bothered by Q anon Covid deniers. I’ll choose to call out the latter because of the harm they cause but ignore the former because, where’s the harm?
[Edited 3/19/21 15:39pm]
If the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it!
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Reply #24 posted 03/19/21 6:32pm

uPtoWnNY

PurpleJedi said:

This is a loaded topic because it's not about skin color but rather faith.

It's 2021 and most reasonable, well-adjusted people KNOW that Jesus of Nazareth was an Aramaic-speaking, bronze-skinned Jew.

So the issue of having white saints or a white portrayal of Jesus is only an issue to people who have failed to make the distinction between Gospel and Imagery.

The real issue, and something that was the catalyst for my own abandonment of the Christian faith, is the imperialism aspect of Christianity.

Christianity and Islam both spread the faith mainly by the use of the SWORD, not the WORD.

My Native American cousins and Mesoamerican brothers were violently converted to Catholicism by the Spanish & European conquistadors who tore down their temples, burned their books, killed their shamans, and tried to erase their indigenous cultures.

Budhism by sharp contrast, is spread by willing indoctrination.

YES I AM AWARE that there are modern converts to Christianity - an army of missionaries are stationed around the world at any given time helping poor communities for the price of a sermon.
But if we are talking in general & historical terms, it was the sword, gunpowder & mounted armies that resulted in the Christian and Muslim faiths to spread far & wide.

SO... yeah to me it's less about skin color and more about the history.

For me, it's both. To quote Tim Wise, "The image of a white Jesus has been used to justify enslavement, conquest, colonialism, the genocide of indigenous peoples. There are literally millions of human beings whose lives have been snuffed out by people who conquered under the banner of a white god."

Reading Mr. Ford's book, I said to myself, this dude sounds exactly like me during my early 20s, when I got into history, attended lectures, slowly began to "unlearn what I learned" growing up and eventually walking away. As Mr. Ford states,

"The black mind has been forcefully intoxicated with the opiate of religion....we have developed a toxic attachment to christianity, the handmaiden of white dominance, and a gross need to be a servant to a god who has done nothing for us as a people". Stone-cold truth.

Lately, I've been watching youtube videos about this subject, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see these young brothas and sistas questioning things. Spme have turned away from religion completely, others have gone the spirituality route.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdEQeXsNN5Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io_-ioeyVUY

[Edited 3/19/21 20:32pm]

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Reply #25 posted 03/19/21 10:44pm

onlyforaminute

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lust said:

onlyforaminute said:




It was directed generally. I have no idea if the OP is atheist, they haven't answered. I don't really engage in discussions about any singular faith with those who value none of them. Seems like a moot point to me.


Ahh ok. In that case you probably won’t to engage with me which is totally fine but I’ll say (and I only speak for myself) firstly when any discussion takes place around the concept of faith, it should first be defined what each party means by the term in order to avoid talking across each other.

As for focusing on some belief systems but not others, it’s purely out of a case of some beliefs are more harmful than others. Whilst yes I have a general issue with “faith” as I define it which is to hold a belief that is not evidently true, I really don’t care as long as people don’t use that faith to cause harm to others.

To take it away from religion and into the wider realm of skeptical inquiry which is what informs my atheism, I’m not bothered by Bigfoot believers but am bothered by Q anon Covid deniers. I’ll choose to call out the latter because of the harm they cause but ignore the former because, where’s the harm?
[Edited 3/19/21 15:39pm]

I find no substance in other people's anger. If that's all they have that's fine for them. Not much I can do with it.
Time keeps on slipping into the future...


This moment is all there is...
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Reply #26 posted 03/19/21 11:17pm

lust

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onlyforaminute said:

lust said:



Ahh ok. In that case you probably won’t to engage with me which is totally fine but I’ll say (and I only speak for myself) firstly when any discussion takes place around the concept of faith, it should first be defined what each party means by the term in order to avoid talking across each other.

As for focusing on some belief systems but not others, it’s purely out of a case of some beliefs are more harmful than others. Whilst yes I have a general issue with “faith” as I define it which is to hold a belief that is not evidently true, I really don’t care as long as people don’t use that faith to cause harm to others.

To take it away from religion and into the wider realm of skeptical inquiry which is what informs my atheism, I’m not bothered by Bigfoot believers but am bothered by Q anon Covid deniers. I’ll choose to call out the latter because of the harm they cause but ignore the former because, where’s the harm?
[Edited 3/19/21 15:39pm]

I find no substance in other people's anger. If that's all they have that's fine for them. Not much I can do with it.


Where did anger come into the equation?
If the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it!
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Reply #27 posted 03/20/21 10:09am

2freaky4church
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My favorite person is an Atheist: Noam Chomsky, but he is moral.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #28 posted 03/20/21 12:16pm

lust

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2freaky4church1 said:

My favorite person is an Atheist: Noam Chomsky, but he is moral.



And yet you maintain your prejudice and spout your objectively false slurs.

“Atheisism (sic) is a white cult. Atheists see a dark void, with no morality, no love, no nothing”

I’d ask you to do some serious soul searching if I believed that you had one!
If the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it!
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Reply #29 posted 03/20/21 7:26pm

uPtoWnNY

lust said:

onlyforaminute said:
I find no substance in other people's anger. If that's all they have that's fine for them. Not much I can do with it.
Where did anger come into the equation?

No anger from me. I came to my conclusions through studying history and science.

I don't even broadcast my beliefs unless asked. Then I wide-eyed responses like "really???", or arrogant shit like "you're lost" or "I'll pray for you". That shit pisses me off.

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