Friday, May 21, 2010

Black American Atheists

I stumbled across an interesting article called, "Black Women Who Use the "A" Word." After reading it I realized that I've never met a black atheist. The article explains why open atheism among African-Americans is so rare.
Within this incredibly religious culture, black Americans are the most devout and routinely rate at the top of every index that measures religiosity. It's difficult--if not impossible--to divorce religion from black culture. We can hardly get on the bus without invoking or thanking Jesus that we'll make it to work on time.

Among black folks, if you're a criminal who shows up at a service on whatever Sabbath you subscribe to, you're just a fallen human who is worthy of love and redemption. But if you're a moral and decent human who doesn't believe in a supernatural force, you'll soon find that your kind is most unwelcome.

But some are trying to change that. There was a recent conference called, "African Americans for Humanism."
If nothing else, the group assembled was a rational one. And while "fired up," we realize that Americans who claim to have no religious affiliation is only around 15 percent. The number for blacks is even lower, at 12 percent. So as a minority within a deeply closeted minority, we're going to have to work to gain visibility and influence. Those of us who are "out" mustn't apologize for our stance. We also need to join larger non-theistic groups.
The whole article is interesting reading.

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