The Black Atheists of Atlanta (public access tv show & youtube channel) has been mentioned a few times in the last few weeks on various podcasts, mainly for their divisive views on atheism. I decided to give them a watch...my brain started melting 8 minutes in so I stopped.
Is their stance on atheism widely held amongst our community? This African atheism v. European atheism? Or their opposition to homosexuality? Are these guys the exception or the norm?
Wow! I can't even begin to think where to begin here. I can't really begin to understand the views on gays. Such mixed up conflated facts that I don't know how to reply.
1. Myth about procreation and sexuality.
I can't understand what procreation has to do with sexuality. He even used facts around family structure which makes no sense because if the nuclear family is not African then it is a bigger clue to whether or not homosexuality is something that could have existed in African history.
2. Hebrew style rights of passage would stop homosexuality.
The rights-of-passage comment makes no sense either, what on earth are they talking about? Is Africa closed, or finished? It is still happening now, my ex-partner who was South African black lesbian who was raised in several different countries and told me about attending initiation ceremonies for young African women who learned to be wives and various other roles.
3. Gay marriage - conflated argument.
Arguments for and against marriage in general is not that clear cut lots of heterosexuals appose marriage because of the links between religion and secular society. Lots of gays also hold this view and therefore do not automatically support gay marriage as a right. It even seems strange to me that anyone in the US could be having this discussion because as far as I understand is that racial issues are such a priority most black gay groups are not focussed on gay marriage the way white groups are. What about black gay opinion? There are also lots of people who do marry despite their attraction to the same sex and also many having children in alternative family relationships. Choosing marriage or having a heterosexual relationship does not stop homosexual feelings and it does not make you sexually attracted to the other sex, you have to be inclined that way to begin with. Lots of gay people choose a heterosexual lifestyle because lets face it it's , easier but hiding does not mean they are not there.
4. White atheist are only interested in the gay agenda.
Ok these are not the exact words but I just interpret that way as I just found so much of this was uninformed and nonsensical. There is no mistaking that as a race white people are currently the dominant race and tend to assume being dominant as a normal stance in any group. It doesn't matter if they take this stance for homosexuality or against it but it is an issue of race, the fact that white gay people may feel more inclined towards atheism because of their cultural beliefs does not mean they can speak or represent all gays. If he has already insisted being black and gay is un-African therefore wrong for black people, then he saying that we just don't exist in the first place so there is only room for white gay atheist views and not black.
5. Gays cause HIV.
The gay community has suffered a lot with HIV. Infections were and still have been passed on at higher rates mostly because of the lifestyle most gay people were and still are forced to live. Being excluded from society has it's consequences. Many young black gays/lesbians find themselves excluded from their communities due to opinions like the views in these videos. I can't say it's always the same for whites who seem to benefit from gay liberation more. Either way the sub cultures excluded groups develop are prone to drugs and promiscuity meaning there is more room for disease to spread. Homophobic attitudes and general hate also means that it increases the chances of HIV being spread amongst gays.
6. All homosexuals are men.
Again this is not exactly what was said but implied because he kept speaking about men. Statistically lesbians are the least likely group to have or spread HIV so when he spoke about issues like HIV it just made no sense at all. Lesbians are not treated the same with blood and organ donations due to the statistics so you could use the argument in reverse and say heterosexual women spread HIV.
Being atheist for me is about not believing in deities and superstitious nonsense. I do believe there are lots of things that science has not caught up with yet and lots of concepts that are not widely understood. Who knows, I may be ignorant but I'm still learning about how to define myself after I realised just do not share the beliefs by my wider community and need find ways to define myself. I will believes what I like not because anyone has monopoly on what I should believe. I am black, African and gay. I have a child and most of my black gay friends have children, most share parenting. Most are christian or some other religion. It is true I life in the UK but I can't believe that life is so different in the US that people can have such narrow minded views.
My experience has been that this is a common belief with cultural conservatives in Africa and black nationalists such as the NoI here in the US, or at least those I've met online. Most don't seem to be aware of the history homosexuality played on the continent. Nor do they seem to want to accept that if humanity came from Africa that homosexuality may very well have originated on that continent for our species. They also completely disregard the existence of homosexuality across a large number of species, hearkening back on the belief that homosexuality is an abomination or find it to be fundamentally unnatural. At the end of the day more people are infected with HIV due to straight people who have unprotected sex in Africa then due to homosexuals. If they were all homosexuals that were infected with the virus in Africa then it's amazing the population isn't in serious decline.
As a white atheist I don't focus on any particular issue other then the creeping doom of theocracy. As a progressive I fight for the rights of all people. Homosexuals shouldn't have to live in fear anymore then African Americans should. So many problems seem to stem from archaic religious customs that I would like to think I wouldn't find acceptable even if I were living centuries in the past. Those few that aren't religious in nature such as unacceptable cultural traditions should die out as well, in particular brutish acts such as circumcision on the unwilling. I'm also for many drugs to be legalized. Don't particularly see how my atheism dominates my political beliefs anymore then my beliefs about governmental spending.
That kind of reminds me when I was involved in a 12 step program years ago. Many of the participants used God as their new drug. I guess that's better than remaining an addict but some of them go crazy with the God thing where their entire life revolves around their religion. When they speak every other word is God. The Black Atheists of Atlanta's new addiction is bashing others.