I am not a black man, just in case you haven’t looked at the icon associated with the author of this little treatise. That said, during my attendance at the 38th Annual Freedom From Religion Foundation convention, held the weekend of 9 October, 2015, I was privileged to watch a film made by one Jeremiah Camara: Contradiction: A Question of Faith. This work takes an unblinking look at black society and its hand-in-glove association with Christianity, church attendance, a near-mandatory belief in god and what those things have done and not done for them. Camara does man/woman-on-the-street interviews with black believers and non-believers, including Martin Luther King III at one end of the spectrum and atheist rapper Greydon Square at the other, with plenty of variety inside that continuum. He draws out their opinions and asks pointed questions as to just WHY religious belief is so integral to the black community, why it is seen as so essential, and most importantly, why in the long view it has had apparently no positive effect.

Personally, I came away from the film frustrated, feeling put in a position of knowing something of importance but not really being able to help. A white man trying to tell black people that they have a problem will generally not have much in the way of credibility as it comes to an issue like this, yet it doesn’t change the fact that I do want to at least try.

Regardless of the melanin content of your skin, I urge you to see Contradiction. It makes a powerful and persuasive statement, one which may make some people appropriately and justifiably uncomfortable. A good thing, I think – because one can hope that discomfort may lead to change.

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Replies to This Discussion

...well imagine being a black atheist....for over 40 years...you have no idea what an outcast/hated position it is...but I always enjoyed being the rebel..

Thanks for the comeback, Turk.  I hope you get an opportunity to see Contradiction.  It is incredibly well done, and it pulls no punches on the topic in question.

...you've caught my attention...I will certainly look for it...there's a dearth of interesting films....in my opinion...

You can order the DVD here if you want.  It's a bit pricey at $20, but worth it.  I intend to add it to my collection soonest.

...think I will...looks interesting...good call man.

Maybe, I replied to this already, but I would like to see more because I firmly believe religion in the African American community is like a membership to a club, learned behavior and a subject rarely studied with any depth outside of reading a book that is filled with errors, violence and bad science. Interestingly, I believe that even the closet atheist, humanist, agnostic or non believer knows more about Christaianity than those laying claim to it.

Donald, you hit on a number of the points Jeremiah brings in his film.  It is a club, with all but required membership for those it targets, and the indoctrination for what I can see is more pernicious and thorough than many of its fellow organizations.

I'll tell you what I told Turk: See it.




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