Although I'm black(ish) I did not grow up in a black environment or household. I am outsider to what mainstream black america is involved with. With that in mind I am not familiar with issues with black religion vs. atheism/agnosticism.

I hear it's difficult. I've wondered about the topic. One thing that crosses my mind is this: Is the black community's grip on Christianity related to our historical struggle?

Does black Christian theology use the bible as a means of explaining/excusing slavery and struggle in the U.S?

If so, could this be the reason the black community holds on to this religion? Also, does the bible promote the idea of struggling as well?

Your thoughts?

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Yeah. I certainly don't have qualms about religions integral in many parts of our history. I've just been uncertain as to what it means to the black community nowadays. Putting religion aside, I question whether philosophically the matter of "struggle" is a healthy framework to view the world. Consider the difference between always thinking you're going to "struggle" and always thinking you're going "be well".

Back on the matter of religion, can the topic of "struggle" and the history of the black community go hand in hand with atheism? Can those topics be intertwined? I want to believe they can but I'm not sure how yet.

The question should be now: what is the relationship between objective struggle & subjective attitudes? For the majority of humanity, life really is a struggle. As for Black Americans today, the question would be: what are my realistic options?--a question that doesn't have the same answer for everyone.


Growing up one gets to know that recorded history is usually that of the conqueror not the vanquished. The Christian religion was acceptable to Christians that owned slaves (you think?). Slaves were not permitted to be taught to read in many places. Some learned how by watching others read the Bible. Some slave owners broke the law.

Yes, Christianity and even Islam, to some extent, have been instrumental in the Black struggle, and yes, Black Theology is a black spin on biblical theology to help black people through their struggles. Although the Bible supported black people dehumanization, they were also told that to be a human they must convert to Christianity. Thus, to prove that they were as human as the whites were, they adopted the religion. Indeed, the religion has played multiply role in the Black community, and D. Bookworm is right “religion might have been the only thing that gave them enough hope to survive.” However, today, I don’t think, religion is needed. I believe that religion both Eurocentric (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) and African traditional religions (Afro-centrism) are doing harm to black people and our community. They are now responsible for black people and their community remaining in the condition it is today. For more on this subject I will recommend the book Moral Combat, Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars by Sikivu Hutchinson.


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No I don't, I think people can use anything as a tool for there own use. there are so many evangelical churches springing up that are based on the congregation making money. They are large multi-national profit making enterprises and their success depends on the wealth of the congregations so they need to inspire their members to be high earners and high achievers.


The old fashioned ideas of the suffering model served it's purpose in keeping people dependent because they need hope. The love of struggle might be a part of that but I think now I see a lot more of the types of churches I have described. People who are part of the newer kind of church see treat suffering struggling people with hostility or in need of recruitment. The only real connection seems to be the joy of having something to overcome so you can testify to the congregation that you have progressed.




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