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Black Secularists and The Church

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    by Benjamin Woods

    African American mythology tells us that the Black Freedom Movement was born in the church. That’s because “the Black church has had better propagandists than Black freethinkers.” But freethinkers also populate the liberation pantheon, while the church has sometimes proven an obstacle to the Movement.

     

    Black Secularists and The Church

    by Benjamin Woods

    Goodbye,
    Christ Jesus Lord God Jehovah,
    Beat it on away from here now.

    - Langston Hughes “Goodbye Christ”

    Contrary to popular opinion, atheism is not a Eurocentric or ‘white thing.’”

    Every year, the Pew Research Center publishes a survey which consistently demonstrates that Black people are the most religious group in the United States. This is not surprising considering that the Black Liberation Movement has been influenced by spirituality, particularly Christianity. The historical and contemporary religiosity of Blacks leads many to incorrectly assume spiritually/religion has been at the center of the Black Movement. History tells a different story.

    In every stage of the Black movement you can find atheists, agnostics, skeptics or people better known as freethinkers. For example, while a Southern missionary in the 1830s, AME minister Daniel Payne stated enslaved Africans “scoff at religion itself…Yes, I have known them to even question [God’s] existence.”

    Today, young Black people question a God who would allow the persistent violence in their communities or huge disparities in wealth between poor Black and affluent white communities. Therefore, contrary to popular opinion, atheism is not a Eurocentric or “white thing” but is an indigenous intellectual development that organically emerges out of the Black experience. Lastly, this challenges the common held assumption that faith in God was necessary to survive the horrors of slavery, sharecropping, and segregation.

    Several Black political leaders and intellectuals have been critical of the Black church, some have completely rejected faith. An example is Black atheist WEB Dubois. Dubois is known as the first African to attain a PhD from Harvard and arguably the most revered Black intellectual of the 20th century. He boldly asserted, “I do not believe in the existence and rulership of the one God of the Jews” and “Death is the end of Life.”

    The historical and contemporary religiosity of Blacks leads many to incorrectly assume spiritually/religion has been at the center of the Black Movement.”

    Dubois praised the Soviet Union for removing religion from public education. In his eyes the Black church defended the oppression and exploitation of Blacks and a lack of free thinking. Although Dubois is one of the most read Black thinkers in history, his atheist views have been overlooked. Other Black leaders who were also freethinkers include A. Philip Randolph, Langston Hughes, and Howard University’s own Zora Neale Hurston to name a few.

    To an extent, the Black church has had better propagandists than Black freethinkers. Most know of the contributions of the church to the Civil Rights Movement but what about the obstacles it has posed? For instance, at the 1961 National Baptist Convention, the largest Black religious group in the US, progressive ministers such as M.L.K. attempted to have the organization support civil rights. The idea of supporting Black human rights was so controversial, that a physical fight ensued and one minister was killed at the convention! Lord have Mercy, chile!

    In conclusion, although everyone is entitled to their own personal belief or lack thereof, the Black movement should be secular. Whether it is the independence movements in Africa such as FRELIMO (Mozambique), MPLA (Angola), or the Black Panther Party in the US, spirituality was, at best, a secondary factor. As a Black skeptic examining this information, I ask “Do we need spirituality or religion in order to build and sustain a mass movement?” I doubt it.

    Benjamin Woods is a PhD Candidate at Howard University, and an organizer of Students Against Mass Incarceration (S.A.M.I.). He can be contacted at samiathu@gmail.com.

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    @Nix

    Dubois dealt with Margaret Sanger (tide to the clan) and her Negro project:

    "Developed by white birth control reformers, who consulted with African-Americans for help in promoting the project only well after its inception, the Negro Project and associated campaigns were, nevertheless, widely supported by such black leaders as Mary McLeod Bethune, W. E. B. DuBois, and Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Influenced strongly by both the eugenics movement and the progressive welfare programs of the New Deal era, the Negro Project was, from the start, largely indifferent to the needs of the black community and constructed in terms and with perceptions that today smack of racism."

    http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/secure/newsletter/articles/bc_or_race...

    According to the Garvey/UNIA papers over at UCLA, Garvey's main white alliance and/or the European's Garvey really looked up to were the Sinn Féin party of Ireland, linked to the IRA resistance (this was alluded to in the film, and another reason for putting a target on Garvey's back):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinn_F%C3%A9in

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provisional_Irish_Republican_Army

    Garvey extended his hand to Dubois, and Dubois spit in it by keeping the black professional class away from Garvey. This is why Garvey couldn't find good people to run the movement. The pseudo socialist of the Black bourgeoisie never wanted to be separate from the establishment in any way.

    Dubois's own racist words:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFeD_bHDh2o

    IMO DuBois, Bethune & Powell Judgement RE Sanger's Negro Project

    Was Just As BAD [although probably not as obviously notorious] as Garvey's was when he talked w the head of the KKK.

    One would think that Black Leaders as sharp as Dubois, Bethune, & Powell could have seen right thru someone like Margret Sanger- who apparently didn't hide her Social Darwinist / Eugenics tendencies nor her disdain for 'slum' mothers having children, unless they had some degree of agreement w her 'Negro Project' agenda. 

    Nixaklielian

    Nixaklielian:  North American style of writing which employs a torrent of semi-incoherent verbiage unencumbered by proper punctuation or paragraphing, peppered with words and phrases that are arbitrarily written in capitals or highlighted, puerile portmanteaus, clichés, and warped paraphrases of concepts the writer does not fully understand.

    In the Nixaklielian lexicon, evolution is equivalent to Darwinism, which is equivalent to Social Darwinism, which is equivalent to Eugenics.

    Science is understood to be the slavish worship of technology.

    Atheists are arrogant European eugenicists who slavishly worship technology.

    Why Orthodox Jews, Christians, and Muslims fear evolution

    Why do practitioners of the Abrahamic faiths resort to discredited arguments like the complexity of the DNA code and the incomplete fossil record to challenge a theory unanimously accepted by the scientific community?

    “The central message of Christianity is that Jesus' death and resurrection pays for our sins — we deserve death and eternal punishment, but Jesus paid the price for us. To paraphrase Paul: without that, the Christian faith is in vain. Without these sins, there would be no need for Jesus to be punished and killed. ...

    If the evolutionary account of human origins is true, then there was certainly no literal Fall from Grace — no Adam and Eve disobeying the Christian God and no Original Sin. But without Original Sin and expulsion from the Garden of Eden, then there is no reason to think that anything called ‘sin’ ...entered the world."

    (Austin Cline)

    My support for religion is strictly political

    There's a flip side to this: Religion and spirituality can be used to defend the Black working class against bourgeoisie Boulé types who wish to collaborate with their white counterparts in the implementation of Darwinian POLICY!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Darwinism

    Some of the said Ivy League leftist mentioned in this article were agents who collaborated with J. Edgar Hoover in the setting up, locking up, and the deportation of Marcus Garvey! This is documented FACT written up in an extensive study of the UNIA by UCLA!

    THE INFLUENCE OF MARCUS GARVEY

    Part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAI_xHY6yWo

    Part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=60I95UI_TFA

    Part 3: www.youtube.com/watch?v=07zSny50w-8

    Part 4: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGnjcdC27tc

    Part 5: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4At9c1lGmqs

    [Note: You can look at the entire documentary, but they start naming house negro names in part three]

    Garvey's own words:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFeD_bHDh2o

    W.E.B. DuBois was the ONLY Black founder of the NAACP and was clearly not the financier:
    http://revisionistreview.blogspot.com/2011/11/zionist-naacp-sucker-trap-...

    http://www.momentmag.com/moment/issues/2009/02/Jews-Blacks-2.html

    The hidden hands behind the attacks on Garvey is clear:

    "Joel E. Spingarn (1875-1939) was the chairman of the board of directors of the NAACP for many years. The coveted Spingarn Medal,  given yearly by the NAACP, was established by him in 1914. According to recent revelations by the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper he was also a spy for the United States Army."

    http://noirg.org/should-your-best-friends-spy-on-you-%E2%80%A8the-naacp-...

    AllHIPHOP.com:

    More than a decade ago, Steve Cokely, shed light on a 1993, Memphis Commercial Appeal article that accused the NAACP’s former board chairman, Joel Spingarn, of being a major in the Military Intelligence Division who, “used his post to obtain critical information for MID, such as a list of the organization’s 32,000 members. “

    The same newspaper also reported in a September 12, 2010, article that noted Civil Rights photographer, Ernest Withers, was not only an FBI informant, but took the pictures at the scene of the Martin Luther King assassination.

    It is more widely known that the Black Panthers and other “militant” movements of the late ’60s-early ’70s were heavily infiltrated by informants such as William O’Neal, who supplied intel to the Feds that led to the murder of Fred Hampton “and BOSS (Bureau of Special Services) agent, Eugene Roberts, who, not only was spying on Malcolm X when he was assassinated but, according to John Potash in his book, The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders, was later an original member of the New York Chapter of the Black Panther Party of which Tupac’s stepfather and mother were also members.

    Although, Tupac Shakur inherited the legacy of government persecution from Mutula and Afeni Shakur, he was just one in a long line of rappers from NWA to the Wu-Tang Clan under investigation by the Feds. Back in 2000, Cedric Muhammad of Blackelectorate.com began releasing a series of “Rap COINTELPRO” articles exposing this fact.

    The Author Seemingly takes a Pot Shot at Garvey...

    by referring to a book on the African Blood Brotherhood [ABB- circa 1920]. He said the book he sites makes the claim that Garvey ratted out the ABB to the FEDs. But when you look up the ABB on Wikipedia certain things jump out:

    } Established in 1919 in New York City by journalist Cyril Briggs

    The group's socialist orientation caught the attention of the American communist movement and soon evolved into a propaganda arm of the Communist Party of America

    The orientation of Briggs and the Crusader began to shift, as parallels were drawn between the plight of Black workers and impoverished working class whites who had immigrated to America from Europe.

    Briggs and his publication was subquently connected with native-born white Communists like Robert Minor and Rose Pastor Stokes... Briggs himself would join the Communist Party in 1921.

    The ABB attempted to organize from inside the UNIA-ACL and advocated a policy of critical support for its leader, Marcus Garvey. ABB leaders Briggs and Claude McKay participated in the UNIA's 1920 and 1921 international conferences in New York. At the second conference, McKay arranged for Rose Pastor Stokes, a white leader of the Communist Party, to address the assembly.

    The ABB became highly critical of Garvey following the failure of the Black Star Line...

    The ABB sought to convert the UNIA's membership. In seeking to replace the UNIA, the ABB competed with Randolph's socialist publication The Messenger, which had called for Garvey's expulsion from the US. 

    Garvey believed that Briggs was trying to destroy the UNIA and filed a series of lawsuits against him. 

    FBI agents [under Gay Edgar Hoover] were secretly planted in the UNIA, ABB and The Messenger. Besides providing intelligence to the Gov't, in some case they sabotaged meetings while acting as agents provocateurs.

    The Crusader ceased publication in Feb 1922, after Garvey's indictment for mail fraud. As cooperation with the Communist Party increased, the ABB ceased to recruit separately [IE: It was absorbed into & effectively became a wing of the Communist Party].

    The ABB had a total membership of only a few dozen truly active members. The ABB began to die out in the mid-1920s, after the Communist Party shifted its support to the American Negro Labor Congress.{

     

    So was it Garvey who ratted out the ABB or did Gay Edgar's FBI &/or the Communist Party use the ABB in efforts to take down Garvey & cause a split in the UNIA??? Did Briggs get persecuted for mail fraud or was it Garvey?? - Who of course was convicted & later deported. The ABB lasted from 1919 to 1922 when their publication folded into the Communist party after Garvey was indicted by the FEDs [HUMM]. The UNIA had 10s of Thousands of members [some say 100s of Thousands - up to 1 Million] but the ABB only had a few dozen truly active members. So who do you think that Ole Gay Edgar & the FEDs really saw as a bigger threat- the ABB or the UNIA??? 

    Further-more I can personally attest to the aversion that many communist/socialists have for Pan Africanism / Black Nationalism. Bro Kwame Toure' also made note of this.

    From Benjamin Woods

    Ummm bro.  you need to stop citing Wikipedia and site some primary sources or somone who has done primary research.  Your analysis of the ABB is way off.  Here are some non-Wikipedia sources:

    The Cry Was Unity by Mark Solomon

    Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia by Winston James

    Black Power and the Garvey Movement by Theodore Vincent

    Race First (you'll like this one) by Tony Martin

     

    All of the above books will provide you with primary source material AND more in depth analysis of ABB.  Perhaps my favorite intellectual/leader of the period:

    Hubert Harrison by Jeffrey Perry

    There are alot more books on the New Negro Movement.  Its important to know and understand Black Political Thought.  i agree with Kwame Toure's definition of Pan Africansim - the unification and liberation of Africa under scientific socialism.   Toure is a secularist. A scientific socialist.   Toure said some socialists have an aversion to Nationalism/Pan africanism.  Also, some Nationalist/Pan Africanist have an aversion to scientific socialism. They state scientific socialists, like Toure, are eurocentric and practice "alien cultural ideologies".   i would put you in this category.  The AAPRP, Toure's organization, was critical of this reactionary and metaphysical line of thinking. Like i said, ideas emerge from social conditions.  Social Conditions do not emerge from ideas.  i am a materialist, so was Kwame Toure.  i would argue, you are an idealist.  That is the fundamental debate.  After you read the above books we can have a debate bout the political aspects of the New Negro Movement.  So tell me, why do you prefer idealism over materialism?  

    When I Get a Chance I'll Read Those Books on Garvey & the ABB;

    But it still seems to me you may have brought up the ABB mainly to take a Pot-Shot at Garvey- if that's not your intent please clarify. And though you may take issue w the points Wikipedia made RE: the ABB's links to the Communist Party USA & the ABB's clash w Garvey RE the UNIA, IMO you have NOT Refuted those particular points.

    Bro Kwame' Toure' used the term Pan Africanism in combo w Scientific Socialism to make it clear that he was talking in terms of socialism rooted in indigenous African traditions & concepts- as opposed to that which is rooted in Marxist-Leninism. IMO he was quite clear on this. You claim he was a so-called 'materialist' [however you define this], I'd say he used a non-sectarian approach for practical political reasons [you might prefer the term secular]. But he said clearly that the 3 reasons he took issue w Marxist-Leninism were: 1} It pushed atheism w he stated is alien to African Culture, 2} It acts as if it has a monopoly on socialism [dissed African based socialism- FYI: the Bible in fact advocates basic concepts that can be considered socialist]. 3} It's apparent aversion to Pan Africanism / Black Nationalism.

    Idealism vs materialism. IMO: One has to be an idealist at heart to even think that this present white-supremacist, imperialistic, unbridled capitalistic World-Order can be defeated. From a purely materialistic view-point, the power Elites that control this present World-order are holding all the Aces & hi-cards- financially, economically, geo-politically, militarily, etc. Thus from a purely materialistic stand-point it can be viewed as pure folly to even challenge this current World-order. This means one must have FAITH that it actually can effectively be challenged. And Idealism doesn't mean being mythically superstitious, nor totally impractical & unrealistic- but IMO an element of Faith [= Idealism] is definitely required.

    FOR EXAMPLE: Take BAR's principled critique of Obama for the past 5 yrs. One could argue BAR is being too idealistic in their criticisms of Obama, no matter how principled & fact based they are- because 75% - 90% of Blacks [& a large number of 'liberals' of all back-grounds] & even some Black Nationalists like the NOI & Amiri Baraka [until Obama bombed Libya last yr- which was Just TOO MUCH even for them to swallow]- are resistant, if not intolerant, of any criticism of Obama- no matter how principled & fact based. Even Obama supporters who've gone on to rather mildly criticize him, like Tavis Smiley & Cornel West, have been ostracized by Black Obama-laider mouth-pieces- IE: There's fast-talking Obama apologists like Dr Mike Dyson agreeing w Bro Glen Ford's facts RE: Obama's policies, but never-the-less still criticizing Bro Ford's position for not backing Obama's re-election [note their DN! debate]. And if you go to other Black oriented web sites [IE: Kulture Kritic] & criticize Obama based on principles & facts [NOT racist BS]- the torrent of negative feed-back accusing folks of being agents for the Repugs & racist Tea-Bagger type enablers, etc, etc, etc- That from a purely 'materialistic' [IE: non-idealistic] view point one could conclude that BAR should just throw in the towel & either close shop or join the Obama band-wagon! The Folks here @ BAR have to maintain an Idealistic view to 'Keep the Faith', that eventually their 'Crying Loud & Sparing Not' RE Obama's actual policies as POTUS vs Black, Brown, working-class & poor people -&- his imperialist [& police-state] policies- especially vs Africa [& all of the so-called 3rd World- will be heard & acknowledged by more & more Black [& other] people, no matter how reluctantly & no matter how long it takes.  

    Some note-worthy declarations rooted in Idealism & Faith- NOT a purely materialistic view-point: 'Eventually the Moral Arc of the Universe Bends Toward Justice'... -  'I might not get there w you but I Want You to Know Tonight that 'We as a People will Get to the Promised Land'...' - Rev Dr ML King Jr.

    'Up You Mighty People You Can Accomplish What You Will' - 'One God, One Aim, One Destiny...' - The Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey

    Now you either believe those declarations by MLK & Garvey have Real Validity & Value based on Idealism & Faith- or as a materialist you think those are just some pretty sounding words that really don't mean anything. FYI For the Record- Bro Kwame Toure' was a both political associate & confident & Admirer of Dr King, & a student & Admirer of Marcus Garvey. 

    From Benjamin Woods

    i'm not responding to your historical points because, quite frankly, i dont think you know what you're talking about.  Thats why i gave you the reading list.  It doesnt look like your very famaliar with philosophy either.  Here is a good book and two articles:

    Conscienism by Kwame Nkrumah 

    "African Socialism Revisited"" by Nkrumah

    "The Dialectics of Culture" by Sekou Toure

    Both are by Kwame Toure's namesake.  KWAME Nkrumah and Sekou TOURE.  Conscienism is the philosophy of decolonization used in the Ghanian liberation struggle.  Of course, he uses dialectical and historical materialism i.e. scientific socialism.  The philosophical basis of Marxist Leninism and Nkrumist-Tourist thought is scientific socialism.  The difference isnt that one comes from an "alien culture," Nkrumist Tourism is SS applied to the material conditions of Africa.  Once again, i am a pan africanist and scientific socialist (and agnostic).  In "Class Struggle in Africa" Nkrumah in the last sentence of the book, states the goal is to build World Communism.  So the goals are even the same.  Even Nkrumah's book Neocolonialism the final stage of imperialism is taken from V.I. Lenin's book Imperialism: The highest stage of capitalism.  i dont disagree with Toure.  My ideology is almost aligned with his. Ideas, weather its Christianity, Islam, or atheism, emerges from the social conditions of existence.  The universe is NOT Mental.  All is NOT mind.   In short, Nkrumist Tourism disagrees with any right wing pan africanist that states scientific socalism or communism is an "alien cultural ideology," promotes the idea genetically recessive Europeans, or Marimba Ani's Yurugu.  i agree with you Nkrumist Tourism allows people to practice thier religion.  As i told you, i agree with this. Your personal faith is your business.  But the philosophy of the African Revolution, according to Nkrumah, is scientific socialism or dialectical materialism.  Ultimately the goal is to build World communism. Here is more info on scientific socialism:

    Scientific Socialism by Fredrich Engels

    Dialectical and Historical Materialism by Joseph Stalin

    On Practice by Mao Tse Tung

     

    Finally, your understanding of idealism is the popular defintion but not a philosophical defintion.  Idealism, according to all of the scientific socialist authors just mentioned, is a worldview that asserts spirit, ideas, or consiousness is the primary reality in the universe.  In fact, matter or what we percieve with our senses is false or can never be verified.  A few idealist European philosophers are Plato, Hegel, Kant.  Ironically, most afrocentric scholars are idealists such as Marimba Ani, Mwalimu Baruti, Asa Hilliard etc.  They promote a spirtual worldview.  In other words, i'm saying you and your afrocentric friends are more like Plato, Hegel and Kant than me. 

    My entire point is that ideas, like atheism, emerge from Social conditions.  Nkrumist Tourist as scientific socailist agree.  i have organized with the AAPRP.  We agree on most points.  Honestly,  i feel as though you dont understand Kwame Toure's philosophy or your just trying to co-opt him into an idealist right wing version of Pan africanism. 

    P.S. Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon are communists.  They are materialist, not idealists. 

    Seems We DisAgree what Materialistic & Idealistic Really Means

    Unbridled NeoLiberal Capitalism, Euro-American Imperialism & Neocolonialism IMO is likely the most Materialistic system ever unleashed on Man-kind & Earth's eco-system. Idealism encompasses non-materialistic [yet real] Principles IE: Truth, Honesty, Integrity, Morals & Ethics, Justice & Fairness tempered by Mercy, Righteousness, Proper Respect, Harmony, Peace, Love, Brotherhood, etc. One of the reasons Marxist-Leninism failed vis-a-vis western capitalism IMO is that it focused too much on competing w western capitalism from a materialistic paradigm. Since the fall of the Berlin wall over 2 decades ago, Russia's & China's economies have now become almost as capitalistic as the US' & EU's economies & thoroughly intertwined w them! Thus apparently you're operating from completely different paradigm than I am RE: the definition of materialism vs idealism.

    My views on Kwame Toure' are based on actually having heard him speak in person twice, knowing about his tenure w to SNCC & working relations w Rev Dr MLK, his speaking out against the Vietnam War, his early tenure w the Black Panther Party. I personally watched him explain what Pan Africanism in combo w Scientific Socialism is & why he took the name Kwame' Toure' [he was previous known as Stokely Carmichael], to an audience that included a significant number of young white Marxist-Leninist / communists-socialists types. When he told them he was prepared for his organization to work w their organizations on matters of common-ground / common-cause BUT that whites could NOT join his organization because it was an 'All African Peoples' Party', it was clear that this was something those white Marxist-Leninists did NOT want to hear nor accept! What I'm telling you is not Theory nor something I read out of a book, but something I personally witnessed! Bro Kwame' Toure's critique of Marxist-Leninists ain't just something I made up for the sake of argument- you can confirm it for yourself- just go on YouTube & listen to some of his lectures. In Fact I've already linked to one of his lectures on the subject previously on this thread. I understand clearly what he said & I'm not trying to co-opt him into anything! No Kwame' Toure' was not a preacher / minister like MLK, Malcolm or Min Farrakhan- but he was definitely an admirer of those men & I know for a fact he actually worked w both MLK & Farrakhan. So though he may not have overtly pushed [focused on] spiritual concepts,  he definitely did NOT reject their importance & significance.  

    As for Bros Ford & Dixon- we don't have to be presumptive - we can ask them to define themselves. But one thing I do know this site is called The 'Black Agenda Report' NOT the 'Communist Agenda Report'! And I've been coming here regularly for at-least the last 4 yrs & not once have I heard them say they belong to the Communist Party, I've heard Bro Dixon say he's a member of the Green Party, & Bro Ford say he's a member of the 'Black Is Back Coalition' - But hey maybe I missed something... But I also know the Brothers & Sisters here @ BAR endorsed Sis Cynthia McKinney's & Sis Rosa Clemente's Green Party candidacy in 2008- NOT who-ever it was that ran for the Communist Pary in 2008! 

    PS: Don't try to pigeon-hole me into a so-called 'right-wing / left-wing' paradigm. I operate from a Truth-centered / fact-based paradigm. Furthermore: I guarantee you that my spiritual beliefs ain't based on anything that Plato, Hegel, Kant, etc said- Hell I don't even know what Hegel & Kant talked about- & DON'T CARE! And I've forgotten what Plato talked about & ain't trying to take a refresher on him either. So apparently you know more about these Euro guys than I do! 

    From Benjamin Woods-My Final Reply

    (sigh)

    its perfectly obvious what you're saying isnt based on what you've read, its based on hearsay, google searches, and occasional lectures you've heard.  You didnt have to tell me that, i already knew. 

    My definition for idealism and materialism comes from Kwame Nkrumah, Kwame Toure's mentor, book Consienscism.  Kwame Toure used the same defintion.  Yes, communists/scientific socialists support All-african organizations.  One good example is Hubert Harrison.  Harrison developed the slogan and concept "Race First" that is normally attributed to Garvey.  This info is in the Hubert Harrison bio i mentioned.  Harrison was a socialist and atheist. i agree with Harrison.  i am not a marxist-leninist.  My main two points are:

    1) the Black movement should be secular.

    2) scientific socialism is not eurocentric.

     

    How do i know Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon are communists? They told me.  i've worked with them and, obviously, occasionaly write for BAR.  And if thats not good enough.  Here is a good video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPixnQv-DTo 

    You're Presumptive that What I Say is based on Just Hear-say

    And nothing that I've read [as if I don't read books]. In fact currently I'm reading Naomi Klein's 'Shock Doctrine' & what she's says RE those {ex}Bastions of Marxist-Leninist brand of communism IE: Russia & China are eye-opening. How they've bought all into Milton Friedman's doctrine of naked & unbridled  so-called 'free'-market neo-liberal capitalism- within less than 75yrs of the Bolshevik Revolution- to the point that now Russia but especially China are trying to out capitalist that bastion of capitalism- the USA [note chapters: 9} 'Crisis in Poland & a Massacre in China' [p.215], Chap-11} 'Russia Chooses the Pinochet Option' [p.275], Chap-12} 'The Capitalist Id: Russia & the New Era of the Boor Market' [p. 310]. And though I'm definitely not hyping any form of Euro-Christianity, never-the-less it's note-worthy that after nearly 75 yrs of enforced atheistic indoctrination & church suppression under successive communist regimes, when the Berlin wall came down Russia's Orthodox Church opened its doors again & Russians again filled its pews.

    And then there's Chapter 10: 'Democracy Born in Chains: S.Africa's Constricted Freedom' [p. 245]- which helps explain the sorry site of how S.Africa's ANC lead Gov't could unleash a police hit-squad in their version of Sharpsville-II, by ruthlessly gunning down 30 - 40 unarmed Black miners striking against slave-wage pay, all to benefit the same white colonial Apartheid Elite, that have been ruthlessly exploiting the people's labor, land & resources for centuries. Thus in effect the ANC has disavowed their corner-stone document of pledge to the people - 'The Freedom Charter'.

    The point being you don't know what books, journals, magazines, news-papers, etc that I'm reading or have read, so don't be presumptive. And yes I do use the internet including Google, Wikipedia & You-Tube, etc- to get information. After all it is 2012, NOT 1912!

    We've already reached something of an agreement on whether the movement should be [you say secular - I say non-sectarian- this may seem like a quibble to you but IMO there's a significant difference]. 

    And I never said that Pan-African Socialism is Euro-centric, I said that the Marxist-Leninist brand of communism [FYI: Bro Kwame' Toure' made it clear that Marx & Lenin didn't invent socialism, he was clear that many traditional African & other non-European societies were socialistic in nature way before Marx was ever on the scene. Plus even many Biblical principles can be considered socialistic- thus Marx & Lenin were late-comers to socialism] w atheism as one of its corner-stones was / is Euro-centric [though not necessarily out-right imperialistic] & I stand be that statement. 

    From Benjamin Woods

    The thesis of the article is that Black movement should be secular and spirituality is not necessary in our movement.  The MPLA, FRELIMO, and BPP are examples.

     

    Next, Yes, Dubois did attempt to work with the United States gov't.  He was also later attacked by the US govt in the 1950s along with many other Black socialist such as Alpheaus Hunton and Claudia Jones, not to mention the numerous Black panthers that are still locked up as political prisoners from the 1960s.  His going to the gov't is not connected to being an atheist.  For example, Hubert Harrison a Black socialist and atheist was critical of Dubois for working with NAACP and US gov't.  In the book, "IN the Cause of Freedom" http://www.amazon.com/In-Cause-Freedom-Internationalism-1917-1939/dp/0807835048   the author provides evidence that in fact Marcus Garvey supplied the dept of Justice with information on the AFrican Blood Brotherhood, a Black Nationalist and Socialist org.  They saw no contridiction between nationlism and socialism.  niether do i. 

    RE: WBE Dubois' & A.Philip Randolph's attacks on Garvey...

    IMO For Dubois it was a combo of his earlier bourgeois, integrationist tendencies -plus- as a Glen Ford peice a couple of yrs ago brought out, Dubois under the influence of Col Spingarn at NAACP, w the issue of a potential US Army officer commission for Dubois on the table, began advocating Blacks to join the US Army circa WWI. Garvey seriously criticized Dubois on that score.

    The fact that Garvey, for what ever reason met w the KKK leader & even had him speak to the UNIA, certainly contributed to Randolph's attacks on Garvey's poor tactical judgement on this matter [Garvey may have let his ego cloud his judgement on this]. But IMO: There was something else at play. Both Dubois & Randolph became communists while Garvey was an Black Nationalist / Pan Africanist. The late Bro Kwame Toure' even stated something that I myself have witnessed- Marxist /Leninism - communism / socialism seemingly traditionally has a problem w the concept of Black Nationalism / Pan Africanism [as well as hypes atheism]. This can be detected even at the WSWS.org web site.

    Although the documentary on Garvey that you linked to didn't speak on this- IMO the communist influence on both Dubois & Randolph likely had a lot to do w their attacks on Garvey [who didn't help matters w his dubious move RE:  KKK leadership].

    RE: The severed hand mailed to Randolph incident & the shooting of the ex-UNIA official during the Garvey case- It's unclear just who was responsible but we know Gay Edgar's FBI is infamous for using dirty tricks to stir-up enmity in our midst. IMO If the FEDs had a solid case for murder against Garvey they would NOT have settled for a mail fraud conviction [based on a technicality] for which they ultimately commuted his sentence upon deportation.     

    I Disagree w the Article's Thesis That:

    Contrary to popular opinion, atheism is not a Eurocentric " - “The HISTORICAL and contemporary religiosity [IE: spirituality] of Blacks leads many to 'incorrectly' assume spiritually has been at the center of the Black Movement.” 

    I've said this before & to-date no-one, including this article, has seriously challenged it w specific facts, let alone disproven it. The modern era of European Hegemony over African / Afro-Asiatic peoples began approx 1450 - 1500ACE [I arguably could go back to the Crusades circa  1000ACE - 1200ACE or the era of the Greco-Roman Empires- but that's unnecesary]. No-one yet has been able to name any significant African / Afro-Asiatic scholar, institution or society that unquestionably advocated atheism, prior to 1500ACE. In fact this article has failed to show that any signicant Black scholar &/or institution espoused atheism prior to circa 1900ACE. The quote by AME Church minister Daniel Payne circa 1830s, IMO was a critique of Euro-centric slave-orientated Christianity, & its blonde-haired blue so-called 'savior' [aka: Jesus] who didn't save anybody, especially Black slaves from ole 'massa' who had that same Blonde-haired / blued-eyed white Jesus guy hangin-up in his churches & homes! IMO: rejecting Euro-centric slave-oriented Christianity is NOT the same is rejecting the God Concept. & Godly principles. Yet by 1900 ACE the Black world had been dominated by Euro-Centric cultural / Economic & military hedgemony for at-least 4 centuries. IMO the only way to prove the non-Euro-centrality of most doctrines / ideologies espoused in the west today- one must show that its roots can be traced back to at-least pre-1500ACE African / Afro-Asiatic cultures. 

    Though WEB Dubios is certainly due his respect, earlier in his career he had certain bourgeois tendencies, & at one time  he seemly wanted a certain amount of so-called 'liberal white' approval [His tenure @ the NAACP was heavily influenced {some would say controlled} by white 'liberal' financiers]. This even led an open [& rather ugly] clash w uncompromising Black Nationalist / Pan-Africanist / non-assimalist leader Marcus Garvey- who was a fore-runner / inspiration for such people as Elijah Muhammed [the NOI] & Malcolm X, the Rastifarians [IE: Bob Marley], etc. Garvey did NOT espouse atheism- he talked about the God of Africa & Africans.

    The article talks of the Black Panther Party- which was inspired by Malcolm X, Kwame Toure [aka Stokely Carmichael], along w the 'Deacons of Defense' of MS. The fact that Malcolm was a devout Muslim till the day he died, is beyond question- but some, including myself, may think / have thougt that Bro Kwame Toure was more [personally] 'secularist'. And his politics may have, for tactical reasons, been non 'sectarian' [Pan Africanism in combo w Scientific Socialism]. BUT just this yr I came across an interview w him when he decribed a problem he had w the standard Communist / Socialist - Marxist / Leninist view-point, which was over the God question, as its related to the African freedom struggle. I knew his SNCC organization worked closely w Dr King's SCLC, but he said it went deeper than that, that his 'religous' up-bringing put him at odds w many communists / socialists who pushed not just non-sectarianism [for tactical political reasons]- but in fact ATHEISM, by ridiculing those who held deep personal spiritual beliefs [IE those who personally believed in God] & wanting to impose atheist ideology on his African people when atheism is in fact alien to African culture. Bro Toure' went on to talk about African 'spiritual' traditions conection to the traditional African culture & struggle. I personally heard Bro Toure speak on 2 or 3 ocassions but I never knew he was so 'personally' spiritually inclined until I saw this interview.

    [see: www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=xTrLdxiHdC8 ]

    Furthermore there's a difference between secular [non-religious] & atheistic [deny the existence of  God]- just as there's a difference between a dictator & a tyrant- the two are NOT necessarily the same. 

    From Benjamin Woods

    The thesis of the article is that the Black movement should be secular. Spirituality is not a necessary component of the movement.   The purpose of the history in the article is to show that atheist have been active throughtout the Black freedom movement.  i am not argueing weather or not atheism existed in Africa prior to enslavement.  Even if atheism only existed in Europe or wasnt in africa before slavery, that would not make it Eurocentric.  In order to be Eurocentric, it would have to inherently serve European imperialism.  Also, the laptop/destktop/cellphone you are typing from was not in Africa before slavery, does that make it Eurocentric?                     

    Examples of non-western atheism

    Carvaka School in India 7th B.C. Better known as Indian materialists.  Carvaka were atheists who challenged traditonal religion in India about 300 years before Plato was born.  One of thier objectives was abolish the caste system in India.  Many afrocentric scholrs argue the caste system is based on race

    Theodore the Athiest.  3rd century B.C. Libya.  Cyrene School

     

    Lastly, Kwame Toure was not a Marxist Leninist, he was Nkrumist Tourist.  Articulated by his mentors Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou toure.  He defined Pan AFricanism as the liberation and unification of African and AFrican people under scientific socialism (SS).  In short, according to SS, ideas emerge from social conditions.  Social conditions do not emerge from ideas.  Kwame Toure rejected a metaphysical worldview. The universe is NOT mental. Therefore ideas such as atheism emerge out of a set of social conditions.  For example recall this quote:

    "young Black people question a God who would allow the persistent violence in their communities or huge disparities in wealth between poor Black and affluent white communities. Therefore, contrary to popular opinion, atheism is not a Eurocentric or “white thing” but is an indigenous intellectual development that organically emerges out of the Black experience "

    Theodore of Cyrene 'Sounds Greek to Me'_According to Wikipedia:

    } Theodorus (Greek: Θεόδωρος; c. 340-c. 250 BCE) the Atheist, of Cyrene [a city colonized by the Greeks & then the Romans near present-day ShahhatLibya], was a philosopher of the Cyrenaic school. He lived in both Greece and Alexandria [named after Alexander the Greek Conqueror], before ending his days in his native city of Cyrene. As a Cyrenaic philosopher, he taught that the goal of life was to obtain joy and avoid grief, and that the former resulted from knowledge, and the latter from ignorance. But his principal claim to fame was his alleged atheism. He was usually designated by ancient writers Atheus (Greek: ὁ ἄθεος), the Atheist. Theodorus was a disciple of the younger Aristippus, grandson of the elder and more celebrated Aristippus. He heard the lectures of a number of philosophers beside Aristippus; such as Anniceris, and Dionysius the dialectician, Zeno of Citium, and Pyrrho.

    The Cyrenaics were an ultra-hedonist Greek school of philosophy founded in the 4th century BCE, supposedly by Aristippus of Cyrene, although many of the principles of the school are believed to have been formalized by his grandson of the same name, Aristippus the Younger. The school was so called after Cyrene, the birthplace of Aristippus. It was one of the earliest Socratic schools. The Cyrenaics taught that the only intrinsic good is pleasure, which meant not just the absence of pain, but positively enjoyable sensations. The school died out within a century and was replaced by the philosophy of Epicureanism [A philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 BCE. Epicurus was an atomicmaterialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine {IE: pagan Greco-Roman gods & paganistic beliefs} intervention...]... {

    Needless to say all these Greek guys ended up in Cyrene primarily due to the Greeks' Imperialism's conquest of North-East African & Afro-Asiatic countries [Eygpt, Libya, Palestine / Israel, Mesopotamia, Persia, etc] by guys like Alexander the Greek. So we can see just how Euro-centric atheism's roots really are- all the way back to ancient Greeks conquerors of African & Afro-Asiatic lands!

    With all due respect to WBE Dubois, A.Philip Randolph, The Black Panther Party, FRELIMO, the MPLA, etc [I have no intention on diminishing their contributions to the struggle]- they essentially were all post 1900ACE- and were all apparently significantly influenced by Maxist-Leninism. But Marx was a white German {'atheistic'} Jew & Lenin was a white Russian {'atheistic'} Jew [I still haven't got a good explanation how someone can be both Jewish & atheistic at the same time - no one ever talks about atheistic Christians & Muslims- But that's another subject]. And I think you mis-understood me about Bro Kwame' Toure'- I did NOT say he was a Marxist-Leninist, I know very well he was a Pan Africanist / Scientific Socialist. IMO- He made it clear why he could NOT get w Marxist-Leninism- because it was Euro-Centric & atheistic [& they thought they had a monopoly on socialist concepts by diminishing the significance of Indigenous African Socialism], & because it apparently had/has a problem w Pan Africanism!

    The main issue is whether an individual is sincere about the struggle of African [& other oppressed] peoples- more so than their personal spiritual beliefs or lack there-of. Certainly if Blacks can sit down & talk w white Christians of good-will RE: the struggle, sincere Blacks should be able to get together to deal w our issues- regardless of our personal spiritual beliefs. Even Malcolm X & MLK came to realize this. 

    Black atheists may fear they're being 'preached to' & trying to be 'converted' by Black Folks of Faith, but I say that our children our being indoctrinated to alien cultural ideologies including atheism [previously it was Euro-Christianity] in the class-room in the guise of so-called 'science' [IE: Darwinian theory]- enforced by law. Yet they're not taught that Darwin was a white-supremacist nor the connection between his theory & that of his 1st cousin Francis Galton- IE: Eugenics = Social Darwinism!

    [PS: I'll pass on the Carvaka since my main focus is on Africa & Afro-Asia IE: Palestine-Israel & the Mesopotamia. And I'm definitely not going to defend the Hindu caste system that suppresses the Dalits of India {I also suspect that a racial component maybe involved].

    RE: PCs & Cellphone IE: Modern Technology...

    } 'The laptop/destktop/cellphone you are typing from was not in Africa before slavery, does that make it Eurocentric?' {  

    PCs & cell-phones are TOOLS [IE: objects] that can be adopted [or rejected] by any culture/society based on skill-set, utility, practicality, safety & other concerns. Atheism is a Philosophical IDEOLOGY rooted in the context of & reflective of a Cultural MIND-Set. Thus this comparison is like the difference between eating raw fruit & raw flesh.                

    From Benjamin Woods

    "The main issue is whether an individual is sincere about the struggle of African [& other oppressed] peoples- more so than their personal spiritual beliefs or lack there-of. Certainly if Blacks can sit down & talk w white Christians of good-will RE: the struggle, sincere Blacks should be able to get together to deal w our issues- regardless of our personal spiritual beliefs. Even Malcolm X & MLK came to realize this. "

    i agree.  thats why i said

    "In conclusion, although everyone is entitled to their own personal belief or lack thereof, the Black movement should be secular. "

    i dont want to take away anyone's religion or spirituality.  But i, Benjamin Woods, dont want it.  i also dont want the some of the greatest pan africanist and our political prisoners told that they practice "alien cultural ideologies" because they are socialists or atheists.  You cant be Eurocentric i.e. serving european imperialism and "the greatest internal security threat to the United States of America" like the BPP.  This government and other NATO powers has consisently assassinated leaders and overthrown governments that were socialists i.e. secular such as Ghana (Nkrumah), Cabral (Guineau-Bissau) and Congo (Lumumba)   because they did not serve Western interests. 

    In fact religious based movements have been used by imperial powers in several countries.  In Yemen, Oman, and Afganistan the United States helped to fund the very political Islam the US now claims is terrorist. In the aforementioned countries, the so called Islamist were used to crush the Communists and Socialists parties!  Please read Vijay Prashad http://www.amazon.com/The-Darker-Nations-Peoples-History/dp/1565847857 .  One of the most brutal cases is when the United States used African spirituality in Haiti under the dictatorship of Papa Doc Duvalier.  Duvalier made "Voodoo" the unofficial state religion.  He called on the help of in the countryside. 

    In closing, in the context of our movement we should be secular.  i am not fighting for a theocratic society.  and PLEASE slow down with the name calling and suggestions of Eurocentrism, man, just argue your point base on the facts.  thanks.

    I'd Say that the Movement Should be Non-Sectarian...

    Rather than Secular- one might say that's quibbling over semantics- but that's my preference.

    Also I'd say there's a technical difference between Euro-centric  & white-supremacist ideology. Euro-centrism is more cultural, philosophical & even subtle, while white-supremacy is more about naked [& often brutal] power, domination & exploitation of whites over non-whites [particularly Blacks / Africans]- politically, economically, militarily, etc. Though the 2 are generally linked [its hard to push Euro-centrism without white-supremacy], IMO: You are interchanging the term Euro-centric when the better term might in fact be white-supremacy- but again perhaps you think it's just a matter of semantics.    

    We don't have to stop at US' backing the Mujahadeem [aka the Taliban & Bin-Laden's Al-Qaeda] against not just the USSR in the 1980's but over-throwing the secular Afghan Gov't in 1979 which drew the Soviets into a trap... We can talk about what happened in Libya last yr & what going on w Assad's non-sectarian Gov't in Syria this yr. Both are cases of non-Islamic Fundamentalist Regimes being attacked by Al-Qaeda type insurrections backed by US, NATO & the GCC under the guise of phony 'humanitarism' [aka 'R2P']. 

    But then there's The rise & fall of Saddam Hussein. He was no Islamic fundamentalist, but came to power, backed by the CIA, by over-throwing a democratic Gov't. He also purged democratic & socialist [secular] elements in Iraq backed by the CIA. Then the US' encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in the 1980s [even providing him w logistics & toxic gas]- & but ultimately turned on him by baiting him into invading Kuwait in 1990 [I won't go into the details here]. 

    I'm certainly not going to defend Poppa & Baby Doc's reign of terror in Haiti. But the flip-side to your point is that Toussaint-Louverture & Dessalines used Vondun to inspire Haitians to over-throw their French enslavers / oppressors, & that the US used neo-Duvalierists to over-throw the Gov't of the over-whelming favorite of the Haitian people, Pres Aristide, who is an ex-Catholic Priest.

     

    PS: I have NOT participated in a name calling exchange. That's in fact why I cut off my exchange w the other guy.

    Athiests have good reasons for keeping their heads down.

    It always astonishes and depresses me that intelligent adults can reject evolution and accept unquestioningly fairy-tales from the Bronze Age.

    Evolution stands firmly on three pillars: The DNA record; triangulation; and archaeology.

    Religion is the product of ignorance.  The people who spawned the three Abrahamic religions lived in a world where it was assumed that the earth was the center of the universe, where matter was composed of four elements–earth, water, fire, and air.

    They knew nothing of atoms, molecules, microbes, or DNA.  They instead populated the shadows with spirits, angels, demons, and gods.

    It is not surprising that few voices of skeptics or doubters were recorded.  Those who deviated from the most orthodox views of Judaism, Christianity, and later, Islam, were persecuted, prosecuted, tortured, and murdered in the most imaginative ways such as being stoned to death, burned alive, crucified, drowned, or broken on the wheel.

    Behind the destruction of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the slave trade, and the Holocaust of the Nazis stand Christians.  The oldest example of genocide on record is found in the biblical account of the destruction of Canaan.  In places like Algeria and Afghanistan–among many other Islamic countries, women who seek to liberate themselves from the veil and educate themselves have acid thrown in their faces.  

    The Bible is a sewer of misogyny, ethnic and religious chauvinism, superstition, and fairy tales.  The Quran, for anyone with the time to waste reading obscurantist trash, is no better.  Paul of Tarsus was an ignorant, woman hating weakling.  The Prophet was a pedaphile.

    I lived in a country that was dominated by the Catholic Church for a good part of my life.  It’s not hard to understand why the people of that country murdered a large number of priests, bishops, and other clergy before a coalition of rich families, the Church, and the military re-imposed an oppressive theocracy.  I would not want to spend a day of my life in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran or any other theocracy where the intellect, reason, imagination, women, and the human body are the objects of scorn and repression.

    I can only hope that the warriors of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam kill each other before they kill the rest of us   

    Roger.

    Read and noted.  

    Thanks.

    Nothing You've Said Negates My Premise That:

    Atheism is just as Euro-Centric as Euro-Christianity [in fact one could argue even more so].

    And I say this as one who has a degree in technology- Lets not over-hype the supposed 'virtues' of so-called modern scientific / technological knowledge. First of all so-called modern science is rooted in the knowledge accumulated by ancient African, Afro-Asiatic & Eastern- human cultures. Without that knowledge base to build from there would be no modern science. The modern technology you hype is rooted in the capitalist economic system of exploitation of people, land & resources & the environment. It's a system where people at the bottom live in misery so a few at & near the apex can live in near luxury. It's also been used to make warfare more 'efficiently' destructive.

    Case in point: One of the main reasons the 'Old West was Won' by Euro-Americans within a 100 yrs [1803 - 1900] of the Louisiana Purchase from France- was the invention of the repeater-rifle, Gatling-gun, cannon artillery & explosives. These so-called 'great' technological advances in weaponry allowed Euro-Americans to exterminate literally millions of Indigenous peoples & buffalo within about 60yrs from 1840 - 1900 [the most intense period was post Civil War 1870 - 1895]. - Then there's WWI & WWII- The total body count after the smoke cleared on 5 continents from 1914 - 1919 [= 4 -5 yrs] for WWI & 1937 - 1945 [7 - 8yrs] WWII = a combined total of 11 - 13 yrs of modern warfare: 80 - 100 Million DEAD. Meaning that modern science & technology 'efficiently' facilitated the slaughter, within just 10- 15 yrs, of more people than the estimated total death toll for all other previous wars in history- [IE 10,000 - 15,000yrs] COMBINED!!! WOW!!! Now That's Some Real Damned Progress Ain't IT!!!

    So the whole driving force for so-called modern science has been the European economic system of capitalist exploitation in combo w Eurocentric concept of 'modern' warfare! The late Bro Kwame Toure' saw this clearly. Yet [Black] atheists who love to worship at the alter of so-called 'modern' science & technology, which when you boil it down past all the pseudo-scientific rhetoric is simply another form of promoting so-called modern [aka Euro-Centric] civilization & culture over traditional African / Afro-Asiatic & Eastern civilization & culture- coveniently ignore this fact. In Fact the glorification of Greco-Roman [= Euro-Centric] culture [including Greco-Roman paganism] is actually thoroughly embedded in the very language of so-called 'modern' science.

    And Black atheists need not fool themselves that just because a white guy is an atheist, that excludes him from being just as racist & bigoted as traditional WASP type Euro-Christians of the KKK mode. Case in point- Here at BAR last yr, they did an excellent critique of the late 'new-age' atheist guru 'Chris Hitchens - White Man' shortly after his death... - I'd include new scientific-age atheist guru Sam Harris also. These guys have said some of the most virulently bigotedly alarming statements relative to ALL Muslims [no exceptions] that I've heard- even from the likes of a Jerry Farwell or Pat Robertson!!! Both Harris & Hitchens have made talked about the need to wipe-out all of Islam [NOT Christianity nor Judaism nor even Mormonism]- which how do you go about eradicating 1.7 Billion Muslims in a near continuous belt from the W.Africa's Atlantic coast all the way to Indonesia??? Well Harris' even suggests doing the Duke-Nukem to accomplish the task!!! The fact is- most of the World's Muslims are NOT caucasian looking Arabs! There are simply too many African countries whose populations are over 25% Muslims [& not necessarily Caucasian Arabs either], for any knowledgeable African-conscious person to show any tolerance for such thinking - I don't care if the white guy saying it calls himself an atheist. 

    Ultimately it does NOT make any damned difference to Africans & peoples of the Global South if their exploiters hyping a Euro-centric World-view &/or acting as agents for white-supremacy call themselves Christians or atheists!  

     

    PS: It's amazing to me how supposed intelligent Black Afro-centric people can unquestionably accept the 'theory' of a white racist / white-supremacist of UK elites circa 1850s- that Africans allegedly decended from some form of long extinct ape!!! And then go around boasting that your ancestors were some-form of monkey-man- Because white-people [calling themselves 'scientists'] say so!!! Yet if home-boy from the hood called their momma a monkey- they'd immediately be OFFENDED- because they'd understand clearly-That's an INSULT!!!

    I've had this conversation w you once before when you ranted on about Prophet Muhammed's marriage to Aisha, [I think then you even misued the word pederast when you apparently meant pedophille]- but now you're ranting on about it again. The facts are that the marriage between Prophet Muhammed & Aisha was consumated when she was 15 yrs old. So by whom's definition & in what context are you throwing out the pedophille bomb. In most of so-called modern civilized Europe Right NOW- the legal age of sexual consent is 15 yrs old or LESS [in Spain its 13 yrs old]. And in some EU countries just a decade or less ago it was 12 yrs old. Thus if Prophet Muhammed married Aisha in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, France, Demark, Sweden, Iceland, Austria, Germany- indeed most of the EU right NOW TODAY- He could not legally be considered a pedopille, especially w parental consent for the marriage which was indeed granted by Aisha parents. Ironically the only so-called EU country whose legal age of sexual consent is 18 yrs old is Turkey - which is ISLAMIC [& also is in Asia NOT Europe]!!! 

    Yawn...

    1. “Atheism is just as Euro-Centric as Euro-Christianity [in fact one could argue even more so].”

    So what?  It’s grounded in reality, not mythology.

     

    2.”Lets not over-hype the supposed 'virtues' of so-called modern scientific / technological knowledge…”

    “The modern technology you hype…”

    I’m not hyping anything.  You’re the one hyping African and Asian culture over European culture and mythology over science.

     

    3  ".…atheists who love to worship at the alter (sic) of so-called 'modern' science & technology, which when you boil it down past all the pseudo-scientific rhetoric is simply another form of promoting so-called modern [aka Euro-Centric] civilization & culture over traditional African / Afro-Asiatic & Eastern civilization."

    This is nonsense and name-calling.  Atheists don’t worship any gods.  Scientists, real scientists, are skeptics.  Labeling atheists as worshippers of technology is a common, cheap, bit of rhetorical legerdemain of theists.

     

    4.  "And Black atheists need not fool themselves that just because a white guy is an atheist, that excludes him from being just as racist & bigoted as traditional WASP type Euro-Christians of the KKK mode…"

    I agree.  But what does this have to do with anything I’ve written?

     

    5.  "Both Harris & Hitchens have made talked about the need to wipe-out all of Islam…"

    Yeah.  And Pope Pius XII says, “Your Mamma!”  So fucking what?  This is called “over-generalization”.

     

    6.  "It's amazing to me how supposed intelligent Black Afro-centric people can unquestionably accept the 'theory' of a white racist / white-supremacist of UK elites circa 1850s- that Africans allegedly decended from some form of long extinct ape!!! And then go around boasting that your ancestors were some-form of monkey-man- Because white-people [calling themselves 'scientists'] say so!!!"

    So we should disregard Werner Von Braun’s knowledge of rocketry because he was a Nazi?  There is a lot of work in the arts, philosophy, and science that I admire even though the originators of the work were despicable people or believed despicable things.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution cannot be rejected  because you don’t like the man.   This is just silly ad hominem rhetoric.

     

    7.  "I've had this conversation w you once before when you ranted on about Prophet Muhammed's marriage to Aisha, [I think then you even misued the word pederast when you apparently meant pedophille]- but now you're ranting on about it again…

    You corrected me when I incorrectly used the word “pederast”.  You informed me, rightfully, that the word I wanted was “pedophile”.

    Shit, Nixakliel, these exchanges are frustrating because I agree with most of what you write.  It’s just that in our exchanges, your diatribes do not respond to my main points.  My points are that (1) the theory of evolution rests on solid scientific evidence; and (2) religion is nonsense-- The bible is a product of illiterates who believed the sun and the stars revolved around the earth; that the four elements were air, water, earth, and fire; that human beings had an immutable soul unrelated to the brain; and that gods, angels, demons, and spirits lurked on the planet. These brutes knew nothing of atoms, molecules, cells, microbes, genes, or DNA.  The Torah and the  Koran—however you spell it, are no better.

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  Jehovah, Jesus, and Allah are just elaborations of the “Hero” mythology outlined by Lord Raglan, Frazer, Levy-Strauss, and others.  Your diatribes about Euro-centrism are irrelevant.  Religion is the wool over humanity's eyes, not atheism.

     

    I neither believe in Myths nor BS Masquerading as 'Science'

    Note: Your Point 4  & 5 are actually 1 point not 2. Thus in fact you do agree that white atheists can be, have been, & are often just as racist & bigoted as white WASP KKK Euro-Christian types. So At least we agree on some-thing RE: this issue.

    And you apparently agree that Darwin was a racist bigot, yet accept his theory without question because white folks calling themselves 'scientists' say so. HUMM!!!

    Your point about Von Braun proves my point about modern science & technology really being about making modern warfare more efficiently destructive & being the machine to help drive the Euro-centric / white-supremacist capitalistic economic system. The real question ain't whether avowed NAZI Von Braun's knowlege about rocketry was used to build ICBMs [of course it was]- The real question is why would you even want to build ICBMs in the first place- except as a delivery system for nuke warheads to wipe out entire cities within minutes of launch!! And also as a potential nuclear first strike weapon!!

    The fact that you keep calling the ancient African / Afro-Asiatic peoples of the Bible & Koran illiterate brutes [it's hard to be illiterate yet produce extensive writings over several centuries w complex writing systems upon which the modern alphabet & numerical system are based] while hyping modern [= Euro-American] science & technology [= culture] which was used to exterminate entire culture heritages [& 10s of millions of buffalo] within about 30 - 60 yrs [FYI: Darwin in his theory talked about the 'natural' selection process {= survival of the fittest} would be for the so-called 'civilized' {= white} races to exterminate & replace all so-called 'un-civilized' races {= all non white people}. So we can see where Hitchens & Harris get their language of needing to erradicate all Muslims from- because they 'worship at Darwin's altar'!], - yet without these ancient cultures there would be NO such thing as what we've come to know as 'modern' science & technology- [I think they call that an {humm} 'Evolutionary' process]. Thus you in effect 'worship at the altar' of modern [= Euro-American] science & technology [= culture] whether you understand it or NOT- because you don't really understand what to 'worship' actually means [it ain't neccessarily got anything to do w traditional religious practices]. When modern science & technology facilitated the slaughter of more people in just 10 - 15 yrs during WWI & WWII- than all other wars of the prior 10,000 - 15,000yrs combined, you still praise 'modern' [= Euro-American] 'science' [= culture] over those illiterate brutes of ancient African / Afro-Asiatic societies. I say who is a bigger brute- a guy who needs 50 - 100 yrs of warfare to kill a half million- or a guy who needs just 10 - 15 yrs of warfare to kill 100 million??? You can only convince me that modern man is more civilized if he were to out-law war & weaponry completely, because modern science & technology makes them far to horrendously efficient [The erradication of war & weapons of war is acually stated as the ultimate goal & objective in & of the Bible]!!! Your admission that Darwin was a racist & white supremacist yet praise his theory [= ideas], is like hearing a Jewish vegetarian admit that Hitler was slaughterer of Jews yet praise the fact that he was a vegetarian!!!

    Darwinism is in fact an ideology [IE: 'Survial of the Fittest' = Social Darwinism = Eugenics] masquerading as a {pseudo}'Science'. It has not been [nor can it be] 'proven', the evidence for it is thin, wide open to 'interpretation' & often contradictory. In fact it's often contradictory w itself- which is a big red flag that its actually unreliable. And It stretches the 2nd fundamantal law of physics to the breaking point. Darwin himself said in order for his theory to have any validity there must be series of so-called intermediate / transitional forms in the fossil record for which there is NONE- for all major spieces groups the fossil record shows that they came into existence intact w no major changes nor transitions through-out their entire existence. Furthermore because it's so wide open to interpretation, Darwinists have hyped 'evidence' that turned out to be FRAUDS or just plain WRONG on several infamous occassions, while suppressing &/or ignoring evidence that would probably blow Darwin's so-called 'theory' out of the water!!! 

    Since You've brought up DNA several times- Consider that: Even Darwinst biologists & geneticists refer to DNA as the genetic Code for the Blue-Print of life. Yet everyone understands for all other cases in order to have a 'code' you must a code writer & a code-breaker [= IE a mind w an intent], & that architects & engineers draw-up & read complex blue-prints [= plans] in order to build something. In no other instance of human existence do supposedly 'intelligent' / knowlegeable people talk about codes [= language] & blue-prints absent a mind & a planner w an intent! Yet when it comes to the most complex, amazing & minaturized code & blue-print [DNA] for life itself- Darwinsts insist that it all happened due to random-selection [= dumb-luck] & that's the only 'intelligent' interpretation- so if you question their assertion of 'dumb-luck' theory then you're the one that's a dumb-ass!!! Well I ain't Going for it!!!

    Your response borders on incoherence.

    Like it or not, humans share about 98% of their genes with chimpanzees.  This doesn’t bother me.  I’m more disturbed by sharing about 60% of my genes with fruit flies.

    If chimpanzees had the opportunity to observe Orthodox Jews bobbing up and down like geese while babbling their prayers before The Wailing Wall, or six million Muslims walking in circles around The Kaaba, or flocks of Christian faithful straining to hear the words of wisdom of the latest Grand Poobah in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome, it is they that would have reason to feel shame about sharing so much genetic material with humans.

     

    Perhaps the African atheists you fret about were among the authors whose works were destroyed when Christian savages burned the Library of Alexandria.  Or perhaps their scrolls were destroyed in subsequent Christian bonfires incited by the latest version of the Catholic Church’s Index.

    Do not forget that even the works of those pre-Christian era thinkers that have survived had to be hand-copied by Christian scribes and are thus tainted by Christian theology.

    Christian power and influence continue to cause the repression of thinkers who deviate from Christian orthodoxy.  How  many books of d’Holbach, Meslier, or Feuerbach can be found in your local  library?  In your local bookstore?

     

    I’ve passed through North Africa.  I imagine that Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria own their modern, technologically sophisticated societies to Islamic culture.  But perhaps I over-generalize on too few examples. 

    There are so many other shining examples of the excellence of Islamic civilization:  Indonesia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Uganda to mention a few, where you can still buy your wives on an auction block or have your mother-in-law stoned to death by accusing her of witchcraft.

    Spanish journalist Rosa Montero of El País once wrote a column in which she bemoaned illiteracy in Catholic Spain.  In it she posed, “the old and sad question of whether a people are ignorant because they’re Catholic or Catholic because they’re ignorant.”  The same may be asked of Muslims.

     

    Claims surface and submerge concerning the discovery of Eden, the Shroud of Turin, the tomb of Jesus, images of the Virgin Mary that weep real tears like a Barbie doll, and instances of stigmata.  All these claims evaporate under the scrutiny conducted  with  scientific tools like carbon dating and x-ray machines, to name but a few.

    Rant on if you wish, but my argument is complete.  I am no longer paid to teach science to fourth and fifth graders or their intellectual equivalents.  Teaching exhilarated me.  Dealing with willful stupidity and ignorance does not.

    You're the One Ranting & You're Beginning to Sound...

    Like one who belongs in the category w Darwin, Hitchens & Harris.

    If you insist that you ancestors descended from some form of long extinct ape, because some white folks calling themselves 'scientists' say so- HEY GO FOR IT!- BUT I Refuse to let you drag me down there w you!!!

    Enough said. You don't have to say anything else to me. Is that coherent enough for you???

    PS: Eden was/is AFRICA including the Fertile Crescent; the Shroud of Turin is NOT Yeshua the Nazorean’s actual burial cloth; & I don’t believe in weeping bleeding statues [of either 'Je-Zeus' nor the so-called 'virgin' Mary]- which sounds too much like idolatry which is expressly forbidden by Biblical Law.

    Three Relevant Quotes

    1.  "You, your joys and sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.”

    Francis Harry Compton Crick

     

    2.  "There can’t be a practical reason for believing what’s untrue… It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty, and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful and not because you think it’s true."

    Bertrand Russell

     

    3.  "At the very bottom of it…I really don’t like God…in the same sense I don’t like Iago…or any of the other villains of literature.  …The god of traditional Judaism, Islam, and Christianity is a terrible character who’s obsessed with the degree that people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don’t worship him in the right way."

    Stephen Weinberg                    

    These Are 3 White Guys_At-Least the Article Tries to Make a Case

    Using well known Black intellectuals & activists of the 20th century, who were NOT People of Faith [aka secularists]- although IMO the author blew it w that Theodore the Greek  Atheist of Cyrene piece.

    Bertrand Russell’s statement on face value is actually a sound position- because it was NOT established whether Russell’s statement was a general statement about truth or his opinion RE faith &/in religious (IE: spiritual) beliefs.

    Stephen Weinberg is apparently a so-called atheistic Jew {IE: an oxy-moron} who’s expressing his own personal feelings RE: the 3 major Abrahamic Faiths. While Crick {or Crank} is a pure materialist- who denies people even have a mind capable of thought & reason. So why the hell did he even bother writing something that he denies people are even capable of rationally contemplating???

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