You rarely find Black people, mostly older ones, conversating for more than a few minutes without the subject of church or "how good God is" randomly being brought up. Me having yet to confess my Atheism to my family (only because I'm still somewhat dependent on them), I constantly have to endure my extremely religious grandmother giving me a two-hour lecture about the grace of God and how getting on my knees and begging for help will fix my life. Possibly even worse is my father telling me I should attend church more often to get more blessings and to sleep with a Bible under my pillow to combat frightening dreams brought about by a mental illness I have (dreams of the Hebrews slaughtering the Caananites at Jericho is hardly a desirable substitute). Needless to say it doesn't work at all. I've even had serious thoughts of deleting my Facebook account just because I'm so effing tired of seeing "God is so good","I'll let the Lord handle this", etc. You'd think young adults would be more proud of their own accomplishments and more willing to fight their own battles, but logic can't be applied to some situations.
Any person following any religion is illogical to me, but it upsets me to see even the most intelligent of my people following Christianity; a religion that was imposed upon us by slaveholders that kidnapped, abused, and sold us like loaves of bread, denies scientific facts and discoveries that have been proven a billion ways, condones slavery, and is based around a book that has so many opposing views and contradictions (if you can even find a copy that isn't over-translated.... good luck with that) that you would think the co-authors are Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly. Just think about it, this God placed you on Earth without your consent and expects you to praise him incessantly for it, makes you follow his guidelines to a tee in exchange for a somewhat decent life at most, and punishes you cruelly for even the slightest infraction of the rules he has imposed on you. It's damn near a dictionary description of slavery! So for the people reading this (thanks, by the way), I would like your opinion.
Why are Black people so overwhelmingly Christian?
Why are Black still openly participating in slavery?
Oh yeah Black Americans, I should have specified. I see your point about them not being introduced to other religions, I had a friend who lived to be 19 before knowing what an Atheist was, but neither was I. I was born and raised Christian without being introduced to other religions, I didn't even know that the Jewish holy book was essentially the Old Testament of the Bible until August 2010 when I started taking a religion class at a community college. In around April '10, I just realized that religion just was not real, I question why so many other Black Americans fail to see this.
On my second question I was expecting a more detailed answer, but basically you're right. It comes down to the Bible commending slavery openly through various references and subliminally through its tenets and guidelines.
Hard to call that one. Arab Muslims had enslaved Africans centuries before White Christians, but Christians slavers were certainly the most savage.
Not that I don't like Lincoln, but his abolition of slavery was more of a political move. The Emancipation Proclamation ordered slaves freed in the rebelling states (which really weren't subject to his commands, they were rebelling lol), but let slavery continue in states loyal to the Union (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and Delaware) and Union-held parts of Confederate states (which was every Confederate state except Texas). But I'd rather have a rusty quarter than none at all.
I never considered myself religious, I always considered myself a skeptic before I learned the word atheist at the age of 13. When I became of age where I was expected understand what they were saying instead of parroting back the things I learned in Sunday school, I rebelled. The answers to the questions I asked didn't make much sense and I could hear the ever increasing frustration in the adults voice at my precise questions and their vague answers. I was always an inquisitive kid and I consider myself very fortunate to inquire about the fallacies of religion before I could be thoroughly brainwashed every time I happen upon someone who became in atheist much later in life. My parents are Christians and I'm not talking about Christians in name only. I remember being 6 years old and being forced to pray every morning, Sunday mornings for devotion before we went to Sunday school for more intense indoctrination. Summer camp was bible camp until I turned 12 years old and refuse to attend by not participating in any of their activities.
I don't recall exactly how I happen upon the word atheism/atheist but it's how I've identified myself since. The only person I confided in was my little brother who took this revelation well. When I started going to college there was no shortage of like minded individuals and I also became an outspoken atheist. I became outspoken because people do dangerous and crazy things because of religion and no amount of good acts could excuse the bad ones. Prior to being an outspoken atheist I just told people who would ask me questions or assumed I was a believer in their faith as long as I was certain the info wouldn't get back to my parents.
I think Black Americans are inclined to believe in superstition primarily due to education, socioeconomic means & tradition. The stigma of leaving the church is always there too.
Congratulations on finding Atheism so early. As far as your parents, the brightest light casts the darkest shadow I suppose.
Agreed on the stigma of leaving the church, it's amazing how many people have no identity whatsoever outside of being associated with a church. It's like the first question Christians ask when they meet people, "What church you go to?" Does it really matter that much? Am I somehow worth less than other people if I attend a certain church or don't attend church often? I'm sure they think so or else they wouldn't ask.
My black students are often the most hyper-religious people in class and often the most vocal in supporting bigotry towards homosexuals (the white Southern Baptist are a damn close second).
Maybe, the inherent stress of being black in America makes the cognitive coping mechanisms offered by religion appealing.
That's an interesting theory, something I've always pondered on myself. Fear of the unknown leads to reliance on anything that will provide comfort, logical or otherwise.
Your kids are beating the Southern Baptists in bigotry!? Wow that is the most hilarious yet depressing thing I've ever heard haha.
Btw, I like the Blackbeard theme.
Q1. Why are Black people so overwhelmingly Christian?
A1. Assuming you refer specifically to American blacks, then as some others have said, our people haven't been exposed to much else. It was previously forced onto African slaves. Later on, as African citizens sought equality,religion was IMO one of those common grounds that helped the cause. I honestly think the civil rights era would have went worse if the blacks in those years were non-religious or another religion altogether. "Those things are darker than us, AND don't believe in my god?!?!? " It would have went from color to religion, and that would've been 2 huuuge strikes against integration.
Q2. Why are Black still openly participating in slavery?
A2. I kind of see the truth in the idea of using it as a coping mechanism. I also think that people try to find the most common denominator in a society. For example, black and white may be different colors, but the two groups are majority christian. Now they can see the thing that makes them similar. In a larger example:
Lets say whites don't like blacks. Both groups don't like people that are foreign or are not christian. All of those groups may dislike people that aren't heterosexual. All of these groups may hate the prison population. and finally, all of them together may hate or fear an extraterrestrial. Each group has found something to make them equal or less threatening to the previous group.
Wow, excellent point on the subject of integration! I'm sure that even the tolerant whites that advocated integration wouldn't accept Atheist blacks.
And answer 2, the old "at least I'm not that guy" method of assimilation. So many people turn to it for some sense of acceptance that isn't even completely sincere on the majority's part.
Is the situation really that much different with blacks in other parts of the world? Jamaicans and other West Indians certainly seem very religious (and as a group virulently homophobic). Black Africa seems rife with Christian, Islamist and traditionalist fundamentalism. Haiti is 90% Catholic and 100% voodoo.
I think the sad pattern globally is the more oppressed and downtrodden a group is the more likely they are to be prone to disproportionate religiosity.