A humanist friend of mine, who is African American, wrote a book telling
African Americans that a white Jesus is bad for their self-worth. Black
News Journal has a survey about it and you don't even have to log in to
vote: http://www.blacknewsjournal.net

It says: Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Christopher Bell's thesis that Jesus is a "white male figure" and that when Blacks worship him they of harming themselves spiritually and psychologically. (He doesn't believe he can convince theologians to not worship God, but not worshipping Jesus is a start.)

Please vote.

Here's more information about the book:

‘Jesus worship’ hurts the black community!

A new book explains why and how!

THE BLACK CLERGY’S MISGUIDED WORSHIP LEADERSHIP
ISBN# 9781-4251-7806-2
By Dr. Christopher C. Bell Jr.

“‘Jesus worship’ is equivalent to ‘white male worship’ and is
detrimental to the mental and emotional health of black people,” argues
Dr. Christopher C. Bell Jr. In this book, Dr. Bell cites cogent
educational and behavioral reasons to explain why and how the
glorification and worship of the ancient, Roman-made, white male,
Christian idol, Jesus Christ is not only idolatrous, but how such
worship subliminally makes black people complicit in their own
psychological oppression. Specifically, Dr. Bell provides information to
show that:
a. The Jesus worshipping (white male worshipping) culture of the black
community subliminally afflicts many black people with a deleterious
white superiority syndrome (WSS) that leads to low self esteem,
psychological dissonance, and emotional and spiritual depression
resulting in self-limiting beliefs and aberrant behavior such as; low
academic achievement motivation among black adolescents, mutual
alienation between black men and women, increased feelings of hate
toward whites and other blacks, and increased stress and other health
related problems in black males;
b. The Jesus worshipping (white male worshipping) customs of the black
community reinforces, in both white and black people, the racist notion
of white male superiority in the same ways as white racial
discrimination and white racial aggression;
c. The white male worshipping (Jesus worshipping) folkways of the black
community are mentally oppressive and emotional emasculating to many
young black men who after years of embedment in such a culture feel
alienated, demeaned, and angry, and react in ways that lead to high
rates of recalcitrance, self abuse, crime, violence, and incarceration;
d. The Jesus worship (white male worship) tradition within the black
community is a black clergy-administered carryover from black peoples’
past experiences as chattel slaves, and this tradition unwittingly
ensures that black people continue to learn and believe, as their slave
masters would insist, that “whiteness and the white male Christian power
structure are anointed and approved by God”; a result that now leads to
behavior and sentiments reflective of a slave mentality and a “low
caste group” self-image;
e. The Jesus worshipping (white male worshipping) culture within the
black community subliminally diminishes and demeans black manhood while
buttressing, elevating, and glorifying white manhood; a result that
stokes a latent anger, a temperament of violence, and self-injurious
behavior in many young black men while promoting a sense of racial
superiority in many white men.

Dr. Bell argues that to neutralize the above negative effects of “Jesus
worship,” the black clergy must stop teaching black people to glorify
and worship Jesus Christ and begin teaching them a “new Christianity”
that espouses WORSHIPPING ONLY GOD the creator and sustainer of life and
recognizes Jesus as a human being and prophet. Why? Because this “new
Christianity” would promote Jesus Christ from the status of an
unbelievable, make-believe, superstition-based, supernatural,
extra-terrestrial god-character to the status of a believable,
historically feasible, real life human being and prophet; and young
black men will be able to relate to a “Prophet Jesus” and to his
teachings with a sense of rationality, human commonality, and
self-respect. None of these relationships is possible between today’s
Christianity and young black men.
Dr. Bell explains that the “new Christianity” is a crucial intellectual
and cultural transformation that black people must undertake if they are
to ever liberate themselves from the damaging psychological effects of
their white male worshipping folkways. He explains further how the black
community with its renown black community uplift organizations (NAACP,
ASALH, UL, SCLC, NNPA, etc.) must work together to persuade a reluctant
black clergy to stop “Jesus worship” and begin “God worship only. Dr.
Bell argues that the “new Christianity” will promote the religious
enlightenment and psychological liberation of black people and mediate
downward the high rates of recalcitrance, anti-social temperament, and
violence in many young black men and thus reduce their plight and plunge
toward incarceration.

About the Author: Christopher C. Bell Jr., Ed.D. is a long time observer
and analyst of the motivational and behavioral effects of religious
educational programs on black people. He has managed, analyzed, and
evaluated educational and motivational programs in the U.S. Army, the
U.S. Department of Labor, the District of Columbia Public School System,
and the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Bell earned a Doctor
Education (Ed.D.) degree from Boston University Graduate School of
Education. (He's also a humanist who is a member of the Unitarian
Universalists.)

Tags: african, american, black, humanist, jesus

Views: 71

Replies to This Discussion

I went to the site and agreed. However, I think it is a silly idea to follow anyone that is not here to lead. There is serious doubt that a historical Jesus even existed, but that makes no difference; fantasy and make-believe are like imaginary rain in that no matter how hard one believes, no crops grow. No one ever speaks about Jesus' directions on how to properly treat a slave. During that time, he had plenty of opportunities to denounce slavery--he didn't. However, the author may be correct that a "white" Jesus is detrimental and many churches portray Jesus as one of the people.
Old Christianity and New Christianity can both duke it out in the trash heap of bad ideas where they belong. He's on point, I think with identifying the many problems of the white male savior figure on the collective psyche of black folks. It may be better to replace the old time religion most of us are familiar with with something more amorphously structured around a god worship sans Jesus, but the biblical text makes little sense without him. And why call oneself a Christian if the central figure is removed from the center? It seems this subtle shift will only prolong the process of upheaval that is long overdue in the overly religious black community. It strikes me as a way to keep preachers in the pulpits when what we need is social action and political leaders to step up and put the emphasis not on god - however defined- but on humanity and the many problems that especially plague the black community.

So I agree with his thesis to a point but think the solution is half-hearted and will only cloud the issues of whether or not a god of any type exists. The process of freeing the minds of the devout will require throwing into question the whole idea of god - any god. The theologians will be loathe to make any changes why should we expect them to adopt this shift for the betterment of their congregations? What would be in it for them? Without the frenetic, unquestioning savior worship, the urgency to worship would dry up and so would the preachers' livelihoods. They have a material interest for maintaining the status quo and that works against those of us who wish to see critical thinking supplant magical thinking.
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing author of "The Isis Papers", Dr. Na'im Akbar author of "The Chains and Images of Psychological Slavery" and other Black intellectuals have dealt with this issue extensively. I put my one and one half cents into the discussion last year with two blog posts "The Passion of The Christ...Is Racism on the Decline" and "The Psychological Damage of a Graven Image" but I honestly feel that this is an exercise in extreme futility.

It has been my experience that Black Christians that have bought into the White Jesus construct completely are never going to opt out, irrespective of any evidence to the contrary. I submit to you, even if you presented them with irrefutable statistical data that verified that there were indeed measurable long term deleterious effects to their children believing in a White Jesus as their savior…they would remain committed to this construct.

So I applaud Dr. Bells efforts, but I have to agree with M. Jones. The real issue is; how do we inculcate critical thinking and critical questioning skills into young minds and teach them that religious dogmas, whatever their origins, should meet the same evidentiary demands that we place on every other assertion that is placed before us? Thank you for the article Joyce.
Hey Robert,

Do you have a link to your blog posts? I'd like to check them out.

Monica
Hi Monica,

Here is the link to my blog page: http://hamptonroads.com/blogs/african-american-agnostic

I haven't posted anything new since July 25th but let me know what you think, I would value your opinion.

Best wishes,
Robert

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