Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why Are Blacks So Religious?

"Blacks are the most religious!"

This is a common belief among the general Black American population. But is it true? (ARDA) conducted a social survey in 2004 that supported this claim. At least in America. I'd say some Islamic Nations and the Philippines would gives American Blacks a run for their money. Anyway, the poll revealed that 26% of all of those polled actually go to church on a weekly basis. Which I thought was cool. Much less than I thought for some reason. :) Of that 26%, 25.2% of them are whites, 25.4% other and 36.5% black. Small sample size they used but wow, blacks seem to be more religious. There are dozens of other such polls online, google them, and many of them have every similar results.

Now, the question again is, "Why?". I speculate that it goes back to the formation of the early "Black Church". From my studies, the common belief is that slaves were not allowed to read "unauthorized" material. The Bible was fine however, as this book was believed to "civilize" any creature that could learn to read it's contents. As a result, the Black Church was born.

Being that it was rare for blacks to attend white churches, blacks built their own. There, the churches immediately became the center of black communities as it was a place where we could learn to read and write, socialize and feel a sense of belonging. I dare say, it was a place where we could identify with "Massah".

Overtime.. the church became our identity. To be black was to be religious. It was our roots. Where "we" come from. I beg to differ obviously. Our "roots" would have been animism and/or polytheistic beliefs or even no religion at all. But, I understand their point. As far back as most Black Americans can remember, the church was always there. So indeed, black equals "I love Jesus".

I am proud to be a critical thinker, an infidel, a skeptic. I have been labeled a traitor to the "Black race" because of my lack of belief. Yet perhaps, they are the traitor for allowing "Massah" to continue his religious traditions through them.

Norm Allen Jr., is the Executive Director for African Americans for Humanism. I interviewed him in early 2005 to discuss this very issue. I hope you enjoy. As posted from my podcast page.

* Norm Allen Jr, Director of African Americans for Humanism (AAH) returns to discuss disbelief in the black community. We will address issues such as: "Why is religion so rooted within the black community?", "What is atheism?", "Is non-belief justified?" "Is there a God?" Perfect introductory show for the freethought n00b.

This show was first recorded in 2005. It was a special show that was being promoted over at: blackplanet.com. IG was featured on the front page of (BP) and felt maybe it was time reach out more to the black (brownish) community.

Yay.. I made my first post. Thanks Maria. ;)

Next article: "I'm brown, not black dammit!"

Reginald Finley, Sr.
The Infidel Guy