quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Why is religious conversion and acculteration SO much encouraged in Western religions, and not in other religions?


There are strength in numbers. Like the nuclear arms race that was going on not to long ago. There is a sort of religious arms race. Who can recruit -ur convert the most?
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quote:
how can Americans show tolerance to other people's cultures and religions without compromising their own beliefs.


We tolerate things as extreme as devil-worship.

Occultism is an accessory, as far as this nation is concerned. We wear our religions like little trinkets.


I'm sorry Rowe but I digress here.
quote:
Originally posted by Willywill3:
People are born into religions, even with that they have to choice to accept it or go to another.


Can you leave your family and go to another? Can you leave your heritage and ancestry and go to another. I just stated that religion cannot be separated from your blood. It is your birth right. You can't say today I will be Black, but tomorrow I will White. Assuming that you are a Black person, you will be a Black person forever, and wherever you decide to live, you will still be a Black person. Ultimately I am trying to get readers to see the intimate relationship between religion and culture. The two are inseparable.

quote:
No one really forces people to accept a certain style of living. It only makes sense if you are some one from the U.S and go to live in Japan, it is required for you to learn the language to survive there.


From an historical and African-centered perspective, Black people didn't pack a holiday bag and purchase a ticket to come to America. We were brought to this country, against our will and as commodities, and our oppressor's culture was imposed upon us. We were forced to abandon every and anything that made us uniquely African people (e.g., our languages, our religions, our heritage, our traditions, our worldviews, etc.). And this has had long-ranging affects on our states of being. It seems that you are looking at this issue from a very limited frame of reference. I am saying that for those in power it is has been very advantageous for them to impose their culture on the rest of the world, to give others the impression that everything that is White or European is superior, including the dominant religions that are associated with their culture.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
That's for those, with there little side remarks.


quote:

Originally posted by HeruStar:
Raptor,
piss off


...The nerve. nono
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by Willywill3:
People are born into religions, even with that they have to choice to accept it or go to another.


Can you leave your family and go to another? Can you leave your heritage and ancestry and go to another. I just stated that religion cannot be separated from your blood. It is your birth right. You can't say today I will be Black, but tomorrow I will White. Assuming that you are a Black person, you will be a Black person forever, and wherever you decide to live, you will still be a Black person. Ultimately I am trying to get readers to see the intimate relationship between religion and culture. The two are inseparable.

quote:
No one really forces people to accept a certain style of living. It only makes sense if you are some one from the U.S and go to live in Japan, it is required for you to learn the language to survive there.


From an historical and African-centered perspective, Black people didn't pack a holiday bag and purchase a ticket to come to America. We were brought to this country, against our will and as commodities, and our oppressor's culture was imposed upon us. We were forced to abandon every and anything that made us uniquely African people (e.g., our languages, our religions, our heritage, our traditions, our worldviews, etc.). And this has had long-ranging affects on our states of being. It seems that you are looking at this issue from a very limited frame of reference. I am saying that for those in power it is has been very advantageous for them to impose their culture on the rest of the world, to give others the impression that everything that is White or European is superior, including the dominant religions that are associated with their culture.


I am actually mixed (Black, Irish and Native American)
Our ancestors were forced over into the Americans for slavery, and I think that the U.S does owe the generation some form of compensation for that. Perhaps compensation in the form of going to college for free would be nice. Since America is dominanted by the Whites, it takes an education to beat them at their own game. Does it not? I really doubt that any of the Blacks of today would want to go back to Africa with the state it is in today. It is not too late to still learn about the original culture and languages. The thing is, you have to get the Black youth to understand it and so they may pass it down to the next generation to carry it on.


You made a very good point about religion. It is like a family...but with the weaken moral fabric, some people could care less about their own family members at times.
I'm back,

quote:
Ultimately I am trying to get readers to see the intimate relationship between religion and culture.


Rowe,

The church is apart of the Black cutlure, the Black experience. African, is a nationality. Any attempt at replicating something that is on a separate continent with separate ecological, spiritual, social environment, would be less than authentic. What is authentic, is our experience on this continent, in this nation. We are existentially, and culturally different (but not set apart from) our brothers and sisters in Africa. As Americans we have a unique freedom, a unique culture, attributed mainly to our unique displacement.
quote:
Any attempt at replicating something that is on a separate continent with separate ecological, spiritual, social environment, would be less than authentic.


If that's true, I'm gonna have to throw away both my New American Bible and my New American Standard Bible, pronto.
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor:
quote:
Any attempt at replicating something that is on a separate continent with separate ecological, spiritual, social environment, would be less than authentic.


If that's true, I'm gonna have to throw away both my New American Bible and my New American Standard Bible, pronto.


If the bible, though let it be those American versions shed light and apply to current times such as the language, what will you read then? Proper translation does help, unless you can understand Ye ole English...
quote:
Originally posted by Willywill3:
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor:
quote:
Any attempt at replicating something that is on a separate continent with separate ecological, spiritual, social environment, would be less than authentic.


If that's true, I'm gonna have to throw away both my New American Bible and my New American Standard Bible, pronto.


If the bible, though let it be those American versions shed light and apply to current times such as the language, what will you read then? Proper translation does help, unless you can understand Ye ole English...


Willywill3,

do you agree with this assessment:
quote:
Any attempt at replicating something that is on a separate continent with separate ecological, spiritual, social environment, would be less than authentic.


Remarks like this doesn't yield much room to swivel.
Rowe, you lost me sis...you asked the initial question based upon religion and moral decline.

Then you submit to my response seemed distracted when looking at the question of how morality is determined and how it is traditionally determined in America. Then you state that it is a simple question of:

for its moral decline?[/QUOTE] - Rowe

But you are missing my over all point. It is not a 'simple' question. It is a question based on who is defining morality.

For example, you have defined morality as:

quote:
For the purposes of this discussion, the word morals is defined as accepted standards of right and wrong that are usually applied to personal behavior.


If morality is originally defined by some standard, which most of the time is religion, then the lack of religion would not necessarily lead to a moral decline, but to a shift in what is determined as moral.

When you state that moral decline is:

quote:
Evidence of America's moral decline is the obvious increased violence among innercity youth, increased suicide deaths, declining mental and physical health, a high divorce rate, and consequently, a increasing number of single-parent headed homes, a preoccupation with material wealth and accumulation and individual accomplishment versus group accomplishment


I have to ask...again...in a more direct manner back to you and the threads participants...what defines divorce, suicide, pre-occupation with material wealth as immoral in the first place?

If it is religion, and we determine that people are less religious, then those who practice these things would say that they are not immoral, since they don't follow the code that says they are immoral. Are the religious right, and the practitioner wrong?

One final example: promiscuity. According to the bible both fornication and adultery are sins. Yet I have had some do dirty married friends who would try to hit on a girl who humps a whole lot of people outside of marriage, yet that same girl would not hump the married guy because it would be adultery. Both sins according to the bible, yet a moral shift that states fornication is not a problem, yet adultery still is.

Is the girl right or wrong and is this a 'sign of moral decline' or a shift in how morality is determined?
This habitat that we are in is unique to our natural spiritual climate. So in my opinion we are like rugged flowers that can adapt to any type of environment, but in each environment/climate, we take a different shape. Still apart of the same geneology, just in a different form.
quote:
Originally posted by Raptor:
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Why is religious conversion and acculteration SO much encouraged in Western religions, and not in other religions?


There are strength in numbers. Like the nuclear arms race that was going on not to long ago. There is a sort of religious arms race. Who can recruit -ur convert the most?

The Western religions are unique with respect to being ethical monotheisms. As such, they make truly universal claims. This distinguishes them from say the type of monotheism that is held in Yoruba traditional religion.

As Rowe mentioned at one point, most religions are culturally specific, and the assumption is that you will have your religion, and I will have mine. But, radical ethical monotheism, in making universal claims, break this paradigm. For them, there is only one truth, one God, one reality. Thus, what for others would be taken as their particularity, is to be applied to all.
Kresge, I am not sure if your statement can't be universally applied. This is why cultural differences tend to cause so much conflict.

As of yet, we really haven't discussed how religion influences and is interwoven into culture and sometimes synomimous with it. Meaning that when other cultures come in contact with it, a challenge occurs both culturally and religiously. The show Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee looks at cultural maladaptation.

Let's look at the Yoruba. Granted, their morality may be more flexible, but would you have us believe that they didn't have universal standards of right and wrong? If so the distinction is only in how they applied their moral standards across cultural, politics and daily actions.
quote:
Originally posted by Dell Gines:
Kresge, I am not sure if your statement can't be universally applied. This is why cultural differences tend to cause so much conflict.

As of yet, we really haven't discussed how religion influences and is interwoven into culture and sometimes synomimous with it. Meaning that when other cultures come in contact with it, a challenge occurs both culturally and religiously. The show Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee looks at cultural maladaptation.

Let's look at the Yoruba. Granted, their morality may be more flexible, but would you have us believe that they didn't have universal standards of right and wrong? If so the distinction is only in how they applied their moral standards across cultural, politics and daily actions.

Firstly, if you are referring to the HBO special, I believe that one of the cultures in question is indeed a western.

Secondly, it is my contention that Yoruba traditional religion, like most traditional indigenous religions are not universalist. This has been pretty well established by anthropologists and religious comparativists. The founding myths pertain to a particular group, ethno, etc. This is often reflected in the name that a group themmselves, which can be translated as "the people" or "real people" as distinct from various and sundry "others."

In that case of Yoruba, they would not expect someone who is Igbo to share the same sacred stories and thus have the same view of reality that they had and visa versa. The famous Igbo author Chinua Achebe has the famous quote that no African would every think about crossing the street to share his religious beliefs with someone else, for they would assume that that person has his own religious tradition.

The development of the concept of the universal as opposed to the particular has a long and complex history in the West. The judeo-christian tradition has a significant role to play in this, as the tribal religion of the Hebrews develops into a kind of henotheism, then over the course of many more centuries a radical monotheism that is adopted with some modifications in Christianity and Islam. Its more secular expression comes to florescence in the Enlightenment, with modern concept of "man" or "humanity."
quote:
Originally posted by Dell Gines:
Then you submit to my response seemed distracted when looking at the question of how morality is determined and how it is traditionally determined in America.


Well Dell, my analytical brother, you raise a good question. How is morality traditionally determined in America? According to the majority of Americans, what are the characteristics of a moral society? Is it a society in which the youth members kill one another at random? Is it a society in which the members kill themselves at random? Is it a society in which over half of its members rotate in and out of jail. Is it a society in which members can't successfully maintain marital unions and/or manage relationships with their own offspring? Is it a society in which members place a great deal of importance on buying more and more things (accumulating debt)? After you answer this question, use your response to answer this next question: Is America headed toward moral decline and is a growing animosity toward religion partly or solely responsible for this decline?
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Rowe, and I am not being analytical for the sake of argument, but this is a very REAL and RELEVENT question for black folks.

From MY perspective, which is definitely judeo/christian centered, the things which you mentioned mos def are indicative of a moral decline. By I am not everyone and that is the problem.

What I am saying, and as someone who does a gang of community work in the hood, is that for us to define and push 'morality' we have to have a framework to evaluate morality and immorality and we have to be able to persuade other to adopt that to have unity.

To some of these young cats in the hood, unfortunately their 'code' of morality has within it features that we as a black collective recognize as dangerous to us and our community.

I was arguing with my guy once about his brother who was selling crack at the time. I went through the normal arguments, blah blah, bad for the community, blah blah, you know. His response to me, and this is one I have heard SO many times:

Well if he doesn't sell it someone else will, so what is the difference?

When I was talking to a young sister who I was trying to plug into leadership, and we were talking about hip hop and I made the normal arguments, negative imagery, blah blah, reinforcing bad steriotypes, blah blah her response to me was:

Everyone is accountable to themselves about what they listen and so we shouldn't judge or have the guys making the music as doing something wrong.

In each case their 'moral' response was that morality was relative and contextual to the situation they were in. That there was no objective criteria outside of the perception of the 'actor' that would make what they did wrong.

So to me, yes, those things you talk about are indicative of moral decline, but I am a moral objectivist that believes there is morality external to what the individual feels, or what the majority says.

But what makes me right and the brother selling crack wrong?
Kresge, more or less what I was asking was if there were any 'universals' in the Yoruba moral code. IE was murder universally bad, was rape universally bad, was incest universally bad?
quote:
Originally posted by Dell Gines:
To some of these young cats in the hood, unfortunately their 'code' of morality has within it features that we as a black collective recognize as dangerous to us and our community.


Well what purpose does a code of morality serve? Ultimately, a code of morality is established to meet the needs of a society or even a small group or community. A well-established code of ethics in the hood is "Don't Snitch." This rule was set to protect the freedom of those who break the laws set by those outside of the hood. And because Black people have been alienated from mainstream society and the massess of us do not have access to the culture of power and privilege, our circumstances have compelled us to organize a code of morality that is separate from the code of morality followed by the majority, because the majority doesn't venture into the hood, and they don't know what goes on in our hood on a day-to-day basis. And most of them don't care. I'm not making excuses for people who break laws in the hood or anywhere else, but this is an explanation for why Blacks in the hood have established their own code of morality.

quote:
From MY perspective, which is definitely judeo/christian centered, the things which you mentioned mos def are indicative of a moral decline. By I am not everyone and that is the problem. What I am saying, and as someone who does a gang of community work in the hood, is that for us to define and push 'morality' we have to have a framework to evaluate morality and immorality and we have to be able to persuade other to adopt that to have unity.


The Pros and Cons of Diversity and Freedom

This comment compliments an important question raised earlier in the discussion, which was can we coexist in a multi-religious society? You know Brother Dell, America prides itself on being a democratic society where people have so many "freedoms" at their disposal, but I think this freedom comes with a hefty price. Yes, you can "choose" religions, believe what you want to believe, and even play musical chairs with your religious choices if you wanted to, but then, eventually, unity and collective thought gets sacrificied. That is why, sometimes, I wish that we all lived in a remote part of Africa somwhere, where everyone in the tribal community believes the same thing, and spiritually, everything is taken for granted and understood. Then, we wouldn't have to constantly bump heads with people outside of our community, and even inside our own families. People can just enjoy each other's compnay and get along without having to constantly bicker and physically fight over differences in beliefs. Do you know what I mean? It's a frustrating pain in the ass sometimes. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are some great, GREAT advantages to living in a free society, but sometimes I find that it's not so great.
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In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful



As Salaam Alaikum to all!

Family, let us always know that the true reasons for America's hatred of religion is due to being ruled by a people whose nature is contrary to righteousness and Divine Law. The people of whom I speak are the white establishment who rule everything from city, state and federal governments; to corporations, to religions, to academia; thus, they control our every thought, speech and action. By the terrible conditions of the Black American society today, we can see the power and great influence that the destructive values of white supremacy has had upon us. It has unfortunately become so bad now that it is common to see Negroes who act like devils as they eagerly sell drugs, vices and promote all manner of white-influenced evils.

Whites, by their works, have proven that by nature they hate everything that even comes close to the civilized nature of Divine righteousness such as freedom, justice and equality for all of humanity. This is why their governments justify going to war with any nation who attempts to give the people an ounce of the above mentioned qualities of Divine righteousness.

Everywhere in this society, you find them in rebellion against God (Allah) and Divine Law. They've made rebellion appear normal and "fair-seeming." In fact, rebellion against God (Allah) and His Divine Laws, have become the biggest addiction on earth. It is far more addictive than crack cocaine or any other addiction that one may imagine, and this is why you see people running and "breaking their necks" trying to invent new ways to indulge in animal-like behavior. The more animal-like you are in America, the more white society loves you and they will give you more money and a social platform so that you may help them reduce your people to the status of a beast. This is why the entertainment and sports industries are so big and so popular in the Black communities of this country. Yes, that's right folks. You name the popular entertainment or sports figure, and there is a 99.9999% chance that he or she is in the financial hip-pocket of some devilish white man and they are doing his bidding of evil and wickedness. Remember this the next time you pop in some music by your popular music artists.

In America today, you see and/or hear white society for instance, promoting unhealthy and community-destroying behaviours such as homosexuality and lesbianism; violating marital laws with adultery and fornication; indulgence in smoking of lethal substances such as drugs. alcohol and cigarettes; consuming pork and pork-laced products; gambling (including lottery); lies and mass deception; etc. All of these "anti-family" and "anti-Divine" acts are addictive like drugs and will destroy you, your family, the community and ultimately, your nation if it is not stopped.

Brothers and sisters, let us be careful of whom or where we obtain ideals from for you never know, the philosophy you're practicing could be hatred against you and the God of the universe. The 4,000 years of recorded destructive history of the white man proves that he hates God, nature, family, the Original Black people of earth, etc. And, to this very day, he kills people both directly and indirectly and justifies it with scary labels like:

    a. War on terror
    b. War on drugs
    c. War on poverty.
    d. Abortion or "Planned Parenthood (i.e. killing of our babies and thus, our nation).
    A.I.D.S. in Africa.
    e. Biblically-justified Slavery.
    f. Biblically-justified stealing of land and resources - both foreign and domestic.
    g. The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.
    h. Police brutality (i.e. Terrorism American style)


So let us not be deceived here. Although white society claims to "hate" religion, it is not really religion that they hate for they too are "religious" in their worship of wickedness and their hatred of the only true God. Messenger Elijah Muhammad (peace be upon him) was absolutely correct when he described their nature as that of a "devil," so I recommend that we all purchase all of the books and material that he produced. Study and learn from him of the REAL nature of the white man so that you are not deceived and misled to a world of wickedness and hatred against Allah and the Black Nation. Sadly, we've already lost too many of our beautiful Black people to their wicked world.

All praises are due to our Saviour Allah for the Supreme Wisdom and nation-building teachings of His Divine Messenger Elijah Muhammad (peace be upon him)!!!

As Salaam Alaikum to those of us who accept the reality of the Black man and woman as Allah (God).
i believe in the "religion" of my ancesters. i am just in the learning phase of it. americans would call it vodou, others call it akan, ifa, orisha, mami wata, or candoble ( i believe this spelling is incorrect). so im kind of #1 - #3. it outdates all other religions, and can not be engaged in (of course they try though and when they couldnt it became evil)by those who are not african. your lwa/loas are determined by birth/lineage.
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quote:
Originally posted by Khem Allah:
Family, let us always know that the true reasons for America's hatred of religion is due to being ruled by a people whose nature is contrary to righteousness and Divine Law.


Thank you Brother Khem for contributing to the thread and sharing your perspective.
quote:
Originally posted by 1 of millions STOLEN:
i believe in the "religion" of my ancesters. i am just in the learning phase of it. americans would call it vodou, others call it akan, ifa, orisha, mami wata, or candoble ( i believe this spelling is incorrect).


Good for you 1OMS! Perhaps in the future you might want to share what you're learning and tell us the positive changes that are occuring in your life as a result of embarking on this new spiritual journey.

tfro

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