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I find it interesting that many of the American "Founding Fathers" (like Thomas Jefferson) were Deists and really considered "Bible believing" Christianity beneath them but didn't hesitate to teach it to their slaves. This religion has always been associated with the bottom rung of American society.


----GOOD POINT----

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I say that to say this: A lot of the arrogance including the ideas of exclusivity and exceptionalism we've discussed here are features of Western Culture... And here we have Black people mimicking White/Western Thought while trying to pretend as if they are Black and conscious.

For some of the "pretenders", we are actually seeking guidance and the only source of information is the western/white. I don't think its pretending, we are just trying to get on the path. Personally, I am struggling with the revelation of the ridiculous amount of mis-info I've received from a child (only black girl in school, devoted catholic, southern BAP) So I am really using yall as my community. Maybe you should reach out and try to help us become more enlightened with information instead of attacks for not knowing. I think there is a process to becoming unplugged. (white brainwashing and devils brainwashing) Not everyone is as smart as yall, but ONE WHO LEARNS, TEACHES. And, I appreciate the lessons.
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Originally posted by Texas Star:
For some of the "pretenders", we are actually seeking guidance and the only source of information is the western/white. I don't think its pretending, we are just trying to get on the path.


Very good point. You're right. It's making the best of the situation.

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So I am really using yall as my community. Maybe you should reach out and try to help us become more enlightened with information instead of attacks for not knowing. I think there is a process to becoming unplugged.


Again, you're right on point. I for one apologize if I've seemed too aggressive.

But it can be frustrating. Out in the "real world" the majority of people are religiously conservative. I used to be much better about reaching out and trying to gently educate people. But I've had several profoundly negative experiences with "Christians" recently that have radicalized me somewhat. I'm less willing to be patient and tolerant and more set on "offense" = pre-emptive attack. Mostly because I don't believe there is enough good will on the other side.

But you've given me something to think about.
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Originally posted by Melesi:
Christianity is not X "against" Y. It is X "separate from" Y, but that's no more funny than any other reality. That someone would think it to be "against" instead of "separate from" shows a basic misunderstanding of it.


Thanks for adding to my point.

"Seperate from" is just as scary if you study other religious/spiritual systems the world over. How are we seperate from nature, God, ect?
This is the Paulanity/Hellenized thing about the form of prevalent X-tianity that bothers me so.

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When God created the earth, he created it separate from himself, but it was "tov," which means both "good" and "beautiful." It was not something to be "against." Nor is it now. The reason that we seem to be "against" nature is because of sin, which pits us against all that God has made and against all that he still does.


That's your belief, but the tendency to "not see everething/everyone as a part of God and nature" is the dangerous part of X-tianity IMO. To teach that we are seperate from each other, and not all affecting each other, and our environment, and to think we are seperate from the divine and not all a part of it is what results in the world we have today IMO.

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The "against" part is our fault, and it's part of what God gives us the Bible to cure. This is the clear teaching of the Bible. I also think that another thread, about Christian environmentalism, is well thought-of, for I think that that is a logical result of Christian theology. Adam and Eve ("Man and woman") were placed in God's garden to "keep" it, to work in it and to care for it. That's our created state. Anything else is as we see it in the Bible, the result of sin. We didn't start exploiting the earth and seeing it as a reservoir of raw materials to use for our own wants, until Cain and his city in the Land of Wandering.


Actually, most cultures didn't start 'exploiting' nature and land undtil the spread of Western Imperialism. It is hard to have this discussion with someone who comes from the "nature is fallen" perspective. Check the way folks interacted with nature and their/our environment in practically every part of the world before the spread of European X-tianity...you can not deny their is a marked difference. You can't possibly deny that the spiritual beliefs and cultural practices (one in the same in most world-views) didn't contribute to shaping more harmonious societies with nature. Ideology, spiritual or other wise, effects us.

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That's not what we were created for, and it's not what we are suppposed to settle for once we become Christians. We are to care for the whole earth and for each other, not be "against" anything or anyone.


Yah, because we are not 'seperate' either.


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Please don't accept as gospel the word of someone who does not know the entire story.


I never accept your word as 'gospel' Melesi(wink). I hope you don't think any of us know the 'whole story'... that would be quite arrogant. Especially if you think your chosen (or rather the politically popular) belief system has all the answers. I just completely agree with the quote I posted. Even when rephrased with the word "seperate" replacing 'against'...the result is the same.
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Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I think it's killing black folks. In the sense that so many people are wrapped up in this regressive/backward religion that it's isolating and weakening the more progressive members of the group (I speak from experience being a black University faculty member in the sciences in a Bible Belt state).

Has anyone else found this to be the case????


I know what you mean! I just got home from college for Winter Break about 5 days ago, and ever since, every single day, for several hours a day, my parents (especially my mother) sit in front of the TV watching Black Evangelical preachers. They go on and on about how modern science is "Man's knowledge" and how Gays are "sinners", about how Christians who aren't Bible-literalists are "false Christians" or "led by Satan", about how atheists are supposedly "trying to erase God from America", about how Jews are justified in their treatment of Palestinians, etc.

Alot of my family members are very into this "born-again" mess and they can be very superstitious. Everytime they get a headache, they say its "the Enemy [Satan] trying to kill them", if I question or have doubts about their interpretation of the Bible (which they sometimes try to push off on me), they say that "Satan is clouding your mind" and they complain about how people today are "godless" and complain about people criticizing the Bible and say stuff like "Too many people don't believe in anything" (aren't Bible-literalists).

They claim people who aren't born-agains "lack faith", they criticize logical thinking as "the world's way/man's logic", and they take every bit of bad news on TV as "signs of the Endtimes". When I study other religions, they claim I'm listening to the devil and claim their God is a "jealous God" and doesn't approve of me thinking for myself.

HELL YES, I'd say that this retrogressive belief system is destroying the minds of our Black brothers and sisters. This White man's disease is infecting the minds of our people and giving them a slave mentality (notice how slaveish the mentality of my relative sounds?) It hinders people from critical thought and prevents people from learning about anything that doesn't agree with their beliefs, even if it is true (such as Evolution).

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Anyway, there is nothing lonelier. Which is why I find this site so REFRESHING.


I agree. I'm glad to get away from all the Bible-banging at home and get a breath of fresh air on religion.

I was raised to believe that I shouldn't talk to one of my uncles (my mother's brother) about religion. My parents always said that "Satan has taken over his mind about Christ". I found out that he is a Unitarian Universalist pastor and a professor of religious studies at Princeton University. I enjoy talking to him nowadays as an adult about religion, he is much more open-minded than most of my relatives on religion.

Don't get my folks wrong though, they are good people and have good hearts. Just try to avoid the topic of religion, modern science or social liberalism with them. Smile

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I find it interesting that many of the American "Founding Fathers" (like Thomas Jefferson) were Deists and really considered "Bible believing" Christianity beneath them but didn't hesitate to teach it to their slaves. This religion has always been associated with the bottom rung of American society.


They knew it helped reinforce the slave mentality, it was a clever and helpful tool for them to maintain control over their slaves.

Unfortunately, many Black people still cling to these beliefs taught to their ancestors by Massa, and taught to them today by their parents and Black preachers.
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quote:
When God created the earth, he created it separate from himself, but it was "tov," which means both "good" and "beautiful." It was not something to be "against." Nor is it now. The reason that we seem to be "against" nature is because of sin, which pits us against all that God has made and against all that he still does.


That's your belief, but the tendency to "not see everething/everyone as a part of God and nature" is the dangerous part of X-tianity IMO. To teach that we are seperate from each other, and not all affecting each other, and our environment, and to think we are seperate from the divine and not all a part of it is what results in the world we have today IMO.
And what MELESI said is exactly the WHITE/WESTERN Worldview - i.e. Culturally Specific Thinking - that so many people have trouble... (*ahem*) separating from Christianity and like to call Christianity perhaps because it is exactly what you've cautioned OA... WHITE/WESTERN/EUROPEAN Cultural thought is so interwoven into the narrative of the Bible and Christianity, even with respect to the "personage" of God... that the dye of those tainted thoughts have marked the whole thing and render one inseparable to the other.

The "scary" thing about it is too many Black people act like they don't know or are afraid admit there is a huge difference.

I'll take some liberty with what you quoted earlier:

Western religion = "God separate from man. Man separate from God. Man separate from nature. Nature separate from man. Nature separate from God. God separate from nature. Very funny religion!"

And, yes... all such concepts are CULTURALLY SPECIFIC. And, no... "because of sin", some amorphous, non-descript, catch-all, catch-none type of BS statement doesn't even begin to describe anything but more WESTERN concepts in a markedly WESTERN context. One would be hard pressed to describe any culture but Western Culture as "against" Nature, etc. That was stated EXPLICITLY. So it's not "sin" but a particular mindset in Western Culture that please man against nature.

And no... "WE" are not all the embodiment or exhalters of Western Culture. And "sin" has little to do with... is hardly an apt descriptor of what causes "man to be against nature." Surely other cultures "sinned" but plenty (Native Americans, e.g.) would hardly be appropriately described as being or seeming to be "against nature."

For once in your life MELESI, say something with some INTEGRITY.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
They go on and on about how modern science is "Man's knowledge" and how Gays are "sinners", about how Christians who aren't Bible-literalists are "false Christians" or "led by Satan", about how atheists are supposedly "trying to erase God from America", about how Jews are justified in their treatment of Palestinians, etc.


Again and again and again and again we hear that math and sciences are major educational barriers to Black progress - Given my job, I hear it constantly. Yet the irony is black mathematicians and scientists don't receive very much of a welcome from the communities that need them the most. And these ninnies in the pulpits do NOT help matters.

More generally, we as a people have so many pressing problems. Yet these fools waste our time, energy, and resources attending to non-issues or to things that really have no direct bearing on us. And they're the first people in line to send missionaries to Africa!

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They claim people who aren't born-agains "lack faith"....and they take every bit of bad news on TV as "signs of the Endtimes".


This mentality is dangerous in more ways than one. If you really believe that "All I need is Jesus" and that the end is near, then you won't be defending your interests in this world as you should. Then you won't be planning and building for the future. And you won't be adequately protecting the few gains you may already have made.

This at a time when our interests (for example, Affirmative Action) are coming under attack like no other time in the last 30 years. It's worth noting that many of the same conservative interests that want to end government programs have no problems whatever funding black preachers through "faith based initiatives". They know that this religion is an impediment to our progress.

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I was raised to believe that I shouldn't talk to one of my uncles (my mother's brother) about religion....I found out that he is a Unitarian Universalist pastor and a professor of religious studies at Princeton University. I enjoy talking to him nowadays as an adult about religion, he is much more open-minded than most of my relatives on religion.


That's interesting. I'm a Unitarian Universalist myself. In fact, I might know your uncle - There aren't many black UUs - even fewer in the ministry.
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And these ninnies in the pulpits do NOT help matters.


The ninnies in the pulpits do NOT like people that are obviously more intelligent than they are. 60 years ago what were the career options for Black men? How many smart ones chose a religious career? Has the church suffered a brain drain since the 60s? What kind of people are left there, the majority of them?

umbra
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Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Christianity is declining in the West....That's why Fundamentalism is thriving in undereducated areas of the world (the American South and Midwest, parts of Africa and South America, poor parts of China) while it is dying in more educated areas of the world (Europe, Australia, East and West Coast of America).


Shit, I need to move...but so many of us are here, that's why I came. I just can't give up on my people.
The Bible "basic instructions before leaving earth" is the word of man.

The Word of God would scorch the pages and man would not be able to hold the book in his hands...!
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Originally posted by MBM:
If I can interject, for those who believe that the Bible is the word of God - do you believe that God's word is also represented in other traditonal holy texts? What about more contemporary works? For example, there was a series of books out awhile back - the first of which was entitled "Conversations With God" where the author represents that God was speaking through him. Do you believe that God could have done that or is He done communicating directly with us?

If I said that God was speaking through me right now - putting these words into my head - would you have any basis to either believe me or not?


MBM, God is never done speaking through his people. God has always risen one to speak to the people. I'm a christian and i catch alot of heat for this but i'm going to keep it real. I Believe God speaks at times to louis farrahkan. Even though he is a muslim. We are a race of people in the dark, and God had put the words into his mouth to guide us and to lead us. Now it is up to Louis Farrahkan to take heed to this call. As a christian i can't give Louis Farrahkan credit for calling on 1million men and close to 2million came.... God spoke through him he is chosen by GOD FOR US. LIKE MALCOLM WAS and Huey AND the many many others. They are like moses. The bible tells us that moes wrote and spoke out of the hardness of the peoples hearts. But he was chosen to lead his people. He was the voice God called upon. Our leaders may not all of them believe in christ, but that does not change the fact that GOD wants to save us. WHO gave our leaders them minds to be able to speak and the heart to take on, in our faith all glory is to GOD. And to GOD ALONE. God can speak through anybody.
I believe jesus is the word of GOD.Yeshua/Jesus has to be taken out of false light that he is being held in. Black christians take and get alot of heat. But i believe the foundation of that is because of the image of Yeshua, in our hearts we don't see him as one of us, one that looked like us or been through what we been through. When in fact he is as close to us as any as our brothers and sisters are today. Moses said that GOD WILL RISE UP A PROPHET LIKE MYSELF, when the people asked moses how would they know if the prophet came from Yahwae, Moses answered because The words he will speak will come from GOD and if nothing comes to pass as he calls it then he would be a false prophet and not one from Yahwae. The bible says that the word was with GOD and the word became flesh. Jesus/Yeshua said that himself that the words he speak are not his own, that they came from the father. The prophet Isaiah said 600 years before jesus came about the prince of peace and he will be called almighty GOD. YESHUA is the word of GOD. Whom i believe is the last prophet and messiah.

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