Pop quiz: What is this author talking about?
In some black communities it’s akin to donning a white sheet and a Confederate flag. In others, it’s ostensibly tolerated yet whispered about, branded culturally incorrect and bad form, if not outright sacrilege.
Not that it’s much of a surprise on this site… but Sikivu Hutchinson is talking about being a black atheist.
She also quotes blogger Wrath James White:
In these communities you find more tolerance towards gangbangers, drug addicts, and prostitutes, who pray to God for forgiveness than for honest productive citizens who deny the existence of God. This, for me, is one of the most embarrassing elements of Black culture, our zealous embracement of the God of our kidnappers, murderers, slavemasters and oppressors.
While there have been a few black atheists who have made names for themselves in the atheist world (Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for one), that list is sadly short.
What’s the best way to make atheism more acceptable for African-Americans?
It starts by getting those atheists in the black community to courageously come out and tell others about their beliefs — preferably in person and not just on websites. Surely there are more closeted atheists in the black community than any of us can imagine. They need encouragement and support. They need to know it’ll be ok to leave the comfort of church. They need to know they’re not alone.
We’re not close to a tipping point, but we need to start somewhere.