By Michael Lackey
This learn of atheist African American writers poses a noticeable problem to those that see atheism in despairing and nihilistic phrases. Lackey argues that whereas such a lot white atheists mourn the lack of religion, many black atheists--believing the “God-concept” spawns racism and oppression--consider the demise of God a reason for private and political hope.
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Additional info for African American Atheists and Political Liberation: A Study of the Sociocultural Dynamics of Faith
Let me bring these two divergent traditions into sharp focus. 5 Political atheists, however, argue that, given the way the God concept functions to justify political and sociocultural systems of oppression, responsible humans should not believe. This distinction, of course, begs the question: Why is belief in the God concept so politically objectionable? To answer this question, let us first turn to the writings of Frantz Fanon, the French-Martinican psychiatrist and political revolutionary, for he brilliantly exposes how the God concept has been strategically deployed to create a whole race of people as the wretched of the earth.
11 I only supply three examples here, but I could have easily included Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or Lord Jim, Forster’s Howards End or A Passage to India, or Virginia Woolf ’s Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando or The Waves, for each of these works examines the same dynamic: the claim that there exists a spiritual, nonideological Truth, which only those beings with a spiritual faculty of perception can apprehend. Given their ability to know such nonideological truths, the spiritual beings are in a position to cast nonspiritual beings in slavelike roles within the culture, and if the nonspiritual beings resist, violence, marginalization, or banishment is not just allowed but is psychologically and politically necessary.
Strategically placed at the center are the figures of Adam and Eve, whose whiteness extends into the Heaven as a symbol unifying the world’s original parents with the Creator. Or, read from the other direction, the Creator, shrouded in heavenly whiteness, beams down His Divine essence to the original pair, thus uniting Himself in a bond of kinship with His creation. To the right looms a barely perceptible but ominous face, which, given the racist intent of the text, is supposed to be that of a black male or an ape.
African American Atheists and Political Liberation: A Study of the Sociocultural Dynamics of Faith by Michael Lackey