sent in by Kamilah
I am African-American. These words alone bring many things to mind. The first is usually skin color. The second is a combination of characteristics, location, and class that date back centuries whether true or not. The last is the most obvious if observed and that is that 99.5% are religious. Well, with that said, guess which one is where my past began? Christianity. And of course, it all starts with grandmothers or prior in ancestry. I was born into the game of religion. In christianity, no matter what denomination you were in, children are considered the “future of the interest group.” Each Sunday felt like Monday through Friday except for the business/semiformal attire. Like every other African-American child, I was torn out of bed each Sunday, dressed, and went by force to a place with my parents that I was never given an explanation about, understood, nor exactly wanted be at unless something fun was going to happen.
This place was called a “church” and what happened there week in, week out was all I knew for the first 20 years of my life. Beliefs were forced on me that I did not understand. Attitudes were forced on me that I did not understand. Texts were forced on me that I did not understand. Figures of imagination were forced on me that I did not understand. I was peer pressured into everything from going through the membership intake process of the religion and denomination to participating in the groupings (“ministries”) and committees within. I was forced to learn the lingo and be something and someone that I was not.
Everything was glamorous about being christian when you are a child and teenager from the gospel music that dawned the robes (no matter how mediocre or glitzy they looked), high school or broadway style “toe tappin’, knee slappin’, body jerkin’” concerts and conferences to the apparel and professional compact discs, themed bible book study courses, field trips, and nap time when preachers spoke. Not to mention the “everybody knows everybody and their mommas” atmosphere and camaraderie that comes with the collective. Also, the networks that could get you a job, money, free food, babysitting, etc. Church was and is still becoming more of a “one stop cultic shop.” Well, it was while I was the age of 20 two years ago that I realized christianity was nothing but mirages, smoke and mirrors. When it came to values and morals, it was meant for me to begin learning about the plagiarisms, the contradictions, the setups, the mentalities, the manipulations and mythologies that were and still are involved in this. All of these things are justified in some shape, form and fashion.
The “Black Church” let along the rest of Christianity does not believe in getting to know oneself for who and what they are. They want you blind, subliminal, and incomplete. They want you drugged up on ancient texts such as the bible book and dopped out on cultic activities such as “church services, classes, concerts, compact discs, apparel, etc.” They want you limber enough to go out and assimilate the world one “empty soul” at a time by ANY means necessary. It starts with language. If your language becomes more of the lingo, they feel that assimilation is not far off. The development of christian cultic language starts with letters (hence the acronyms like “b-i-b-l-e”), then with words (like “god, eloheim, amen, hallelujah, jesus, satan, devil, demons, adam, eve, etc.”), then sentences (like “thou shall not steal” – kids receive ‘memory verses’ which are sentences of the ancient texts), etc. It goes on and on. Welcome to manipulation 101.
As a child, this was going on and I had no clue. I heard the stories and depending on the viewpoint, the morals of the stories. And that was that. I was told not to question them because of a story of a guy who questioned and had his life snatched from him by the deity as far as everything he worked for and earned as well as what was close to his heart like his family. The black church saying goes, “as long as I got king jesus, I don’t need nobody or nothing else.” Thus, acting like I knew it all was what I was told to live, eat, drink, sleep, and breathe by. So I did whether I wanted to or not.
It took me 20 years to know what people in general meant when they said, “figure it out.” I was never told to figure things out. Heck, I was never told to think for myself in any other context but christianity. I was told to also never think outside of the box. If it was not christian, it was not moral. If it was not christian, it was not right. If you were not a christian, then you were not a good person and don’t deserve goodness to happen to you. The list goes on.
Until. I woke up one day and said – NO MORE.
The lies. The myths. The figures of imagination. The morals that they took and are continuously still taking credit for but morality and encouragement did not start with nor was invented or “perfected” by christianity. They do not believe in human rights. They believe in christian only rights. The same goes for liberty, freedom, pursuit of truth and happiness. Abuse science, medicine, reason to make it look like anything good that come out of them are credited to christianity and whatever bad, blame atheism. Etc. Etc. 45 billion + members and counting. It’s no laughing matter. It’s a game.
I am a proud atheist-humanist. I would be happy to one day look back on my life and say that this phase of existence is where I proved this world wrong about what Freethought truly stands for and is about. I hope that this description of my life’s experience so far has made you think and know that you are not alone. Thanks for reading this.
Became a Christian: I was born into the game
Ceased being a Christian: I would have to say - 20
Labels before: Southern, Missionary Baptist
Labels now: Atheist-Humanist
Why I joined: I was born into it and I was forced and peer pressured to.
Why I left: Truth shall set you free
Email Address: kamilah1 at aol.com
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)