Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Color of Disbelief

It seems only fitting that this should have turned up right after the Post ran an article about a bunch of antigay African-American Christians whining that they're being picked on for their religious beliefs:

“There is an idea that it is mandatory for blacks to believe in God,” said Mandisa Thomas, founder of Black Nonbelievers, an Atlanta group.

“We have heard this from preachers who say blacks would not have gotten anywhere without faith. And if you do not believe in God, you are ostracized, targeted by family and friends, accused of trying to be white. There is this idea that if you subscribe to atheism you are betraying your race, you are betraying your culture, you are betraying your history as well.”

Now, a growing number of African-American nonbelievers are reaching out to others in their communities to help them confront these challenges. They are calling on atheists of all colors to make the fourth Sunday in February — Black History Month — a “Day of Solidarity with Black Nonbelievers.”

The Day of Solidarity originated last year with Donald Wright, a Houston consultant who has written about his own journey from the black church to atheism. Fellowship with other atheists is critical, he said, if black nonbelievers are to move not only out of the closet, but also into the mainstream of American life.
Sounds good to me, though the American mainstream isn't comfortable with atheists of any color. We're just going to have to crash that party.