Hello Daniel how are you?
My name is Kenneth Albert Thomas. I black Afro/Am.male, a convinced atheist 30+ years, vegetarian 30+ years, and quite hetero sexual 30+ years.
The main reason I'm writing you is to express my sense of isolation among white atheist in America. Who, when I've asked them did they feel isolated
as atheist? Often have said that they did not. And to the question did they believe that, white supremacy racism was a major contribution to my sense of isolation as an atheist? They often said, no they did not.
However when I look at the list that you've compiled of African countries and their expressed beliefs. Religion has a very high percentage of belief. And atheism very low. With regard to that. Steve Biko wrote a book, titled " I Write What I like", published in 1987. In this book is an essay, titled " Black Consciousnessness" where Steve Biko challenges black Africans religious beliefs, and especially, those in a white god. Suggesting that black peoples, will not find self respect, self esteem, or put themselves in positions of leadership, by believing in a white god, especially when that white god was given to them by colonialism.
Steve Biko was eventually arrested, and while incarcerated he was beat to death by his white captures.
I notice as a black man, in conversation, in and around America, I never seek explanations in any sort of god, or super-naturalism. I have sought, for 30+ years explanations, in some sort of scientific paradigm. Whether that is in human sexuality, emotion, what's referred to as "law", education/pedagogy, and everything else. I get plenty of very ignorant replies from white adults, who seemed to be atheist, or agnostic, till I start asking how did they reach the conclusion, they just shared with me, and could it at all fit into an evolutionary paradigm. And they often say to me then. That they use to be an atheist like me, then they discovered god, and god's love. At that point I usually start to smile or laugh. Cause I've become aware that good sound, coherent reasoning, in this country, is very unpopular as a catalyst to to good wholesome human
relations, or what has become normalized as good wholesome human relations. And religious thinking dominates what has become a foundation for "good", wholesome human relations. Religious thinking also dominates many of the motives for white supremacist racist oppression. Such that when I've met whites who at first claimed to have been atheist, or agnostic. Then, after longer conversation with me, find out that I am in fact, a confident atheist, and have been so for decades, ( and it's been tough). Instead of acknowledging that they have just encountered an ally, in black skin, they usually disavow any connection to atheism or agnosticism. And seek what has been a, or the, major foundation for racial, and economic domination, some sort of religiosity, and the advantage it serves.
Many of the whites that I meet, and converse with, have been much more successful in their educational pursuits than myself. As I have only one year of college
completed, and it seems quite stalled at that place. Yet I do not believe that my limits are primarily due to my lack of intelligence, discipline, or determination. I believe that more than enough evidence is available to conclude that there is more than enough white supremacist racist bias in every area of American education, to obstruct my aspirations. And to go along with white supremacy racism, there is plenty, of what Christina Hoff Somers, refers to as, " misguided feminism".These two obstructions, white supremacy racism, and misguided feminism, are often paired very tightly, with coercion, and violence. All of these things that I have attempted to describe as experiences with white people, also go on with blacks. Similar claims are made by blacks to atheism, or agnosticism. Till they discover that I, in fact am a very confident atheist. then they usually disavow, atheist, and or agnosticism.
It is, as if humans feel a strong urge to
care very considerately for someone they are like minded enough with. Till the consequences seem to severe, then they bail out. I just think, what cowards.
In closing, I have come to like, and admire many of the topics of conversation that atheist engage in. Including the new demographic data you posted on rates of change for convinced atheist, and the theistically religious. However I'm sure hoping to add to that conversation in a meaningful way. And hope that what I've written above will offer to a little different perspective to that conversation.
Very best regards Kenneth Albert Thomas.
From: Daniel C. <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, August 9,[masked]:13 AM
Subject: [bostonatheists] Atheism is on the
rise on a global level