My Beef With the Church

This past Sunday I visited a friend’s church.  To be clear, I am not a Christian–I am not an atheist, but I am not a Christian, or an adherent of any particular western (or middle-eastern) religion.

So why did I take my non-Christian ass to church, you may ask?  Well, I was somewhat punked into going when my boy played the reciprocity card, and pointed out that while he has volunteered a considerable amount of time to a nonprofit company I chair, I have not, in return, come to support him at his favorite pastime.

So I relented, and drug my wretched, non-Christian family to church.  Within moments of entering the church–which is centrally located near dilapidated apartments, a handful of liquor stores, and yes, more churches–I formulated a great excuse as for why I shouldn’t have been asked to go in the first place: While my friend wholly agrees with the mission and objectives of my nonprofit, and believes that our efforts to help underserved middle and high school students prepare for college is much needed, I wholeheartedly disagree with Christianity, and have discussed my reservations with him more than once.

I only have two real problems with Christianity, but man, they are pretty big.  Allow me to spell out my main points of contention:

1: SLAVERY.  I cannot reconcile the fact that African Americans, by and large, would not be Christian were it not for the Transatlantic slave trade (and colonization by European Christian nations).  As such, I must view Christianity as nothing less than a “slave religion”, with Biblical justification(see the Old and New Testaments, specifically Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joel, Ephesians, Colossians, Timothy, Matthew, and John), as well as an official historic pass from the Catholic Church and 10 of the first 15 U.S. presidents.

2: HISTORY.  Once you wade through the slavery issue (or simply put it to the side, as most Black and White Americans do), you still have to deal with the fact that the concept of Jesus is not original, and it existed in many cultures–Egyptian, Indian, Mediterranean, Asian, and Meso-American–that predate the time Jesus was said to have been circumnavigating the Roman Empire. Some researchers and people who claim to be authorities say there were at least 16 other “Jesus’s” before Jesus, all of them having been born of virgin birth, or having performed extraordinary miracles, or having been considered the true son of God, or having been crucified for being cast as G/god, or having been considered the savior of humanity before or after death.

Would you like to know who they are?  The starting 16 for the God Squad, according to the writings of John Jackson, Gerald Massey, John Henrik Clark, Muata Ashby, Ishakamusa Barashango, Kersey Graves, et al are:

  • Krishna of India
  • Sakia of India
  • Thammuz of Syria
  • Wittoba of modern day Sierra Leone
  • Iao of Nepaul
  • Hesus of the Celts
  • Quexalcote of Mexico
  • Quirinus of Rome
  • Prometheus of Greece
  • Thulis (who I believe to be Horus/Osiris) of Egypt
  • Indra of Tibet
  • Alcestos of Greece
  • Atys of modern day Turkey
  • Crite of modern day Iraq
  • Bali of India
  • Mithra of Persia

Two history professors once told me that “Christianity is an amalgamation of African (and other) religions, plagiarized by Europeans, and sold to the world as the original.” Considering the historical record of Europe and its offspring over the last 500-1,500 years, it is not difficult for me to see how and why this happened, or how and why they’ve been so successful at proselytizing the world.  It’s been an amazingly well-organized use of force, psychology, wealth, scholarship, power, and the legitimacy that comes with all of those, and in recent human history Europeans have had a lot of that to spare.  I think this is why Black people still rarely consider returning to African spiritual traditions, and know so little of them today.  Africa is still viewed as having nothing to offer and relatively no historical value, whereas Europe and whites are still the people to dress, talk, think, behave, and clearly, pray like.

Well, there you have it.  I have critical issues with Christianity, and merely hearing about ones faith or belief in it won’t do much to address the issues listed above.  You could say “God damn you”, but, as a Native American professor once quipped with Sundjata, “that means nothing to me, I don’t believe in their god.”

6 thoughts on “My Beef With the Church

  1. I have a similar beef with church (thanks for adding fuel to the fire).

    Some religions cast negative repercussions on those who do not fully believe/practice their words. Often, non-conformists are pressured into their faith via threats or negative consequences in the after life. Similarly, these religions cast a grim future for weak and non-believers. Being raised a Christian, I was told if I didnt commit my life to Jesus, I would not be allowed to enter the pearly gates to heaven. In christianity, if you are not born to christian parents, in a christian society (both of which you have no control over), or if you are not exposed to Christianity at some time during your life, then you are punished by not being accepted into heaven/being cast to hell.

    As you’ve heard me say before, I am a product of my genetics and environment. I did not chose to be born to these parents, in this country and society. I can’t help but wonder what faith I would believe if my soul was placed with a different family, in a different country/society, at a different time. What religion would I believe then? Would my religion be casting the same grim future Christianity casts on non-believers? Would I be cast to hell because I was never exposed to Jesus? I find it odd/ironic that religion punishes people as a result of where God decides to place their soul.

    • Goodness do I ever agree! “Follow Jesus or I’ll kill you” has been the de facto mantra for many Christians and followers of all of the Judao-Christian religions (this may be true for other religions as well, but we are discussing one in particular here). I came across this quote from Mahatma Ghandi wherein he noted that he’d read the Bible, but he’d never met a Christian, and really, that says so much to me.

      Now, this is not to say that Christianity is fundamentally wrong. It’s not. In fact, if you follow the dominant themes in Christianity, other than being a raging male chauvinist, you’ll be a good person, but really, this might be said of any religion I suppose. It just sucks that we weren’t given the opportunity to test that theory against any of the indigenous African religions or belief structures that we might have had but for Chattel Slavery.

      Try this: Slap the next “real” Christian you see, and tell them to turn the other cheek! Remind them that they must do it because it’s written in red in the Bible, and the Bible is infallible. Then tell them to rejoice, for they are being persecuted for pseudo-righteousness’ sake. Amen-Ra!

  2. One more thing though, I would like to point out that while it’s certainly not true these days, there were times when the church was our homebase of socio-political action, and in that sense, we truly benefited from the slave religion.

    As an ex-Christian, one thing I certainly do miss is the music! Church culture can be wack, but the music can be live and very moving–emotionalism, not spiritualism perhaps…

  3. This is ACTUALLY why I wrote on those last 3 posts. I felt the need to throw in my 2 pennies on this specific topic. I AGREE with you 100%!!! First of all, your reasons are my reasons, minus the whole Afro-centrism (I believe the TRUTH will have all people making a contribution, perhaps not equally, but vitally.)

    Side note: Someone needs to conquer Africa, and at MOST divide it up into 5 territories. China had many dialects, many languages, many wars; until the Qin Dynasty (I believe.) Europe had their Alexander the Great. Africa needs an African conqueror to unite its people, and YES I’m one of the SLAVE DESCENDANTS!! So if that makes my stake in the well-being of Afrikans any less genuine, then that’s cool. Stay enriching countries like Belgium; whose people have a HIGH standard of living, but whose military gets NO respect, yet ALL of their wealth is from African diamonds!! Gotta be demoralizing when you’re getting screwed by even the smallest of European countries.

    Anyway, I must also commend you for your implication that the answer to the “God Question” isn’t a simple one, UNLESS YOU’RE SIMPLE-MINDED (yeah, that was an attack….I’m breaking the rules….so what!?!) If the question “is there a god” a simple “yes” or “no” for you, chances are, you are a sheep, and you haven’t put any serious thought into it. And now, I shall leave you all with the top 4 reasons why I would want to be a preacher.

    #4. I’d get all the women. They would be all too happy to suppress intelligent thought (which should be second nature by now) in exchange for my “Rod of Salvation!!”

    #3. I can add the title of “Dr.” to my name RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting 4 yrs and developing an erectile dysfunction-induced caffeine addiction going through medical school.

    #2. Tax free dollars

    #1. I can say cool things like, “…AND THE STREETS WILL RUN RED WITH THE BLOOD OF THE NON-BELIEVERS!!!” and NO ONE will question the goodness in my heart…they will dismiss it as passion. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Ignorance & Failure in the Body of Christ « Tell Me Why I’m Wrong

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