Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

My Problem With Church

An episode of “the shitty” — the drunk sleep that occurs when you go to bed while inebriated and, for whatever reason, wake up far earlier than you would under normal circumstances — last Saturday night woke me at 8:30am, an ungodly hour for an “I aint got shit to do all day” Sunday morning.

Unable to go back to sleep, I remembered that a group of 20 or so guys play pick-up basketball every Sunday morning at a nearby gym, so I got out of bed and decided to go play.

I made it there by 9:15 or so, played a few games, dunked in a game for the first time in maybe 10 months, slightly sprained my ankle while jumping around and screaming like a banshee after celebrating said dunk, and made it back home by 11.

After showering and glancing at the time after getting out of the shower, I thought a thought I hadn’t thought in (at least) a few months:

“Hmm. I think I should try to make it to church.”

I got dressed, ran out the door, and made it in time for the 11:45 service.

Now, my reasons for not attending church more often range from lazy (I just never get up early enough to go.) and logistical (I occasionally spend Sunday mornings working on various writing projects.) to practical (My favorite brunch spot stops serving food at 1:30. I usually don’t get out of church until 1:15.) and pragmatic, but the main thing limiting my appearances to one per every three months is the fact that I just don’t feel anything when I go.

I understand that everyone isn’t going to catch the Holy Ghost whenever they attend service, and I also get the fact that even in church, your personal relationship with God — not your connection to the parishioners — is what really matters.

But while I do always enjoy myself when I’m there, I never seem to actually be doing what I’m supposed to be doing. While we’re supposed to be praying, I’m thinking about how many calls and texts I’ve missed since I’ve been there. While we’re supposed to be paying attention to the word, I’m scanning the crowd to spot familiar faces (and thinking some, um “unChristian” things about some of them). While we’re supposed to be standing and singing, I’m wondering if the people behind me notice that it’s been a month since I took the suit I’m wearing to the cleaners.

This isn’t a new development, btw. Even as a child, I was never able to immerse myself into church the same way some of my classmates and family members seemed to. And yes, I realize that a good percentage of that was probably an act — many of the kids were likely just going through the motions to appease their parents and teachers — but I didn’t even care/feel enough to fake it.

Despite all of this, I’m not one of those faux intellectuals who think that they’re just too smart and too analytical to be swayed by God, church, and religion in the same way many others are. In fact, my belief in God — and yes, I do believe in God — is from an intellectual perspective.

Basically, I believe in God because the existence of Earth and the universe (and Stacey Dash) — the evidence of His existence — proves that He is real. I also understand and respect the purpose of religion and church. I’ve just never been able to cultivate the type of spiritual and emotional connection that seems to keep churchgoers “filled.”

I’m also not a church cynic. Both the church I attend when I do go to church and the pastor at that church are the embodiment of what’s good about Black churches. I give (most) churchgoers, even the more demonstrative ones, the benefit of the doubt, and I’m definitely not sitting there thinking “Look at these fake-ass motherf*ckers hooting and hollering.” Not only do I believe that they feel the way they act and say they feel, I’m envious of it.

I realize that my issues with church could just be a case of confirmation bias. I know how I’ve felt before while there, so perhaps every time I enter the building now I just assume that things are going to play out the exact same way, and I start to look for things and search for feelings to prove my point.

I discussed this issue with a friend yesterday afternoon, and she thought my inability to connect was a bit deeper than that.

“Your problem is that you expect your relationship with church and God to be easy. It’s not. You have to work at it and want it to be successful. It’s actually like any other relationship with friends or even a romantic partner. Things aren’t just going to magically work. You have to put in the work for it to work, and the basis of this effort is the love you have for your friend. You want things to work because you love them and you know your life is better with them in it. You’re not connecting with church and God the way you think you should be able to because you’re just not trying hard enough to keep a consistent dialogue. As close as I am to my best friend, if I went two years without calling her, we definitely wouldn’t be as close anymore.”

I think she’s right. Perhaps my problem with church is basically just my problem with me, and “going all in” with things. I guess it’s just up to me to decide how important it is to change that.

Anyway, people of VSB.com, can anyone relate to my struggles connecting with church and/or religion? For those who are able to make that connection, how were you able to do it?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

****ATTENTION WASHINGTON, DC: It’s that time again…THIS Saturday, Cinco De Mayo (May 5th), at Liv Nightclub (2001 11th Street NW) , it’s time for another edition of #REMINISCEDC. VSB x Shine On Me x Just Cause Productions are bringing you the hottest 90s party in the District!! It’s FREE BEFORE 11pm w/RSVP (Doors at 930pm, $10 after), OPEN BAR from 930-1030pm, and there’s NO DRESS CODE. So RSVP at reminiscedc.eventbrite.com to get in free and come party the night away at the dopest house party at the club!!! When they #reminisceDC over you…****

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    1) I predict a 1000 response thread

    2) I think the problem isn’t church – it’s church PEOPLE. It’s like that Gandhi quote “I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christians.” Church people can be so holier than thou, forgetting that – surprise! – they are no better, they aren’t God, and they don’t decide who goes to Heaven and who doesn’t

    • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

      1. Every time I’m almost first, I click “post comment” and there someone is. lol

      2. I totally agree with your number two. I think it holds a huge weight towards my feelings about church. It’s easy to tell me that I’m not going to church for them, but if these are the people I’m praying and worshiping with, then I need to know that they are genuine and honest in their praise and worship. I don’t want to deal with the pettiness and cattiness the tends to plague (most) Black churches. If I want a show, I can just watch Bobby Jones.

    • Latonya

      Most chuches are filled with wolfs that wear sheep clothing. Its hard for most people to really enjoy church when you met so many “church niggas” instead of christians. Its like how can you talk about the holy sprit and then talk about what I’m wearing to church?

      • http://adorassociety.com Myssdee

        How you talk about what I am wearing to church and I saw you at a place of ill-repute call the bar?

    • http://www.shardesaidwhat.blogspot.com ShardeMarie

      It is definitely the people

      • professor

        I think the point is being missed by simply putting a disconnect with church totally on the people. Champ’s friend is right, if you want a deeper connection with God, Christ or whatever, you’re focus should not be on the people it should be on God. By blaming others, we take the focus off of ourselves. And if there is a church where the people are phony, then its on us to find another church that is genuine if we truly want a deep connection with God, not just hang it up and say all churches are full of it.

        • CNotes

          BINGO!

        • Kesh

          I totally agree. People are so quick to blame it on the people, when it shuld be about your relationship with God. And the WHOLE church isn’t that way. If it is then move on to one that best suits you and your needs.

          • http://www.twitter.com/bmorebmw Tentpole

            If it is all your relationship with GOD, then you don’t need a church in the first place. GOD is everywhere RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

            • Joanna

              The Church isn’t just the service on Sunday. It houses the body of Christ, physically and Spiritually. A church provides a community. God loves the Church (see book of Acts) and He wants us to be able to fellowship with like-minded people since we are going to encounter many things, people and situation outside of the building that will try to chip at our faith.

              • larenee10

                Agreed.

        • peachi

          *cosign*

    • http://www.themoxiesophic.com Moxie

      Gandhi was a classist who supported the caste system in India that keeps many people socially disadvantaged…But I digress….

      The problem with the Christian church is the hypocrisy. There is nothing wrong with striving to be Christ-like. I encourage it. I think people should conduct themselves morally but I also believe in holding folks ACCOUNTABLE for their behavior as well. We don’t get to pick in choose either. Wrong is wrong is wrong. So don’t let the child molester get a pass because he makes good music but then condemn the homosexual or foam at the mouth because a woman had a child out of wedlock. I believe in compassion but also people need to be held accountable for their behavior. In that area the church is lost….

      • DQ

        The problem with any institution made up of human beings is inconsistency. What you are describing, is an example of it (you could find examples of it everywhere, in particular politics), and of human nature in general. We just are consistent, regardless of what we call ourselves, what faith we follow, what political affiliation we claim, etc.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          +1

        • Yoles

          + me

    • GypsyCurl

      This post will either go really well with alot of confessionals or really bad with lots of “I will pray for you” comments. But stating that you believe in God was a good start to the post going well cuz pandora’s box would have opened if you hadn’t.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        Word. I’m prepared for lots of the church wave. :)

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        LOL I think Pandora’s box was opened the moment the word “church” was read in the title. Whenever church/religion/God is mentioned in even the most obtuse circumstances, the convos can go WAY left and every which way. It never fails.

    • http://voodoochile88.tumblr.com/ Craig and Dem

      Church people make people who ain’t been to church in months or just missed one Sunday feel like they on trial. Don’t you just feel like screamin, “NINJA WHO ASKED YOU TO BE GOD ON THE REAL!?!”

      Let me tell it fa sho: Born and Raised in Church all my life. To add insult to injury, both my mom and steppop are pastors. So any time I screwed up, anytime I did wrong in the smallest shape or form, that ish ended up in the Sunday sermon. Bible lesson on why you don’t trust people too quickly becuz I got jacked for my bike. Lesson on why you don’t mess with or talk to the “church ho”. Lesson on my every f*$% up in life yo. Church folk I didn’t even know run up on me and tell me about things I thought was “Family business”. Low and behold my parents sold me out.

      Since college I have been in and out of church. Church folk ruin just enjoying church for me. I came here to get inspiration and a word. Didn’t nobody come here to hear y’all ninjas gossip and look at me like I’m about to kidnap yo “saint” of a daughter and turn her into Hell on Heels.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

        My best friend growing up was a Preachers Kid(PK). I used to LMAO feel bad for him when his dad, who was the assistant pastor who usually ends up preaching more often than the pastor, would get up in front of the congregation and tell all of his business. Like the time when they had to go up and pick him up from Safeway for stealing condoms, or when he got kicked out of Christian school for getting topped off in the boiler room at CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, or any other act of f*ckery that he was engaging in at the time. And then ask EVERYBODY to pray for him. It only sucked when I, being his best friend, was part of the collateral damage by being involved in said antics.

        • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

          My avi is dedicated to you and you only. I want my mansion in heaven to be next to yours!!!

        • http://voodoochile88.tumblr.com/ Craig and Dem

          @Jay

          Dude I can understand that he was yo best friend and you of all people your best friend and you can crack jokes on each other and what not. But there were times when my friends did that to me and I got into at least 4 fights that I can remember at church. So yeah that saying about it’s a time and place for everything. Yeah that.

        • MJoy

          @Jay and Craig… and Dem,

          This is horrible for you (and your friend) hilarious for me!

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        You and me are
        >>>>>>>right here<<<<<<<<<<

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      “2) I think the problem isn’t church – it’s church PEOPLE. It’s like that Gandhi quote “I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christians.” Church people can be so holier than thou, forgetting that – surprise! – they are no better, they aren’t God, and they don’t decide who goes to Heaven and who doesn’t”

      Basically, everything I wanted to say about church has already been said right here.

    • Rich Law

      There is no church without church people.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “2) I think the problem isn’t church – it’s church PEOPLE.”

      that might be your problem, but it’s not mine. i dont expect church people to be any different than any other people, so I don’t hold them to some unrealistically high standard

      • LoveChasher

        **does the Holy Ghost dance to this comment **

      • southernsweetness

        i almost ‘caught the spirit’ reading your post Champ. your honesty and your admission of your own church-ly distractions is a true indication of YOUR spiritual journey.
        while my personal relationship with Jesus Christ is extremely important to me, it is a constant struggle to remember everybody’s journey is different. we are not all the same in any aspects of our lives… emotionally, financially, mentally, or SPIRITUALLY. it is my goal to become the type of Christian in which God is well-pleased. and people? well they can judge or not judge, whatever. . . I’ll just love them any ole way.

        • MJoy

          haven’t finished reading yet but I’m awarding you comment of the day anyway! hurrah!

          • southernsweetness

            Thank you!!!!! Yippeeeee!!!!

      • Justmetheguy

        ” that might be your problem, but it’s not mine. i dont expect church people to be any different than any other people, so I don’t hold them to some unrealistically high standard”

        Now THAT I agree with 100%! We’re all flawed individuals. I still have a low tolerance for people being defensive first and reasonable/rational afterwards. That’s my biggest issue with most people on most issues, not just religious folk

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        THIS +1000

        • Kesh

          Yes yes yes!!!!

      • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

        “i dont expect church people to be any different than any other people, so I don’t hold them to some unrealistically high standard.”

        That’s excellent.

      • nillalatte

        “i dont expect church people to be any different than any other people, so I don’t hold them to some unrealistically high standard”

        @ Champ. In my experience, my expectation is NOT the issue. It is theirs. In my experience, ‘good Christians’ tend to be hypocrites. Not all, but I’ve encountered a lot. They lay unrealistic high expectations on others as if they are God’s chosen one, as if they are going to be calling the shots on your judgment day totaling forgetting the phrase, “judge not lest ye be judged.”

        Being raised in the Bible belt my parents motto is, “If you meet someone and they tell you right off the bat ”I’m a good Christian’, don’t ever trust them as far as you can see them.” And, I have to admit, I am leery when someone makes this proclamation. To me, it means extremist and I have major issues with extremists in all religions.

        As Aliyah and I discussed before, those that are most pious do not advertise their belief or their relationship with their creator.

        • nillalatte

          *Asiyah*

          • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

            Yes, I remember that :)

            My best friend is shia, and we both love Imam Hussayn. Mourn his death during Muharram, but we don’t sensationalize it. We don’t turn it into a show or commotion. We don’t cut ourselves. We don’t self-harm. Why? Because religion is not a spectacle or show. The pious, the believers, they do not pray or mourn so they can be seen by others. That is how I obtained my parents’ respect.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bmorebmw Tentpole

      I couldn’t have said it any better.

  • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

    I believe I can relate. I know my relationship with God is very strong and very real. I just don’t get the “go to church to be at church” thing that many have. I understand the whole “gather together in my name” thing, but where does it say that this has to be done every Sunday at 11, Tuesday at 6, and Thursday at 7?

    • Latonya

      Yeah, I think that people think by going to church you are automatic are going to heaven.

    • 90sgagirl

      Hallelujah…..went to church Sunday morning left Wednesday night!
      growing up I went to nondenominational churches, that had all races, but were mostly black…..I didn”t grow up in Baptist/AME/CME etc. singing hymns etc. Some people like the traditional aspect, but I like the relationship with Christ I have that isn’t some check list to make an appearance etc..anywhoo It’s hard to find a church bc you may like the atmosphere/praise and worship but not get spiritually fed or vice versa

      • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

        What? You actually made it home by Wednesday!!!! Wow. I thing we were there Sunday to Friday. Saturday was spent in preparation for Sunday. lol

        As a kid, I liked church a lot more because of my involvement. I sang in the youth choir. I sang in a gospel group. I was a junior usher. I was a junior secretary. I was part of the cheer squad in our church basketball league. I liked church not because of the learning, but because of the fun. I can say that I DID learn things that were/are beneficial to me growing up, but again, my focus wasn’t completely on “the message.”

        It’s like, as a kid you’re told what to believe and to question it was pretty much blasphemy. Now that I’m older and know how to seek God for myself, I feel I’ve done a pretty good job.

        • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

          thing = think

          • annette_b

            “Now that I’m older and know how to seek God for myself”..
            This is everything.
            One of the most gratifying developments in my relationship with God is being comfortable with questioning Him or expressing my frustration, disappointment, discouragement, or whatever, and being confident that nothing will ever separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus; that when I seek Him, I can always find Him. And to find Him in church, among like-minded worshippers, is a pleasure and a delight. ” I was glad when they said unto me…..”

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      “I understand the whole “gather together in my name” thing, but where does it say that this has to be done every Sunday at 11, Tuesday at 6, and Thursday at 7?”

      As a Catholic, I cannot answer this question for you. You may need someone more qualified to give this a response- like a Baptist…

      • Meisarebel

        +10

  • JK

    I don’t like church. I grew up, went back after my daughter was born, and send her with my godparents every once in a while (yes, on Easter). Someone once told me I didn’t like church because I’ve never been through a tragic situation. I’m not going. I love God, but I don’t like church because I don’t, same way I don’t like Tyrese, but Sweet Lady still bangs on my iPod. Too many folks want to question your spirituality based on where you spend Sunday morning even though they’d be ashamed to admit where they spent Saturday night.

    • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

      [quote]Too many folks want to question your spirituality based on where you spend Sunday morning even though they’d be ashamed to admit where they spent Saturday night.[/quote]

      This is something I run into often. I’ve learned to avoid the so-call “traps” and just wish them a blessed day.

    • naturalista88

      ” Someone once told me I didn’t like church because I’ve never been through a tragic situation.”

      Uh, I’ve gone through several personal tragedies (maternal grandma, then mother, then father passed) and I still didn’t feel the need to be in church, mainly because I was going to get the same song and dance: “Oh, everything’s gonna be alright,” “Things happen for a reason,” “Don’t question why it happened, just know that He has a plan for you,” blah blah blah. W/the age and mindset I was in at the time and more recently w/my father’s passing, I felt angry and kind of insulted that I was told that I couldn’t question why they were taken away when I was going through such a vulnerable stage of my life (teenage years). All of that to say, you don’t and shouldn’t need something tragic to happen to make you “like” church; if it’s something you want to do, you’ll do it.

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      “Too many folks want to question your spirituality based on where you spend Sunday morning even though they’d be ashamed to admit where they spent Saturday night.”

      Oh, we all know where they were- and it sure as sh*t wasn’t Bible Study, LMAO!!!

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        I have never gotten that Sunday morning/Saturday night dichotomy thing. It simply does not follow. What makes going to a bar a sin? Having drinks? Dancing? That’s not even in the Bible. You went to the club and show up on Sunday. And…..???

        It’s a dumb statement and people should stop saying it. Pastors included.

        • Eps

          It becomes an issue when you are sinning. Like I go to the bar every weekend. The bar and drinking is not a sin. However, some other activities that happen are sinful; i.e. giving a dude head on the dance floor or some other ratchet business.

        • JK

          It’s not a dumb statement to me. To spend every Saturday booed up with your married boyfriend then look down your nose at people who don’t hoot and holler at church Sunday morning is dumb. Spirituality and church attendance SHOULD be about becoming a better person than you were the day before, not same sin, same repent, condemn, repeat EVERY FRIGGIN WEEK!! Sounds like the very definition of insanity to me.

        • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

          To the pastors (and other church folk), they feel that drinking and partying are sinful acts. Don’t shoot the messenger- it’s their words, not mine. They think you are unfit to worship if you have been out clubbing the previous night. I tried getting a straight answer about the reason they feel this way, but it’s like pulling teeth. The most they will say is “God doesn’t approve of it”.

          • Kema

            “The most they will say is “God doesn’t approve of it”.”

            What they mean => I dont approve of it

        • MJoy

          @Wild Cougar…

          Thank You! My pastor always jokes about coming into church with the club stamp still on your hand. I don’t really see a problem with it. I know he’s just alluding to the fact that if you went to the club you were prob dancing for the devil and Tyrone… then went home and had sex with one of the two. But hey man, sometimes you just gotta dance like that lady who screams out “We wanna dance!” in the beginning of Selena!

    • Eps

      “”Too many folks want to question your spirituality based on where you spend Sunday morning even though they’d be ashamed to admit where they spent Saturday night.” – The realest shit ever.

  • demondog06

    well…i’m an atheist so….there’s that

    • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

      Would I be out of line to ask why? I don’t want to be offensive. I would just love to know why you chose your path.

      • demondog06

        *Rant alert!*
        don’t get me wrong. at one point in my life i was a die hard christian. but over the years it really was me just trying to convince myself, of just really wanting this to be real. i started thinking for my self. most of what we believe is passed down to us culturally. we are indoctrinated from birth. the more you go into and understand how our current religons have evolved and continue to change with ages the more you just “get it”.

        we are all going to die…..religion is but a tool that humans came up with to reconcile this. now do you strive to be a good person to get the reward of eternal life? or is it out of fear of eternal death and suffering? either is selfish. i simply follow one rule…treat others like i want to be treated. i’m not rude or condescending to my waiter because i remeber how it feels to get treated like shit by patrons. i will run into a burning building to help a stranger, because i hope the same would be done for me. i learned as a child not to take something that ain’t mine..i don’t need white jesus to tell me not to smang another man’s wife!

        religious belief is also a tool that can make docile the conquered masses and empower the foolish. i had an argument with a dude at the job who refused to be involved local or national elections or anything involving the social or political because he’s convinced that we are in the last days so we need not even try. their are more people alive today than there have been in the entire ( known ) history of man. it’s also the most peaceful believe it or not.

        everything that plagues mankind today is within our power to fix. war, poverty, disease, discovery of new worlds and resources…..but all is out of reach because of religious beliefs. every race believes that they are gods chosen people thus we have endless wars and atrocities because “god” justifies them. people won’t take responsibilty and charge of their own lives because they are waiting for some invisible nigga in the sky to bring someone or some meaning into our lives.
        so we sit……
        and wait…….
        and wait, for answers that that never come, never realizing that we never even knew the questions

        man is so arrogant! our existence represents but a teaspoon of all that was, is and is yet to be.
        we treat ourselves as tho we are the pinnacle of creation. a spider deserves to die for what?….being a spider!? does it not serve a purpose in the universe? is it’s life and life of it’s offspring not precious in it’s eyes?

        i can go on all night but i’m tired and i’m sure the jesus freaks will come to chastise me and’ll give me plenty to rant about at work so i’ll talk to ya’ll then.

        demondog baby………

        • MizToy

          I actually agree with some of the things you’ve said. I am not an Atheist but I don’t consider myself religious either. I believe there is a higher power that has created all things. IMO religion is used to control the masses. It is a way to keep people in line. If you look back through history plenty of wars were fought over religion (still happening now). Your view is very interesting. Never really listened to this POV.

        • BlkFreethinker

          Comment of the year.

        • MJoy

          JESUS FREAK HERE! AND I GOTTA SAY….

          I love this post :)

          But you lost me when you said “white Jesus” (too many people use this as an excuse to reject Him)

          But then you got me back when you said “some invisible nigga in the sky”. That was a hilarious good time.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          **Standing Slow Clap Ovation**
          I was originally turned off by your first rant last night but… You just summed up my view of people, religion, and history. I agree with everything you said.

        • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

          Thank you for answering. I feel as though we may have gotten off on the wrong foot last night. Allow me to properly introduce myself. Hi, I’m Nei Jae.

          *extends hand and olive branch*

        • socialchronic

          OMG THIS!

        • JW

          Bruh, you broke it down. As I am a theist, and do believe in a Creator, but we have a lot of the same ideals. And what you said is some stuff of greatness my friend. And I’m sure you’ll have a lot of people reconsidering after they read this. People think non-religious people are evil, when in reality, people like you, and myself are living examples who walk the true walk of life, which is do on to others, as you would want to be treated. Religion for too long has enslaved the mind, especially to black America. How about thinking like this: have our lives been better since the adoption of Christianity? Let me say first that I’m a proud American, and what my forefathers had to go through for me to be here, and live the life I live, is something I recognize and we should all be thankful. But, since we’ve adopted Christianity, black people are the world have been persecuted. From us, being brought here from our African homelands where there was no Christianity, to being enslaved and persecuted and discriminated, where you have strong reminiscence of it today. Even in Africa, a continent is still going through their woes since European influence. We tend to forgot that our ancestral roots are not of Christianity, a European religion that was forced upon us to make us more fit for being enslaved. One last point. Would a just God create someone in a remote jungle, who have no contact with the outside world and believe what they are told by their tribe, send that person to hell, because that person is not saved? Anyways, don’t want to write a thesis, because you broke down perfect. Really some of best stuff I’ve ever read. For people who want to know what theism is , click the link:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theism

    • demondog06

      c’mon folks! do you really need some book ( which by the way is re interpreted and revised every few years) or some dude dressed like a pimp to tell you how to live?

      do you really need some religious dogma or doctrine to teach you not to do foul shit to other people?

      whatever religion you follow is just as made up as harry potter. sorry to bust your bubble.

      i don’t know the ultimate truth…..but neither does anyone else…all you have is your faith, which is just that….YOUR FAITH!
      every spiritual belief has it’s faithful, who are just as convinced as christians and muslims…

      oh imagine the potential mankind could achieve if we weren’t crippled by our various religions.

      • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

        Perhaps there was a slight misunderstanding here. I didn’t ask your opinion on why you think we’re idiots (for lack of a better term) for choosing to be religious. I asked why YOU chose YOUR path. However, since I see the mindset you have and the possible direction of your answer, I will retract my question and leave you be as I have no desire to indulge in foolishness on this fine evening. Good day.

        • AfroPetite

          *dies*

          You know, as many “holier than thou” religious fanatics as there are, there seem to be just as many “your entire religious logic is flawed and irrelevant to my genius” fanatics trolling about as well.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

            Bless you Sister AfroPetite! Let the Lord USE ya!

            And that’s another reason I don’t fux with atheists. At least you can get a militant Christian to show up at a soup kitchen or educate a kid or do something generically positive. These militant atheists want to just sit in a corner and hate on people.

            Then again, I had an amicable divorce with faith. I didn’t leave it hating church as much as I realized it wasn’t for me.

            • demondog06

              and jus’ like that i’m a troll and a militant atheist who’s never done lifted a finger to help my fellow man…….
              i bet jesus fuq’d with atheist….jus sayin…

              • Justmetheguy

                Jesus was against MOST of the things the society of his time stood for, including the church. He was a free thinker, who developed his own interpretations of what God was. I highly doubt he would label himself a Christian if he were alive today

                • Carter

                  Please say that again!

                • Joanna

                  As Christian means to live according to Jesus’ teachings, I doubt he’d call Himself a Christian either. Seeing how He’s Christ and all. And, I disagree with Him not approving of Church. Granted, He wasn’t about the whole pharrisee lifestyle, but He did advocate for a body of believers to pray and fellowship with each other, which is what is supposed to happen during a Church service.

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

              “These militant atheists want to just sit in a corner and hate on people.”

              i wouldn’t say that. yes, they can be very, for lack of a better phrase, holier than thou about their atheism, but i do know quite a few community minded atheists

              • Justmetheguy

                ^ exactly. Thanks Champ, because I hate when ppl try to veer off subject instead of progressing the conversation. I think we know why ppl typically do that though…

                • MJoy

                  I don’t mean to veer off topic but I just wanted to say that if you don’t want to get married in the church… I’m okay with that ;) A beach or bungee jumping ceremony will be just fine.

                  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

                    oh miiiii gosh!!! how cute are you?! Yessss I LOVE the bungee jumping idea!!! :)

                    • MJoy

                      How cute am I? How cute are YOU? I smile every time I see “Oh mi gosh”!!!

              • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

                I agree on the community minded and the holier than thou atheists. Community minded I can rock with. Holier than thou? Not so much.

            • Nina

              Many many people are atheists and no one knows, they arent sitting around mean mugging hating on believers. And there are many humanists who are dedicated to the uplifting and care of humans and all earthly beings.Just like some people hate the sin and love the sinner some people dont respect the belief but respect the believers.
              Everyone but pantheist are atheists, think of all the religions and gods you don’t believe in. You aren’t hating on Zeus and Kali, you’re probably indifferent. Same thing for most atheists, they feel about your religion like you do about Hercules and Juno and them.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            “You know, as many “holier than thou” religious fanatics as there are, there seem to be just as many “your entire religious logic is flawed and irrelevant to my genius” fanatics trolling about as well.”

            ***nodding head***

            • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

              ““You know, as many “holier than thou” religious fanatics as there are, there seem to be just as many “your entire religious logic is flawed and irrelevant to my genius” fanatics trolling about as well.””

              Exactly. This is my main beef. I have absolutely no problem with anyone believing anything different from me. But it’s when that belief is rooted solely in chastizing and insulting others for their beliefs when I have a problem. And that’s on both sides.

              • larenee10

                Right. I mean, don’t get snippy or assume that I’m ignorant because of my beliefs. I don’t ask you questions or look down my nose AT YOU because of what you believe (or not). It seems that the further I go in graduate school, the more I encounter this judgmental attitude. As if I cannot possibly be highly intelligent and really love God. Okay, then.

          • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

            “You know, as many “holier than thou” religious fanatics as there are, there seem to be just as many “your entire religious logic is flawed and irrelevant to my genius” fanatics trolling about as well.”

            Yes!

        • demondog06

          that wasn’t a response to your question. i was typing this at the same time you asked your question. but i did type a much longer response directly addressing your ? as to why i chose my path,
          but i can already see folks are about to be offended. which is why i hate discussing religion, politics and go bots vs transformers…. this is just how i feel.

          • http://invisiblemannakedcity.wordpress.com InvisibleManNakedCity

            F transformers, me and two Go-bots could take down all of Cybertron.

            • demondog06

              “F transformers, me and two Go-bots could take down all of Cybertron”

              f’real my dude…you playin. i know you are. i don’t play games with my transformers….show some respect.

          • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

            I don’t find offense in religious discussions as I truly feel that people are entitled to their own beliefs or lack thereof. I do, however, take offense when that discussion turns in to an attack. I respect your decision to live your life as an atheist and would never question or down your reasons for doing so. To each his or her own. I was genuinely interested in what you may have said until you came back with the “rant.”

            • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

              “I don’t find offense in religious discussions as I truly feel that people are entitled to their own beliefs or lack thereof. I do, however, take offense when that discussion turns in to an attack. I respect your decision to live your life as an atheist and would never question or down your reasons for doing so. To each his or her own. I was genuinely interested in what you may have said until you came back with the “rant.””

              Nei Jae and I are of the same cloth, for I also feel this way. “Unto you your religion, unto me mine.” [Al Qur’an Al Kareem]

              • MJoy

                I don’t think he was attacking, just stating his opinion… passionately. Like when Mormon’s tell me their beliefs I think, “seriously? Like, for real?”

                Although, I would never say it to their face.

          • streetzpoet

            Seriously?! Go

          • streetzpoet

            Seriously?! Go bots sucked….they were like off brand transformers…lol….

      • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

        I read your entire post in George Carlin’s voice…which reminds me…

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

        • Justmetheguy

          @ PA- I was about to post a George Carlin link. lol

          Sums up my feelings about the Santa Clause perception of God lol

          • MJoy

            But God actually DOES bring presents… just look at you!

      • MizToy

        I wonder if anybody knows who King James is & what the bible was like before his version??

        • Joanna

          King James was an English and Scottish king and before his version of the Bible, the Bible was literally translated instead of according to measurements of the time…I think.

          If that was a rhetorical question, you can totally ignore this response, though.

    • SANTA MONICA

      Or… a lack of that. lol, I’ve got nothing further to contribute.

    • http://invisiblemannakedcity.wordpress.com InvisibleManNakedCity

      I was wondering when VSB would do the religion topic since its hard to separate black folks and Jesus. I’m an atheist, though I was raised Methodist (and I wasn’t scared away, I loved the church I grew up going to, even after my ‘deconversion’ I went a few times).

      Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get into a fight on WHY being an atheist is the way to go (it is though) but I can say that being black and an atheist is not the quickest way to make friends with the other people of color at any point in my life. I think every black woman I’ve dated (including at the moment), has treated me being an atheist as a liability.

      So I’m kind of curious, assuming an ideal guy who is definitely not me (good job, good looking, does community service etc.): is he really less dateable because he doesn’t believe in god? If so, would it be the same if he was another religion (Muslim, Buddhist, etc.)?

      • GypsyCurl

        Your here to start something huh? Arent you? Black folks cant have a discussion about atheism. Some conversations never go well.

        But to answer your question about dating: IMO, for a black woman dating priorities, #1 is Christian on Christian, #2 is Christian on Muslim/Hindu/etc, and #3 is dating an atheist which is most likely a no go even if he is an IBM.

        But hey, Im dating an atheist now.

        • BlkFreethinker

          Congrats! My wife is married to one. :)

          Her parents were none too happy when they first found out about my atheism. Her dad is an aspiring pastor and as such, was much more vocal about his disapproval of our relationship. And when we got married, he also didn’t approve – choosing to not attend, although her mother and other family members did. the day after the wedding he did call her, but he never congratulated her. He told her that according to the bible, he was no longer her father and that I now was. O_o. Something which I found odd because I was looking for a life partner, not a grown daughter. Anyway, things are much better and me and the in-laws are at least cordial with one another.

          • Justmetheguy

            ” He told her that according to the bible, he was no longer her father and that I now was. O_o. Something which I found odd because I was looking for a life partner, not a grown daughter. ”

            wow…just…wow lmao!

      • That Ugly Kid

        Then maybe it’s a Chicago thing. Because every female I’ve hung out with, dated or otherwise have absolutely no problem with me being an atheist. They understand that a religion or lack thereof, is not indicative of your moral compass.

        • http://invisiblemannakedcity.wordpress.com InvisibleManNakedCity

          I live in New York, and grew up in NJ and I can tell you it’s like a constant recurring issue. You know an argument is going to end badly when she tells you “I’m just concerned that we won’t be in heaven together.”

          • Justmetheguy

            “I’m just concerned that we won’t be in heaven together.”

            Lmao! That cracked me up for some reason. I still forget that there are many adults that still believe in heaven and hell.

          • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

            “I’m just concerned that we won’t be in heaven together.”

            This quote deserves an entire “Lolwut?!”

      • Cis4cookie

        As a Black woman atheist, I find dating somewhat challenging at times. It’s funny that there are a lot of Black men who don’t go to church, have no desire to go to church, don’t know the bible and have no clear relationship with God or religion will not date a woman who is an atheist…like somehow, my lack of faith is going to corrupt their unborn children, you know because they themselves are soooo religious.

        • BlkFreethinker

          I’m always pleased to meet a fellow unbeliever… but ESPECIALLY when it’s a sista. Sistas have been trained for too long to sit meek and humbly in church; hanging on pastor’s every word while waiting on the Lawd to send her a man. Oh yeah, while paying their fees… oops, I mean tithes and offerings.

          As someone mentioned above, religion is useful for many. I think a lot of men wouldn’t want a freethinking sista because they can’t use their good old religious trump card on them – “The bible says a woman should be submissive.” Particularly in the Black community where our men seem to have a problem with “strong, uppity women”. It’s much easier to keep them in their place when you can tell them God wants it that way.

          My BIL does the same thing. That man probably couldn’t name 5 books in the bible, yet he had the nerve to tell me that my sister should be submissive to him because God’s word says so. Forget all his poor decision-making in the past. Forget that he never goes to church or expresses any type of spiritualism. My sister should be a good and submissive wife and shut up and never question him. #FOH

          And for the record, I’m a former churchboy who read the WHOLE bible and it lead to my eventual unbelief. It’s actually quite annoying when people want to question why you don’t believe and yet they really have no idea what or why they do believe.

          • Justmetheguy

            @ BlkFreethinker- Welcome my brotha. You should comment a LOT more often. I’m right there with you

        • Justmetheguy

          I’d date a black woman atheist with the QUICKNESS (if I was expecting sh*t to get more serious especially) but I realize a lot of brothers probably wouldn’t, unfortunately (for them and said BW atheists). Someone constantly challenging your beliefs keeps you on point and can even reinforce those beliefs. Either way it should be encouraged. I encourage people to challenge my belief in God on the regular, because I want to learn how to explain it better and because I enjoy forcing myself to think about it more critically and understand for myself what I TRULY believe (not just how to word a vague and undeveloped concept that comforts me). I mostly stick to topics that I can know, but I dabble in the whole “belief” sector as well. This is clearly the most interesting and intriguing topic among the “beliefs” sector. If actually falls in line with my “best practices” category as well. Church definitely doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. It’s most certainly beneficial for some. The same argument can be made for prison strangely enough. BOTH need drastic reform.

          • MJoy

            And this is why I love him folks.

      • annette_b

        “is he really less dateable because he doesn’t believe in god? If so, would it be the same if he was another religion (Muslim, Buddhist, etc.)?”…

        For me, yes, he would be less datable, and yes, it would be the same if he were another religion. There is a passage in the Bible that asks how can two walk together, except they agree? It has everything to do with having things in common. While there could be other things in common, they would not be enough to sustain anything long term, knowing that we do not share this one thing that is so important, so central in life. Icing without cake. A win with no touchdowns. Maybe more than just style, but still not enough substance.

        • annette_b

          *previous comment was for InvisibleManNakedCity

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        “is he really less dateable because he doesn’t believe in god?”

        I think if one practices his/her faith regularly, it would be hard to love someone who says that faith is trash. Additionally, it would be hard for a person who loves you to keep from trying to convince to get on a path to salvation- if such person truly believed you would be punished for being an atheist. It just seems like an odd set up.

        • Kema

          “Additionally, it would be hard for a person who loves you to keep from trying to convince to get on a path to salvation-”

          Reminds me of having a conversation with my mother on a Monday.

      • Nina

        Men can get away with it. Women are doomed.Satanists.

      • Namia

        Less date’able for sure…

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      Also an atheist. I’m one of the atheists that know the Bible front and back. Better than most uber religious folk. I was the Lebron James of bible quiz competition in high school. First year phenom lol. Went to a Pentecostal church where if you weren’t “on fire” for The Lord then you weren’t saved. I started out as a closet atheist. I tried for as long and as hard as I could to pretend like I still believed, hoping that the doubt would go away. I pretended for so long and fought it for what seemed like forever. It all changed for me when I realized that the fighting was just me lying to myself on a minute to minute basis and that I HAD to be true to myself.

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

        kinda disappointed,because then this means according to my religious beliefs you are going straight to the pits of hell, and here I was thinking that my mansion in heaven would be next to yours. I’ll throw you some water….when you down there.

        Oh you are so yummylicious, I might have to join you in hell after reading the erotica you wrote for us yesterday!!!*fans sef, faints @ the prospect of….*

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          Atheism for me came in stages. First I was that angry atheist that could only mock Christians in my head. Second, I started to think that maybe I wasn’t so sure about atheism, started saying that I was “agnostic”, which made me study, and explore my beliefs even more. Then I got to the point that I was comfortable in my beliefs and realized that I believed that it was all a delusion and I didn’t want to be deluded. At this point I started to feel bad for Christians, like honestly felt bad for them and coming from here, I couldn’t mock, I would never argue, or try to disprove God or Christian beliefs unless my opinion was asked for. It took me a while but I have achieved an equilibrium with my belief(or lack thereof) and the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of people on earth, especially in America, ESPECIALLY in the black community.

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

            So what do atheists believe in rocks, snakes, air, life, humanity, Socrates?

            • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

              Reality.

              • Meisarebel

                Now that’s a wholeoother subject there. Reality isn’t something defined or concrete. It’s open to many interpretations, beliefs, states of consciousness,etc.

                Anyway… I see what you mean, but what’s real for an atheist, may not necessarily be real for a Muslim, nor a Christian. Yet all three do experience a very valid and “real” reality.

              • demondog06

                indeed…..
                i usually don’t comment on religious subjects, but i was curious to see what kind of response i could provoke. some folks did not disappoint. some of the most “spiritual” people are usually the most judgmental and chastising. black americans are the most religious folks in the world it would seem and yet we give each other the most hell. in detroit no matter how tore down the neighborhood the two things that there are no shortage of is churches and liquior stores.

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

                @ Jay,

                I really was trying to hold down a conversation with you that did not involve me fawning over you. So, if you do not mind, could you please expound on what you mean by reality. Because, my reality could be so far from yours……thanks!

                • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

                  Sorry for the one word answer. When I said reality I was half joking. I understand that reality is subjective and NONE of us know the true nature of reality. Hope I’m not getting too deep.

              • Justmetheguy

                ^ Bazinga! (Sheldon Cooper voice) lol

                • Justmetheguy

                  The Bazinga was directed at Jay’s one-liner (reality)

        • Justmetheguy

          ” Oh you are so yummylicious, I might have to join you in hell after reading the erotica you wrote for us yesterday!!!*fans sef, faints @ the prospect of….*”

          LMAO! Now that’s love! Even if it is another black man corrupting a black woman smh lol

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

            @ jmtg,

            I truly heart this boi……if only he understood the depths of my despair for not getting not even half of his love attention!

            • MJoy

              what does your avi hat say?

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

                it says I love dreadlocks….yo! I just spotted another dread locked dude! He is a pastor doe!—–>I don’t think he can handle my foolishness.

                • Kema

                  *Shakes locks*

                  I was wondering what it says.

                  • MJoy

                    Kema got locks! heeeeeeey!

      • That Ugly Kid

        “I’m one of the atheists that know the Bible front and back.”

        This is actually pretty common. Of the three groups (Atheists, Agnostics, and Christians) it was discovered that Atheists know the most about the bible, while Christians know the least. This is probably why a lot of atheists, are atheists. Because they’ve actually READ the bible, and seen all the improbabilities of it (Noah’s Ark for example), as well as the straight up historical inaccuracies. Unfortunately, most Christians don’t actually read the bible front to back. They just read their favorite parts, or whatever parts the pastor tells them to.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

          I have heard this and it has been proven, in my experience, to be true time and time again.

          • demondog06

            and pick and choose parts that they feel comfortable with…even though the bible is a book of absolutes. i not one to shit on peoples beliefs but yeah…i guess i am…

            • Meisarebel

              Book of absolutes? No it isn’t…

              By the way, I’m catholic AND I don’t read the bible. But what I do know is that the book is not meant to be taken as a book of absolutes. I don’t know what other Christian denominations teach, but I was raised with the understanding that most of the book was to be seen as an allegory.

              Shrug.

              • Justmetheguy

                @ Meisarebel- You may know that, but trust and believe MANY Christians do not know how and when to tell the difference. It leaves a lot of room for (ridiculous) interpretation

        • Justmetheguy

          ” Atheists know the most about the bible, while Christians know the least. This is probably why a lot of atheists, are atheists. Because they’ve actually READ the bible, and seen all the improbabilities of it (Noah’s Ark for example), as well as the straight up historical inaccuracies.”

          Yeah, I’ve noticed this too. I remember when I first read about all the people “God” ordered “his people” to slaughter and I was like “Wait! WTF!”

          And for the life of me, how the h*ll is it the biggest crime in the world for a grown man to be jealous, but you tell me that the most supreme being that’s responsible for all life and the entire universe be JEALOUS?! Are you kidding me?! No way God’s that lame and emotional lol

          • Breezy

            @JMTG (I don’t know if this helps but it’s what I believe)

            Please understand the wrath of God was experienced by the people in the OLD TESTAMENT because they were not under the NEW COVENANT we presently have in the NEW TESTAMENT….which is the never-ending grace and mercies of God because of Jesus’s atonement on the cross for our sins. In the Old Testament they were always sacrificing lambs and the priest where always petitioning God on behalf the people for their sins BUT when Jesus laid down his life for us in the New Testament, there is no longer a need for us to sacrifice lambs and bulls because the perfect lamb, JESUS CHRIST was slain for us. So when he said on the cross “it is finished”, He meant he had done it all for us, now we don’t need a priest or pastor to pray for us, we can go to God on our own because Jesus reconciled our relationship with Him.

            God is not angry at us, He loves us and desires all good things for us but we live in a world filled with evil….

            • That Ugly Kid

              “God is not angry at us, He loves us”

              Unless you’re gay, right? Because that’s a one way ticket to spending all eternity in a fiery dimension where your soul is tortured for all eternity. But….he loves us. Right?

              • Breezy

                @TUK… For God so loved the WORLD…He loves us all. We all have a choice in how we choose to live our lives that has nothing to do with His love for you.

              • annette_b

                He loves you, yes. Human beings are the ones that put various sins and transgressions into categories that vary in degree but to God, all sin is just sin. So being gay does not condemn anyone to a harsher level of damnation than any other sin. I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s appropriate; God hates the sin, but he still loves the sinner. If we in our humanity can accept others in spite of (what we may perceive as) their faults, why is it so hard to see that God can (and does)?

              • http://twitter.com/kjnetic King Jordan

                Figures this would come up.
                *the following are my thoughts, and not the thoughts of any Chrsitians you know/ don’t know/ blocked on twitter*

                I don’t think its anyone’s call about who gets into Heaven, or Hell. IMO, if you follow the 2 great commandments, you got a good shot. That being said, do I think gay is a sin? I dunno, but I believe thatman is made for woman, and woman for man. That being said, if I get to heaven, I might be chillin with of gay folk, nuff respect.

                I understand christianity has been used in not so good ways, slavery and homosexuality. But I have faith, that the majority of Christians try to live their life due to that utmost principle, love.

                If you feel I’m wrong, then it is what it is.

              • MJoy

                @TUK

                If a person tells you gay people are going to hell for being gay then they are not Christians. Don’t confuse haters with believers who actually seek to be Christ-like. There is a huge difference between the two.

              • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

                Oh and unless you blaspheme against the holy spirit. Most Christians don’t know but that is THE ONE unforgivable sin. Mark 3:29.

                Its funny that one of the evangelical Christians main selling points is “Come to Jesus. He forgives ALL sin.” Yeah. Turns out that he doesn’t.

                • Breezy

                  @Jay…Jesus proclaimed that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was the one unpardonable sin (Matt 12:31-32). Yet Paul said he obtained mercy because he “DID IT IGNORANTLY IN UNBELIEF” (1 Timothy 1:13). This shows the even the unpardonable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit depends upon whether or not you did it knowingly.

            • Justmetheguy

              @ Breezy- Do you know how many different stories of a sinless savior born from a virgin there were BEFORE Jesus was born? (Horus, Krishna etc;)

              • Breezy

                @JMTG..Yes I have heard it all before. The bottom line is I choose to believe in JESUS CHRIST. I choose to believe he died for me (us), I choose to believe every word in the bible (regardless of all the who was King James comments), its may choice not to believe what was done before or after Jesus Christ. That’s all I have to say about that, I am not here to debate anyone or argue for God, the evidence of my (our) savior is all around us. Either you believe in Him or you don’t. I can’t judge anyone and I am not here to stomp all over other people’s beliefs…I am just stating mine and carrying on.

                • Justmetheguy

                  @ Breezy- Very well then carry on. Gotta do whatever works for you at the end of the day. I’m glad those beliefs bring you joy

                • MJoy

                  @Breezy…

                  You go girl!

                  • Justmetheguy

                    ^ Speaking of Joy :)

                    • MJoy

                      :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

          • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

            I would like to know why it is that atheists can’t seem to express their beliefs with out some dig at Christians. Or religious people. Are your beliefs rooted in hurt feelings, rejection, disdain, disappointment? Cause it really sounds like it.

            An aside. Wild Cougar sex: you can’t make a bed properly while still in it. You can’t understand the human mind fully while still in it. What makes you think you can understand the universe well enough to know there is no power outside your realm of perception?

            • Justmetheguy

              Very well said WC. We are crippled by our senses. I am intrigued and humbled by the universe. No way I can understand it, but I can learn more and more about it everyday, and I LOVE doing that. I don’t limit the possibilities of this awesome universe, and I feel sorry for anyone who does (whether they are religious or not).

              • MJoy

                +1

            • That Ugly Kid

              “What makes you think you can understand the universe well enough to know there is no power outside your realm of perception?”

              This is was irritates me about people, when they say this crap. You realise that if everyone thought like this hundreds of years ago, we wouldn’t have the technology we have today? The medicine? When you live your life under the assumption that “we will never understand” you are already crippling yourself mentally and intellectually. This is probably why a lot of atheists take jabs at Christians, because most of them think this way.

              Stop being content with ignorance. People live under the notion that, hey, since I know I won’t understand everything, why bother trying? This thought process is what’s keeping mankind from progressing. People in ancient times thought that the stars and such were “beyond our perception”. Fast foward to today. We got people on the moon, machines in space, we understand stars, nebulae, etc. But, these were supposed to be beyond our perception, right?

              • Breezy

                @TUK..that is not what WC is saying. The Bible tells us to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” So I thinks its pretty safe to say its an insult for you to call Christians or anyone for that matter ignorant because you have determined that your belief or way of thinking is the final say. It’s the gifts of God that have allowed man to accomplished what he has, its because of him that we move and breathe, its because of him you are able to get up and log onto VSB everyday, its because of him that you even exist. You may not see it that way but I (and many others) do. Its the spirit of God that enables MAN to do and accomplish what he has…NOT vice versa. Have a nice day!

                • That Ugly Kid

                  You’re wrong. It’s not a belief thing. Ignorance means “not knowing” correct? So, saying that mankind will never know something because YOU (not saying you specifically, but people with her thought process) think it is outside our perception, is the same as admitting you’re ignorant (again, not knowing) and that there’s nothing you can do to change that. So you don’t even try. Which is why I said that what I said about Christians. Because I’ve come across plenty who share the same “we will never know” concept, which bugs me. You can believe what you want, though. I’m not trying to convert anyone. Just expressing my opinion.

                  • MJoy

                    You should never begin a response with “You’re wrong.”

                  • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

                    I totally get what you’re saying about “ignorance”. Sadly though, we’re at the point in the program where people aren’t really listening to what you are saying. They are just getting in their feelings and running with it.

                    Ignorance does mean simply not knowing. But we as people and ESPECIALLY black people have our own connotation for ignorance. We joke about it and equate it with rathcetness. This is not what TUK was saying. He was using the word ignorance in its truest sense. Like… I’m ignorant of the weather on Pluto. I’m ignorant of the proper procedure for making mac and cheese and so on.

                    TUK was saying that Christians are ignorant because there are things that they don’t know ONLY because they choose not to know which is actually “willful ignorance”. He’s not saying that Christians are unintelligent or dumb or ratchet.

                  • Namia

                    ignorance is relative, ignorance could be knowing that you know, yet you have absolutely no idea…!! so calling people ignorant just because you do not share the same belief system..kinda makes you what you claim them to be like them no?

              • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

                You ain’t get what I said. But that’s ok. *pats TUK on the head and gives him ice cream*

                • That Ugly Kid

                  Oh I completely understood what you said, I just decided to focus on the other th-wait. Ice cream! Omg, is it….choco-lot?

                  • Breezy

                    …with sprinkles.

            • Nina

              Absurdism
              In philosophy, “The Absurd” refers to the conflict between the human tendency to seek value and meaning in life and the human inability to find any. In this context absurd does not mean “logically impossible,” but rather “humanly impossible.”[1] The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously. Absurdism, therefore, is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information, including the vast unknown, makes certainty impossible. As a philosophy, absurdism also explores the fundamental nature of the Absurd and how individuals, once becoming conscious of the Absurd, should react to it.

              • MJoy

                ^ what she said.

                • Justmetheguy

                  What my boo said :)

                  Damn tho. Nina you said it all then. I thought I had it covered, but d*mn…I’m bout to go re-read that. That was one of the deepest posts I’ve seen this entire day…

                  • MJoy

                    boo???? AHHHH!!!!! :) :) :) :)

      • erika

        I know exactly what you are talking about. I had to stop reading the Bible to save faith.

        • NubianKween

          Hmnnn, that’s interesting, because reading the bible INCREASED my faith.

  • MObetta

    Christianity (as I assume you’re Christian…sorry if I’m wrong), like your very smart friend pointed out, is a relationship built on faith. Attempting to approach it from an intellectual standpoint will leave you unfulfilled every time.

    How I was able to connect and strengthen my relationship with God? I reached a point in my life where He was all I had. No cliche…real life.

    • http://challyshares.tumblr.com/ Nei Jae

      +1

    • SANTA MONICA

      “Attempting to approach it from an intellectual standpoint will leave you unfulfilled every time.”

      I disagree completely, I’m a Muslim and we’re taught that religion and intelligence are one, you have to question your faith to understand it, and you have to understand the world to understand god. Intelligence is encouraged because faith, if it is strong, cannot be broken. And if you believe in god, you believe that he knows all, its an insecure faith that fears incongruencies between intelligent thought and faith.

      • MObetta

        …as I stated, I was speaking of Christianity

        • GypsyCurl

          So a Muslim can’t comment on how they view religion and intelligence? SantaMonica’s comment was very intriguing and thought provoking.

          • MObetta

            Can a Muslim comment on how they view religion and intelligence? Absolutely.

            Can a Muslim use that comment to apply Muslim thought to my faith based Christianity with the audacity to allude to my “insecure faith that fears incongruencies between intelligent thought and faith”…especially when I was intentionally vague because I got bronchitis and I ain’t got time for e-thugging on my Jesus. Absolutely not.

            And did I say it wasn’t intriguing and thought provoking? The point was just irrelevant and reaching. I didn’t disrespect any faith in my comment so why disrespect mine?

            • GypsyCurl

              Talk about reaching? Santa Monica did not say christianity was an insecure religion. You interpreted the comment as such. My comment reflects how I interpreted the comment: innocuous point of view from someone sharing their belief. So where’s the reaching?

              • DQ

                Not for nothing, but it seems clear (to at least me) that MObetta was talking about Champ’s dilemma from a Christian perspective, because he was presumably talking about a Christian Church. While I respect SM’s right to have a different view, I don’t see how the logic holds that you can disagree with a Christian assertion about a Christian problem using an Islamic outlook/persepctive.

                The concept works both ways. For example if a Muslim was talking about the importance of Hajj, it would not (at least to my eyes) hold logically that a Christian could disagree on the need or benefit of a pilgrimage based on a Christian understanding/education/perspective. They’d have a right to their opinion but would it really be pertinent?

                As for the latter half, I’m giving SM the benefit of the doubt that he/she was making a general statement, and that it was not directed at MObetta, but I can see how it could be interpreted otherwise.

            • SANTA MONICA

              Whats wrong with being a christian and applying intelligence to your faith? You can be an insecure christian, buddhist, jew, ect. If your scared to question your faith and understand it intellectually, then you dont really have faith. Its not a muslim/christian thing, it’s a you better damn well question ur faith because how else will you know it’s right kind of thing.

              • Justmetheguy

                @ Santa Monica- I agree with your sentiments pretty much in full. I think your semantics may be a little off in one statement though.

                ” You can be an insecure christian, buddhist, jew, ect. If your scared to question your faith and understand it intellectually, then you dont really have faith”

                I think that’s exactly what faith is, believing even though you’re uncertain. If you know something for sure then it’s not faith, it’s fact. If you don’t, then you can only either have faith or not. However you’re absolutely right that people have a moral imperative to question what they believe rather than agreeing and getting upset when others question simply because it unsettles and or embarrasses them.

              • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

                Great comment. I have no issue with whatever religion anyone chooses to follow, as long as they do so in a manner that is respectful of others. However, I have a problem when people are encouraged to use ignorance as a means of preserving faith. It just boggles my mind. My decision to abandon religion was a direct consequence of studying and asking myself some tough questions. Many of us go to church and have these questions, but our religious leaders are not doing anything to address the issue. “Don’t question god” was something I was told often growing up.

                Unless we change this terrible style of sweeping our questions and insecurities under the rug, I forsee the ranks of irreligious folks increasing with time.

                • Justmetheguy

                  Nods head @ SheWhoMustBeObeyed’s entire post, but ESPECIALLY this part

                  ” Unless we change this terrible style of sweeping our questions and insecurities under the rug, I forsee the ranks of irreligious folks increasing with time.”

                  I think that even if they do, it’s probably gonna still happen because it’ll be harder and harder to scare people into being religious (with the notions of fire and brimstones and not receiving blessings etc;). There will always be religious people though, and I have no problem with this. I have a problem when they’re given moral authority over issues simply because they practice and established an popular belief system

      • http://www.themoxiesophic.com Moxie

        Faith doesn’t mean ignorance. There are so many christians running around not even sure exactly what they believe because they have not bothered to read the bible for themselves. How to you live your life according to a faith that you know nothing about? How many christians have actually read the bible from cover to cover for themselves? Most are blindly following a pastor and basing their faith on what’s said at the pulpit. That’s dangerous because now you have a faith full of ignorant people who have no idea what exactly they believe in. All they can only quote are scripts they learned from a sermon but have not bothered to analyze scripture for themselves.

        • That Ugly Kid

          I agree, faith does not mean ignorance. However, faith means “a belief in something without evidence to support it”. It’s because of faith that people are content with ignorance, and are themselves, ignorant. It is because of faith that people so casually say, “it’s a miracle,” whenever they come across something they don’t understand. How’d that guy get shot in the led and live? It’s a miracle that’s how. When people say “it’s a miracle”, what they are really saying is “I can’t logically explain why this happened, but instead of actually trying to figure it out, I’m just going to cave into my ignorance and chalk this one up to God.”

          So, I can understand why people mistake faith and ignorance as synonymous, because they are so closely related.

          • That Ugly Kid

            shot in the head*

          • Tx10inch

            It’s because of faith that people are content with ignorance, and are themselves, ignorant.

            I’ve never had any issues with you or your posts before TUK but I’m starting to take real offense to you calling people of faith “ignorant”. Have I questioned some things in the bible? Sure, we all have but at the end of the day if everything God has done or chooses to do could be explain logically there would be no reason for faith, therefore..no reason to need Him.

            Through my personal trials and tribulations I now believe every single word of the Holy bible and I’m EXTREMLEY intelligent homie..(any misspelled words aside). I know this is your opinion and you’re entitled to it but let’s fall back a bit on generalizing all Christians as “ignorant” Mmmmkay? Thanks.

            • Justmetheguy

              ” So, I can understand why people mistake faith and ignorance as synonymous, because they are so closely related.”

              This is the statement TUK made. I don’t think that equates to him calling Christians ignorant. He’s saying that the concept of having faith is about believing in something without fully understanding or being able to explain it or account for inconsistencies. This is discouraged as it relates to ANYTHING else in life besides spirituality (which ironically is considered the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of life). I DEFINITELY don’t think Christians are ignorant, I just respectfully disagree with quite a few of their fundamental beliefs. (Especially the notion of heaven and hell and the striking similarities between their concept of God and Santa Clause)

              All that being said I believe in a supreme being that’s responsible for this universe. I don’t give the Bible any more weight than any other historical account, however I do find inspiration from many of its passages (particularly Proverbs) but I take it all with a grain of salt. It’s no more relevant to my life than African Proverbs, Chinese Proverbs, the principles of Buddhism etc; Did I mention most of that stuff allegedly happened roughly 2 thousand years ago?

              And don’t get me started on how everything you want to do is a sin or how we’re all morally superior to homosexuals smh. How wives should obey their husbands. I could go on all day about the issues I have, but I’m trying my best to be respectful though so I’ll stop here for now.

          • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

            “It’s because of faith that people are content with ignorance, and are themselves, ignorant.”

            I don’t agree with this, TUK, but I am not personally offended by it. In my opinion, it is laziness, not faith, that makes people content with ignorance. It’s the reason why so many people blindly follow a path (any path, for I’m not just speaking in the religions sense). People want everything to be easy for them and don’t want to do any work or research. Not saying you are one of those, so please forgive me if I’ve offended you, for that was not my intention.

            • That Ugly Kid

              But ask yourself what endorses this laziness. What makes this laziness acceptable? Faith. By telling people, “Hey, just BELIEVE. You don’t need ‘evidence’ to love Him,” and yada yada. People are taught via faith, to just believe. No evidence needed. So can you really blame them for not seeking any? To become lazy when the time calls for it. And no, you haven’t offended me. It’s hard for me to get offended in religious discussions. Irritated (you haven’t done this either)? Sure. But offended, not so much.

              • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

                “What makes this laziness acceptable? Faith. By telling people, “Hey, just BELIEVE. You don’t need ‘evidence’ to love Him,” and yada yada.”

                Brother in humanity, telling people “just believe” isn’t faith. That’s straight up wrong. When I became Muslim, the Shaykh didn’t say, “oh hey, now that you’re Muslim, you are automatically saved.” It’s not so much about belief. You know who else believes in God? The devil. Actions have a lot to do with it. Like Champ, I believe the “proof is in the pudding,” so to speak, and that the fact that the universe exists in such an intricate order and system is proof to me that God exists. I’m not trying to convince you, just expressing my opinion. I guess it depends on the person, because it is my faith that makes me the opposite of lazy.

          • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            “I agree, faith does not mean ignorance. However, faith means “a belief in something without evidence to support it”.”

            Right. And if we admit to the truth that ALL of use faith in some component in our everyday lives, folks wouldn’t be so quick to use that as ammo against something you don’t believe.

            Faith is such a wide spectrum. And it isn’t only used in terms of religion. I believe there to be many different levels of faith. I always compare it to getting a package. You order something from a store and have it delivered. You have absolutely no idea HOW the package will arrive (sure you’re told who will send it but anyone can just tell you that… you’re not THERE to see the entire process), but you’re sure it will come. You have absolutely no doubt that the package will arrive. That’s real faith. Sure it’s just a simple, but at its root… yeah, that’s faith.

            But for some reason, when applied to larger and more abstract things… it’s a “crazy” concept. I find that interesting to say the least.

            • Justmetheguy

              ” Faith is such a wide spectrum. And it isn’t only used in terms of religion. I believe there to be many different levels of faith.”

              Agreed.

              As far as the package thing, I see what you mean, but I’d rather go and buy each item in the package from the spiritual marketplace and then checkout with exactly what ME,MYSELF, and I need. I don’t think people should be labeled or if not labeled, treated and thought of as “faux intellectuals” for feeling this way either.

        • demondog06

          @ i think the people of jonestown would agree with you………

          • demondog06

            * @ moxie*

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      How I was able to connect and strengthen my relationship with God? I reached a point in my life where He was all I had. No cliche…real life.

      Pretty much. I have believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until Jesus was all I had left that I really understood what my faith was really about. I know that season of my life won’t be the last like it, and I’m prepared for the next time around :)

      • MObetta

        Yes ma’am! Exactly.

      • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

        “I know that season of my life won’t be the last like it, and I’m prepared for the next time around.”

        That’s the main reason I have this urge to go back to church. I think many things have seemingly been handed to me. I’ve worked, I’ve prayed, and I’ve received (in ways that only make it impossible for me to ever be an atheist.) I’m wondering when everything starts going wrong (because I’m anxious and I know it will) will I be able to remain strong in what I believe. When my season changes will I still have faith? I’m kinda scared to find out.

    • Amazonian Midget

      I have to respectfully disagree with this. I’m a Christian, and the only reason my faith is as strong as it is is because I questioned things. In questioning, I researched and learned. So now, not only can I say that I am a Christian who believes Jesus died for my sins, I understand why I believe it. I think that’s what God wants…understanding.

      As far as how I feel about other beliefs, to each its own, and I mean that. I’m open to learning about what/how others believe, as long as respect is present in our conversation.

      Champ, as others have stated, it sounds like you need to find a church that feeds your soul. Not even on some “And Gawd-ah-huh, said a huh…” but self-help…using the Bible and the lessons within to help guide your life.

      • DQ

        Ironicially or appropriately, I became more spiritual the MORE I questioned. There are some things that I didn’t understand and/or agree with that I was taught so I questioned it, I challenged it. Some things did not survive the scrutiny… and the thing is, most of those things that didn’t survive were ritual man made things that had nothing to do with Jesus’ teachings. I don’t see ANYTHING wrong with questioning the Bible, I say question anything anyone else asserts is truth…

        …and I’ve been a lot of places where sincere inquiries are welcomed, and encouraged. But just as some hospitals better treat certain ailments than others, and some schools are better at educating certain kinds of students, some Churches are better organized to uplift it’s congregation and community.

        • Justmetheguy

          ^ Word….makes perfect sense. I kind of intuitively knew that this was the case, and even have witnessed a little bit of it. I agree about the more I question the more spiritual I get. The more I understand and learn about the universe the more spiritual I get and the more I believe in a supreme being or source energy. I love it when you make sense DQ because I tend to see your comments as if they came from myself in 10-15 years (not sure how old you actually are) if that makes sense lol

          • DQ

            I’m kicking 40 in the butt, not there yet, but it’s close enough to kick. So I’m not sure how much older (if at all) I am compared to you… but as a Christian I am encouraged to imagine you in a church in 10-15 years :)

            Christianity the religion can leave a bad taste in people’s mouths (actually religion of any stripe can leave a bad taste in people’s mouths – I get that) but Christian philosophy, Jesus teachings (to me) are awesome, and the concepts are not innate (again my opinion). I count myself an adherant to His teachings. Spiritual philosophy in general (Christian, Islam, Judaism, etc) tend to be awesome things, and I am sometimes saddened that people throw out the wisdom and insight because they can’t get past the ritual and theatre (I understand the thought process, but to me it would feel like throwing away an orange because I didn’t like the taste of the peel). Still to each their own. Maybe in their minds, the peel is all there is.

            I do not pretend to be above the fray on all this, I am a human being, and so when I hear people talk derisiviely about Christianity (which is my spiritual philosophy) I get offended too. Despite my “maturity”, my “wisdom”, I am human being, thus flawed, thus as capable of being offended as I am capable of being offensive. Many of the arguments I’m hearing right now, I have heard before ad nauseum (on both sides) for years. I know where the conversation is headed so as often as I can, I avoid arguing. I will address major misconceptions or mischaracterizations (at times, like I said, I’m human) but for the most part, once you understand human nature and the nature of God – there is no point in arguing, all you can do is let people “see your sermon”… not speak it, but see it in action, and just keep pushing.

            Because regardless of what knowledge or wisdom or intellect you feel like you might be able to speak to a person, determining what to believe in, determining what is true, determining what is right is always an internal process. True belief can only come from within, it’s not something that can be preached into you or lectured into you. So I approach it the same with God. I believe what I believe is the truth, and if allowed to seek it on their own accord, people will find their way there too… in the mean time I just try not to trip them up by trying to act like I’m God’s sole appointed Consigliere. My job, to the best of my ability, is to be an example of what you can be, to yourself and to others, when you follow Jesus. And each time I show compassion (that I otherwise wouldn’t show if it was left up to me) to those who are in need of help, I feel like I demonstrate what God has always been saying and what Jesus died for. Just my take.

      • Joanna

        Legalistic Chrisitianity says not to question anything, but God WANTS us to question Him to know He’s real and that He’s there. David said we are to “taste and see that the Lord is good” not just believe He’s good because someone else told us He was. The early Church heard sermons from each other then WENT BACK and searched the scriptures to make sure it lines us. Christianity isn’t supopsed to be a religion of blind faith. Don’t be afraid. If you’re confused, ASK HIM. God is not a God of confusion.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “I reached a point in my life where He was all I had. No cliche…real life.”

      i keep hearing this, and, to be honest, i’m not sure I how feel about the fact that many people say they found God and church only when they had no other choice. If cultivating faith is similar to cultivating real relationships, then this mindset sounds exactly like “settling”

      • MObetta

        It doesn’t mean having no other choice, it means, you had a potentially life altering experience and you know the only way and/or reason you made it out (alive, better, without committing a capital murder, etc) was because Jesus pulled you through. And that’s not to say everyone has the same path to Christ but it’s mine and that’s the only one I can testify about.

        As for settling, that wasn’t my case and that’s moreso looking at your relationship with Christ as your relationships with man. Basically, Jesus doesn’t need to “prove” himself to anyone….yes, including The Champ, lol. If you’ve never heard the church song “If He Never Does Anything Else” go ahead and check it out. Basically it says if the Lord never does anything else for me, He’s done enough. Dying on the cross for our sins is the greatest testament to His love for us so to use human standards to measure His love is a slap in His face. He’s so much greater than that and basically deserves more.

        Said all of that to say you cannot read the Bible like it’s a novel and expect to come out with a knowledge and relationship with Christ. I tried that, it’s impossible. It wasn’t until He humbled me and I truly looked to find a real relationship with Him that my eyes were opened to His greatness and power.

        I could go on and on…but I won’t b/c I’ve probably already lost you, lol

        • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

          Question (and it’s late so I know I may not get a response): How do you know Jesus pulled you through? Perhaps it was the devil, and he’s saving you for an even greater peril? Perhaps you just got lucky? Perhaps it was YOUR EFFORT (and that of your freinds and family) that helped you? How do you know Jesus did it? Because things worked in your favour? Is that why? What if they didn’t? How would Jesus factor into that? I’m not being facetious, I just want to understand how you understood.

      • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

        The lack of responses to Champ’s statement above is very telling. Are we being really honest with ourselves here?

        • Justmetheguy

          I see why she must be obeyed. Cause I thought the same thing…

      • Ms. Bridget

        To me, it sounds like you’re put in the position to see who loves and supports you (and who doesn’t)…when all the chips are down. Doesn’t seem like settling at all, just eye opening.

      • Namia

        I feel you on this..funny am always more religious when everything is going right..because it makes me guilty if am slacking and then get all religious when the path gets a few bumps

  • http://thoughtsofajeanius.com femme noire

    I actually had the same issue. Born and raised catholic, went to college decided to find God for myself instead of what family wanted me to be, visited a bunch of diff churches and found a great nondenominational one. Became more spiritual and less religious. Also read blue like jazz by Donald miller…put a lot into perspective.

    • hippiethoughts

      +1 to Blue Like Jazz

  • http://www.Blacktrimony.com Blacktrimony

    Amen?

    • GypsyCurl

      LMAO :)

      I second that????

  • Leila

    I enjoy going to church, but ever since I left my hometown a few yrs ago it hasn’t been the same experience. Growing up in NY, my family went to a church where many people were like a 2nd family. I’ve always felt a deep connection with God and feel a sense of peace when I’m in church. i cant describe the feeling. It has been tough finding a church in my new city. I still enjoy service, but not the same experience.

    • http://adorassociety.com Myssdee

      There you go…
      Church was a second home to people
      But due to the lack of leadership, there is no home

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      Growing up in NY, my family went to a church where many people were like a 2nd family.

      my friend — the one who i had the church conversation with — mentioned that she’d just randomly go to different churches to help make sure her relationship was more with God than with the church. perhaps that might help you as well

  • http://flavors.me/brran1 brran1

    Growing up, Ma Dukes made sure that I was in church faithfully every Sunday. I sang on the Youth Choir, went to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, y’know.. all that good stuff.

    Then, once I turned 14, she stopped forcing me to go. I stopped going and haven’t been regularly since. I have a short attention span, so sitting somewhere for 2-3 hours was (and still partially is) not my thing.

    Now that I’ve gotten older, I still hold onto my faith and pray regularly. I just don’t feel the need to attend church.

    • http://adorassociety.com Myssdee

      My grandmoms was the same way and as I got older, I asked her why she stopped taking me and my sister to church and her words were, “I didn’t want to force you guys to go.”

      She wanted us to find our own path within religion.

      • http://flavors.me/brran1 brran1

        That’s what my mom told us (my neices, nephews, and I). She said that we were old enough to make our own decisions as far as religion goes. To be completely honest, I don’t think that any of us have been to church regularly since then. LOL.

    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

      *hey*, remember me!!!

      How you doin mister?
      *I saw your blue shirt was jeneskwaad a second time, couldn’t resist* plus u a cutie!

      • http://flavors.me/brran1 brran1

        Lol. Good Morning.. and thanks.

  • SANTA MONICA

    My issue with the church, and all organised religion, is that when you start looking to people for spirituality instead of holy books and meditation/reflection, you set yourself up to be one of those ‘faux intellectuals who think they’re just too smart and too analytical to be swayed by God, church, and religion’. You can find fault in man but you cant find fault in god. And organised religion is based off the backs, and pocketbooks, of the believers and not the belief.

    Not only that, from a young age, the average parent spends more time getting their kids ready to go to that sermon and saying your hellos to the other parishoners that are there then we do discussing the sermon and making sure the children understand the lessons from it. If we’re taught that religion is a physical act of going through the motions, rather than an intellectual one of understanding, being, becoming, then it’s only a matter of time that religion dies out.

    • Yoles

      i agree

    • Justmetheguy

      Thank you Santa Monica! Church never actually helped me with my spirituality, which I thought was the entire point. Christianity started off as a cult that was based on the teachings of mystics who were NOT religious. They were spiritual individuals that were truly acting in ways to get more connected with the source energy that birthed the universe.

      Plus I’m sorry, after you read a couple different accounts from the Crusades you’ll realize that spirituality is ABSOLUTELY separate from religion. I won’t even go there today though. Too much to type, too little time/energy.

    • Fifi

      “You can find fault in man but you cant find fault in god. And organised religion is based off the backs, and pocketbooks, of the believers and not the belief.”

      I definitely agree with this. I don’t know much about the Christian community, but I grew up Muslim in the whitest town in the US where everyone was Finnish Methodist. Everyone. Needless to say, I didn’t grow up with a mosque to go to, so my parents emphasized a personal relationship with God. Now that I live in New York, I still don’t go to the mosque often and I only enjoy going to one because of how friendly and open-minded people are. I’m kind of glad for my situation because my faith is in no way correlated to those around me and their frequent side-eye worthy behavior.

      • http://asiyah3.wordpress.com Asiyah

        “I’m kind of glad for my situation because my faith is in no way correlated to those around me and their frequent side-eye worthy behavior.”

        Same here!

      • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

        If you can find fault in man, you can find fault in god.

        • Justmetheguy

          Small correction to ^ :You can find fault in man’s CONCEPT of GOD and what man thinks God is or what man thinks God’s will for “mankind” is. Also the concept of a chosen people (God’s chosen people to be specific)

          • SheWhoMustBeObeyed

            I see your point, but I still hold to mine. Regardless of whether or not our understanding of god is accurate, the fact of the matter is that if we are flawed, then god is also flawed.

            Now, are we flawed? That is up for debate. Also up for debate: Must god be flawless?

            • Justmetheguy

              D*mn good questions imo. And I don’t have the answers. I see your point tho. These things must be considered

            • Namia

              “Immortals” which is us humans are being compared to God..that is very reaching in my opinion