The False and The True

Given black women’s high levels of religiosity, black feminist atheists often acknowledge the complex relationship women of color have with “God” in a nation where their fundamental humanity has always been policed, criminalized and exploited as other…
Unlike white atheists, atheists of color don’t have the luxury to disengage from their communities because racist economic disparities, in the form of segregated neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and cultural spaces, amplify the pivotal role progressive black and Latino religious institutions often play in providing a social welfare safety net…
…atheism, like religion, can be more than simply a question of non-belief or belief.1
–Sikivu Hutchinson

The fixation on religion as the root of the world’s problems is completely at odds with reality. In fact, it’s utterly delusional. What is at fault in the Middle East is not Islam, but despotic, autocratic regimes that rule with the benefit of America’s patronage. What is at fault in the West is not Christianity but free-market fascism: free trade, mass pollution, climate change, income inequality, wealth disparity, racism and immigration overflow from countries that have descended into social chaos – many as a result of Western policies (free trade, climate change, war on terror and the drug war). And what is at fault in Israel is not Judaism – as many of Israel’s founding fathers and current leaders were or are atheists – but apartheid, land theft and humiliation of the Arab populace.2
–CJ Werleman

It is a talent of the weak to persuade themselves that they suffer for something when they suffer from something; that they are showing the way when they are running away; that they see the light when they feel the heat; that they are chosen when they are shunned.3
–Eric Hoffer (from a book of aphorisms, as it is so marketed.)

Can coherent thought be developed through the remembrance and recitation of quotes? I wonder if this doesn’t show a fear of thinking, a fear of ‘philosophy’, more specifically and to put the matter in the contemporary vernacular, in that this thinking through of ideas might reveal their many implied consequences and failures?

Another such multi-sided consequence of what on first glance seems to be a simple idea, when protesters demand:

…that our politics must be more humane, more fair, more moral.

Words like “humane” and “fair” and “moral” all sound like good things. But what if, rather than being a call for transparency and the promotion and debate of ethics in the public forum, this is, instead, the imposition of a particular set of behaviours, posed as moral by a group of self-designated puritans trying to promote their own standard. After all, aren’t even schemes of apartheid — in South Africa, in the American south, in Japan and elsewhere — also presented to the public as a “better” brand of fair and an expression of the humane through government policy? Who gets to say what is moral, fair, or humane? The protesting mob?

Certain kinds of religious grouping insist that human rights, the very premises of human rights, that is, violates their own righteous prerogatives. You don’t believe me? Huge numbers of people insist that a woman cannot be allowed to control her own health decisions, that granting a basic human right of bodily autonomy to someone is a violation of a root ethic. entire groups of people hold views that if you experience feelings of love and care for a person who is the same gender, that you should be shunned, imprisoned, or even killed outright.

News is what people do not want you to print. All the rest is advertising.4
–Alfred Harmsworth (maybe)


  1. Siviku Hutchinson, “More Whitebread Atheism on CNN”, Freethought Blogs/Black Skeptics. 2015-03-30 (retrieved, 2014-05-23 http://freethoughtblogs.com/blackskeptics/2015/03/30/more-whitebread-atheism-on-cnn/
  2. CJ Werleman, “New Atheism’s Islam-obsessed rape and rescue fantasy”. Middle East Eye, 2015-01-16 (http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/new-atheisms-islam-obsessed-rape-and-rescue-fantasy-804596123
  3. Eric Hoffer, “The Passionate State of Mind, and Other Aphorisms”, Harper, New York (1955) 
  4. attributed to Alfred Harmsworth