A Tale of Two Cultures (Part 2)
On the following day (https://facetofloor.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/a-tale-of-two-cultures-part-1/), I went to sit around back, get some reading in to spark the brain, and then jump into the Journal. Not long after getting on the Launch Pad, it got started…. About a quarter mile down the road there is a black church. Apparently, on this Sunday, they were doing some sort of outside “revival service.”
Having never been to church growing up, my revulsion to the “Sunday morning nightclub” is not as visceral, perhaps as some of the other convert Brothers here, but immediately, I did feel an intense discomfort. At first there was some woman preacher shouting on the microphone. I immediately thought to myself: How can black folks believe in this stuff?!? Aren’t any of them concerned with the realities of history, the origins of Christianity, or how Christianity was transmitted to them?
In the case of white folk, not to justify or defend having bad beliefs about the Creator, it is more understandable for them to be Christian, because Christianity is part and parcel of “white,” Western, European identity. Although Western Europe is today awash with atheism, the Christian heritage of Europe can still be seen by the number of European states that have crosses on their flags. It was Christianity, and its opposition to Islam that formulated much of the basis of the European identity.
As for African-Americans, what real (historical) connection do they have to Christianity? They have a religion that was imposed upon them during slavery. Christianity was used to pacify and dumb-down black people. And practically none of the blacks had any language access to the ancient manuscripts upon which Christianity is built. After all, no reasonable person could possibly believe that Jesus spoke King James’ English to his disciples (but then, I think that many black Christians did (and perhaps some still do) think that is the case).
Carter G. Woodson, might have said it best in his famous, “Miseducation of the Negro,” when it comes to why African-Americans should simply explore the origin of Christianity:
“It is very clear then, that if the Negroes got their conception of religion from slaveholders, libertines, and murderers, there maybe something wrong about it and WOULD NOT HURT TO INVESTIGATE IT [my emphasis].”
Looooooong before Christianity reached the shores of America, the Bible had been altered, the genuine teachings of Jesus had been distorted, and the European masses had been duped (or forced) into believing a set of doctrines that could not be deemed by any reasonable standards as anything other than fraudulent (for more on this see the following: https://facetofloor.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/why-we-dont-celebrate-christmas/). How could it be that it has taken multiple generations of African-Americans to simply open up some books on history to find out about the dubious origins of Christianity?
Before the African slaves became Christians, hundreds of years before his slave masters’ ancestors had come across the Atlantic, centuries before Christianity took firm root in Northern Europe, the teachings of Jesus had been altered. The New Testament, which is suppose to contain the alleged deeds and sayings of Jesus, was pieced together from fragments of Greek manuscripts… but Jesus did not teach his followers in Greek… and nobody knows who translated the earliest recordings of Jesus’ alleged deeds and sayings from Syriac (the language Jesus instructed his disciples) to Greek.
Furthermore, traditional Christians claim that the Bible is the unchanged and infallible holy book of God. But the early denominations, such as, the Eastern Orthodox, the Ethiopian, and the Catholic Churches all have different Bibles. By different Bibles, I don’t mean differences in translation (which would be highly problematic in itself—especially, when no one can claim to possess an authentic original). I mean that the different denominations have different numbers of books in their Bibles (keep in mind the Bible is not a “single book” but an anthology of books by different—and unknown—authors).
The problem is compounded for the African-American Christian, given that most African-Americans are Baptists, Methodists, or Pentecostals, and that these denominations are essentially sub-sects and splinter groups within Protestantism. The Protestant Church did not get started until the 1500’s… that is fifteen CENTURIES after the birth of Jesus. Protestantism is a renegade sect from Catholicism… and the Protestants originally deemed the Catholics to be heretics and blasphemers. Furthermore, the Protestants consider the Catholic Bible to be unreliable… but the Protestants received the Bible through the Catholics. What I have mentioned isn’t anything deep or “conspiratorial.” Any research on the history of the Bible or Christianity will testify to what’s been said.
As the saying goes: “If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book.” The only way for Christianity to flourish among black folks was to keep them ignorant and… well, let’s be tactful, less than very intelligent. Edward Blyden, a black missionary from the Caribbean, who spent extensive time in West Africa, observed the difference between the African Muslims and the African converts to Christianity. He says in his book, “Christianity, Islam, and the Negro Race” (published in 1887):
“Mohammedanism [Islam] and learning to the Muslim Negro were coeval. No sooner was he converted than he was taught to read and the importance of knowledge was impressed upon him. The Christian Negro came in contact with mental and physical proscription and the religion of Christ, contemporaneously. If the Mohammedan Negro had at any time to choose between the Koran [Qur’an] and the sword, when he chose the former, he was allowed to wield the latter as the equal of any other Muslim; but no amount of allegiance to the Gospel relieved the Christian Negro from the degradation of wearing the chain that he received with it, or rescued him from the political and, in measure, ecclesiastical proscription which he still undergoes in all the countries of his exile. Everywhere in Christian lands he plays, at least, the present moment, the part of the slave, ape or puppet.”
For one, with the black Christian, there must necessarily be a historical disconnect. African slaves (or their descendants) embraced a religion that they received from their slave masters. And their slave masters themselves had no historical link to Jesus. To propagate this fraud on black folks, black folk had to be kept ignorant and “less than very intelligent.” Any yearning for the knowledge of history would cause a reasonably intelligent (and sincere) black person (or person of any color) to begin to question Christianity.
A person need not even open up books on the history to see the problematic nature of Christianity, however. One need look no further than the core doctrine of that religion. As I mentioned, the day before, we were discussing with eleven year old children rational proofs regarding God’s Oneness, and ABSOLUTE Incomparability and Transcendence (i.e., total Non-Neediness of the Creation). We discussed that the Creator is not a spatial entity, and that the Creator is clear of being ascribed with created characteristics, such as, size and shape, motion and stillness, being in a direction or occupying space. We discussed rules related to proper reasoning and how to rationally defend the Muslim creed from the attacks of atheists and pseudo-Muslims who claim God to be an object.
On the other hand, the (standard) Christian doctrine: that the Creator of the universe had to incarnate into an infant and later commit supposed “deicide” so that God could be empowered to forgive people for their sins, cannot be remotely be supported by reason. The basis of this doctrine (although loosely “supported” by the Bible—a book that can’t be considered “reliable” by any standard) is a man-made concoction derived largely from ancient pagan cults. Although the Catholic “Scholastics” attempted to reconcile Christian doctrine with reason, they, of course, failed. The idea that someone or something that is originated could become the Beginningless Creator is an inherent contradiction. Such a blatant contradiction, however, does not seem to phase most of the black folks in the pews (or running around in the aisles), because the Black Church never placed much emphasis on developing rational thinking among its congregants. (Incidentally, Anselm of Canterbury, one of the leading Scholastics, wrote a book entitled: “Why God Became a Man.” Any Muslim youth trained in traditional Doctrine could make mince-meat out of such a ludicrous assertion.)
This leads into another phase of the “show” on Sunday. I moved from the back to the front porch, so that I couldn’t hear what was going on so well. However, at one point, I could start to hear the preacher taking the people into a frenzy. I couldn’t see what’s going on—not that I wanted to—but for those familiar with the sideshow of many black churches will agree with DuBois’ first experience in a Southern black church:
A sort of suppressed terror hung in the air and seemed to seize us,—a pythian madness, a demoniac possession, that lent terrible reality to song and word. The black and massive form of the preacher swayed and quivered as the words crowded to his lips and flew at us in singular eloquence. The people moaned and fluttered, and then the gaunt-cheeked brown woman beside me suddenly leaped straight into the air and shrieked like a lost soul, while round about came wail and groan and outcry, and a scene of human passion such as I had never conceived before.
(Can these people really think they are following the humble and self-restrained example of Prophet Jesus?!?)
Similarly, Carter G. Woodson said (although he might be guilty of a slight exaggeration):
“Sometimes you find as many as two or three store-front churches in a single block where Negroes indulge in heathen-like practices which could hardly be equaled in the jungle. The Negroes in Africa have not descended to such depths.”
In reality, the Black Church, has little to do with the religious practices of Jesus or his disciples in Palestine. For many black churches, their practices are more in line with the rituals of pagan Africans, as we see here:
From an Islamic perspective, shenanigans aside, these people are invoking and getting possessed by demonic entities (whether in the African bush or the black church down in the Mississippi Delta). The incredible feats that these folks perform do not “prove” guidance. It is enough to know that these people worship the jinn and not the Creator to demonstrate that they can’t be considered “guided.” These demonic beings will empower some people to do sorcery, and it is only a means to lead the voodoo priests (or other preachers down in Sugar Ditch) and their followers further astray and deeper into the dark depths of disbelief.
Also, one cannot help but wonder what damage the European iconography (images) has done to the black Christian psyche. Where as Muslim children learn: “Whatever you imagine in your mind, Allah is different from that,” and “Knowing you are incapable of imagining Allah is knowledge in itself. Attempting to fathom Allah’s Reality is disbelief and paganism,” for generations black Christian children went about praying to a blond haired, blue-eyed image (supposedly) of Jesus. Blyden touches upon this:
“The Christian Negro is abnormal in his development, pictures God and all beings remarkable for their moral and intellectual qualities with the physical characteristics of Europeans, and deems it an honor if he can approximate–by a mixture of his blood, however, irregularly achieved–in outward appearance, at least, to the ideal thus forced upon him of the physical accompaniments of all excellence. In this way he loses that ‘sense of dignity of human nature’ observable in his Mohammedan [Muslim] brother.”
(We should keep in mind that these are the words of a CHRISTIAN missionary!)
(It should be of no surprise that, like with many of the more educated white Americans and Europeans, more and more young black people are leaning towards atheism. This doesn’t bode well for black folk, however, for atheism will only further open the gate of debauchery that is so prevalent today in the culture.)
Christianity has left black America in a state of arrested development. The Black Church could not encourage any in-depth study of history (because it would show that Christianity and its dogma are not actually from the teachings of Jesus). Given the nature of Christian doctrine, logical reasoning was suppressed. And worship in the Black Church is largely just the expression of unbridled passions (with the influence of the jinn). Although slavery ended 150 years ago, and we are several generations removed from Jim Crow, the black masses are still plagued by ignorance, irrationality, impulsiveness, and excessive emotionalism. The Black Church, since it has been the dominate institution of African-Americans for the past two centuries, has to take much of the blame for this.
A Brother recently said: “A person’s creed tells a lot about them.” Black culture has failed in no small part because of Christianity. Christianity has failed black people—and it had to fail black people—because its creed is based upon falsehood. The Bible rightfully says: “The truth shall set you free.” Christianity isn’t the truth, and it hasn’t set black people free. God-willing, IF MUSLIMS LEARN their religion (in the traditional and proper method), and we follow the example of the righteous Muslims who have preceded us, then we can demonstrate what is the foundation of true freedom: that is, to humbly and sincerely worship the Creator and not any of the creations. If we see to it that the Muslim youth are well-adjusted and strong in the matters of Creed, then they can have a tremendous role in the da`wah (Islamic outreach) providing people (of all races and ethnicities) with an alternative way of living and a higher way of being. This is the tale we, as Muslims, need to tell and the legacy we need to leave behind.