Non-believers of color

A nice short documentary featuring several of our colleagues at Black Skeptics.

One interesting bit was the focus on media portrayals of black people: they’re all supposed to be religious, and black atheists are shunned, as several clips show.


  1. paulparnell says

    Off topic but…

    I can deal with the Liberty University ad on the top banner. But the hard to find autoplay videos are really bothering me.

  2. TxSkeptic says

    Paul – I totally agree, but HuffPo is much worse.

    As to the religious banners, I’ve ‘responded’ to a couple of them by tracking down their web sites & emailing them. I thanked them profusely for their advertising support for our freethought community and expressed regret that their money was sadly wasted on us.

  3. Trebuchet says

    @1: Use the “tech issues” link. Jason may be able to do something about it. Or go with the ad-free version, about the best $30/yr I’ve ever spent.

  4. Great American Satan says

    I believe in one of those films, atheist Ice Cube (I want to say Athe Cube) puts forth a reasonable version of the argument from evil. I get the impression he is doomed in the movie by his violent ways, so..

    Atheism will make you go gangster.

  5. Sastra says

    I remember that scene from Raisin in the Sun, where the daughter, a rebellious intellectual black activist, explains to her mother that she does not believe in God and why. It is a very powerful moment when the mother, the moral center of the family, slowly walks over, pauses, slaps her face, and then righteously intones “In … THIS … family … we … believe .. in … God.” And the daughter, cowed, appears to be appropriately shamed and humbled.

    The message was clear. That smart girl had gotten TOO smart. How dare she? The audience watching that scene would recognize that atheists -=- especially black atheists — need to keep their damn mouths closed. Or rather, they shouldn’t be atheists in the first place because the only real reason it’s adopted is to rebel, to tear down, and to break things apart. You believe in God if you know what’s good for you because that family has to stick together.

    That’s the message I got when I watched the movie on television as a teenager. I was still a nominal believer back then and I remember more or less agreeing that the pert daughter had only gotten what’s coming to her. Not just an atheist, but outspoken about it and justifying it with intellectual reasons. In other words, uppity. A rather ironic point for the writer to make, considering the anti-racism theme.

    I had never seen the clip of the black anchor man ( pundit? spokesperson? I didn’t recognize him) expressing astonishment that an “atheist” doesn’t believe in God by saying that “then they’re stupid and I walk away.” Isn’t that supposed to be what atheists do which you’re never supposed to do — call those they disagree with “stupid?”

    I guess it’s okay if it shows how STRONG your faith in God is, in that an alternative is literally inconceivable. But that word does not apply … the way they think it applies.

  6. profpedant says

    I also remember seeing “Raisin in the Sun” on television as a kid. I recall my reaction to that scene as “Uh, oh – I had better be careful”, and at that time I still thought that I believed in God because it was similarly expected of me….

  7. Callinectes says

    I found the Belle’s clip on the YouTube page of another black nonbeliever. When I watched it, my jaw dropped. It was so weird,they went to a lot of trouble to portray the atheist chap as a decent person and an excellent man, and then treated him atrociously. I can only assume that the point was for him to be something of a perfect man with this big secret that is enough to ruin everything else. That clip where they part? They kissed and she told him “if only your heart worked as good as your lips.” He had just told her that he loves her, and she said “how can you love anybody if you don’t love god?” Constantly I was expecting some kind of resolution in which someone learns a lesson (even if it were the atheist finding god, like usual), but nope, it was this same crap all the way through.

  8. Sastra says

    Callinectes #9 wrote:

    Constantly I was expecting some kind of resolution in which someone learns a lesson (even if it were the atheist finding god, like usual), but nope, it was this same crap all the way through.

    I’m divided on whether this is better or worse than making sure the atheist character is a hollow shell of a human being so everyone ‘gets’ that atheism is wrong. Run away.

    It looks instead like they tried to make the best case they could for atheists seeming to be fine people — but atheism is still wrong because no matter how fine they seem on the surface, an atheist is a hollow shell of a human being inside. Don’t get close.

    I can’t choose right now.

  9. kestrel says

    What I found interesting… was, I think, black people are generally portrayed as totally family oriented (as in the Raisin in the Sun clip). So how could this nice, believing family sit with this nice, non-believing man, hear that his family has disowned him, and not be horrified by that? I found that weird.

    The whole thing was really interesting. I am glad to hear these voices and perspectives.

  10. Thumper: Token Breeder says


    He had just told her that he loves her, and she said “how can you love anybody if you don’t love god?”

    “How can you love me if you don’t love your mother?”
    “How can you love me if you don’t love your country?”
    “How can you love me if you don’t love peanut butter?”
    “How can you love me if you don’t love football?”
    “How can you love me if you don’t love puppies?”

    All these make about as much sense. As if your love or lack of love for a completely unrelated thing or person could possibly affect your love of your spouse/potential spouse/whatever. Logic; how the fuck does it work?

  11. Thumper: Token Breeder says


    I should make clear, since my above post doesn’t; I’m not having a go at you. I’m aware it was a quote and not your words. I’m just angry at the quoted sentence.

  12. tbtabby says

    They couldn’t even properly demonstrate why an atheist was incapable of loving simply because he didn’t love the sort of deity who would murder children for making fun of somebody’s bald head, but they still went ahead as though it were proven anyway. But remember, kids: it’s the CHRISTIANS who are being marginalized!

  13. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    It appears to be the same certainty with which a commenter decrying same-sex marriage flatly stated that there had never been any evidence of anything older than 5,000 years (therefore God, therefore his false idea of biblical marriage) or that evolution has never been demonstrated. It’s the certainty of brainwashing and cultural blinders that prevent them from seeing anything but what they’ve been taught. It’s the same blinders that prevent us from imagining a female bus driver or a same-sex marriage until we see one.