More Science and Reason Needed in the African American Community

June 16, 2010

In preparation for our July 10 conference, "Making Humanism Relevant to African Americans," I decided to set my car radio dial to WTLC-AM .  This station seems to have religious programming the majority of the day and evening which is of the highly hypnotic and emotional variety of sermons and music.  I found myself getting into a very confused state as I listened. I tried to listen to what was actually said which was hard to do since I found myself getting lost in the cadence and repetitiveness of the speech and the rhythmic pattern and emotionality of the music.  I felt I was losing control and going insane.  I just couldn't take if for a very long period of time.  Yet, I would presume that some people listen to this all day??

However, when I did concentrate on the words and try to piece them together into some kind of sentence structure with meaning, I was even more appalled by the message they were promoting.  I learned that if I just tithed and gave that part of my income to "God" that I would be "blessed" with success in whatever venture I undertook and my wishes would be fulfilled.   Several examples were given of people who had been led into great success and fortunes once they began tithing.  I learned that I should not settle for a small house.  I should set my sites on a big house.  I shouldn't settle for less than I wanted and deserved because "God would provide."  I also heard promises of medical cures for diseases being touted which were based on scientifically untested claims. 

When I have picked up the local African American newspaper, The Recorder , it is full of religious ads and news.   Going to the website today, I see several articles on local news and issues as well as national and international issues.  It is interesting and enlightening to read these from a different perspective than is portrayed in the Indianapolis Star .  There are also some excellent opinion pieces including, " Rand Paul Needs a History Lesson; Blacks a Future Lesson."    The Indianapolis Recorder began publishing in 1896.  It is the third oldest African American Newspaper in the United States.   It has received many journalistic awards.  It has and continues to represent the African American community well.  However, it too is infused with an overabundance of religion. 

Will the ad I am purchasing in The Recorder be noticed among the many ads for churches?   Will anyone from the African American community come to our program because of that ad?   Will I be able to get Jamila Bey, our featured speaker, an interview with Amos Brown on WTLC?  His "Afternoons with Amos"  is among America's top rated Black talk shows. If so, will anyone who listens be persuaded to come and check out our program?   Will CFI be able to make inroads in the African American communities throughout the United States with our message of science and reason?  

Under the leadership of Debbie Goddard , we all need to work to build on the success of the DC conference. More science and reason is needed in the African American Community to combat the religious false promises with which they are bombarded every day.