Science and Faith in the Black Community

by Guest Contributor Hemant Mehta, originally published at Friendly Athiest

Howard University recently hosted a panel of atheists to discuss the topic of “Science and Faith in the Black Community” — certainly a topic that needs far more attention that it has received in the past.

The event was sponsored by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the panelists included Richard Dawkins, Anthony Pinn, Sikivu Hutchinson, and Todd Stiefel. Mark Hatcher, the president of the Secular Students at Howard University, was the moderator:

Professor Anthony Pinn, Religious Studies at Rice University: “This is an ideal time and this event is an important opportunity to stress the importance for African Americans to critically engage the world and, through reasonable means, assess the issues impinging upon quality of life for African Americans across the country.”

Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, noted author and activist: ”The Black Church’s policing of the bodies and destinies of black women and the lives of black gays and lesbians represents a bankrupt ‘morality’ which is just as pernicious as that of the Religious Right…if being black and being Christian are synonymous, then being black, female and religious (whatever the denomination) is practically compulsory. Insofar as atheism and humanism provide an implicit rejection of both black patriarchy and ‘authentic’ blackness, those who would dare to come out of the closet as atheists are potential race traitors.”

I only had a chance to watch the beginning, but I can’t wait to sit down and see the entire thing.

In the meantime, any thoughts on what they discuss in the video? Any parts we should watch in particular? (Please leave a timestamp if that’s the case!)

(Thanks to Claudia and Mab for the link!)

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