Brother Asa, allow me to launch right into it:
You said: “I don’t base my intellectual or spiritual beliefs solely on European or “westernized” intellectualism.”
What is European or westernized intellectualism and how is it showing up in this conversation? That is an extremely vague, yet loaded charge. What is it and where is the proof?
“The world is a very diverse place and it’s western arrogance, among both whites and blacks, why they tend to only perceive aspects of life through this prism of western intellectualism. And what do prisms do? They distort light. Intellectual prisms in the same way distorts truth. That is the weakness in Furqan’s statement, as interesting and enlightening as it may appear. The westernized form of Christianity and it’s history that he (Furqan) riles against, is only one perspective among many. It’s not the be all and end all to judge religion or Christianity by.”
It is true that the world is a very diverse place as are the number of religious/spiritual practices. What I was concerning myself with was the dominant religious tradition/practice, the globally dominant practice, which is European. There is no diversity when it comes to which tradition has “won.” This is not to say that there are not sects, off-shoots or religious subcultures that “do their own thing.” My primary interest as a resident of the US is the brand of Christianity that has colonized those of us here.
As far as I know, the dominant Christian practice of the black collective here in North America is not Ghanaian, Tanzanian, Nigerian, or Ugandan. It is European and that particular practice was handed down from generation to generation. And it has maintained our enslavement – in spite of any cosmetics our people add to the recipe – as surely as any belief we may have in “democracy” or “liberty” that this country professes to be about. It is a grotesque lie and it is the lie of that religious tradition that we have adopted and what it purports to deliver to us that I am opposed to. And I am opposed to religion not, I maintain, out of “westernized intellectualism” but rather, intense skepticism of religion in general, and the specific idea that European institutions offer us salvation of ANY sort.
I respect your position on the difference between spirituality and religion; unfortunately, few can make the same distinction as you, in my humble opinion, making each synonyms for each other and for the reasons previously stated (fear of fire)
I submit that my interest in this subject is rooted primarily in FEELING: the feelings that course through me as I observe the black community, our tepid inertia, our ineffectual, feeble attempts to use the Master’s tools to free us which are no attempts at all. The grand opiate has seemingly put us to sleep.
Our colonized minds, it seems to me, cannot free us. It is only the mind that rejects ALL doctrine and dogma, particularly that which was handed down by our former slave master and current loan officer, employer, bootlegger, clothier, congressman.
“Lubankagene, I find it ironic that you make this statement while you use as your wordpress gravtar the image of Malcolm X , a religious zealot who practiced a religion that colonized and enslaved Africans well before the Europeans or Christianity.”
Asa, of course I find it ironic that you would make this point about Malcolm as he was criticized within the Nation for not preaching the “spiritual side” enough. Certainly, Islam has the SAME imperialistic impulse as Christianity; the issues and the brand of Islam that the Nation practiced was homemade, however, shaped to fit the REAL conditions of the black community in America. The point here is that the NOI is the EXCEPTION to the rule in the sense that it did not passively regurgitate the Islam of the East, as the black church in America does. No, they created a militant antidote to the pabulum taught in the Christian churches in America, which had little to no resemblance to orthodox Islam – this according to orthodox Muslims at the time.
Now, Malcolm was a zealot and he left the Nation and, for a little over a year, began exploring orthodox Islam before he was murdered. Where would Malcolm have been in a year or two or five? Who knows; but Malcolm was a rare breed who was open; open to whatever would lead to the liberation of his people. That was where his zealotry was truly focused and exactly why the government found it necessary to take his life.
Your point about Dr. Nichols is telling. I am not advocating being like the white man and simply thinking our way out of whatever problems we have – and failing to honor our feelings, intuition and spirit. On the contrary, I am arguing that we put down this “white dope” of religious dogma (and I’m not referring to you here), drop ANY dogma or belief system, particularly those which tend to divide and conquer us all. Step back. Let go of ANY crutches of the intellectual, spiritual variety. FEEL & THINK. Together, not separately. And keep letting go of any and all prisms that stand in the way of seeing TRUTH!
I have never advocated barring religious or any other conversations on this blog; and I am not advocating it now. My point, again, was to express my frustration and view that religion, for too many, pushes an off switch inside of the believer who is encouraged to view everything that happens to them through the “Jesus prism.” “Jesus/the church/Christianity is the answer to all of our problems” is the mentality and if finding Jesus is the answer, then I don’t see how we will be ever be able to come up with solutions that don’t end with that predetermined outcome.
Lubankene aka Maxjulian