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Following a powerful “Black Family Discussion”, Black Nonbelievers has launched a billboard campaign aimed at encouraging the Black community to evaluate their religious beliefs as aiding and abetting White supremacy.
The organization also charges that said beliefs are a hindrance to liberation from oppressive systems, which can derail progress for our communities.
“Christianity was definitely a useful tool for enslavers” says Black Nonbelievers Founder and President, Mandisa Thomas. “It conditioned us to accept harsh treatment and oppression and even gave us a way to view that acceptance as godly behavior. We were trained to ‘serve our earthly masters’ as a proxy of how earnestly we would serve our ‘heavenly master’ – all while we waited for justice and our reward in the next life.”
Co-sponsored by the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, the new billboards are displayed near I-75/85 at Langford Parkway, and Peachtree Road, near Piedmont Hospital.
“One major concern to many of us is how much the Black community still tightly holds on to Christianity in particular”, says Thomas. “While the general nonreligious demographic is on the rise in the U.S., the numbers in our communities are significantly lower in comparison. And as anti-racism work becomes a focal point, it is clear that something as foundational as faith could be predisposing us to more oppression, and for longer periods of time.
We understand that this is a tough ask. It may be difficult to accept the complicity. But given the history of Christianity – especially as it relates to Black community – we must address it. We are ready.”
Black Nonbelievers is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Headquartered in the Atlanta area, they connect with other Blacks (and allies) who are living free of religion and might otherwise be shunned by family and friends, in a caring, festive, and informative environment. Instead of accepting dogma, Black Nonbelievers determines truth and morality through reason and evidence.