In the Spirit of Competition

In Pompano Beach Florida Black church ministers preach against ‘Evil’ New Mosque. This story is telling because it doesn’t just say local ministers, it goes out of the way to identify the race. Perhaps this is to distinguish it from white minister anti-Islam which may be construed as anti ethnic minority, or maybe the press just had an extra adjective lying around, I don’t know, but here are my two cents on this story:

While any Christian church is going to have a theological issue with Islam I think predominantly black churches have an additional motive to oppose a new mosque and that is that they are losing against this group in the competition to recruit new members. It is widely acknowledged that in black churches female attendance outstrips that of males. Add to that the fact that Islam has been particularly effective in attracting black males, both in the free world where most of the black males are and in the prisons where they are overrepresented percentage-wise, and it is easy to see the threat this poses to black churches.

One of the main reasons that Christianity fails to resonate among this group is because its pacifistic “turn the other cheek” ideals are seen as a passive and feminine philosophy. Additionally anyone with even a cursory knowledge of how Christianity was used to justify and aid in American race-based slavery will naturally view the existence of black Christian ministers in today’s day and age with suspision if not outright alarm and absolute amazement. This may not have been an issue when Christianity was the only game in town but ever since the enormous strides have been made by the emergence of Islam in America in recent years, what used to be a spirited competition between the two religions is, in some places, starting to look like a route.

Yes, I’m aware of the usual objections to the anti-Christian criticism in this regard: “It’s not just the Bible, teh Qur’an condones the practice of slavery too” “Muslim Arabs also engaged in the slave trade”. Valid points yes, but the fact remains that the slavery that was practiced here in the US happened under the aegis of Christian theology and the Bible. If it were possible for memories to be burned into the collective unconscious of families and transmuted through generations it would be hard to forget the picture of a slavermaster with a bullship in one hand and the King James Bible in the other (that might have never really happened, I just like to invoke that picture from my own imagination).

My point is that from a secular perspective you might be able to come up with some rational objections to Islam but for the life of me I can’t think of anything more demented than black people continuing to practice Christianity in America once the Emancipation Proclamation was first piloted. I mean really, if the slavemasters from America’s past could come back from the dead they would probably go and shake every black preacher’s hand and then pat them on the head for keeping the mind control going this long. Or better yet if black ministers could go back in time perhaps they would pick up bullwhips and aid in beating the Islam out of their West African forebears. If you want to oppose Islam in the black community fine but give the people a more viable alternative than Christianity. Maybe espouse atheism, witchcraft or even nihilism, but whatever you do don’t give them the Church. I don’t get that, and if I live to be 100 I never will. Color me incredulous.

“We, the practitioners of this voodoo oppose and condemn the practitice of that other voodoo!”

14 Responses to “In the Spirit of Competition”

  1. R says:

    And I bet you support reparations, too, huh.

  2. mexi says:

    If there are any former slaveowners still alive they should have to pay any formers slaves who are still alive.

  3. mexi says:

    Hey I think I finally found a post capable of alienating everybody at once!

  4. Phelps says:

    Actually, the Abolition movement was virtually exclusively Christian, while slavery was completely secular. The slavery arguments made from the bible were ex post facto, and generally among the nature of “give unto Caesar” rather than some sort of Old Testament argument.

    Abolitionists argued effectively from the bible against it, and a great many slaves were buoyed by Exodus (which is why so many freed slaves took Moses as thier name or named thier sons that way.) A primary reason that the south lost the war was that the Church of England was effective in getting the English textile mills to boycott Confederate cotton, which starved the South of funds and prevented resupply.

    The arguments of the Confederates were primarily legal and civil rights (for citizens) based. The arguments of the abolitionists were primarily spiritual and moral.

    If you are aware of a American Muslim abolitionist in the mid-Ninteenth century, I would be very interested in hearing the story. (Oh, and you mispelled “engage”. You could only say “Arab Muslims also engaged in the slave trade” if they had actually stopped.)

  5. mexi says:

    The fact that the argument may have been ex post facto didn’t mean much to the fellow on the plantation.

  6. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    How do you know that the mosque they are trying to open in Florida isn’t “Evil”? They might be renovating a haunted house, building on an Indian burial ground or their sewer lne might open a portal to hell. I think there should be further investigation

  7. mexi says:

    Hahaha! Well if it’s an evil mosque they should make them put “evil” on the sign. It might even become a tourist draw!

  8. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Tourists will go see anything.

  9. mexi says:

    Rats. I can’t find a sound file of Foxxy Love saying “Ancient Indian burial ground”.

  10. mexi says:

    He has an X hat!!!

  11. Phelps says:

    Oh, and to the guy on the plantation, he didn’t care if the argument came from the bible or the law. He just wanted what everyone wants — life, liberty and a white woman.


  12. Citizen Quasar says:

    What’s a “bullship?” Do these have handles?

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