Western atheism and race
In 2015, BloombergView reported concerning the United States:
|“|| According to a much-discussed 2012 report from the Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life, only 3 percent of U.S. atheists and agnostics are black, 6 percent are Hispanic, and 4 percent are Asian. Some 82 percent are white. (The relevant figures for the population at large at the time of the survey were 66 percent white, 11 percent black, 15 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian.)
...Craig Keener, in his huge review of claims of miracles in a wide variety of cultures, concludes that routine rejection of the possibility of the supernatural represents an impulse that is deeply Eurocentric.
The atheist Sikivu Hutchinson declared “If mainstream freethought and humanism continue to reflect the narrow cultural interests of white elites who have disposable income to go to conferences then the secular movement is destined to remain marginal and insular.”
The atheist community has not had significant outreach to racial minorities within the Western World whereas Christians have done this (particularly among the poor). See also: Atheism and uncharitableness
In 2010, an atheists' conference was organized in the United States concerning the future direction of the atheist movement and 370 people attended. The conference, sponsored by the Council for Secular Humanism, drew members from all the major atheist organizationsin the United States. The New York Times described the attendees as "The largely white and male crowd — imagine a Star Trek convention, but older..."
Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheists' websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women. These findings suggest that the atheist movement in the Western world and the New Atheism movement are significantly more appealing to white males.
In 2011, Beliefnetnews reported concerning the race and gender of American atheists:
|“|| From the smallest local meetings to the largest conferences, the vast majority of speakers and attendees are almost always white men. Leading figures of the atheist movement — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett — are all white men.
But making atheism more diverse is proving to be no easy task.
Surveys suggest most atheists are white men. A recent survey of 4,000 members of the Freedom from Religion Foundation found that 95 percent were white, and men comprised a majority.
- 1 Cultural diversity of the atheist population
- 2 Token efforts to extend racial minorities leadership positions in atheist organizations
- 3 African-American atheists and loneliness
- 4 Atheist organizations: Focus on church-state/creationism issues - poor largely ignored
- 5 Expected racial demographic changes in the Western World
- 6 European drop in world's population percentage and rise of religious African population
- 7 Lack of significant global outreach by atheists
- 8 Evolutionary racism
- 9 Creativity Movement
- 10 Quote
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
- 13 Notes
Cultural diversity of the atheist population
Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics (see also: Causes of evolutionary belief). Charles Darwin's book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life has been translated into 35 languages.
In terms of its geographic distribution, Christianity is a much more a global religion than most, if not all, religions (See also: Global Christianity). The Bible has been translated into 518 languages and 2,798 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.
Collectively speaking, the Christian community has a much greater degree of linguistic and cultural diversity than the atheist community (see also: Atheist community and verbal–linguistic intelligence).
Token efforts to extend racial minorities leadership positions in atheist organizations
On October 9, 2014, the atheist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson declared:
|“||Despite frequent tokenistic calls for “diversity” within the “movement,” there are virtually no people of color in executive management positions in any of the major secular, atheist, or Humanist organizations —notable exceptions being Debbie Goddard of Center for Inquiry and Maggie Ardiente of American Humanist Association. People of color are constantly bombarded with claims of separatism, reverse discrimination, and “self-segregation” when they point to the absence of social justice, anti-racist community organizing, coalition-building, and visibility among secular organizations. After the Washington Post article, the vitriol and denialism among the “We are All Africans” white atheists was off the chain. This illustrates yet again that sticking a few of us on conference panels or secular boards is nothing but cheap appeasement.||”|
Sikivu Hutchinson's criticism of RDF and Center for Inquiry merger
See also: Center for Inquiry
Atheist Sikivu Hutchinson wrote:
|“||The recent merger of the secular organization Center for Inquiry (CFI) and the Richard Dawkins Foundation (RDF) has been dubbed atheism's supergroup moment. Acknowledging the two organizations' outsized presence in the atheist world, Religion News Service acidly declared it a "royal wedding". The partnership, which gives Richard Dawkins a seat on the CFI board, smacks of a vindication of Dawkins' toxic, reactionary brand of damn-all-them-culturally-backward-Western-values-hating- Muslims New Atheism. As one of the most prominent global secular organizations, CFI's all-white board looks right at home with RDF's lily white board and staff.||”|
|“||The beginnings of police states, even in democratic societies, widespread government espionage, and other abuses of power by military, political, and industrial elites, and the continuance of unyielding racism, all present a different and difficult social outlook. In various societies, the demands of women and minority groups for equal rights effectively challenge our generation.||”|
African-American atheists and loneliness
See also: Atheism and loneliness
|“|| ...for a couple of centuries, African-American culture has been imbued with Christianity. The church figured prominently in both the abolitionist and civil rights movements. And today in many communities, the Christian church continues to be the nucleus of black life.
So, what about the black nonbelievers? It's one isolating experience, according to Jamila Bey.
Atheist organizations: Focus on church-state/creationism issues - poor largely ignored
In June 2014, Sikivu Hutchinson wrote in the Washington Post that atheist organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces. Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do offer significant help to poor African-Americans.
Also, according to a video posted at Freethought Blogs storefront churches provide assistance to local residents including women, and this partly explains the dearth of Hispanic and African-American women atheists in America (Atheists give less to charity than Christians).
In 2014, the atheist Chris Hall wrote in an article which was published by Salon magazine and Alternet:
|“||Direct challenges to racism and sexism haven’t traditionally been the domain of the large organizations like American Atheists or the Secular Coalition for America. It’s been far more typical to fight incursions against separation of church and state or educate against pseudoscience like homeopathy.||”|
For more information, please see: White atheist outreach is not competitive to the black church
Expected racial demographic changes in the Western World
In the United Kingdom, by the year 2050, 30 percent of the population is expected to be non-white. In the United States, the Hispanic population is expected to triple by the year 2050 and become 30% of the United States population. Yale Daily News reported in an article entitled White Europeans: An endangered species? that "Without a major shift in the current fertility trends, industrialized Europe will see its native population decline by about three-fourths over the 21st century."
European drop in world's population percentage and rise of religious African population
In 2014, the Pew Research Forum indicated that Europe will go from 11% of the world's population to 7% of the world's population by 2050 and that Africa will go from 15% of the world's population to 25% of the world's population.
Lack of significant global outreach by atheists
The former Soviet Union had a worldwide expansionist policy as far as spreading atheistic communism. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to a spike in religious affiliation, both in Russia and in Eastern Europe.
The atheists in the Western World and East Asia have not had significant outreaches to spread atheism throughout the world. Historically, Christians have made great evangelism efforts to reach every people group across the earth. In 2005, there were four times as many non-Western World Christians as there were Western World Christians. Doing overseas evangelism/outreaches, often requires significant hardships/persecution and Western atheists and East Asian atheists have been unwilling to endure such hardships in order to spread atheistic ideology (see: Atheism and hedonism).
In the United States, atheists are in the minority (See: Atheist Population). And in the United States and Canada, the general population looks very unfavorably on atheists (see: Views on atheists). In the United States/Canada, atheists are generally white.
Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists. The errant and ill-founded writings of atheist Charles Darwin (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) , which became very influential in the late 19th century, provided a pretext for racism.
Evolutionary racism refers to a racist philosophy based on Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory. It assumes that men have continually evolved, and thus some races are more evolved than others. It replaces Christian morality with the atheistic "survival of the fittest" ideology of Social Darwinism.
Charles Darwin wrote in his work The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex:
|“||At some future period not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes...will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest Allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as the baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.||”|
|“||Haeckel was the chief apostle of evolution in Germany.... His evolutionary racism; his call to the German people for racial purity and unflinching devotion to a "just" state; his belief that harsh, inexorable laws of evolution ruled human civilization and nature alike, conferring upon favored races the right to dominate others; the irrational mysticism that had always stood in strange communion with his brave words about objective science—all contributed to the rise of Nazism.—Stephen J. Gould, "Ontogeny and Phylogeny," Belknap Press: Cambridge MA, 1977, (pp.77-78).||”|
When asked in an interview, "If we do not acknowledge some sort of external [standard], what is to prevent us from saying that the Muslim [extremists] aren’t right?", Richard Dawkins replied, "What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question, but whatever [defines morality], it’s not the Bible. If it was, we’d be stoning people for breaking the Sabbath."
The interviewer wrote in response, "I was stupefied. He had readily conceded that his own philosophical position did not offer a rational basis for moral judgments. His intellectual honesty was refreshing, if somewhat disturbing on this point."
Evolutionary racism still exist today. For example, evolutionary racism was recently directed at Michelle Obama. The historic taint of white evolutionary racism within the white atheist community no doubt has been a factor which has hindered the adoption of atheism in the Western World among racial minorities. Leading creation science organizations such as Creation Ministries International, Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research commonly point out the evolutionary racism that has existed within the evolutionary community.
Thomas Sowell wrote:
|“||While slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in its history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all…. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principle impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called ‘the religious right.’…this story is not ‘politically correct’ in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.”||”|
The Christian abolitionist William Wilberforce was the father of Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford who took part in the famous creation vs. evolution with evolutionist T. H. Huxley in 1860. In the United States, the black church has been a major force in advancing the cause of racial equality.
Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa comments about black women and the black race
Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa is an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics. Dr. Kanazawa publishes a blog on the Psychology Today website called The Scientific Fundamentalist.
In 2011, Dr. Kanazawa published the following inappropriate comment which was later pulled by the Psychology Today website:
|“||It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others.||”|
Kanazawa has a "Savanna principle" hypothesis which speculates that societal problems are due to the human brain supposedly evolving in Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago in a very different environment from modern society.
See also: Creativity Movement
The Creativity Movement, formerly known as the World Church Of The Creator, is an atheistic white supremacist organization. The movement has denounced Christianity, as it purports to promote love for all of mankind. It denounces religion for bringing horror into the world by dividing the white race.
"As a black atheist, I encounter just as much racism amongst other atheists as anywhere else." - Ijeoma Oluo, The Guardian, October 24, 2015
- Atheism and diversity
- Atheism and evolutionary racism
- Atheism, race and gender
- Atheism and hip hop music
- Atheist Americans, race and alcoholism
- Creativity Movement
- Western agnosticism and race
- Asian atheism
- I'm an atheist, but I have no interest in joining your 'movement' by Jaya Saxena, The Guardian
- The Atheism Gap By Stephen L. Carter, BloombergView, Mar 27, 2015 4:26 PM EDT
- Gallup: Blacks Most Religious Group in U.S.
- Understanding Hispanic culture
- Atheism’s white male problem: A movement needs a moral cause beyond glamorizing disbelief by CJ Werleman, Salon, October 4, 2014
- Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
- * Dr. Don Batten, A Who’s Who of evolutionists Creation 20(1):32, December 1997.
- Darwin in translation
- Many religions heavily concentrated in one or two countries
- Christianity in its global context
- Bible translations
- Atheism and social justice: Sikivu Hutchinson on the first People of Color Beyond Faith conference, Chris Stedman, Religious Service News, Oct 9, 2014
- #AtheismSoWhite: Atheists of Color Rock Social Justice by Sikivu Hutchinson
- Humanist Manifesto II
- Black Atheists Say Non-Belief Means Cultural Outsider, NPR, May 28, 201012:00 PM ET
- Multiple references:
- Burke, Daniel, Religion News Service (May 13, 2009). "Religious people make better citizens, study says". Pew Research Forum. Archived on March 10, 2013 by Internet Archive. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Campbell, David and Putnam, Robert (November 14, 2010). "Religious people are 'better neighbors'". USA Today website. Retrieved on July 19, 2014.
- Sikivu, Ophelia, and Rebecca — who says atheism lacks women stars?
- Forget Christopher Hitchens: Atheism in America is undergoing a radical change by Chris Hall, Salon magazine, Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 12:25 PM UTC (originally published in Alternet)
- Non-white people almost 30 per cent of population by 2050, By James Kirkup, Political Editor, The Telegraph, May 5, 2014
- [U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050 U.S. Hispanic population to triple by 2050], USA Today, By Haya El Nasser, 2/12/2008
- White Europeans: An endangered species? By Trevor Wagener, Yale Daily News, February 27, 2008
- 10 projections for the global population in 2050 By Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research Forum, February 3, 2014
- The African apostles: How Christianity exploded in 20th-century Africa
- Is Christianity taking over the planet?
- America Coming to Terms: The Vietnam Legacy By Nguyen Anh Tuan, page 82
- [Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020] by Michael W. Chapman, CNS News, July 24, 2013 - 2:18 PM
- A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
- Barrett, Paul H. Darwin on Man 1974:276
- American Scientist May 1977:323
- The Descent of Man, chapter VI
- Sowell, Thomas (2005) The real history of slavery. In Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books
- Contemporary voices of white nationalism in America. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “World Church of the Creator, an organization that espouses an atheistic and white supremacist religious philosophy known as Creativity.”
- The new white nationalism in America: its challenge to integration. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “For instance, Ben Klassen, founder of the atheistic World Church of the Creator and the author of The White Man's Bible, discusses Christianity extensively in his writings and denounces religion that has brought untold horror into the world and divided the white race.”
- The World's Religions: Continuities and Transformations. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “A competing atheistic or panthestic white racist movement also appeared, which included the Church of the Creator/ Creativity (Gardell 2003: 129–134).”
- Ludwig Feuerbach. The Essence of Christianity. John Chapman. Retrieved on 2011–03–27. “Christ loved men: he wished to bless and unite them all without distinction of sex, age, rank or nationality. Christ is the love of mankind to itself embodied in an image–in accordance with the nature of religion as we have developed it–or contemplated as a person, but a person who (we mean, of course, as a religious object) has only the significance of an image, who is only ideal. For this reason love is pronounced to be the characteristic mark of the disciples.”
- My atheism does not make me superior to believers. It's a leap of faith too by Ijeoma Oluo, The Guardian, October 24, 2015