Moral Combat, An Enlightening Book from a Feminist Point of View

 

April 28, 2011, Lecture @ University of South Alabama

 

Amazon Reader J. Gomez writes:

“Moral Combat” is an enlightening book about the current struggle of black humanist atheist beliefs from a feminist point of view. This informative 280-page book is composed of the following eight chapters: 1. “Out of the Closet”: Black Atheists in Moral Combat, 2. This Far by Faith? Race traitors and Gender Apostates, 3. The Politics of Urban Religiosity, 4. Black Infidels: Secular Humanism and African American Social Thought, 5. Not Knocking on Heaven’s Door, 6. In God We Trust: Whiteness and Public Morality, 7. The White Stuff: New Atheism and Its Discontents, and 8. The Road Ahead.

Positives:
1. Well researched, elegant and passionate prose.
2. I love books that provides me with a unique and new perspective on topics that I care about and this book does exactly that.
3. A book with conviction. Ms. Hutchinson provides compelling arguments for all her positions.
4. Great use of studies and well grounded references to back up her points.
5. This is the first book that makes it perfectly clear to me why African Americans embraced Christianity. With a number of well conceived explanations that hammers the point home. Bravo!
6. The key differences between black and white atheists.
7. An understanding of African American politics.
8. The courage to come out as an atheist in the black community.
9. The role of patriarchy and its impact.
10. The stranglehold of religion in the African American community.
11. Great wisdom throughout, “When the language of a given creed opposes human rights, no moral high ground can be claimed.”
12. Religion and economics.
13. The dangers of faith based initiatives. Including the prison variety…
14. Prayers as the primary means of emotional therapy and why that is so.
15. Great quotes from African American atheists. “If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him.” – James Baldwin.
16. Frederick Douglass the intellectual pioneer of African American free thought.
17. A historical look at African American atheism.
18. How the business of organized religion is detrimental to poor blacks. Fascinating topic.
19. How the Bible’s view of violence against women justify treating them like property.
20. The truth about morality.
21. Thought-provoking book that challenges old cultural views. Example, scientific studies that indicate that there is “little solid evidence of sex differences in children’s brains.” My skeptic nature will force me to follow up on this since it goes against my preconceived notion but I will accept the facts according to the best evidence.
22. So much enlightening history in this book including recent history such as the Texas Board of Education making a mockery of the very institution they are suppose to uphold.
23. The issue of abortion.
24. God as the last refuge of scoundrels.
25. Pigliucci versus Harris on “scientism.”
26. The importance of atheist movements incorporating more women and people of color.
27. Moral values in proper context.
28. Park space and its impact to children, interesting.
29. Incarceration rates and race.
30. Secular Humanism and the power to do good. In the African American community this will only be viable if it is culturally relevant.
31. The links worked great! Great references too.
32. One of the best Kindle values!

Negatives:
1. The focus was on the African American atheist experience in Los Angeles so I wonder if that correlates to the rest of the country. I would assume so.
2. Graphs and illustrations never hurt to better illustrate points.
3. So many great books mentioned, a separate bibliography would have been welcomed.
4. Having to wait for Ms. Hutchinson’s next book.

In summary, this is an enlightening book. One of the main reasons I love to read it’s because great authors like Ms. Hutchinson take me to a world that I admittedly know very little about and expose me to new and interesting perspectives. The author summarizes in one sentence many of the topics covered in this excellent book, “For many black atheist women, atheism’s appeal lies in its deconstruction of the bankrupt more, values and ideologies that prop up patriarchy, sexism, heterosexism, racism, white supremacy, imperialism, and economic injustice.” An important book, I highly recommend it!

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