Tuesday, September 21, 2010
In March of this year in an article entitled "Black Infidels" Hutchinson begins the article by strongly criticizing Harvey's comments "self-proclaimed dating guru Steve Harvey charged that atheists had no moral values. Anyone who didn't believe in God was an "idiot," he said, and women should steer clear of these rogue blasphemers at all costs."
Jeffery S. Mitchell who met Dr. Hutchinson at the Atheist Alliance Intl 2009 convention, remembers seeing Steve Harvey on Larry King restating his comments. "At the beginning of his (Harvey) comments, I felt he sincerely meant he was at a loss for words to say when communicating with an atheist. I thought he was almost expressing a desire to understand the non-believer's side" says Mitchell. "Then as the interview went on, I believe Harvey went into his "obnoxious" character routine. He is an entertainer, so I understand completely why he went there." Mitchell is also a member of the Black Skeptics Group and created the promotional ad from text he received from Hutchinson. "I'm hoping to reach out to Mr Harvey, as I'm from Northeast Ohio too, and maybe if he is into we can dialogue to better understand each others position."
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 1:00pm
Lucy Florence Coffee House
3351 W. 43rd Street
Los Angeles, CA
"A growing number of blacks are 'going Godless.' Steve Harvey says we have no morals, but what about the Catholic Church scandals, predator preachers and Koran-burning crazies? Come join the Black Skeptics Group at Lucy Florence coffehouse in Leimert Park on November 7th at 1:00 in a candid discussion about living happily and morally without religion." -Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson
We are a group of people who meet in the Los Angeles area to discuss (not argue or debate) our experiences with religion and church as it relates to the black community (all are welcome). We are not here to convert anyone or change anyone's views. We provide a place to exchange ideas and stories to those people who have questions but feel they cannot openly discuss their faith and belief without persecution.
Hutchinson along with famed evolutionary biologist, author & Professor Emeritus Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, Anthony Pinn and others will meet at Howard to discuss the issues surrounding science within the Black Community as well as the impediments imposed by superstition and religious dogma. The public event is hosted by the Department of Physiology & Biophysics of Howard University, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, the Secular Students of Howard University, The James Randi Foundation, Center for Inquiry - On Campus, Black Atheists of America as well as other local and national secular groups.
Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, noted author and activist: "The Black Church's policing of the bodies and destinies of black women and the lives of gays and lesbians represents a bankrupt 'morality' which is just as pernicious as that of the Religious Right... if being black and being Christian are synonymous, then being black, female and religious (whatever denomination) is practically compulsory. Insofar as atheism and humanism provide an implicit rejection of both black patriarchy and 'authentic' blackness, those who would dare to come out of the closet as atheists are potential race traitors."
Professor Emeritus Richard Dawkins, Oxford University: "Science is for everybody. It is of course useful, and we can use it to solve humanity's problems. But useful is not all that science is. Science is also beautiful, and its beauty, too, is for everybody. Science tells us the truth about reality, about the real universe which we all inhabit. There is a savage beauty in the cosmos, which dwarfs our petty human concerns and quarrels. Raising our sights to our telescopes' far horizon, cosmology unites us in awe. At the same time evolution, the unifying theory of all biology, not only explains our very existence but teaches us we are all one family, all kin, regardless of race, with a shared ancestral heritage which binds us into hopes of a shared future."
Professor Anthony Pinn, Religious Studies at Rice University: "This is an ideal time and this event is an important opportunity to stress the importance for African Americans to critically engage the world and, through reasonable means, assess the issues impinging upon quality of life for African Americans across the country."
The Black Skeptics Group meets in Los Angeles to provide all races of people (though dedicated to African Americans) with an outlet to express their religious stories and questions. The Group is planning an event of its own: Going Godless In The Black Community on November 7 in Los Angeles, Ca.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
From The New Humanism Magazine
By Sikivu Hutchinson
Newt Gingrich's new book, To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine, has harsh words for nonbelievers—or at least those who in his view are complicit with the president in a "secular-socialist" conspiracy that imperils the nation's survival. Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, conservatives have been relentless in their vilification of Obama as a mortal enemy of American democratic traditions, free enterprise and the moral authority of the United States. Gingrich's canard is noteworthy because of its hackneyed Cold War-style conflation of Obama's liberal domestic policies and the lurking evil of secularism. The scorched earth culture wars that characterized the Reagan-Bush and George W. Bush eras made "secular" a dirty word. Secularism was blamed for everything from abortion, teen pregnancy, divorce, pedophilia and political radicalism. In this latest iteration, secularism was once again code speech for being anti-American, un-patriotic and amoral. Gingrich's charge against Obama was part of a growing wave of anti-government hysteria incited by the far right Tea Party movement. This hysteria is informed by the belief that secularism is the ideological linchpin of an administration caricatured as the architect of big government wealth redistribution.
Historians such as Gary Wills, Robert Middlekauf and Robert Boston have ably challenged the grossly misguided notion promulgated by conservatives that the U.S. was a founded as a fundamentally "Christian nation." Yet the persistence of this myth continues to cast long shadows on American politics, culture and education. In March 2010, the Texas Board of Education proposed substituting the term "Atlantic triangular trade" for the term "slave trade" and revising historical representations of the separation of church and state in its textbooks. Dominated by conservatives, the most prominent members of the Board were a dentist and a real estate agent. No historians, sociologists or political scientists were consulted. The Texas debacle was significant because the state is one of the largest buyers of textbooks in the U.S. and has a broad national influence over school curricula. One of the most extreme examples of the backlash against "secularism" was the Texas Board's decision to omit Thomas Jefferson from "a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone." In lieu of Jefferson, the National Rifle Association, The Moral Majority and Gingrich's "Contract with America" brainchild were added to state content standards to restore "balance" to an egregiously left-leaning curriculum. Based on the Board's view that capitalism had gotten a bad rap, the word capitalism was replaced with free enterprise...MORE@http://www.thenewhumanism.org/
Tuesday, September 7, 2010