Michael Jackson, Allah, and Why Certain People Should be the First to Reject Christianity

Upon the sudden death of Michael Jackson, his brother Jermaine announced his death and closed by saying, "May Allah be with you, Michael, always."

I wonder why African Americans would ever embrace Christianity given their history as slaves in Christian America. The same thing goes for Native Americans who were conquered by American Christians (ala Manifest Destiny), as well as Mexican and Hispanic Christians who believe what they do because of the Spanish Conquistadors who killed, raped and plundered their ancestors. Why would anyone like them embrace such a faith? I know I wouldn't.

30 comments:

edson said...

John, how is saying "may Allah be with you always" has to do with Christianity? Apparently Allah is a muslim God and Michael converted to Islam few years ago, and perhaps your post should have focused more on why is Islam so prominent in convicted inmates, troubled stars as was the case with Jackson and Tyson (Mike)and still enjoys more prominence among African Americans today?

Yes, I know you'll be suprised as to how I bring Islam to a blog which has little or nothing to do with Islam but in the same dimensions I'm equally suprised as to how does "Allah" and Michael Jackson could be used by you as a boogeyman to attack Christianity?

Moreover, assuming that Jermaine is a naive Christian theist who interpreted Allah as another nic of Christian God, and also assuming that you interpreted it that way, still I'm concerned as to how and why do you find it odd for an African American who has had bad historical experience with white christians and who read about Jesus message that "forgive those who mistreats you, just as your Dad in heaven forgives your sins" to be a Christian? Would you be happy to live in a world where people live in conflicts and grudges for the past injustices they treated each other? Is that your vision of an Atheistic America?

John W. Loftus said...

edson, Christians have to explain why God wasn't clear about what he wanted them to do or refrain from doing given his so-called foreknowledge of human history.

I call this the Problem of Miscommunication. When there is this kind of miscommunication coming from an omniscient God who should know human beings well enough to know how to effectively communicate so we would understand what he wanted us to do or refrain from doing, there is a serious and even fatal problem for believing in such a God.

edson said...

Spanish inquisition, crusades, slavery and other large scale injustices done in the name of Christianity are obviously a "thorn-in-the sides" of many conscious Christians and they demand appropriate response but I'd not say its due to problem of miscommunication.

The Spanish inquisition present one of the lowest marks in the history of Christianity. They were surely direct diversion of Jesus message about making disciples. The best response is for the Roman Catholic Church to apologize to Spanish people.

The Crusades began first as a direct response to muslim aggresion, which to me the initial decision of rescuing Spain from Islamic fangs by Pope Urban was the right one. Things spilled out of control though and yes I do not have the best answer at the moment.

Slavery is a complex issue. From the 21st century morality point of view and reading back to Old Testament times when slavery was just acceptable and revered, one would out right conclude: there is nothing Divine in Christianity and all that is mythical. Things make a U-turn however when reading about Jesus and the rest of the New Testament, but not completed though especially when it still mentions slavery, albeit sweet the verses may sound as is the book of Philemon. The message is obvious: the bible God condones slavery. I'd add, even God practiced slavery when He deprived Himself of His reputation, took the form of bondservant, came to the likeness of men to serve up to the lowest point of slavery ever imaginable.

This is as far as I can go as far as my knowledge and worldview is concerned.

John W. Loftus said...

That's not the half of it edson. Did you know that 8 million Christians killed each other during the 16th century French Wars of Religion and the Thirty Years war which decimated Germany? You ought to look at why they killed each other. Then you'll know the problem of miscommunication is a real one. With this history as hindsight I could do a much better job of communicating than God did with his so-called foreknowledge.

feeno said...

John
Is billy Jean your kid?

Edson,
W'dup fam

The Bible does condone slavery. However it would never condone the Alex Haley "Roots" type of slavery.
In Bible times you weren't a slave solely based on your race or color of skin. Anyone could sell themselves into slavery, in fact many prominent types did just that. (Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians etc.) If you couldn't pay your bills or it payed well people would become slaves.

To make someone a slave based upon race, color or national origin is totally against scripture. When America used slaves to work on plantations etc. that goes against scripture. (1 Tim. 8-10) speaks of slave traders and categorizes them with other reprobates. And then Mosaic Law would have us put them to death. (Ex 21:16).

RIP Michael, feeno

John W. Loftus said...

Feeno, the arguments for slavery were much stronger from the Bible than the arguments against it. Check this out before you argue otherwise. Remember, you are a child of your times and you argue based on hindsight conclusions.

Check this book out.

scott said...

Feeno wrote, Anyone could sell themselves into slavery, in fact many prominent types did just that. (Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians etc.) If you couldn't pay your bills or it payed well people would become slaves.

In the cases when everyone wasn't put to the sword, when the Israelites conquered near by cities in the name of God, many of those who survived found themselves essentially without recourse beyond entering into slavery.

The very situation seems to be aggravated by God-sponsored tribal conflicts.

To make someone a slave based upon race, color or national origin is totally against scripture.

Then why does God have different rules for those who are in the tribe of Israel vs those who are not?

J said...

Let's not forget the social implications of catholic family planning, ie Latin American urban areas, with massive shantytowns and undescribable poverty.

Maria supposedly appears now and then but she hasn't as of yet dropped any substantial amounts of dinero.

That said, monotheism as a whole--including Islam-- hardly has a respectable record. Arab slavers--mostly muslim-- have been preying on east Africa for years. The Koran mostly follows the Bible in terms of condoning slavery.

scott said...

Edison wrote: Would you be happy to live in a world where people live in conflicts and grudges for the past injustices they treated each other? Is that your vision of an Atheistic America?

Edison, you seem to be happy to live in a world where, by merely being born, human beings deserve the death sentence based on supposed "past injustices" by people that don't appear to have existed against a being who's existence we can't even substantiate. You seem content to think God is on your side, despite the fact that others use the very same claim to justify conflict and grudges on a global scale.

Apparently, it's God who's keeping score, and he can only be persuaded to wipe his books clean by sacrificing himself?

Instead, it appears that an "myth" created as an attempt to make sense out of bad fortune and suffering has turned into a foundation for vilifying and polarizing humanity in general.

skyridden said...

Well, John, I suppose not every post must be coherent or make sense.

Sometimes, your words make me sense that you have an angry tone against all matters of religion and faith.

When was the first time that religion/faith really messed you up? What were those circumstances?

feeno said...

W'sup Scott

The Jews were slaves to the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Romans, not because they were Jews but because they kept getting their asses kicked. That's the way it worked back then. And when the Israeli's put a beat down on someone they did the same thing.

My point was that selling people for profit or thinking one race of people is better than another is just not Biblical. It may have happened and "Christians" may have justified their actions by using the Bible, but that doesn't excuse their actions. Fred Phelps uses a Bible to spew his hate, but the Bible doesn't condone his actions either.

This goes to John's point about misscommunication, however we should not blame God for that, but ourselves.

Michael Jackson said it best "It doesn't matter who's wrong or right, just beat it, just beat it.

Dueces, feeno

scott said...

John wrote: I call this the Problem of Miscommunication. When there is this kind of miscommunication coming from an omniscient God who should know human beings well enough to know how to effectively communicate so we would understand what he wanted us to do or refrain from doing, there is a serious and even fatal problem for believing in such a God.

Totally agree.

God only seems to be omniscient when it suits the theist's argument.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume that God somehow didn't know the outcome of his attempts at communication. Despite being all powerful and good by his very nature, it's unclear how such a God would know what actions to take in any situation. For example, how could this God know how to cause the Big Bang to unfold in just the right way that our planet would be formed 13 billion years later? How would this God know that anyone would choose him at all? God must be quite aware of what would occur, otherwise he's be blindly taking actions that might have radically different outcomes than he intended.

Even if we ignore this dilemma, if God exists and created us in final form, he has observed us for thousands of years. He would have experiential knowledge by means of creating us. Surely, it doesn't take an omniscient being to identify the problem and rectify it. Yet the problem only continues to grow worse.

scott said...

That's the way it worked back then. And when the Israeli's put a beat down on someone they did the same thing.

Again, I'm confused.

You claim that the Egyptians, Babylonians, assyrians and Roman all worshipped false Gods while the Israelites communicated with a perfectly good, all knowing, al powerful being. But you throw up your hands and say "That's the way it worked back then?"

Should one find out their children were taking drugs, would they be justified in tolerating it because, "that's what everyone's doing now?"

Furthermore, the very universe supposedly "worked back then" because God omnipotently and omnisciently created it exactly that way. It's unclear why this same God would project a sense of tolerance for this sort of behavior, while knowing sending people off on campaigns that would result in more people selling themselves into slavery.

This might somehow make "sense" to you, but it seems intellectually dishonest to me.

This goes to John's point about misscommunication, however we should not blame God for that, but ourselves.

Feeno, this statement clearly ignores the obvious and fact that communication is a two way street. Surely, you've experienced this personally. At best, you could claim that it's half our fault.

However, unlike human beings, God would be clearly aware of our each and every one of our misconceptions. As such, he'd be presented with a choice of either correcting them or intentionally allowing it to continue.

If you are aware of a crime, are you not responsible to report it?

Also, unlike human beings, God would have the time and capacity to to correct these misconceptions as he is supposedly infinite.

Again, God conveniently appears to be infinite only when creating the universe or life.

Gandolf said...

Hi Feeno

You said "It may have happened and "Christians" may have justified their actions by using the Bible, but that doesn't excuse their actions"

Ok you admit the bible was most likely used to justify these things.After all be kinda blind to not see that, really wouldnt it.

It might not justify the actions but still does it justify the supposed divine book of some supposed god obviously being so complicated and unclear that because of this fact these things came to pass.

Before you come back and suggest the bible is actually not so unclear or even so complicated etc.

First explain how there then just happens to be so very many different beliefs that have evolved from out of it.Having caused much division and pain etc etc worldwide?.

I suggest if you try suggesting the bible is both divine and clear and not complicated at all.

By saying that.

You are in fact suggesting all that got it wrong somehow only got it wrong because they are simply just evil or naturally bad or totally stupid or something.

Would you be prepared to do what very well might be a rather large injustice to many,just to protect yours and others faithful belief in this supposed divine book? of some suggested god?.

How righteous or moral would that be?.Christians say they care lots about whats good and moral and of justice etc etc,right!?.

Many faithful folk sit within their own special pod of their personally chosen group,and when we tell them about some disgusting things that happen.Their simple reply is "oh but that group over there, well hell they are just not real Christians that is all it is"

Really its (honestly) that simple??.You have taken care in your judgments?.

How many (good folk) who have honestly found the (so called divine book)written by (mere men) to be honestly complicated and very unclear,have been wrongfully judged over many many years now as being just simply bad or evil or stupid etc??.

Far to many!!, i suggest.

And it reeks far more of puffed up pride!, than having anything much to do with morality or even justice.

Gandolf said...

Which is partly why when people ask me what specific group i personally used to belong to etc etc.

I decline to offer my personal families group up for scrutinization.

Why?

Well i know what the agenda`s most likely gonna be at.

Its gonna be aimed at picking at what ever can be dragged up against my families personal church group,rather than addressing any real root of the problem.

Erp said...

I suspect African-Americans embraced Christianity in part because it was a way of hiding opposition in plain sight. Read the Bible but emphasize the exodus from Egypt and that in God there is not a difference between free and slave and not the bits about slaves being obedient to their masters. Whites complain? Well we are just reading the Bible. The Black churches became ways of organizing the community for mutual help and sometimes for protest (though sometimes some opposed going 'too fast'). I suspect if you were a member of an AME church in city A and moved to city B several hundred miles away, joining the AME church there gave you immediate connections that could help establish you.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

John I'm sorry but this is the most STUPID thing I've ever read over here and you know I read a lot...

Allah isn't even a Christian reference and you know that. MJ was a JW (Non Christian) from the beginning and probably a Muslim in the end...has nothing to do with Christianity...

What about the GODLESS/ATHEIST Chineese regeime...why shoulD any of us buy anything from China?...don't they opress and kill their people...but yet the watch you have on was probably made there and the computer you're typing on certainly has some parts that was made there...why don't we all just go back to living in caves John...you are BACKWARDS my friend.

By the way, I am an American Native and an African American. Ogibwa (Chippewa) and Black so I guess I've got all kinds of excuses to hate Christianity and America right?...Get outta dodge with that YANG!

That is RIDICULOUS!

Ten Minas Ministries said...

It seems the modus operandi of this thread is to acknowledge the questions edson initially posed, then avoid them altogether. I'm still looking for an answer as to what a reference to "Allah" has to do with Christianity and/or how John would respond to the point that he certainly seems to be advocating a world where people "live in conflicts and grudges for the past injustices." Simply changing the subject and criticizing something about Christianity isn't a response. Edson's challenge asked the atheists here to provide a defense of John's comments but instead everyone seems to have gone on the offensive.

Hacksaw Duck said...

I agree, of course, that Christian slavery is a terrible blot on that religion's reputation. But what about Islam? Its history is rife with slavery. In fact, Muslims are among the peoples of the world who still are slaveholders -- especially in African republics. That means Muslims still enslave blacks ... it's not just a matter of history. And amazingly, a lot of blacks in the U.S. actually convert to that piece of crap religion.

There seems to be a lot less outrage here over current slaveholding by Muslims than there is about the Christian slaveholding that died out more than a century ago.

I guess I can understand that, given the focus of this blog. But still, the concern in our society over third-world slavery is nothing short of underwhelming.

Hacksaw Duck said...

Harvey, it's the Chinese government that brutalizes its people. The workers who make our watches are not murderous monsters. They are poor factory laborers trying to eke out an existence. You want to cut off their livelihood and sent them to rummage through the landfill for sustenance?

I, for one, will buy their watches. I'll buy affordable products from overseas before I spring for the overpriced products made by our bloated, overpaid, overindulged union workers in the USA.

Geonite said...

I totally agree with this post.

http://geonite.blogspot.com/2009/06/never.html

Geonite said...

If I'm reading these comments right Christianity is claiming that Tanach gave them the right to do the things it did...What liars Christians are. Get a grip on reality because you have zero understanding of the Bible.

scott said...

Ten Minas wrote: I'm still looking for an answer as to what a reference to "Allah" has to do with Christianity [...] Edson's challenge asked the atheists here to provide a defense of John's comments but instead everyone seems to have gone on the offensive.

Ten,

I think John's point is that he is confused as why people would be attracted to Christianity (and theism in general) as it appears to only espouse that which is considered "moral" at a particular time or for a particular culture. This is in sharp contrast to what we would consider a set of human rights that spans these boundaries.

Christianity may seem appealing since it is often characterized with a zeal for moral behavior, however, this appeal is lost due to it's history of "fair weather" morality.

Specifically, Christianity is based on the foundation that morality comes from God, that we can somehow have a direct line to this morality and previous moral demands or teachings that tolerated forms of slavery or even demanded wholesale violence against specific cultures were somehow justified based on God's position as our creator and a transcendent being.

While it might be possible to interpret some NT scripture as being against slavery, such "revelation" is far to little and too late, as other teachings had presented a far clearer and stronger message centuries earlier.

Christian morals appear to be changing once again. An example of this would be the issue of homosexuality. Looking back, it would appear that the Bible's singling out same sex relationships contradicts with we know now about human behavior, biology, etc. And we're seeing this change taking effect on the edge of liberal Christianity. One day, I think we'll look back on homosexuality as we do slavery today.

How might this be harmonized? For the sake of argument, if God does exist and did divinely decree homosexuality a sin, perhaps his decision was designed to ensure reproduction would occur at rates that would sustain humanity? However, based on our current population growth, this clearly is no longer an issue. (Just as we no longer stone children who disobey their parents or people who work on Sundays)

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

Hacksaw,

I feel ya...I wasn't saying stop buying "China", i was saying if we use atrocity or injustice (govermental or otherwise) as a standard there's a lot more to go around than just Christiian or even religious nations...

Thanks.

Hacksaw Duck said...

Got it, Harvey. Thanks for clarifying.

Bluemongoose said...

Okay, first off, is John trying to negate God because humans misinterpret His communications?

Second, Allah is different from the God of the Bible. Allah is a monotheistic god, while Yaweh of the Bible is trinitarian (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Two different concepts and different parameters.

Slavery goes under the divine permission versus divine sanction category. God did not ultimately want slavery, (He reminded the Hebrews of how badly they were treated as slaves in Egypt); but He ultimately gave divine permission for it because humans were doing it anyway. Mind you, He consistently gave admonitions about how the slave should ultimately seek his emancipation (See Job).

Slavery will not be seen as akin to homosexuality. Here's why: Slavery denies people equality in their humanity. Every human is equal in their humanity. The biblical problem with homosexuality is that romantic relationships (occuring within marriage) were meant to be a reflection of the marriage between Christ (male entity) and His bride the church (female entity). Anything representation less than this is a counterfeit, and those are bad. Why? Because the counterfeit devalues the genuine.

Brother OMi said...

a. To answer your question:
In the United States, Christianity offered refuge for many african americans. Sunday's and Christian holidays were the only days African Americans had off in the late 17th and 18th century. After the first two generations of Africans enslaved died off, their descendants had no clue about the religion of their forebears. The Black Church was the only place where African Americans were allowed to read and learned to be literate. The church was the only place they can gather their money up to take care of one another.

Did you konw that in the Black church there is a tradition of having a new year's eve church service to protect them from the Klan?

While I am no Christian/muslim, i can understand why my forebears ran to the church.

2. Islam -- while African Muslims were enslaved and bought to american shores, the first real introduction to Islam that African Americans saw en masse was that of the Noble Drew Ali whose psuedo islamic teachings which inspired people from Marcus Garvey to Big Daddy Grace, bought a sense of black pride. it is not a lie that Elijah Muhammed, who later founded the Nation of Islam (NOI), was once a card carrying member of hte MOorish Science Temple of America (MSTA). The NOI also introduced Malcolm X to America. we know the story from there but when Malcolm X left the NOI, a large group of African Americans converted to Sunni Islam. So to many African Americans, Islam even in it's orthodox form is seen as a form of radicalism.

hope that helps

John W. Loftus said...

Yes, thanks Brother.

Lvka said...

At least You're finally starting to ask the right questions.