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What is the Deal with Excessive Religiosity and Black Women in USA?

June 3, 2019 31 comments

In an older post, I put forth the idea that Christianity is the second worst thing (after slavery and its sequelae, of course) to happen to black people in USA. In another one, I wrote that the quest of black people from previous generations for respectability (as defined by whites) hindered their efforts towards attaining real and enforceable legal equality. As most of you know, there has been no shortage of a small minority of blacks, from Bill Cosby to Barack Obama, who cynically used appeals to black respectability for ingratiating themselves with fearful and sexually insecure whites while simultaneously using their fame to elicit a high degree of support from black people, while also simultaneously crapping on them. A few months ago, I also wrote an article about the modern black misleadership class. And this brings me to a somewhat controversial topic.

What is the deal with black women, especially older ones, and an excessive belief in Christianity? More broadly, why are black women in USA obsessed with Church, Preachers, Christianity and worshiping a white Jesus? The most common explanation seems to be something along lines of.. “it is a black thing”. Really? If it was a “black thing”, why are levels of religiosity in black-majority Caribbean nations noticeably lower and qualitatively different from those seen in USA. While the church still, sadly, has an important social function in those countries- people in those countries (often materially poorer than USA) seem to be far less obsessed with being religious. The same is true in African countries, where beta men and not women are the most devotedly religious group. My point is that, black women in USA are somehow especially likely to indulge in excessive and self-destructive levels of religiosity. Buy why? What is in it for them?

What makes this even more peculiar is that these same women are also very likely to keep voting for politicians who ignore them after election and have done nothing (since the 1970s) to improve their quality of life. There are those who say that this behavior is somehow “pragmatic”. But is it? How was the passage of 1994 Crime Bill and 1996 Welfare Reform Bill by a democratic president (and senate?) a win for black people. And how exactly would republicans, who pretty much wrote both those bills along with democrats such as Joe Biden, have made it any worse if they were in control of all three legislative branches. Or look at what Barack Obama didn’t do after winning the presidency with record black voter turnout in 2008. His first term saw a number of deliberate decisions which screwed black homeowners way more than their white counterparts in aftermath of 2007 housing crash? Are you starting to see a pattern?

There is a strong correlation between poor self-image, white worship, lack of critical thinking and excessive religiosity among black women in USA. Now I am sure there are historical reasons for this most unfortunate constellation of self-destructive beliefs. Perhaps, black churches and other religious associations provide a sense of community and opportunities for social networking. But whichever way you look at it, the degree of personal interest displayed by american black women in Christianity is much higher than those displayed by black women in Caribbean countries and Africa. Clearly, something systemic is behind this long-standing pattern. I am also aware that the degree of religiosity among younger black women (born, say, after 1980) is noticeably lower than their predecessors. I am curious to hear about what my readers have to say about this topic.

What do you think? Comments?