Life as a Black Atheist

Erin Williams of The Root interviewed Mark Hatcher about the difficulties of being an African-American living “outside of mainstream historically black religions.”

Mark Hatcher

This particular passage stood out:

I have at least two long-term relationships terminated simply because of [my beliefs]… I almost feel a responsibility, when I’m interested in someone, to just put it out there. I feel like that’s the responsible thing to do because I feel like I’d be leading somebody on otherwise, and that’s not true, but the amount of religiosity in black women — I kind of have to expect that somebody’s not gonna be interested which is more often than not the case…

I know I’ve experienced the same sort of thing in the Indian world. When religion is so entrenched in the culture, you can’t separate yourself from the former without having people think you’re not proud of the latter. It’s even harder when so many of the leaders in the black community are religious — or pastors. As Mark says, dating within the community becomes difficult, too, because you (probably) want to meet someone who shares your worldview. It’s hard enough finding another atheist; it’s even harder finding an atheist you’re compatible with.

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