Why Do Black Women Remain in the Church?

Candace R. M. Gorham is a former evangelical minister who at one point in her life was “casting out demons” and making prophecies.

The spell eventually wore off.

Gorham now works as a secular counselor and researcher and her new book, The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking out on Religion — and Others Should Too (Pitchstone Publishing, 2013), explores a fascinating topic: the intersection of religion and race.

It reminds me of Thomas Frank‘s What’s the Matter with Kansas? in which he questions why Kansans frequently elect people who really don’t have their best interests at heart. Similarly, Gorham asks why black women pledge allegiance to a church that has been so damaging to them?

She writes early in the book:

… black women are the single most religious demographic in the United States, yet they are at the bottom of the totem pole in practically every measure of quality of life — physical health, financial health, mental health, and more.

If the Black Church wants to take credit for all of the good things that happen in the lives of black women, it must also take some of the blame for all of the bad things.

In the exclusive excerpt below, Gorham discusses religion in the black community (I added links when I thought a citation or source would be helpful):

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Pat Robertson: If Your Man Watches Porn, Leave Him, but If He Cheats on You, Stay

Yesterday, Pat Robertson told a woman whose boyfriend watches porn that she should leave him

Robertson said that the boyfriend may not be addicted to pornography, “but he’s always going to be comparing you to those bosomy babes that are dancing around on those porn flicks. And you don’t want to be competing against something like that.

“If I were you I would say sayonara,” he recommended. “Leave! It’s okay. You’re not married. Walk away.

If it’s porn, walk away! It’s only gonna get worse!

… which is interesting advice given that, back in May, he told a woman whose husband was actually cheating on her that she should stay with him:

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A Historical Walk on the ‘Freethought Trail’

Kimberly Winston writes about “The Freethought Trail,” a self-guided walking tour through West-Central New York that covers locations and people important in freethought history, including the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum and the National Women’s Hall of Fame:

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If You Want to Date an Atheist, Where Should You Look?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses the intersection of atheism and dating:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next! [Read more...]

The Atheists Who Sing Hymns

Many atheists will tell you that, even though they don’t go to church anymore, they still miss the music. In New York, a group of atheists and agnostics (and a few straggling theists) are part of a group called the Renaissance Street Singers that offer public performances of religious music for the sole reason that they just love the pieces:

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