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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After Atheist Writes Book, a Christian Formatter May Have Added in His Own Links

When an atheist author looked over the chapter titles in his new book, it appeared that the person who formatted the book had quietly responded to the content in a way you could only see if you hovered your mouse over the chapter name…

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Book Publisher Cancels Release of Novel Rather Than Allow Gay Author to Mention His ‘Partner’ in Bio

David Powers King and Michael Jensen were in the final stages of publishing their young-adult fantasy novel Woven when they saw a mistake on the back cover.

The biographical information for King was fine, but Jensen’s was missing this line: “He lives in Salt Lake City with his boyfriend and their four dogs.”

The Acquisitions Editor for publisher Cedar Fort, Inc. told him the reason in an email:

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The Chaos That Ensues When Religion and Sex Collide

Joshua Kelly, like so many of us, has a problem with religion — especially organized religion. He has written a series of essays on the subject for his excellent new book Oh, Your god!: The Evil Idea That is Religion (Dangerous Little Books, 2013):

In the excerpt below, Kelly (who blogs at An Unbelieving Voice) discusses religious attitudes toward sex (Keep reading afterwards for your chance to win a copy of the book!):

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Penn Jillette Really Loves Books About Atheism…

The New York Times asked Penn Jillette about his reading habits and he managed to squeeze in more atheist references than I thought humanly possible in the paper of record:

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