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Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars

4.61 of 5 stars 4.61  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The word atheism elicits shock, dread, anger, and revulsion among most African Americans. They view atheism as "amoral," heresy, and race betrayal. Historically, the Black Church was a leading force in the fight for racial justice. Today, many black religious leaders have aligned themselves with the Religious Right. While black communities suffer economically, the Black Ch...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published February 16th 2011 by Infidel Books
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In Moral Combat, Sikivu Hutchinson provides a searing indictment of... well, the list would get extremely long fairly quick. Hutchinson provides an informed critique of the role of the black church in American society, noting its role in the civil rights movement as well as its more recent footsie-playing with the religious right. By exploring the intersection between religion, class, race, gender, and sexual orientation, Hutchinson manages to simultaneously keep her focus on a narrow and unders...more
Nikhil P. Freeman
Dr. Hutchinson did it on ‘em, she ran the streets and broke up houses on that ass. Yes she did, totally eviscerated the animosity of religiosity found within the African American community and snatched the wig completely off of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy in its many forms. YES, YES, YES! I loved how she shows the benefits of humanism as a framework to combat the ills of racism, heterosexism, and class inequalities. Heathens, people of color, women, LGBTs, and the underclass (the Oth...more
Jean Marie
Sikivu, i always love your writings, loved reading this book.

Powerful, well written, and thought provoking, as usual, Sikivu explores an extremely complex issue that does indeed, have a large impact on our communities and so few attempt exploring black religiousity, especially not with Hutchinson's brave unflinching, well researched style of enlightening us.

there is indeed, a much a higher mountain for black, feminist atheists, yet, dispite the strong opposition they have to rise above/overcome...more
Michael Strode
Sep 21, 2011 Michael Strode rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Michael by: Kamau Rashid
"A radical progressive humanism recognizes that hand-wringing about diversity—be it in education, corporate America or cultural movements—without challenging the power dynamics of access and visibility, makes white supremacy a self-fulfilling prophecy." ~ Sikivu Hutchinson

After 10 years as the most prominent tool in my moral and intellectual arsenal, Ancient Future has been supplanted by the fierce effluence of ideas Sikivu Hutchinson has assembled in this manuscript. Moral Combat is easily the...more
Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Value Wars by Sikivu Hutchinson

"Moral Combat" is an enlightening book about the current struggle of black humanist atheist beliefs from a feminist point of view. This informative 280-page book is composed of the following eight chapters: 1. "Out of the Closet": Black Atheists in Moral Combat, 2. This Far by Faith? Race traitors and Gender Apostates, 3. The Politics of Urban Religiosity, 4. Black Infidels: Secular Humanism and African Americ...more
Rational Thought
I’m a member of a black atheist group based in central Florida (Black Nonbelievers of Metro Orlando). Our group was very fortunate to have Dr. Sikivu Hutchison participate in an illuminating, real-time discussion about her book Moral Combat. She answered many of our questions during the discussion, and she engaged us with thoughtful questions of her own. It doesn’t get much better than when you can have a book discussion with the author who wrote the book.

As for the book itself, Moral Combat dee...more
My only regret is that I hadn't read this book sooner. This book provides much needed context & clarity on the experience of African American men & women who identify as atheists & humanists. The socioeconomic issues that the African American community face are stressed & how churches in the African American Community fill a void left by a society that deems people of color as other & unworthy. The church's role in the community throughout history from slavery to the Civil Ri...more
Brilliant, just brilliant. And oh so, necessary. Thank you for your vital work, Sikivu Hutchinson!
Alyson Miers
Coming to the end of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and the Values Wars by Sikivu Hutchinson, I am forcibly reminded of PZ Myers’s endorsement of The Greatest Show On Earth, by Richard Dawkins.

There are no more excuses. None.

Perhaps it’s a bad sign that I can’t think of a better comparison than a recent biology-focused tome by Prof. Dawkins, but bear with me a few minutes.

While Prof. Dawkins chose an ambitious but uncomplicated project of establishing in layman-friendly terms th...more
I can attest to Hutchinson's premise about the dominance of churches in black and brown communities. The church featured on the cover of the book is on Western Avenue. Less than a block or two starts the city of Inglewood. This is the neighborhood I was born and raised in, and like Hutchinson understand the historical and cultural significance of the black church.

This is a book that should be read by everyone, regardless of belief system. In spite of my emerging Christianity, Hutchinson writes p...more
Chris Cameron
"In an era in which African American communities nationwide are in socioeconomic crisis, the cultural dominance of organized religion merits critical evaluation. In a political climate in which the social justice compass of the Black Church has been broken by consumerism, institutional sexism, and faith-based with hunts of gays and lesbians, its moral capital is increasingly dubious." (2)

This declaration sets the tone for Moral Combat. Throughout this beautifully written work, Sikivu Hutchinson...more
I don't know where to begin, but this book is PHENONMIAL!!! It doesn’t miss a beat at all! Sikivu, for one, you are damn good writer! Having read The God Delusion, I must say it had the tendency to get very dry, but not Moral Combat. It’s filled with a dialectical analysis of why it is people of color are so religious. I think the thing I really enjoyed about the book is that explored how it is most people of color come to being an atheist in the first place, COLONIAL EXPLOTATION! I mean really,...more
Well-researched critique of how a growing number of African American
atheists are resisting the social pressures of the community for unquestioned membership to the Black Church and to blindly adhere to Christian doctrine as it is taught by leaders now alligned with the politics of the Christian Right. Hutchinson examines the contadictions of the Church's male leaders ignoring important economic issues facing the Black community -- jobs, education, and the mortgage crisis -- for the social agend...more
Wonderful book that opens with a steep dive into the origins of the intersections of religion and racial identity in America--and yes this is just the opening. A fascinating and careful analysis between the intra-cultural dynamics of various African-American communities and the "never quite right" depictions of them in mainstream media. Aside from being a sharply critical and informative read, Hutchinson's Moral Combat, is also vivid and beautifully written book. I literally felt as if I was co-...more
Some very important points in here, but the presentation of them wasn't all that I'd hoped.
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Sikivu Hutchinson is the author of Imagining Transit: Race, Gender and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles; Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and the Values Wars; and Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels.
More about Sikivu Hutchinson...
Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels Godless Americana: Race & Religious Rebels Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles

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