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Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars Paperback – February 16, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Infidel Books (February 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057807186X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578071862
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #758,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sikivu Hutchinson is a writer and senior intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. She received a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University and has taught women's studies, cultural studies, urban studies and education at UCLA, the California Institute of the Arts and Western Washington University. She is the author of Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles (Lang, 2003) and Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars (Infidel Books, 2011), Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels (Infidel Books, 2013) and has published fiction, essays and critical theory in Social Text, California English, Black Agenda Report, Free Inquiry and the Humanist Magazine. She is the editor of blackfemlens.org and a senior fellow for the Institute for Humanist Studies.

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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Dan Barker on March 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was one of the first to buy Hutchinson's new book, and after reading it, we interviewed her on Freethought Radio. It is a wonderful book! Well, if I can use the word "wonderful" to describe a sometimes disturbing deep-and-wide look at how religion (especially Christianity) has harmed the African-American community, as well as a look at how to rise above such harm.

Sikivu is an amazing scholar and writer, with the courage to "betray her culture" (as some would see it) by renouncing the religion that gives so much comfort and identity to so many people. But she does it with grace, inviting readers to escape dogmatic dependency and embrace reason, science, and humanistic morality.

And she challenged me, one of the "leaders" in the freethought community (although every freethinker is a leader), to be more sensitive to the concerns of minorities. (I am a "minority" myself, as a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians, but you can barely tell by looking. And although my tribe suffered tremendous upheaval, discrimination and persecution by the European Christian invaders, my current life is not affected to the same degree that the lives of the descendants of African-American slaves are still being affected.) Reading Hutchinson, I realize we need to be more concerned with the socio-economic issues with which people are struggling, not just the intellectual and state-church issues.

When I bought Moral Combat, I was expecting a nice treatise by a nice humanist woman, and I got that -- but so much more! Hutchinson is truly a scholar, well-read, portraying the broad historical and social landscape, illustrated with up-close tales of store-front churches and brave activism.

Dan Barker
Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation
Co-host of Freethought Radio
author of Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By carol p. on March 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Ms. Hutchinson clarifies how black women and children are particularly impacted by the insistance of their families and communities that they conform to belief in God and religious dogma, how black atheists are villified and the negative effects of such attitudes on any black person who dares to question the efficacy of religious beliefs. Ms. Hutchinson is unapologetic about her views. An enlightening read.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Donald R. Wright on March 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Informative. Inspirational. Politically relevant. A thorough intellectual critique of American culture, especially religion in the black community. It presents humanism as a vital means to our existence. Some books are a must read but this one goes beyond that requirement.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you want to learn about atheism and exactly what it means, this is probably not the book for you. But, if you are interested in how and why atheism is such a critical matter for many black atheists then this is the book for you. Sikivu Hutchinson is a wordsmith, but she is also a very dedicated feminist, writer, activist and scholar. To date, there is not one book written by a single atheist that has articulated such a solid, straight and timely message about the socio-political implications of atheism, and their connections to the struggle for human freedom. In this text, Hutchinson has structured a very important analysis of the many factors that have given shape to black atheist identity and politics. Her analysis of these factors converges at the point where being atheist is also affected by race, class, gender, sexuality and discourses about social justice, especially as they are articulated in African-American communities . If you are a believer, look no further. Read this book before you formulate any opinions about what it means to be black, atheist and socially conscious. If you are questioning or doubting your faith, then study this book. It will provide you with an accurate and thoughtful landscape about the politics of atheism, even as they are experienced and discussed among atheists, especially by white atheists. If you are an atheist, no matter what your color, gender, sexuality or class position, treasure it. You will come back to Moral Combat again and again for support and for guidance as you continue to encounter a world that refuses to understand what it means to be a freethinker dedicated to critical thinking and to self-actualization on one's own terms and not through a belief in God or religion. Indeed, as an ex-Christian minister and a very proud black atheist, I dare you to read this book. You will not be disappointed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Book Shark TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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 American Social Thought, 5. Not Knocking on Heaven's Door, 6. In God We Trust: Whiteness and Public Morality, 7. The White Stuff: New Atheism and Its Discontents, and 8. The Road Ahead.

Positives:
1. Well researched, elegant and passionate prose.
2. I love books that provides me with a unique and new perspective on topics that I care about and this book does exactly that.
3. A book with conviction. Ms. Hutchinson provides compelling arguments for all her positions.
4. Great use of studies and well grounded references to back up her points.
5. This is the first book that makes it perfectly clear to me why African Americans embraced Christianity. With a number of well conceived explanations that hammers the point home. Bravo!
6. The key differences between black and white atheists.
7. An understanding of African American politics.
8. The courage to come out as an atheist in the black community.
9. The role of patriarchy and its impact.
10. The stranglehold of religion in the African American community.
11. Great wisdom throughout, "When the language of a given creed opposes human rights, no moral high ground can be claimed."
12. Religion and economics.
13. The dangers of faith based initiatives.
Read more ›
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