Home Featured Why Don’t Rich People Believe in God?

Why Don’t Rich People Believe in God?


Someone asked a question one time about why Black people believe in God so much, it’s simple, because God represents “hope”.  Hope that things can be better than they are today, hope that things will get better in the future, hope that maybe not in this life, but in the next life things will get better.  Black people also hold onto God because for a long time in this country, it was the only thing we were allowed to own.  We couldn’t control our fate in this country, so God and “hope” was all we had to get us through, one day things would get better, if not in this life, then the next.

It doesn’t surprise me that Steve Jobs wasn’t a Christian, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are agnostic, or Tom Cruise is a member of the Church of Scientology, but when I found out that Will and Jada were contemplating joining the Church of Scientology… My first response was, “Wait a minute, Jesus!”  Is it now that Jay-Z is raking in billions that now he feels comfortable lacing a track with the lines, “Jesus can’t save you, life starts when the church ends”?  I’m not here to debate about whether Jay-Z meant that line for how it was interpreted by the majority, but at what point in history did we get so colloquial with our relationship with God?

The numbers don’t lie, they suggest that the more money and education we obtain, the more our relationship with God suffers.  I attest this to two things, the more educated you are the more your sense of logic becomes more structured and developed.  You use logic to explain everything, and while you can’t prove there is no God, you can’t prove there is one either.  As it pertains to money, when the ends start to meet in a way that things could not possibly get any better, you lose sight of that need for “hope.” 

When you think about Christianity and all of its symbols, everlasting life wouldn’t have done it alone without the villain.  People aren’t as scared to die as they are afraid of spending their lives in hell.  But for some when they think about how heaven is described in the Church, I’m sure that Jay-Z might sit around thinking, “Maybe that’s not really what I want to do when I die.”  Many of them are willing to spend almost all of their resources trying to remain, Forever Young.

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I think there are a few things worth examining a bit more here too; because this isn’t a new phenomenon, but you may have to do a little thinking to connect the dots.  And by that, I mean just that connecting the dots.  Many of the people in our history books regarded as the wisest men in all of the land; astrologers, philosophers, World leaders, and even inventors have all been traced back to the Church of Scientology, Free Masonery or the “Illuminati.”  This isn’t a new phenomenon.  It seems that the wealthy or the leaders of society have always questioned their relationship with a higher power and if one really exists.  Is there something that comes with knowledge that can only be obtained once you reach a certain level of wealth and status?

When your life doesn’t suck and it seems like everything is going to be great going forward, I’m pretty sure you start to wonder about the “religion” thing and how it all fits in with all you’ve accomplished.  For myself, I tend to ask most people who claim to be Christians some very key questions all the time:

  • Do you accept Christ as your savior because through him you have everlasting life, or do you really believe that to live like Christ is the right way?
  • If we were to remove everlasting life from the picture would you still be a Christian?
  • If all your prayers were answered, what would you talk to God about?
  • If it turned out that there was no God and no eternal life, would you regret the way you lived your life?

I get very interesting answers to those questions when I get honest answers to those questions.  I think it wasn’t until I answered those questions honestly, that I found out what I really believed in.

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Going back to my original point, I think there are reasons why we need God.  But do the wealthy have those same reasons?  They can’t take anything with them, so do they spend their time thinking about the afterlife, or thinking about how to stay in this life?  If you are wealthy now, do you want to have a hard reset on everything and go back to being a mere equal to the general population?  What about all that you have spent your life earning?  Or did all these people sell their souls for the money?  Should we not take time to critically think about the phenomenon?  To extremely wealthy, does the concept of a God even make sense?  I don’t have the answers to this questions, I still cash my paycheck and pay bills on Saturday morning.  Perhaps, we needed a Steve Jobs app so he could talk to us now and tell everybody the answers.  And maybe it’s supposed to be like this, it’s truly the unknown.

– Dr. J


  1. This is a very interesting topic and one that my pastor has touched on many times. In his words, it's very easy for a poor man to go to heaven but it's extremely difficult for a rich man to go to heaven. I would assume that it is for many of the reasons you mentioned. The Bible touches on this subject a few times in a few different ways. In one instance there is the parable of the rich man and the poor man, where the poor man begged for food outside and the rich man would not let him in nor give him anything to eat. That night both the poor man and rich man died, and the poor man was taken to heaven and the rich man hell. He begged to come back to earth, that he could tell his brothers and family about God and that there was a hell but Abraham (in Abraham's bosom) told him there was no point, even if he came back from the dead they still wouldn't believe.

    In another instance a rich young ruler asked how he could make it to heaven. He was told he had to give up his riches and walked away saddened because he did not wish to lose his earthly possessions. To me the issue is very simple and can be answered by answering the questions you posed.

    1) I accepted Christ as my Savior because I believe what the Bible says, that He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life, and that no man gets to the Father (God, and in turn Heaven) except through him. 'Nuff said on that one

    2) If the concept of everlasting life were to be removed, there would be no need for Christianity, because that is the basis of a true Christian's beliefs. The life we live on this earth is but a vapor in comparison to our souls living on forever. Take that away and you have nothing.

    3) If all my prayers were answered (which is not possible, because most of the time what I and people in general pray for is in regards to MY or their own will rather than God's perfect will), but assuming this were even possible then I am left to praise God for answering all my prayers and give Him the glory that He deserves.

    4) If it turned out there was no everlasting life and no God, then so be it. I wouldn't regret anything because I would have chosen a specific path for my life and lived by it, what need is there then for regret it wouldn't matter after the fact anyway.

    Forgive my long-windedness but my last point is this: Religion can ruin a person. The key to what I believe lies in my faith and is brought about by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not because I attend a certain church or gives tithes or whatever other ritualistic practice some people take part in and consider themselves Christians because of it. Religion can send a person to hell. And if I'm wrong in what I believe and there is no ever-lasting or eternal life after death, then so be it nothing is hurt in the process. But if I am right? Let's just say it would suck to have to find that out when it's already too late.

    1. 1) If I understand correctly, you said that you chose it because of everlasting life.

      2) Ok… That's not why you're Christian. There are several other religions that believe in eternal life. Christianity is a method of practicing your faith, or expressing might be a better term. But also the question was about you, not about Christianity. I specifically asked what you would do, not whether the religion should fold.

      3) Cool. Why does God like for you to praise him? I only ask this question because the Lord teaches us humility and the meek shall inherit the Earth, but then asks us to praise him.

      4) I think you should revisit your answer to #1 and #2 based on this. If everlasting life doesn't factor into your decision, then you are following a path. Keep on it, regardless of if there is eternal life on the other side.

      1. 1) You are correct Dr. J

        2) Actually, that is why I am a Christian. The basis, foundation, and entire premise upon which Christianity (once again, I mean TRUE Christianity, not simply the label itself) was established was the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth to live as a man in order to die on the cross and rise from the dead for our sins and save us from Hell (eternal damnation) if we choose to believe in him. Do certain practices or life style choices differ amongst Christians and non-Christians? Absolutely. But the Bible says that those people will STILL be saved if they truly accepted Christ into their hearts as their Lord and Savior. They simply will not have rewards in heaven but they can make it to Heaven because salvation is the FREE gift of God, not based on works. The reason why Christianity is different than other religions is because of that premise, eternal life. No other religion can claim their founder/leader died and rose again. Buddha? Still in the grave…Muhammed? Yes, he's still in his grave too. Ever checked out Jesus' grave? He's not there right? Claim that the remains were stolen or hidden? Why would Jesus' remains out of allllll other religions be the ONLY one stolen from it's tomb. Simply put, there would be NO Christianity if there were no eternal life.

        3) God does not need for me nor any other person to praise Him. He would be all powerful, holy and glorious with or without my praise. However, He IS the one who not only blesses us with things, but allows us to go through trials and bad times in our lives so that we can see HIS will being done in our lives. That is why we SHOULD praise Him. Jesus Christ absolutely taught humility and meekness, but that is in regards to how WE as humans should live, not how we should consider God to live. God is not a human, never was. Jesus himself was a man right? He came as a man in order for us to have an example of how to live and even He prayed to God the Father and gave praise to Him, so yes we should but no where in the Bible does it say we need to praise him or that He likes for us to praise Him. But if someone gives you something, you want to thank them right? Someone hands you money of gives you a gift, you thank them right? God gives us the opportunity for the Ultimate gift, eternal life right? Why not thank Him for that…

        4) Hopefully my explanations in this thread help to reinforce my previous points. In my opinion there is no need for revision based on these but if there is anything you would like me to clarify please let me know and I shall do so. I attempt to stay on the path I am on BECAUSE I believe in eternal life after death. Ever-lasting life should factor into everyone's life but it is usually not until they are face to face with death that this thought comes into mind.

        Some of the best Christians were former Atheists….C.S Lewis is a prime example. There is another man named Frank Pastore who is on the radio here in southern cali who not only was a former Atheist but someone who spoke out against Christianity and is now a Christian. He was also a professional athlete so he had the money as well.

        1. Well stated! Southern Cali? Just curious, what city are you in? I think most of the followers of this site are on the East Coast. I'm also in Southern Cali 🙂

        2. Saywhat…..I live in the San Fernando Valley! There isn't a lot of representation from CA on this site, lol.

        3. Shout out to my Southern Cali peeps SayWhat and Conscious30! I'm in Downtown LA (Little Tokto/ Arts district). We should plan meeting up for bowling or something. Who's down?

        4. I am! lol…Lucky Strike downtown perhaps? Thats kind of in the middle for everyone right? Although it's kind of expensive if you dont have alot of people…what yall think??

        5. I'm not sure how to connect. Might be risky to leave ph#'s and e-mails on a website. What kind of schedule do you have? Bowling is free ant Luckystrike if you have lunch 🙂

        6. it varies…work in retail and go to school and single mommy soooo yeah, random times/days i am free. and no thank you, no posting personal info like that on here lol

        7. Your #2… wow… it was filled with falsehoods. I'll consider responding.

          Good discussion points though.

    2. SayWhat,

      You hit on the nail especially when you said “If all my prayers were answered (which is not possible, because most of the time what I and people in general pray for is in regards to MY or their own will rather than God’s perfect will…”

      I rather believe in Christ now & if it turns out that I was wrong that no harm done but to not believe & to find out that your path is straight to the bottomless pit of hell…I don’t want to risk that chance. No other faith, other than Christianity, promises the path of everlasting life or the bottomless pit. So if I turned out being wrong, then I’m still safe, but if Christianity turns out being right…don’t even want to think about this.

    3. OK. So I started to read your reply but was immediately struck by an untruth in the second line of your post. ” In his words, it’s very easy for a poor man to go to heaven but it’s extremely difficult for a rich man to go to heaven.” It’s sad you don’t know who actually SUPPOSEDLY said that. I don’t necessarily have a concept of heaven nor hell, but I believe there is wisdom in that line b/c of ethical reasons.

  2. I'm a lurker to this site and I guess it is time to come out of lurk mode. I don't think wealth has anything to do with a persons decision to subscribe to organized religion or belief in a higher power. Do you know if the celebrities you mentioned in the blog changed their religious beliefs or are you assuming for the sake of the post? Obviously, wealth can expose people to different cultures and places throught the world that the average person isn't privy to. Maybe this exposure causes people to become enlightened which translates to knowing how to think versus being conditioned on what to think and just "keeping the faith"

    1. Wealth does play a major role in beliefs because money causes people to build up their own 'kingdoms.' If you have everything you need & money is no problem, what do you need God for or at least that's how I'm assuming a wealthy person begins to venture into the other side of non-belief.

  3. Great post…I dont think income plays a large part in religious beliefs. I do think that your family history does..moreso at least.

    I feel that a positive spiritual background can help keep you grounded w/in ur faith. After leaving Catholicism, I went through a “spiritual” period, but bcuz of my past I returned to God.

    The funny part is after being an atheist I still have a two-sided religious POV…Am I Christian bcuz God called me back or bcuz I was afraid to leave my childhood beliefs? Its a crazy thing…

    1. Also, Knowledge does play a fundamental role in this…”the tree of knowledge” Not just a coincidence. The difficult thing is understanding how to decipher wisdom from knowledge (good/bad)..thats another story though. :/ GN

      1. Has anyone ever found the example of the Tree of Life? Like to me, I always felt iffy about that story. It teaches you that it's some things you don't need to know, that ignorance is bliss. I just felt that way a little, not like i'm trying to shake up the very foundation.

        1. The foundation been shoo already! lol!
          But the idea of”ignorance is bliss” has also be used within religion. There are somethings that should remain unknown and once discovered it can shake anyone. Thats why I say knowledge can but bad and even dangerous. Some things should be left to faith…

  4. There are several wealthy people who claim Christianity such as Dave Thomas – founder, Wendy's;
    Sam Walton – founder, Wal-Mart; Truett Cathy – founder Chick-Fil-A; Cecil Day – founder Day's Inn;
    James Cash Penney – founder, J.C. Penney department stores, and many authors, athletes and celebrities.
    Matthew 6:24 NIV (New International Version)
    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

    God isn't against us having money. He wants us to be good stewards and of service with all resources he provides. Everyday I wake up healthy and in peace I know my prayers are answerd, so I'm compelled to praise the Lawd and pray for others. If all of my prayers were answered there would be nothing left but praise. Eternal life will be one big praise party. If there were no eternal life I would still be grateful and full of praise for this life. There is always something to be grateful for. This is the only way for me to live.

    1. Man… don't bring up Chic-Fil-A this early in the morning… i'm already changing my lunch plans.

      However, I don't see those people on the same level as Gates, Jobs, and Buffet.

      1. LOL! Smart move changing your lunch plans. I don't eat chicken, too many gmo's/ growth hormones, but that's for another post. I just thought it was a good point of reference 🙂

      2. FYI, ChikFilA donates to several ANTI-GAY and PRO CHRISTIAN organizations.

        They are NOT as friendly as you think.

    2. The wealthy people you mentioned though also have more time on their hands than those in the entertainment industry, they can much more easily delegate to others so that they can spend time studying the word or at a church.

      Especially Truett Cathy, since he doesn't allow his company to do business on Sundays! Sam Walton also had removed himself from the actual running of Wal-Mart/Sam's, he merely got involved when he witnessed key things.

      Time plays a role in this also!

  5. There's a quote… "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing."

    What do humans know? Not a damn thing. Even as a beneficiary of post-secondary education, I always remember I STILL DON'T KNOW SHIT.

    Maybe many wealthy and "educated" people are too siced off the little bit of knowledge and material gain they have on the rest of us. And I say this as an agnostic person, who is poor, but understands how important God is to the people around me. I really don't think "logic" is an appropriate word to use here: humans all rationalize based on their existing cirucmstances, needs, experiences to reconcile the world around them. As you pointed out–for poor people, God is attractive because He gives hope. For richer/more educated people, I think its less about the "logic" of God, but what NOT believing does for their life as well. Perhaps its freeing to let go of the burden of practicing, or maybe it allows you to inflate your own agency and power in life.Either way, I disagree with the line of thought that this post seems to suggest that more education/wealth leads to more logical thinking.

    1. Good points. I agree with most of what you stated here. I tend to stay out of religious debates because they are so touchy. But I feel like whatever makes you be the best you shoot for it. If its not harming anyone and empowers you then more power to you.____Interesting post tho.

  6. I think some people, having never established a genuine relationship with God, become their own god upon gaining wealth. They no longer need God in the same sense and therefore begin to worship themselves as their own provider.
    If you attribute your success to your own abilities and fall in love with the things of this world you will fail to acknowledge the fact that God was the one who brought you where you are and then you may deem any further obedience to God unnecessary. You will also be far less concerned with any afterlife – being so consumed in this life in the present.
    Believing in their ability to achieve all things by their own means, I think some rich people no longer require faith in God to do things they may deem otherwise impossible.
    May God have mercy on their souls.

    Oh and I definitely think we NEED to consider topics like this – this is absolutely worth our time. I would also agree that the unknown element is absolutely necessary. If everyone knew with absolute certainty that God exists the spiritual aspect would be removed… we are no longer believers but more…. acknowledgers or something. Bleh. Thank God for the opportunity we have to choose.

    1. LetsLove: "If everyone knew with absolute certainty that God exists the spiritual aspect would be removed… we are no longer believers but more…. acknowledgers or something."

      Romans 8:24 – For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

    2. Let us not forget that we flock around our social/economic equals, so being successful generally has you hanging around other successful people & exposes you to their views as well. When you have less time to spend studying the "Word" & building your relationship with GOD, while also being exposed to the sensible views of your peers, these things can all lead to the questioning of things that you were brought up on.

  7. I think the relationship between God and his people has always been one of those give and take situations. We ask God he provides. But in a world where material items how many you have) equate happiest many people forget what God is used for once they don't need to pray for certain things (a singer praying for a deal or a man praying that his inventions makes him millions, or praying for away to put food on the table). Once this happens many have to redefine their relationship with God, it makes them question certain things it's almost like biting the hand that feeds you for some.

    I think we assume when someone questions or tries to dissect the things God does we automatically assume they don't believe and that is not always the case. Many great philosophers believed in God. Plato and many others used Science not to negate Gods work but to help explain the work of God to non-believers and even themselves(ex: to explain how nature works)

      1. This is not true. He was a Christian to begin with, and as he developed evolutionary theory, he lost his faith, which caused him a great deal of grief over a period of many years. His wife was a Christian as you say and his loss of faith strained their marriage. Their marriage was “saved” in a weird way due to the loss of a child; apparently they had bigger things to worry about than who believed and who didn’t. Nonetheless, he stayed an atheist for the rest of his life, and his wife stayed a Christian.

  8. Can't say I'm surprised that a larger percentage of the rich may be less inclined to Christianity. Christianity's whole shtick since it first started taking root was to get the most disenfranchised of people to live their lives to it because though they may live entirely terrible lives in the present, that time is meaningless if you accept Christ because you're going to be given eternity of endless bliss if you believe in what I believe in! That's why Black Americans clung so feverishly to it and Africans and those all throughout Latin America. O' and because your family would be tortured and killed if you didn't accept Jesus too.

    I never got any 'holy ghost' or extra spiritual feelings from any Christian Church. So, I am envious in that regard. I'm not in favor of basing my morality on whether I not I get the greatest thing in the universe or the worst. That notion of Heaven and Hell sounds like coercion in possibly the most literal way possible (do what I say and you get everything you could everything; do not and you're entire existence will be pain and suffering for entirety). Doesn't jive with my morals.

    I'm not anti-religion or spirituality though. Eastern religions offer more about what I'm concerned about in life. Osho was in particular an extremely brilliant man.

    1. Hi Malik, In actuality Christians have been persecuted and martyred throughout history. So why anyone would want to become one would have to be based on a decision of faith and not ''holy ghost' or extra spiritual feelings from any Christian Church" A personal relationship is less about church and more about a deep desire for truth, wisdom and understanding which I seek daily (not just on sunday). For me it's also about service, being open to bless others.
      I believe that the prayers of all who came before are sustaining us in our present freedoms. Thank God for their courage to believe.

  9. Great post! I’ve been having a lot of discussions on this topic lately. It’s very difficult for a person to believe in or experience God on an intellectual level. Many of the people you mentioned are great thinkers. However, I believe as the Creator of everything, God’s much smarter. If you can only believe what you can see and comprehend, you’ll never know God or love, because both, at some point, require that your spirit and/or heart does the thinking. Some people, particularly those with power/money/brilliance, just don’t want to give up that type of control. Jay-Z is lyrically gifted, but the arrogance of his rhymes suggest a mindset that would not allow him to believe in or submit to a higher power.
    Finally, love the questions! I think many Christians forget that Jesus said “I’ve come that you might have life more abundantly.” If you realize that the more abundant life is not only in Heaven but here on Earth, those questions are easier to answer.

  10. Going back to my original point, I think there are reasons why we need God. But do the wealthy have those same reasons?

    Yes, they do. God isn't Aladdin, His purpose isn't just to give us stuff. Wealth has utility and can solve some problems, but it is limited. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon really breaks it down.

    I would say Solomon was rather accomplished. He was the king. He built and dedicated the first temple. He brought peace to the region. He had great wealth. He was wise and sought additional knowledge and wisdom. He had money, power and respect (#noLox). But he asked what did it profit a man of all of his labor he takes under the sun. It's all vanity.


    1. (2/2)
      He sought happiness and pleasure, but concluded it was madness and of no use. He turned to wine, and it gained him nothing. He bragged about the houses, vineyards, gardens and orchards he built. He bragged about having silver and gold. He had servants to serve him. He didn’t have an iPod, he bragged about having singers and musicians to play whenever he wanted. He bragged about having more possessions than anyone before him. He had 700 wives. He sought wisdom and knowledge from different cultures. He tried serving other gods. He had everything this life had to offer. But he realized the wise and the rich die the same as the poor and the foolish. Having all these possessions was meaningless, because his sons may lose it all. He said he hated life, because everything about it is vanity and vexation of spirit.

      So being rich accomplishes nothing. It brings no fulfillment. Several lottery winners commit suicide. Solomon spent his entire life pondering the matter, then gives his conclusion.

      Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

      1. Pretty good example… pretty good. I think that Solomon is a great example. I also think that Cosby said something one time, "This is not the same person I grew up with. You are looking at an old woman who is trying to get into Heaven." Solomon lived his whole life a certain way and then in his latter years, he finds the true meaning of life. I don't know about all that some days. He built his empire on war and used the Lord's name to justify it. He had 700 wives and all his worldly possessions… but faced with death, he finds the "true meaning" of life.

        1. Solomon didn't engage in war (OK, I may be wrong, I need to double check that. I know he had several people executed, but that's not war). He did have 40 years of peace in the region. His father David on the hand and no problem bringing the sword. He was the one that built the empire on war. Solomon married the daughters of the surrounding countries to keep peace.

          Solomon didn't start off hedonistic. He started off a godly man, demonstrated by his prayer to dedicate the temple, which is usually the priest's job. He merely lost his way and returned. But you're right, old age has a way of humbling a man.

    2. "God isn't Aladdin"

      First off that isn't Aladdin, that was the Genie.

      2nd: Both Solomon and Christians come off as extremely arrogant and self-centered to assume that their way of life is the key to happiness. Soloman found peace of mind following gods word. That in no way is my duty or calling in life. Truth be told, I find comfort in the very things Soloman. The fact that Soloman did not is not justification for all men needing a god.

      1. First, I apologize for not seeing the movie. I never said I was an expert on Disney. Mea culpa. But you get the point.

        Second, who you can find happiness doing other things. You won't find salvation, but you could possibly find happiness. Solomon just realized the futility of it. Some people don't.

        Third, how is it self-centered? How many other religions, creeds and philosophies talk about their way being the key to happiness, but Christians get singled out? To me, it's merely evidence Jesus knew what he was talking about:

        Luke 21:17 – And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

        1. You don't have to be an expert on Disney movies to know that the GENIE grants all the wishes, not Aladdin -_-

        2. Of course I knew the genie grants wishes, I mistakenly assumed the genie's name was Alladin. Again, i never saw the movie.

      2. It's unfortunate that the only Christians you have encountered are, as you say, "extremely arrogant and self-centered ". Happiness is temporary and subject to change based on particular variables and circumstances. Peace is stability. I pray that you meet not only Christians, but people of all wlaks anf faiths who are loving. All men need God just for daily survival whether they acknowledge it or not.
        Job 9:9 God hung the stars in the sky – the Dipper, Orion, the Pleiades, and the stars of the south
        Amos 4:13 God is the one who made the mountains and created the winds. He makes his thoughts known to people; he changes day into night. He walks on the heights of the earth. This is his name: the Lord God Almighty!
        Matthew 5:45 so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.

        1. Camille

          your comment is dressed up all nice with bible quotes and wishing me peace. But the truth of the matter if you are just trying to turn me into you. You are not in a position to tell me what all men need, not matter what you quote. I'm not really amazed in the fact that the bible tells me that I need the bible, Nucky Thompson, said it best "A good shoe salesman always tells you you need new boots."

          But you seem like a nice person and if you have a fatty I would gladly smash.

    3. Stop the bible verse twisting.

      Why pray to god if it can't give us shit?

      I mean honestly.

      You've overlooking a vital part of your argument. If god can't do anything and doesn't know what i'm thinking, then why is it god?

  11. I am religious and consider myself a christian. One difference I see between myself and someone like my grandmother is that I am comfortable questioning the bible and its text. I'm not rich but I do think my education played a role in how I view God. I loved taking classes in college where we studied the Old and New Testament as literature. The people who were against this the most were Black Christians so I never really talked about anything going on in the class with them. I find that often some have a strong fear of Christianity, in that if you question anything the Bible says they automatically label you as against God, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I was never raised to fear God or Jesus and I don't think you are a bad question if you question why people wrote certain passages or who really wrote certain gospels etc. But I think that intellect was never accepted and woven into the culture of the church which is why when you become highly educated and/or rich you may gravitate towards Church of Scientology where it seems like those type of conversations and exploration of religion is more welcome.

    I also see those with lots of wealth abandoning religion and just becoming spiritual. Religion often tries to assert a level of control over how and what you think about a higher power. When you are very successful you may choose to bypass that and just focus on a relationship with God that you create on your own
    My recent post MissRepresentation

    1. I think you misunderstand what the Church if Scientology is about. Its not about questioning Christianity but instead promotes and entirely different set of beliefs.

      “The Church of Scientology promotes Scientology, a body of beliefs and related practices created by L. Ron Hubbard, starting in 1952 as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics.

      Scientology teaches that people are immortal spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature. The story of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in Earthly events, collectively described as space opera by Hubbard.”

      1. I agree with this.

        If you know any of those Scientologists they do compare their religion to others, it's just human nature. Islam is not about questioning Christianity, but in conversation, you will find yourself doing that.

        Xenu is just the beginning of a rabbit hole you never want to go down.

  12. The first poster answered those 4 questions the exact way I was going to. And I mean that so truthfully. So I will skip straight to what I was going to say next. I believe many of the rich do not believe not simply because they dont need the hope but because faith also requires accountability. When you are revered for your wealth and power I imagine the last thing many want to do is give up that power to a higher being.

    Now take this Scientology thing where the belief is that there isn’t a higher power but instead that we are some kind of eternal or celestial beings that have merely forgotten how to take their natural state. Funny how you have to basically be wealthy to even be a part of that church.

    1. The only thing i'll say is that those wealthy people die and then give 3% of their wealth to their families and the rest to charity. Maybe they just don't believe in God, but they do believe in giving the power back to the people in need. There's several people who will give millions in charity to those in need, but won't give a dime to the Church.

  13. Like I said on Twitter, I commend you for speaking on a topic I usually avoid. That said, I'm still going to avoid it. lol

    All I really have to add today is: as someone said upthread, I think the main influences on a person's beliefs are actually: 1) their family upbringing and 2) whether they attribute their accomplishments to God (or a higher being) or themselves. Obviously, if you think God had nothing to do with your accomplishments, whether you are rich, poor, or in between, it will dictate who you attribute your successes and/or your failures to. Further, you need a strong foundation (if you believe as such) – as you pointed out – to remember that God helped you when you were down, so it doesn't make sense to forget him now that you are up.
    My recent post Guest Blog: 5 Ways To Identify A Crazy Girl’s Personal Ad

  14. Do you accept Christ as your savior because through him you have everlasting life, or do you really believe that to live like Christ is the right way?

    Both. It's not an either-or thing. I believe Christ is the right way because logically the Creator makes the rules for the creatures in His creation. There is no logical reason why a creature has to care what another creature has to say about how he lives.

    If we were to remove everlasting life from the picture would you still be a Christian?

    Yes, because it is not the only reason I'm a Christian.

    If all your prayers were answered, what would you talk to God about?

    Asking for stuff should be the last thing you do when you pray. First should be acknowleding and praising God for who He is. Second should be confessing and repenting for your sins. Third you should be thanking God for what you do have. Then you can start asking for stuff. So there's still plenty to talk about.

    If it turned out that there was no God and no eternal life, would you regret the way you lived your life?

    No. Pascal's wager.

    1. "Pascal's wager"

      And the very idea completely isht on the concept of faith and humility. If you are just doing something to get into heaven that negro Peter isn't going to let you in. Just like if you act like a simp just to get the draws hoes see through you.

      1. What flaws? How is a wager a flaw?

        Besides, if you're obeying God just because God said so, that will get you in. It's the action, not necessarily the intent. We know where the road paved with good intentions lead.

    2. Pascals Wager has been debunked.

      It ignores other gods and other heavens and hells.

      You don't know if you're right. Saying "god did it" is just a guess. You really don't know. You assume god did it.

      You also waste all that energy.

      1. I don't mind feeding trolls.

        First, Pascal's wager is a wager. Probability. It can't be debunked because it's not stating a fact.

        Second, you're right. I don't know. That's why it's called faith. But here's the thing, you don't know either. Yet you speak in absolutes.

        Third, I'm using historical, archeological, testimonial, personal, logical and theological evidence in addition to faith for my beliefs. What are you using for yours? What are yours? What are they based on?

  15. As a person who was raised and has been very devout, the more I see, the more questions I have. Like, how can anyone conceive of perfection and eternity if time and space are essential constructs of our existence? It’s like trying to make your bed while in it. If God created time and matter, light, our minds, then we cannot conceive truth, much less understand or live by it. But more excruciating to me is the troubling supposed cause effect relationship between faith, word and creation, or reality. ThIs magical way we can believe things into existence, causing the universe to bend to our will. ??? Prayer for health, wealth, love? Is God a vending machine where you put in your faith coins and get what you want? Sounds silly, but do we throw out the whole concept of a faith/reality causal connection? What is it? And what of the universal spiritual experience, “catching the Holy Ghost”. That’s real. Healing and miracles? Seen it. Angels and Demons? I believe. But a lot of things I read in the Bible, I’m having a real hard time reconciling…. So iono…..

    1. The bible is man-made and is re written over and over and over, and interpreted differently by different people so while some thins may come off to you clearly other times it just wont make any sense.

      1. That’s for sure, cause I truly hate to say it, but some of that stuff, even when you look at it with all the faith in the world, just doesn’t add up. Lord forgive me for saying it, but chunks of the Bible? I will just have to agree to disagree.

        1. Amen to that Wild Cougar….people read the bible the way pastor a forced to TEACH it. Many have YET to read the bible from front to back like any other book (biggest set up EVER). I ask many people, how can you say you are a 'Christian" yet you don't even know the 'holy' bible. Because seriously there are SOOOOOO many clues about life its crazy. King James new what he was doing when he put that Version together….a man can rule the world with religion. That in itself makes me question it ALL. Furthermore, I truly know that if you seek knowledge of the TRUTH, he will lead you to it and not confuse you. It would fit like and hand in glove.

    2. Although, I didn't read your comment thoroughly enough (when do I ever do) I didn't this is where my line of thinking lies…

      There is a lot of nebulous area with religion that I can't ever fully embrace it… For something that is supposed to be so important to so many people… How come we can't be definitive with it…?

      Good Topic… I am out of my league… I'll hide under WC bunker today (I'll pay today's light bill in pesos)

  16. i think that there are plenty of successful and wealthy Christians. just look to any award show (outside of bet) and you'll notice a lot of people thanking God for all of their achievements. i agree that the more education you have the more structured your thinking becomes and the idea of God may seem abstract. i have a strong science background and it would be easy for me to look at the world through the eyes of an einstein or franklin. that's where a little thing called faith comes into play. i don't need physical proof to know that God exists. i know it in my heart.

    My recent post Holding It In

    1. to answer your questions.

      Do you accept Christ as your savior because through him you have everlasting life, or do you really believe that to live like Christ is the right way?

      i've accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Even if I died today and that was it I would still believe that living as close to Christ is the right way. He died for my sins and yours. I've never physically met Jesus but he died for me. If that isn't the right way I don't know what is.

      If we were to remove everlasting life from the picture would you still be a Christian?

      I think I answered that in the last question.

      If all your prayers were answered, what would you talk to God about?

      If I had not a care in the world and everything were perfect I would spend from now to my last breath thanking God for his kindness and mercy.

      If it turned out that there was no God and no eternal life, would you regret the way you lived your life?

      Why would I regret living a life I saw as virtuous.
      My recent post Holding It In

    2. But like… about awards shows… R. Kelly will win an award for Best R&B Album for 12 play and the first thing out his mouth is, "I want to first and foremost thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"


      They all do it, it's not about R. Kelly, it's about sometimes it's just a saying and not anything behind it. Even Atheists says, "Oh my God."

        1. I didn't say I was judging, I said it was suspect. Suspect is a matter of doubt, not of fact. Only that man can know whether he is or isn't. But i'm allowed to think someone is suspect.

    3. Your science background introduces the cognitive dissonance you chose to ignore…its a damn shame.

      Wanting there to be a god doesn't make one more likely, real or apparent.

      You ignore all the other religious possibilities yet think yours is special.

      You need to objectively assess your claims…your science demands it of you. Objectivity is the only measure that we have.

  17. Many wealthy people are highly educated and wholeheartedly believe in Science, which to them makes the presence of a God and religion ridiculous in their eyes; I get that. However, I am confused with who they think is responsible for the good that happens in this world, to me that is definitely God. Also many of them feel it's the sole efforts of mankind that attributes to any success or good, I don't agree or understand that way of thinking.
    My recent post MikasThoughts: Sweet November! *does the tango with invisible dance partner*

    1. I think they see religion as ridiculous more that the idea of God. I think most/some scientist/highly educated / wealthy people don't belive in a "personal God" like one who listens to your specific prayers and answers them. I think the believe in a force which is God which helps keep your spirit balance, which helps nature create.I think organized religion draws this picture of God being a super human person (Big tall white beard,having a variety of human emotions like jealousy) many religious books are filled with tall tells and contradictions. I think that's where a lot of highly educated ppl start to question religion but not God as a whole entity

  18. The wealthy need “HOPE” too! Having wealth does not mean an absence of problems. With time to research, I could generate an even longer list of wealthy people who maintained their faith in God. For now, I will simply cite John D. Rockefeller, the American Baptist philanthropist. Among his many generous financial gifts to Christian missions were allotments that were foundational in the establishment of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges

  19. Pride is a helluva drug.
    Humility requires us to acknowledge that no matter how smart we are, we do not know everything. This can very difficult for the extremely learned.
    We measure with the wrong yardstick. We see earthly "success" and correlate that with heavenly success and assume that they are doing it "right", which is often not the case in my opinion.

    Dr. J your questions were very interesting to me. Particularly the last two. Very probing.

  20. The purpose of Pascal's Wager is to show the fallacy in believing because of the impending result. You honestly think that your all-knowing, all-powerful god can't see through you hedging your bets? Hilarious. I can say that I am not a believer because I don't waste my time on any superstitious nonsense. I look at people who tell me about their faith the same way I look at people who ask me what my astrological sign is. And it doesn't make me any less of a moral man. In fact, I think it has made me a better man, because the time I would have wasted on my knees like a slave, worshiping, praising and living in fear of an invisible deity, is now spent loving friends and family. Also, it is completely ironic that our race has taken a religion, Christianity, that was rightly used to justify the horrors of slavery and made it 100% our own.

    1. Where to start…

      "You honestly think that your all-knowing, all-powerful god can't see through you hedging your bets?"

      Who said that was the only reason, or even the main reason?

      "I can say that I am not a believer because I don't waste my time on any superstitious nonsense."

      Do you believe in equality? Do you believe in any value in human life? Because they are just as superstitious.

      And it doesn't make me any less of a moral man."

      No it doesn't, in our eyes. I'm sure you're a cool guy. But none of us have a heaven or hell to put you in.

      "I think it has made me a better man, because the time I would have wasted on my knees like a slave, worshiping, praising and living in fear of an invisible deity, is now spent loving friends and family."

      Sure, because if you pray, you can't love your friends and family.

      1. "Also, it is completely ironic that our race has taken a religion, Christianity, that was rightly used to justify the horrors of slavery and made it 100% our own."

        This deserves it's own comment.

        First, religion is a tool, and any tool can be misused. A hammer can pound nails, or bash someone's skull in.

        Second, Christianity helped bring slaves through slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, and now look at the opportunities we have.

        Third, the slavery argument is completely useless in a non-Christian's hands. Although the Bible allows it, it doesn't say much about it being right or wrong. And it is nothing like American slavery, which is why God charged the masters to treat the slaves well, and slaves even held property. But the salient point here is Christians are the only people to ban slavery without external pressure. Muslims didn't, Hindus didn't, free-thinkers didn't, atheists didn't. Christians were the only ones that looked at the institution of slavery, saw something wrong with it, and got rid of it.

        1. WRONG

          The bible gives RULES on how to hit your slaves and punish them.

          Seems like you need to start reading some more.

          On top of that, when you're a fucking slave and your life sucks SO MUCH that praying there is an afterlife might make you religous too.

          IT doesn't mean it was real however.

          COMMUNITY brough black people through…religion just happened to be the guise of that communal ticket to admission.


          BTW, muslims banned slavery long before most modern christians did.

          Stop picking and choosing. Every quote you think you mine just ends up making you sound stupid.

        2. No, you need to start reading more. It's not an accident atheists steer very clear of the New Testament when you want to criticize Christianity.

          Mao Zedong thought independently. Saloth Sar thought independently. Josip Broz Tito thought independently. You say that you want people to think independently, but you still want them to arrive at a predetermined conclusion.

          I don't pick and chose. I'm a Christian, not a Hebrew. The Law you dug up was specific rules God gave to a specific group of people at a specific time. It doesn't apply to Christians. For you own erudition, it is also Christians don't have to sacrifice animals, eat kosher, celebrate Passover, or forgive debts in the year of Jubilee.

          If you are saying Christians didn't end slavery, make your specific case.

    2. I couldn't co-sign more.
      The wager is flawed as a philosophy. More importantly, there are so many variances on religion and God, there is no telling if you even have the right bet. The question is never as simple as having faith and not having faith.

    3. Thanks for mentioning slavery. Those who used Christianity to justify it in America were just as wrong as the Egyptians who enslaved the Hebrews. Christianity is not about superstition, living in fear or being on your knees like a slave. On the contrary, it's about experiencing peace and freedom. Love includes humility or a need to give/receive forgiveness when you have been wronged or made mistakes.

      1. I just will add this much Camille, when you look back to the times of the Slave trade, those countries in West Africa weren't practicing Christianity. It was something that was brought to Africa afterwards… that to me is slightly odd. I think as much as Black folks love to hold onto their religion, it's not really their religion.

        1. Anything becomes yours once you claim it. I'm certainly not affluent (yet :)) but I went to schools and churches that were culturally diverse, full of Asians who may have been formerly Buddhists, and East Indians who were formerly Hindu's and Muslims, etc. It became a matter of faith for them to leave what they knew, or were conditioned to believe (as some on this post state) to later claim Biblical faith.

    4. Being a black atheist really upsets me because I know how fucking fooled the black community is at times.


  21. I did not become a christian to have everlasting life. That decision to become a christian to live eternally is based in FEAR, and to be motivated by fear is to live outside of the will of God.

    The problem I have with this post is that it equates wealth and success in this life with truth. Yes Jobs and Gates have achieved a level of success in life that most people aspire to but does that make their lives and acts the moral compass we should follow? Just because they appear to have it ALL we should pattern our lives as such?

    If you were to take their money and fame away would you still want to be like these people? Christianity and believing in God is much more then getting what you want or everlasting life for that matter. Its about living your own life to its fullest potential. Its about getting to the point where you have peace if you lose your job or Madoff runs off with all your millions (keven bacon). Its about being joyful every morning despite having cancer (like Jobs) or your car wont start. Its about having your prayers answered not because you were a good person or you are rich but by Grace and God's unconditional Love for you.

    If your understanding of God is solely based on how much you can get or everlasting life then your at a severe disadvantage and the foundation for your belief needs to be rebuilt. I'll pray that you can understand the fullness of God pass material items and perceived success.

  22. First of all, this is without a doubt the best post that I've read on this blog. This what I come to this blog for – not sure the relationship talk but the type of ideas that we think about as Black men in America. Great job!

    I feel like this applies to organized religion. Most, if not all, people are spiritual even if it doesn't into a monotheistic westernized theory of what spiritualism is. I totally agree with this post and the concept of organized religion being tied to hope. The people that I grew up with, especially if they were poor, were often more fervently religious than the more wealthy folks that I began to meet during my high school and college years.

    My recent post What's In a Name?

  23. God doesn't have to answer any man's question(s) you can ask Job about that(Job 38:4) then the question was asked (what profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul.) Also to JayZ and any others that believes that with money you can do without God is insanity at a new level. God is the scientist of all creations(Genesis 1:1,2:7.So it doesn't matter how much money you have or what you believe know this (Isaiah 45:23) you will know and believe. Don't they know that God said the earth and the fullness thereof belong to him,even the cattles on a thousand hills. So the conclusion of this whole matter lies in the hearts of a fool (Psalm 14:1,10:4) This isn't my opinion it's what the words of God said.They became so wise in their own eyes,they became as fools.

    1. I don't know if I can agree with this comment, because God didn't say any of those things, man did. When people make comments like this about God, I start thinking about The Wizard of Oz. (One of my favorite books of all time.) Do we really need this powerful being to do all these things for us? Are we not in control of anything? God gave us "free will" but all the good decisions we made were because of him and all the bad ones were the devil. I don't know if I agree with that part. I feel like there was no prayer that Jay-Z made one day that said, "Let me sell these bricks to pay for studio time, then sell these records to poor people, to buy this label and clothing line, and then i'm going to sell it all and tell people i'm part of the Illuminati." I don't know if that was God who did that for Jay-Z, maybe Jay-Z did some of that stuff for him.

      And… someone mentioned Rockefeller… whaaaaaat? Did God tell Rockefeller to go around putting smaller oil fields out of business? Is that what God told Rockefeller to do? And that's why he is regarded as the man he is today? I don't know if I agree with that part.

      1. Then there is the question of what is good. On the macro level. I mean, who is to say that babies dying of AIDS isn’t good? If were talking about the big picture. Much less one guy losing his job, house, wife, children, cattle, health…

    2. I feel like to get a better understanding of God and religion you have to start off with a understanding of philosphy. God gvave us the mind body and spirt, he also gave us free will and choice. He even gave us the choice to believe or not belive. I feel like people use “God will” as a scape goat for the free choices they make in their own lives.

    3. I can't get with quoting a religious book to prove the point to a philosophical question. That's like me grabbing the Koran to justify stoning. I mean do you expect the bible to say anything different to NOT prove your point?

      The books in the bible were written by MAN, from over a period of Centuries, then another MAN decided what books would fall into the bible. I mean that's the whole reason why the Torah, is different from the KJV (it's called Kings James Version for a reason) which isn't exactly the same as the Douay-Rheims Version which has the missing Apocrypha titles.

      So your opinion was in fact a result of someone writings, and then someone who decided to combine writings, while leaving out other writings.

      And you wonder why people may not be inclined to just go along with God's word?

      1. PREACH.

        I wish people knew about the Gospel of Thomas…might change their views about baby jesus…dude was actually a tyrant…if it even existed in the first place…lol

    4. if god doesn't have to answer then why pray?

      If god is such a great scientist then why did it take us years to find a polio vaccine?

      Why did we just find a malaria vaccine?

      I guess god is busy helping Tebow prep for football games…that he loses.

      1. If God exists, why am I not super handsome with a 15-inch dyck and a Ferrari to my condo overlooking the Atlantic?

        The world not being the way you like is not evidence God doesn't exist. Sickness is not evidence God doesn't exist. Suffering is not evidence God doesn't exist. Considering the Bible says the world is full of all of these things, that would suggest the Biblical view is accurate, at least on that point.

        You are living in Satan's world. If you were living in the Garden of Eden or in heaven and all these things existed, you would have a point. But you aren't living there, therefore you don't.

  24. I won't be very involved today…cause I tend to steer clear from stuff like this knowing that I'm gonna read something that is highly offensive (which I already have).

    But I will say this…to reach a certain level of wealth, you have to make moral compromises. Will I keep doing nude scenes? Will I give people access to X-rated stuff on my electronics? In order to maintain Gates type income, there is really no way to really really subscribe to any religion…ok, at least very very difficult.

    It is the nature of man to follow something or someone. Even leaders are influenced by something. There's always something or someone in charge…effecting how they make decisions. They're reading someone's book…reading someone's blog. So to think that just because you aren't following Jesus, God, Allah, etc. that you are mentally or spiritually free….is just a big old joke, lol. You submit to your gov't, your boss…lol…its just unavoidable. What's leading you? And if you think your answer is you, check your bookshelf, your purchases, your interests, where you go to seek knowledge, etc. and answer again. Something or someone, outside of yourself, is playing the role of god in your life.

    1. wait a minute…..

      I am a member of society. I like being a member. I enjoy being part of a team. They don't play a god role in my life. They play the same role in my life they would as someone who has god in their life. Its about perspective, if you have it other things do'nt become god.

      1. Lol. If you're comfortable thinking its that simple, do you as I'm sure you will continue to do.

        Point is "stuff" shapes your opinions. You aren't coming up with anything new, lol. That stuff in your brain came from somewhere. You've been influenced by something. You've allowed stuff to help shape your thoughts and determine your path. Pretty much the role of god…you know, telling folks what to do and all…

        But, you're free…making your own decision based off of what YOU alone think…so, nevermind what I said, lol…smh…you have no God…you don't follow anything… And I'm being VERY sarcastic…cause I believe you do. You just call your god [insert influences and ideologies here].

        1. wasn't the 'stuff' in your brain influenced by the bible and what your spiritual leaders tell you? how is that different from a society?

        2. No difference at all….that was the point. There is no difference. Whether you believe in God or not, you have a god. So, um…

          Were you trying to prove my point or disprove my point? LOL…

        3. Though I don't disagree with you at all, what I'm saying is that humans follow an influence/leader/guide by nature. If its not God, its something else. However, as you read some of the comments, you get a sense that some think they're "thinking for themselves" or "deciding for themselves" or "controlled by no one"…and that's just not true. I believe their bookshelves and internet history would say otherwise…

        4. I can't understand how taking in objective facts can be translated into following.
          Truth of the matter is I challenge my boss, I challenge my govt, and I challenge my favorite blogger. Now if I have a god that tells me that he is too good to answer to me……
          even the people I follow on twitter have more respect for my aptitude.
          just explaining our POV. No Lex Steele.

        5. I'm not surprised…since you seem to pride yourself on individual/free thought…even if those thoughts can be traced back to some book/article/show you previously read/saw…and, fine, challenged, lol. Challenge does not necessarily equate rebellion though…ijs.

          If you aren't the leader in it…or the originator of it, that would make you a follower.

  25. This post makes me smile. I have been TRYING to tell people how awesome atheist are. WE ARE THE COOLEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

    Our stats speak for ourselves and I think they disprove any notion that the religious have any kind of monopoly on morality or character. Props to Dr J for writing a great thought provoking piece. This idea that someone needs faithis near laughable to me. Honestly who has more jesus that the black community, yet who has less discipline or perspective.
    Look if I am wrong and there is some dude with a white beard running this whole gig actually caring about my insignificant decisions… I'll look him in his eye, call him a pompous egotistical sadist than show him my @$$ while I do the cat daddy on my way to hell. B/C even if I KNEW he exist, I still wouldn't praise him. And that is a big IF

    1. My man CHeeKZ! It seems as long as we aren't talking about God, or talking about the Packers or the Jets, we pretty much agree with just about everything.

      The point isn't that atheists don't have morality. By our general human morality, most atheists are cool. Some atheists do a better job of living the Bible than Christians do. The Bible even states this (Romans 2:14 – For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:).

      The point of Christianity is our morality isn't good enough. What was the sin so terrible that God separated Himself from mankind? Adam and Eve ate a piece of fruit. Was that really such a bad thing? But it's the rebellion against your maker that is wrong. God is holy and doesn't dwell with sin. That's why He had to reach us, who are all sinful beings, and bring us back. It doesn't have to do with just being moral by our own standards.

      1. You have not proof of a "maker"

        you only assert one and fail to back up your claim.

        additionally, if god came and asked you to kill your kids, would you do it? FUCK NO.

        Thus you can think for yourself INDEPENDENTLY of a religion.

        I wish there were more SECULAR posts on these sites that expose these religious arguments as hogwash.

        1. First, there are secular posts here, and atheists are very welcome to express their views.

          Second, there is all kinds of evidence for a creator. It is not evidence of the truth of Christianity, but to say there is no evidence of a maker shows you never bothered to look at it. Granted, you said "proof", but there is proof of very little in this world.

          Third, IF, note the term IF, God told me to kill my kids, it would be the morally correct thing to do, but I doubt I could do it. But considering God never asked anyone to do that in 2,000 years of Christianity, I'm not concerned about it.

          Fourth, there are plenty of people who think independently, and came up with moralities you would find abhorent. Then you would equivocate and say they are "wrong", when they are thinking and acting independently.

    2. and ONE MORE THING.

      What is it with you Christians and your assumptions??!!?? Why do you all assume b/c I don't have your god. I have no perspective on life. I am swallow, vain, or narcissistic. Just b/c Steve Jobs was successful doesn't mean he worshipped his success.

      I spit on any logic that assumes I am lacking in personal character because I differ in religious belief. Its insulting.

      1. "Why do you all assume b/c I don't have your god….."
        Seriously? You're making assumptions about Christians as you say that. I'm forced to think you're trolling.

  26. I have a problem with the title of this post…. What statistic are we using to show that Wealthy people (and what's the cutoff for wealth?) do not believe in God? Just because a few notables may have a differing viewpoint, how are we extrapolating this to mean all rich people?

    And when you say God, do you mean the Christian/Islamic/Judaic God? What about Hindus, Taoist, Shintoist or any of the other polytheistic religions? Are we just going to leave them out the equation?

    1. I think you're digging to deep. Would it have been better if I said, "Why Don't Some Rich People Believe in God?" … then it would seem like I was trying to protect myself against people who get on the defensive way too easily. I think I accurately described my points in the post and they were very clear. Steve Jobs was Buddhist, I was talking about the Judaic God, the one that's more popular as it pertains to African-Americans, or people of color in this country. All those other religions are well and good, but this was a blog post, not a dissertation. This could be a chapter, but it's not a book. So let's just stay on topic for what was presented here and not try and open up pandora's box because then we might have trouble organizing our thoughts.

  27. 1) I knew Cheekz would be Cat Daddying all over this post

    2) I think everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. If you saw my twitter icon, you know which side of the fence I'm on, lol

    3) I dont think any one religion is "right". Hopefully we all get to the same path in life.

    4) The points Jay brought up are beyond poignant. Very crucial to the topics at hand

    5) @Cheekz I think you do take the shock value role to try to convince cats that God doesn't exist. maybe its backlash for the anti Atheist statements here too, but IDK. You dont gotta go that hard bro, lol. Glad to hear your opinions though

    My recent post Support Black Businesses [Flickr]

    1. I will say this much. In my opinion, no shots at anyone but atheists do take the cake in the people who try and pull people to their side or need some sense of validation. I can tell you why too. Most Christians don't actually ever think or question their religion. That's their flaw, they'll just be like, "Oh no that's devil worshiping" and walk away from an atheist. Typically, and this is been years in the making, it's the atheists who try and do all the convincing. With the exception of Dexter, he just says it in the voice over.

      Christians are tasked with evangelism. Something I don't always agree with. I'm sorry but i'm not letting my faith pimp me out to go find other people to join. If His word is the truth then they'll see the light.

      1. Just wanted to interject to say that not all Christians are called to evangelize, it is in fact a gift from the Holy Spirit. In addition, no man or woman has ever converted anyone to Christianity, the Holy Spirit is the only one who can convict a person of sin, not a teacher, preacher, or any other Christian. Christians are called to live their life in such a way that glorifies God and by that example other people are entitled to and opened to finding out why that person lives their life in such a way. If the opportunity comes up to share the Gospel with non-believers then so be it, however it should never be forced upon anyone, especially those who are unwilling to listen.

    2. Somehow I imagine Gods reaction to my caddy daddy being something like…

      "You know CHeeKZ. Even though you were wrong about me and flat out disrespectful. I was going to let you into my kingdom anyway b/c I'm not really a hater and I was trying to tell you about how great I am at forgiving, BUT since you insisted on eternal damnation……"

  28. It's always funny to me when people think they're too smart, or too educated, or know too much about history to have faith in a God. It's also funny to me when believers get too far into apologetics and try to come up with scientific "proof" that God and/or his son exist. Faith is faith, you either believe or you don't.

    A man walks up to the top of the empire state building, jumps off with no parachute, and lands on his feet completely unharmed. Nobody seems him jump or land. He walks up the block and, the first person he sees he shares his amazing story with. The person is like, "yeah right, that's impossible… where's your proof." The man responds "the only proof I have is the fact that I'm standing here in front of you…."

    That's how it is when you're a person of faith and you try to provide proof that God exists to someone who's not yet experienced him. You know what you've seen in your life and no one can ever take that away from you or tell you that it's not real. At the same time, the person you're talking to has every right to look at you like you're crazy.

    My thing is, not all smart people are atheists and not all people of faith are unintelligent or uneducated.. Not all Christians are good people and not all atheists are bad people.

    Atheists always accuse the faithful of proselytizing but I've met more than my share of violently evangelical atheists. I respect your right to not believe and I don't think it has any baring on your morality or intelligence, I only ask for the same respect.
    My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

    1. Most's analogy better describes how I felt about the subject than I could have myself, which is why I have largely remained on the sidelines today. I know what I know and that's enough for me.

      Good shit.

    2. "Atheists always accuse the faithful of proselytizing but I've met more than my share of violently evangelical atheists. I respect your right to not believe and I don't think it has any baring on your morality or intelligence, I only ask for the same respect" <– Beautifully stated. I agree with the rest of your comment as well, Mr Most.

    3. Woot! I scrolled through the responses and this wins hands down! To quote my favorite philosopher, Andre 3stacks, "Sin all depends on what you believing in. Faith is what you make it that's the hardest shit since MC Ren…" Also, the other day on the FB, I said something like, "Whenever I see folks running for a train they can only hear coming I wonder how they know that's their train, the right train? I think that's the direct application of faith, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Christian or not. Believer or not. No one knows the day nor the hour. And so to make it through this thing called life, we all put our faith in something, little gods that we depend on to help get us through – people, money, power, career, family, Oprah's musings, a cause. People in general need something to hold onto…
      My recent post The Seat Filler

    4. I enjoyed your answer. Mostly because at this point in my life, I am not trying to convert anyone or change anyone's opinion of God. We can discuss my beliefs (I'm Christian) and discuss yours as well. At the end, we can agree to disagree. Many of us miss the point, as Christians, that it's important to love & serve – that means love & serve Christians and non-Christians. You may be the only evidence of God someone can ever pinpoint.

      You served excellent points with this post.
      My recent post Where Tragedy, Pain, Service and Love Intersect

  29. I’m not wealthy. Never have been. My parents aren’t wealthy either. Yet I’ve never believed in God. My parents never pushed religion to us and my society never pushed religion to anyone, even though there were plenty of opportunities to practise religion and we were even taught Christianity in school. Some people choose to believe and they go to Church and it’s all good, and some don’t. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Yet in a lot of places you have extreme pressure coming from your parents, family, society, even school, to believe in God. You are taught about heaven and hell as a fact, so to question God is hard because it is possible it will lead you on a path to hell. It’s coercion at it’s best.

    I think once you’ve taken a critical look at your religion and why you believe in God, if you still have faith it’s all good. Faith is good. But if you take everything at face value or base your opinions solely on the Bible, you’re probably either blinded or a little dumb. Because all smart people, smart Christians, know that the Bible has been modified and altered and things that were written long ago don’t apply today. Defending Christianity by using the Bible is like defending communism by using Karl Marx’s texts, no one will even listen to you.

    I know there are a lot of people in the States who don’t feel comfortable saying they are atheists. They fear what it would do to their social status, and that’s sad. Religion should be private. Either you have faith, or you don’t, and if you don’t you shouldn’t be demonized for it. (You can privately pity me or pray for me all you want, but keep your comments to yourself.)

    1. If this was a grind time freestyle battle that would be a dope flip….

      but that really doesn't change Dekela point, esp not the heart of what he is saying.

  30. I know I'm going to get in trouble for saying this, but I always felt that GOD blesses those who are rich and forget about the rest… Why is it that people who attend church and are the strongest believers are always suffering the most? I never understood going to church every Sunday to worship GOD to get ready for the hereafter… What about my life here on earth? It made no sense to me… I do believe in GOD and Believe that Jesus died on the cross for me, but why is it that the believers are always made to be the ones to suffer most? I believe GOD picks and chooses who he wants to bless… I have people who care nothing about GOD or religion and they are striving in this life. Then there are my people who believe in GOD with all their being and have nothing but pure suffering… Any takers?

    1. You wont get in trouble I think everyone ask this question at some point in time. My teacher asked that same question. His answer to the class was "God made the world an easy place to live in Humans made it a hard world to survive in'.
      I stated before we are all beings of free will. We make choices w / the options that are available to us. As far as God only helping rich people, we often foget that while some people were born into wealth others worked their way up from the bottom. Ex Rockerfeller was broke beyond broke as a child, he made certain choices as an young teen and adult to make sure him and his family would never be that way again. (I know this does'nt explain all the bad in the world but its a start) hope I answered your question

      1. Smilez, You have a point… I just feel that GOD is bias in who he wants to be very bless as opposed to those being less blessed… I'm confused by the free will aspect too.. why is it that GOD wants us to obey his commands and still allows us to make our on decisions??? It's confusing… I know I have done things that GOD truly does not approve of and at the same time can feel as guilty as hell… It's just confusing. I just take each day and try not to do anything to hurt another human being… I try to do right by me and others around me… I don't know if that is the safe way of handling things, but it works for me…

        1. I just feel that GOD is bias in who he wants to be very bless as opposed to those being less blessed…
          All depends on what you view as a blessing or not. What some see as a blessing others see as a curse. Also humans made up the class system rich,poor,middle class. But I see where your coming from.

    2. Not too mention that God isn't the only person that gives. Satan gives plenty to push his negative agenda. Wealth in the hands of only righteous people would leave no room for doubt God existed. However, many that have money are not as righteous as they should be.

      Gos does expect you to question. Since Satan was given rule of this word for a set time, seeking (questioning) truth is a MUST. Satan is the biggest deceiver. Therefore, not asking questions and just following blindly will not help anyone. Only a slave driver wouldn't want you to question him. God is not a slave driver. He wants you to know. The saddest realization for me was knowing that most won't even know truth if it hit them in the head and said 'here I am'!

      1. Beef, you ain't never lie with this one… For sure you so right about Satan… He's ruling this world if you ask me…

  31. True, True… It all depends on what i consider to be a blessing… Rich people are blessed… Poor people are left to their own devices and are not as blessed as rich people… Just my opinion…

    1. There are many wealthy people who would trade it all for better health (if they're sick or a loved one is sick) or better relationships with family (if these issues exist for them). If you only view the ammount of money in the bank as blessings/non-blessings I don't know what else to say about that. As far as free will -vs- obedience, I look at this from the point of view as a parent/ child relationship. I think you mentioned in a different post that you're a father, right? As a father you raised your children with rules and explained cosequences not because you are a dictator (hopefully), but because you want want what's best for them. You care about their well being. Once they (we) become adults we make our own choices. You are free to choose what you have been taught or whatever resonates for you as truth.

  32. Hey Camille,
    You're right, but I honestly feel in my heart that GOD chooses who gets blessed and who don't…

    My father once taught me that I come from working class people. We work for everything and anything that will get in life… GOD may or may not bless you with more, but if you are waiting for GOD to bless you with riches, think again… I like to think that I am a practical person… I take what blessings that I get whether it be of GOD's doing or my doing…. Camille, you don't miss a beat with me.. Yes, I do teach my daughters to be respectful of others and what is right and what is wrong, but I am also strict when it comes to representing me… When they are out with their friends it is important for them to represent me as a parent who is raising them right!!!! As a child of GOD I try to represent him through his teachings… I try not to do things to make GOD look bad… This is what I teach my daughters… don't make me look bad!!!!

    As you know and you see it every day, there are kids who are very disrespectful and I feel that is due to their upbringing…

    The free will thing will always be confusing to me because there are times when I want to do something (ie, out of wedlock sex or drinking alcohol) that I know is not right in the eyes of GOD that will make me think is GOD frowning on me???? It's just one confusing thing…

    The question for me is, do i do this "thang" I know is not right or do I please myself and ask GOD forgiveness later??? Arrrgh, decisions, decisions…

    1. I think you pose some great points and questions which are not always easily answered. The good thing is that Christianity is not something that is meant to restrict you from enjoying life. It is however there to remind you that while you do have a free will, there are consequences, both good and bad for your actions. And by knowing that, it becomes your choice on whether or not you will do certain things.

      To try and answer a few of your questions: God never said a person cannot drink. In fact, Jesus' first miracle ever performed was turning water into wine at a wedding. Now if people were never supposed to drink, why on earth would He do that? The problem is with drunkenness, choosing to drink to the point of losing touch with normal functions of the body, altering your state of mind, etc.

      Sex out of wedlock? Yes the Bible is clear on that and states it is wrong. Do people (including Christians) still do it? Yes they do. Obvious consequences include, unplanned pregnancy, STI's, etc but even if none of those come about that doesn't make it right.

      Luckily for us God is not like us and forgives us if we truly repent and ask to be forgiven. He does not give us only one chance to do the right thing, as we sin daily and always will until we get to Heaven. The struggle of man is between the flesh (wanting to do stuff that pleases US) and the spirit (wanting to do stuff that pleases God) and I personally believe that if you have already asked Christ to be your Savior, there will always be forgiveness for the bad choices we make. He stated certain rules for us for our own good but knowing that He created us with free will He also knew He would have alot of forgiving to do. And He forgives and remembers no more if we are sincere in our apology.

      1. @Say What – That's a good point about asking for forgiveness with true sincerity… I was so confused when a cousin of mine was about pass away from cancer gave his life to GOD two months before passing… I was wondering if he got in to heaven given he led a life of total crime… It makes me wonder about how true his confession to GOD really was… but as you said there is a struggle here… Thanks for your insight…

  33. I grew Catholic, but I never truly believed in it. I just went along with it to please my family. I’m Agnostic with some Satanic (Anton Levay) beliefs. I'm not rich, by any means, but I just never really found it inspiring. I do wish that Black freethinkers and those of non-Christian origin. I get sick of tired when people imply or state that the belief in God equals good person or that church/God is the answer to EVERYTHING. I also, think that non-believers (not extremists) should have more of a voice in politics. There's a difference between believing God/religion makes you a better and believing that you are a good person based solely on your belief

  34. Some Christians interpret the Bible as not actually promising a life after death but only a Heaven on Earth. Meaning we have to create it and dying doesn't give you anything. By that interpretation, wealth should not affect your level of religiousness and your questions about the afterlife become moot. That's what I was taught at my Catholic university, anyhow, and who's richer than the Catholic church?

    Also, I agree with whoever posted up there about you needing to broaden your criteria. This is very much an American-centric post. I'm currently in U.A.E. and the richest people here are called sheikhs, which is a religious term. That's how things are defined all over, by the religion and religious terms and ideas. And yeah, sure the sheikhs might theoretically become less devout on a personal level with their continued wealth, but it is so ingrained in their society to be Muslim that it would be insane if any of them actually opted out. And I know your point is more about belief than participation or affiliation, but I don't think belief is actually correlated to wealth and I don't think this is something either of us could actually ever prove…
    My recent post Boys, boys, boys

  35. Dr. J – I want to thank you for opening up this conversation. It's a difficult subject to talk about this subject in the black community because it's so taboo, but this candid discussion is needed and very necessary. I commend you on this. Truly.

    I find myself having a difficult time discussing my questions on subject because most of my friends and family who are zealots of the Christian faith who are so one-sided, it's impossible to have a conversation, so I just keep my thoughts to myself, especially on the Hell/Heaven subject and what I believe.

    I'm not in the fence on whether God exists or not. For me, He does. What I do struggle with is the belief that only ONE religion has it right. I've met wonderful people of all types of backgrounds and I, deep down in my heart, don't believe that because they didn't believe in a certain deity, they're hell-bound. Honestly, most religions say/preach/teach the same word/morals/values. I just think God takes on different forms.

  36. This is your best topic I’ve seen to date. Mad props for this. As for my answer I agree with Say What.
    When I was in college I took a philosophy class and our final exam was simply to answer the question from a logical and philosophical standpoint: Does God really exist? Give reasons and examples to support your answer whatever it is.
    My answer was I believed God existed because I prayed and many of my prayers were answered. Throughout my life I’ve always had what I needed to survive. Not always what I wanted (and God does not promise us everything we want) but I had what I needed always. To me it doesn’t matter what anyone else believes. As my pastor has and family has taught me; you have to have your own personal relationship with the creator and you have to believe in him for yourself and he has to be real to you.
    I’m a christian but I’ve also read that Buddhism saved Tina Turners life. I believe that when we hit rock bottom we all at some point look up and seek salvation and answers from some “higher power” and we should.
    Not every wealthy person is agnostic. I’ve never heard that Donald Trump didn’t believe in God. But then he started out poor with nothing and had to work for what he has now and he has lost it all and gained it back.
    As previously stated it makes sense that some of the wealthiest folks do not believe in God simply because they don’t need him and have no reason to seek him so they have no reason to believe.
    But obviously you can still have wealth and be miserable, sad, alone, lonely, depressed among other things. Folks may not think they need God but we all do. And if not in this life, in the “afterlife” I think is when people find that out.

  37. God created us, therefore he knows what is best for us. He gave us laws to live by for our own safety and longevity. Sort of like parents, as children we think they told us not to do things because they didn't want us to have 'fun'. As you get older , you realize why they told you not to do certain things. God is like that to all of us. Satan was given a chance to help God distinguish between the wheat and the chaff. The process of how and why this is happening is a big key in understanding things.

    Loads of money and power are not about God at all. How can anyone with wealth stored up feel good going to bed at night knowing there are so many others starving and homeless? If some think they don't need God after they achieve a certain status, they are serving a false god. Wealth does not equal righteous. This is why I don't look to the rich and famous as people I want to be like. I could not STORE money away, I would want to help others. I have really had some people say I am foolish for thinking that way. I enjoy life with the basics, everything else is excess. Sure I enjoy splurging like the next, but even that would get old.

    I just truly wonder when people are alone, by themselves that don't have a true understanding of LIFE and GOD, what they think about. Personally when I am doing things that are DEAD WRONG and I know it, I feel like CRAP. This in itself forces me to rethink my actions. How can anyone expect to make it to the hereafter if they aren't even practicing righteousness NOW. I see the power of nature such as water, why on earth would I want to play with The Creator….I don't even want to know what that fire will feel like. I know He exist…

  38. I hope these owners of this blog will let an atheist write a follow-up piece to this article and expose the secular side of things.

    This is laden with logical fallacies, historical inaccuracies, and blatant lack of respect to other possibilities in the arguments.

    This is not to be "anti-christian" but to rather attempt to objectivity address the discussions in here which are in my opinion GROSSLY misrepresented.

    You can contact the moderators at reddit.com/r/BlackAtheism if you're interested.

  39. I think the problem is that with money, comes perceived power. So in a sense, these people become their own God's. They are often surrounded with 'yes people' who allow them to feel all-powerful and all-knowing. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that because they can get almost anything they want now, at least in the tangible sense, that they have nothing to hope for, and therefore believe there is no need for God.

  40. J-

    I am posting this to the Secular Students at Howard University Facebook page as I think it is well written (of course) and pertains to much of the discussion that we have at our meetings on campus. As a believer turned agnostic atheist, and black queer woman from the South, much of my life is spent "going against the grain." Yet it wasn't until this very year that I stopped conforming, explaining, or excusing my differences. I embraced them and have never felt more free, happy, or fulfilled. Many of my close friends and family are believers, some are wealthy, some broke like me, but it is rare that they are willing to have this discussion or address the issue of "Why" when it comes to Christianity and black folks. Thank you for opening up the discussion, and you (and any in the community) are welcome to continue this on campus.. we meet in Douglass Hall (how ironic) every Monday at 7p in Room 123.

    My recent post

  41. Excellent blog. Rich people can create their own destinies. They don't need the hope or have to hold on to a belief that a higher power will deliver them from whatever is going wrong in their lives. It's not just rich people either, but people that I call freethinkers as well. People who have issues with following the masses and being boxed into one school of thought also question religion and God.

  42. i love how everyone, well most people who commented took this from a personal perspective, "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness." Karl Marx
    lets not look at this from a "me," point of view but accept the truth in the fact that religion is more prevelent with the poor populations of the world. Africa has more churches than America, i am African and have lived in almost all the african countries south of the equator and i almost half of the states in america.
    i am not rich but neither am i poor and yes thats mu point its not about my experiences but its about the facts, which are that God is for the Poor, black or otherwise.

  43. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but black people actually believe in God because it was forced upon them in Africa by the Western Christian missionaries wih the aim of making them more ‘civilised’ – FACT

    1. very true! i think he meant why they believe so strongly not the whereabouts of the firrst belief in the black community.

  44. Good one … we've (humans) even starting going as far as thinking about how/if/when we could create a benevolent God.

  45. I have been on both sides on the fence, when I first got married I was poor but very religious. Now I am very financially secure and over the last few years doubting God. On th outside I am now 'successful, with money, wife, child and an excellent career yet I have been dealing with depression which at times have been suicidal.

    Yet when I was poorer with a poorer, crap job, my wife and I struggling to have a child I had peace with God.
    I have reached a point now where I want God's peace to return to my life and am earnstly seeking him. So we all need God its just that rich people often live in an illusion that all is OK.
    Money does not buy happiness or peace!

  46. This is easy..the majority of people who are wealthy get that way by using their logical mind..in order to really believe in Christianity you must suspend all logic..after careful consideration, they choose to not believe..

  47. hahaha not all of those men were atheists hahahahahahaha is that darwin? bahahaha albert einstein?? haha he believed my friend he beliieveed!

  48. I totally agree with the reasons why we Black people believe in God,because he's always been "ALL" that we had and could could count on,even now.On the flip side,rich people" worship money",thats their god……..Thinker-1……………

  49. Do you accept Christ as your savior because through him you have everlasting life, or do you really believe that to live like Christ is the right way?

    I accepted (called out for) Jesus that (if He existed) He might make something of my life that was going nowhere. I didn't know at that time that without Him there is no everlasting life, or that I could gradually become more right living through Him. I found those two things out later so the answer to your question is – I have continued with Jesus as Saviour because of BOTH.

    If we were to remove everlasting life from the picture would you still be a Christian?

    I would still try to do right by others but would have an absolute wild blast of a time (sex, indulgence etc) knowing there was no post-death reward for denying such stuff.

    If all your prayers were answered, what would you talk to God about?

    If all my needs and desires were fulfilled I would then ask Him how and where to make most positive effect on others.

    If it turned out that there was no God and no eternal life, would you regret the way you lived your life?

    Impossible for me to answer, because I met with God in February 1996 so now its impossible for me to contemplate the notion of there not being a God. Nevertheless, I still regret the way i am living my life today even KNOWING there is a God.

  50. Why don't rich people believe in God? Because the devil doesn't bother his own – he already has them. But there are a few rich people who do believe in God. I've worked for a rich Christian couple.

    Did you know that there's only one true atheist in the poster above? Earnest Hemmingway, the guy who killed himself. The others are agnostics including Richard Dawkins,

  51. The real reason is that they don’t have enough time or wisdom to come to the point that the Preacher came to: Ecclesiastes 2: ‘I gave myself everything I wanted, and saw it was all meaningless, then saw how the smart and the stupid will all be forgotten, and came to despise life.’ and then survive this crisis to the point of reconstructing the meaning of life from scratch. It took the Preacher a lifetime.


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