Daddy’s little uninformed girl
Published 12:00 am Monday, April 23, 2007
Of all of the topics I have addressed in my columns, this one will surely create the most enemies for me.
I bet however, this is the topic I will get the least amount of response from, and I’ll explain why towards the end of the column.
I had two epiphanies the other day while watching the world’s reaction to the murders in Blacksburg VA last week.
The first was that my three-year-old daughter Jamila has no clue who or what God or even the concept of God is.
The second revelation that came to me almost immediately was that I’m not sure that I want her to know.
While I know those statements seem blasphemous to the majority of our readers, I will now explain, finally, how I’ve come to that particular train of thought.
I grew up in a time when attending Sunday School and church was pretty much mandatory for most families.
When I moved to North Carolina the same ritual applied to my siblings and I as we made the trek to Indian Woods Baptist Church every Sunday morning to be taught the lessons of the gospel and Jesus Christ.
Not long after leaving North Carolina to join the Army, I was introduced to the religion of Islam.
Of the three major religions, Islam is the only one that I ever felt had a true pulse on the nature of mankind and what his relationship should be not just with our creator, but with the believers of other faiths as well.
One of the reasons that I was so receptive to Islam was because after having Jesus forced down my throat as a child, anything that was outside of what I had been accustomed to was refreshing to say the least.
Fortunately for me the religion of Islam almost mandates that its believers become well versed with the other two major faiths before they can comfortably say they have an understanding of God.
In fact, Muslims know far more about Christianity and Judaism than those religions know about Islam, but that’s not my point.
My thirst for the knowledge of God eventually led me to conclude that all religions were man made attempts to explain the unknown and as they were all invented by men.
I discounted them all and still do.
My family still regards me as a Muslim even though I do not consider myself a religious person at all.
I still pray five times a day, the way I was taught in Islam, but my prayers are to no specific entity, just to the universe as a whole.
I do believe that some force greater than myself is responsible for my creation, but I don’t think that anyone who wrote any of the so-called Holy books had a clue about who or what that force actually is/was.
Personally I do not hold the writings of Europeans in the 13th and 14th centuries as the word of God, so that eliminated the Bible as a document rooted in fact as far as my studies concluded.
As a man of color I figured that the only justification slavery was to assume the reason God allowed so many Africans to be stolen and made slaves in North America was so that Africans could be taught Christianity.
That rationale comes from having traveled to the continent of Africa three times and realizing that all of the Christian Missionaries hovering around the continent are relatively recent in the great scheme of things.
In other words, the slaves who were brought to the country were not Christians; in fact, over half of them were indeed Muslims who were forced to convert once they reached the plantations of America.
Considering the state of Christian-Muslims relations today, I guess that made a lot of sense to slave owners.
That dynamic pretty much put the entire concept of Christianity out of my mind forever.
While I do not believe in any of the miracles attributed to Jesus during his life, I do believe in his existence and much of what he supposedly had to say.
The fact that the Jewish faith pretty much looks at Jesus in the same vein that white America views Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says to me that followers of the Jewish faith are ‘haters’ so that took care of them in my opinion.
So as I ponder how to introduce my daughter to the concept of a higher power, I do not have access to any answers directly from the creator, just versions of flawed men, in some cases severely morally flawed men.
Which made me wonder if she’s better off letting God reveal himself/herself directly to her without the aid of some 4,000-year old text that does not at all fit with the world as we know it today, or her daddy who doesn’t believe any of the hype anyway.
That prospect both intrigues and scares me.
Our judicial system is bricked and mortared on the basic tenants of morality as detailed in the Ten Commandments (which, by the way, the world owes the Jews a big thanks for).
But if those Ten Commandments are nothing more than the inventions of European slave holders and murderers looking to pacify the masses so they could continue to reap the benefits of aristocracy, then what validity do they actually hold?
Where is our moral center; in the hearts of mankind or in the words mankind uses to profess to know the mind of God?
Do I introduce the concepts of ‘right and wrong’ to my daughter as an obligation to an omnipotent being or as the best way to ensure survival of her family and the species?
The reason this column will create a nice buzz is because I write for a newspaper that lies in a terrain of ‘blind conviction’ to religion and more importantly because religion is big business nowadays.
I do not expect very much response to the column however, because anytime I speak candidly about my thoughts on religion, everyone just clams up.
That, more than anything else, allows me to see the world for what it is more often than not, full of false prophets and I don’t want any of them messing with my daughter’s relationship with her God.
Whoever that may end up being.