The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Don’t Blame The White Man. Blame Satan.


Personal accountability is hard to find these days. Believing in the devil has been detrimental to the African-American community as a whole. I refuse to pass on this mythical nonsense to my young children. Before, it was the white man holding a nation of millions back, now it’s Satan. Enough already with the excuses. Break this psychological bondage perpetuated generation after generation.

Each time I hear Satan blamed for something I cringe. The black church has taken the phrase, “The devil is a liar!” to another level. Effectively making this character a scapegoat for an entire race of people. One of the rules of playing church is to authenticate your faith with clichés. The enemy is attacking me. My marriage is under attack. The devil is using you. Satan doesn’t want you to hear this message, that’s why you were late getting to church today. Satan wants to prevent your financial breakthrough because he knows you’ll start praising God. The last one is often used when the speaker is encouraging the audience to “sow a seed” (i.e., give money).

Pastors of black congregations are usually quite skillful in making Satan the fall guy. In fact, when black Christians say, “Service was good today” they probably mean: “The devil was blamed for something, everyone nodded and shouted in agreement, and each of us gave a high five to someone and told them they’re coming out of whatever situation they’re in.” If you can master the art of story telling with Satan as the antagonist, then you’ll attract more people who want to play church. More folks signing up. More money coming in.

It’s not politically correct for African-Americans to publicly blame “Whitey” for the ills in their community as done in the past. Many find that term offensive and that belief outdated. Pointing an accusatory finger at Satan appears to be an acceptable way to invoke empathy from whites. Yet, it also invites apathy, underachievement, hopelessness, and self-hate within the black community. As black Christians continue to proclaim the power of Satan they do a disservice to their children by giving legitimacy to a spiritual Boogieman.

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January 6, 2012 Posted by | Commentary, Satan, Societal Concerns | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Faith, Hope And Love: Ending LGBT Teen Suicide


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) pri...

Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.

I have been simultaneously horrified, saddened, and enraged at the spate of suicides in the last month by teenagers and young adults who were bullied for being, or being perceived to be, gay. Billy Lucas, 15, hung himself on September 9 from the rafters of a barn. Seth Walsh, 13, hung himself on September 19 from a tree in his backyard. Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington bridge on September 22. Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head on September 23.

As an openly gay minister, theologian, and seminary professor, these suicides have brought back vivid memories of being bullied myself in junior high school. I remember being taunted so badly at the bus stop on Helen Drive that I no longer wanted to go to school. I remember being kicked out of my tent at Cutter Scout Reservation, with my possessions thrown in the dirt, and spending the rest of the night under a picnic table. I remember spending my recesses and lunch breaks in the Taylor Intermediate School library, which was a place of refuge for me, thanks to Mr. Rand, the kind-hearted librarian.

I believe this recent string of suicides by LGBT young people is, at root, a religious problem. For me, there is a clear and indisputable link between these horrible deaths and the rhetoric espoused by anti-gay Christians who continually condemn lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as sinners worthy of divine punishment. Where else do you think the bullies learn their behavior? No matter how well intentioned, anti-gay Christians need to understand that their nonstop rhetoric of sin and punishment creates a toxic environment that views LGBT people as less than fully human and thus deserving of socially or religiously sanctioned violence — including self-inflicted violence.

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October 8, 2010 Posted by | Commentary, Current Events, Societal Concerns | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Islam And Homosexuality: The Problem Isn’t Religion But Those Who Lead It


Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

Joseph Ward III (The Huffington Post)

Of the 76 countries that persecute people for their sexual orientation, Iran will let an Islamic judge put them to death; Mauritania and Yemen will kill by public stoning; Saudi Arabia and parts of Nigeria and Somalia will do it based on their interpretation of Sharia law; Sudan will kill their citizens; and Iraq will sit passively as rogue militias hunt, torture and kill LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) persons.

If we have learned anything from all this brouhaha surrounding Park51, it’s that there is a need to elevate the voices of moderate Muslim thinkers. These eight countries offer eight reasons that emphasize the importance of these efforts. In many societies with Muslim majorities, there is a violent attitude towards homosexuals that goes far beyond general condemnation into promoting coercive laws that imprison and kill.

When I spoke this August with Ali Hili, an exiled Muslim from Iraq now living in London, it was evident that he has seen and heard it all when it comes to persecution of homosexuals. Ali explained how the death of one of his friends who was doused in gasoline and burned alive prompted him to advocate for Iraq’s gay community through an organization that he co-founded, called Iraqi LGBT.

On a daily basis Ali’s group receives information about the dangerous plight of gays back home. “I get information about people getting rounded up and stopped at check points … people stopped by police and arrested and taken into custody and questioned.” He believes that violence towards gays prospers in Iraq because “religious fundamentalists are preaching and urging their followers to target, attack and kill homosexuals.”

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October 5, 2010 Posted by | Societal Concerns | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Changing Face Of Homelessness


An older article but still timely. Don’t be so quick to write off someone who’s homeless as being a deadbeat or drug addict. When you see a homeless person why not take the time to find out why they’re in that situation. Perhaps there is something you can do to be of assistance, other than pray that God intervene on their behalf.

People who work with the homeless say they’re seeing more families, more women and children, and more people who were knocked down by a job loss, divorce or domestic violence – or by jobs that paid too little and medical bills or housing that cost too much. They are also seeing more people who have jobs that pay minimum wage or less and can’t afford housing.

Shelters are teeming with veterans and teenagers, people struggling with mental illness and substance abuse, people who have been homeless for years, and new arrivals who never imagined they would be homeless.

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September 22, 2010 Posted by | Societal Concerns | , , , , , | Leave a comment