On Watching the Revolution and Religion Dialogue:
"It made me question what am I really believing"

July 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


As part of efforts across the country on the July 4 weekend to get Bob Avakian's vision and leadership out to many people, revolutionaries in East Oakland held an anti-July 4 BBQ at a neighborhood park. The following is an interview that was done with a Black woman who came to the BBQ with her kids.

D: I first met people with the revolution when they came by my complex. I live in East Oakland. They came twice and the second time I bought the DVD [of REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN]. They told me about the picnic [on July 4] and of course I said, I don't celebrate that. It's hypocrisy. I don't celebrate the fourth because of the history of this country. My ancestors were still slaves, so why would I celebrate something that's oppressing my people.

I watched the DVD last night… I'm a Christian and it made me question my religion and my spirituality. He was going in depth, getting into scripture, talking about the brutality and vengefulness of the god who is supposed to be loving and forgiving and all-knowing and all-seeing and wants justice and loves justice. The scriptures he was going through made me question about stoning children if they were disobedient to their parents, about women and what their place is in the household and even in the church. About killing and stoning gay people. It made me question what am I really believing? Who am I worshipping?

Q: So you are still in the process of sorting this all out?

D: It's scary to know that you were raised a certain way and that you were taught certain things and then to have them questioned. It unsettles you. If you don't look at them in depth you'll still be living in a fog—not going deeper. Like I was saying earlier, I've read my Bible a few times. I haven't been studying like the word says you should study, so when BA was going to scripture, I was like, "That scripture says that?" It was shocking to me. Stone women? Stone children? This is what is righteous, this is justice?

Q: Even slavery.

D: Slavery too. It is a given in the Bible. It's just shaken me to my core. Making me re-evaluate and rethink everything. That's an intentional act for me to discover the truth about religion, society, the world, America.

Q: It's difficult but it can also be liberating.

D: I can't go back now that I know the truth. How can I go back to living the way I was, conforming and going along and just trying to survive? You find the truth through education. That's why the slaves were not taught to read and write. If you know the truth of history this is freedom. It's been freedom for me, opening my eyes up to the system and my own conformity and ignorance and compliance. It was hard to deal with at first. I still struggle with it every day. There's so much going on. I have the question where to even start because there is so much injustice and so much that needs to be fixed. It's hard to figure out where you want to start, where it will make a difference…

It's so overwhelming to think outside of where you are, outside of America. When you start thinking on a global scale, like King was. This isn't just happening in the U.S. This is a global, intentional oppression of people of color. When there is something going on in Vietnam or the Philippines or Israel, it's not just about them, it directly affects you too. But many people here don't see that. 



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