Lecture Exposes Major Religious Problems for Africans and African Americans

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Is Religion Pushing Africans and African-Americans into Superstition & Ignorance? After extensive travel across Africa and the USA, Norman R. Allen, Jr., founder and executive director of African Americans for Humanism, reports his findings on effects religion, especially literalistic and conservative religious tenets, are having on blacks around the world. Are the clear anti-science, anti-medicine, anti-thinking trends in both Africa and across the African-American communities the result of religion? Does religion promote the spread of AIDS? How does Humanism stand out in combating these movements into ignorance and superstition?

Norman R. Allen, Jr. will present his findings at John F. Germany Public Library, (downtown Tampa), 900 N Ashley Dr, Tampa FL 33602 on Saturday, April 18, 11:00--1:00; doors open at 10:30.

Is Religion Pushing Africans and African-Americans into Superstition & Ignorance? Has the economic downturn, badly hitting African Americans, increased a desperate, wishful turn to religion rather than intelligence and real-world solutions?

Norman R. Allen, Jr., founder and executive director of African Americans for Humanism, has traveled extensively across Africa and the U.S., and bears a disturbing message. He has been asking, "What effects are religion, especially literalistic and conservative religious tenets, having on blacks around the world? Are the clear anti-science, anti-medicine, anti-thinking trends in both Africa and across the African-American communities the result of religion? Does religion promote the spread of AIDS? Does Humanism stand out in combating these movements into ignorance and superstition?"

In Tampa, on April 18, Norm Allen will report his findings about organized humanism and skepticism on the African continent, and the challenges that pro-science activists there face. He discovered numerous religious and superstitious obstacles to the teaching of good science. Allen analyzed what African humanists and skeptics are doing to defend and promote a reason-based worldview.

Norm Allen also explored some of the challenges in advancing science and secularism within the African American community. "There is a strong pressure to conform to the religious ideal among various black skeptics and atheists, including many historical African American figures." He doubts that religion remains a liberating force for African Americans. "Allen says, "Many anti-science trends are growing in the Black community, including those coming from Black entertainment outlets promoting anti-science such as psychic 900 lines, televangelists and belief in prophecy." He ties all of this together in an exploration of religion and secularism as they relate to political activism, including the influence of high-profile Black preachers, such as Reverend Jeremiah Wright, President Barack Obama's spiritual advisor.

Profile:

Norman R. Allen, Jr. is the executive director of African Americans for Humanism, an educational organization primarily concerned with fostering critical thinking, ethical conduct, church-state separation, and skepticism toward untested claims to knowledge among African Americans.

In addition to his work with African Americans for Humanism, Norm Allen is the director of the Center for Inquiry/Transnational Programs. He is the editor of the ground-breaking book "African-American Humanism: An Anthology", the "AAH Examiner", and Deputy Editor of "Free Inquiry" magazine.

Allen has traveled and lectured widely throughout North America, Europe, and Africa, and he has spoken on numerous radio and television programs. His writings have been published in scores of newspapers throughout the U.S. and have appeared in such books as Culture Wars and the National Center for Science Education's Voices for Evolution.

Lecture sponsor Center for Inquiry Tampa is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is "To promote and defend reason, science, and freedom of inquiry in all areas of human endeavor." CFI organizations publish Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry magazines. See http://CenterForInquiry.net/Tampa for more information, or call (813) 849-7571.

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FREDRICK O'KEEFE
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