Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!
Does Khalil Believe In God?
By Khalil Amani
They ask me, “Khalil! Are you an atheist? Do you believe in God?” I always reply, “That is a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ question!” If you feel like reading, I’ll explain. Off the rip, why would anyone ask me if I believe in God? What have I ever posted or written or spoken or said that would suggest that I didn’t believe in God? Nowhere can you find that I have said God doesn’t exist (although a great argument could be made that, indeed, God does not exist!)
I could get real low-down and dirty on this religious thingy and quote Paul Tillich (Who dat?) and say “It is as atheistic to confirm the existence of God as it is to deny the existence of God…”—but I would be showing out on you—stuntin’ my college philosophy of religion on you—being a smart-aleck and a religiously educated dick! And sometimes I have to do that to let a nigga understand that I’m well-versed on religious matters—and that they aren’t debating with some erry-Sunday-go-to-meetin’-ignant-Christian. I’m a student of religion—all religion; a quasi-scholar on the subject.
If I were talking to someone that I considered my religious/spiritual equal (and I say that with humility, but if you think otherwise, I’ll let my carnal, worldly side speak, “No fucks given!”) I would answer the question of believing in God with a resounding, “Yes! I believe in God?” But again, this is a loaded question for a nigga like me—someone who’s spent a lifetime reading the best scholarship and thinkers on the subject—from St. Augustine to Origen to Tertullian, Luther, Chrysostom, Erasmus, Barth, Bultmann, Tillich, Cone, Gutierrez, Armstrong, Bonhoeffer, Jonathan Edwards, and a shit-load of lesser known thinkers. (Dare I mention the philosophers Nietzsche, Voltaire, Marx and mythologists Joseph Campbell, Gerald Massey and Micea Eliade who all had some fantastic things to share with us?)
Scholarship aside, I have my own mind and religious experience which lead me to think as I do concerning God.
Some of my family think I’m just plain ol’ religiously crazy, but if you ask my siblings, they’ll have to admit (if they’re honest) that I was the most religious child of the five of us—even more “religious” than my parents. I am the only child in my family that was baptized in childhood! I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at age 10, fully aware of the salvific opportunity afforded me by His death on the cross. Meanwhile, my siblings, in their middle ages, are just starting to discover the Jesus of my youth, but are light-years behind me in wisdom, knowledge and understanding of spiritual/scriptural/religious matters.
I say that, not as an insult to their spiritual growth and religiosity, but rather to defend myself against the wily accusations some may level against me for what I espouse. Unlike many, who find God in prison or later on in life (after a lifetime of “sinning”), my pedigree to God reaches back to childhood, which led me into the esoteric (a cult) and down the halls of higher academia at University of Nebraska as a Religion minor to publishing four (4) books on religion to having my work published in a PhD’s religious anthology. I’ve been searching for the mythical “Holy Grail” of religious truth all my effin’ life! I didn’t just start writing about religion in the age of Social Media—Facebook and shit! Contrary to what some say, I’m not talking/writing out of my ass for shock value! Contrary to what they say, I don’t write to debate, because the masses can’t debate me! I’ve read and studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelations—know what’s in it and not in it! I did Jeremiah 15:16—“Thy words were found and I did eat them…” And not just the Bible! All the sacred scriptures! You can’t write four books on religion and not have a historical/religious foundation! If you think I’m bullshittin’, I dare you to write ten pages on what you profess!
Does Khalil believe in God? This is the $64, 000 question for some. Now here’s my answer!
Do I believe in a Jewish “god” that has “chosen people?’—favorites and shit! A “god” that tells his “chosen people” to invade another people’s land and kill off the inhabitants—men, women and children? A “god” that murdered thousands, yea, millions of people back in da day? A Jewish “god” that made women the property of men and demonized same-gender-loving-people (homosexuals)? NO! I do not believe in Jewish god!
Do I believe in a Christian “god” that taught (and teaches) “slaves, obey your masters?” A “god” with a son who preaches that he and only he is “the way, the truth and the light?”—while many throughout the world who will never know this man-god. Do I believe in a Christian “god” whose son is symbolically and "perceptionally" viewed as a European (ask Kanye West!)? Do I believe in this Christian “god” who has gone throughout the world and changed the indigenous religions and spirituality of others? The same Christian “god” that allowed 100 million Africans to be enslaved and/or die in the Transatlantic Slave Trade? And this same Christian “god” that planted foot on foreign soil and exterminated a whole indigenous population! Do I believe in a Christian “god” that when a jet hits a building and kills thousands of people—the only comfort this “god” can give me is “It was their time to go?” Do I believe in this Christian “god” who claims that although He let his son die for me—gave the world a “Pope” and a “universal church” (Catholicism), which, throughout history cosigned some of the most egregious crimes against humanity while giving birth to her bastard child (The Protestant Movement)? Do I believe in a “god” that has rabbits laying eggs and fat white men in red suits who slave-drive reindeer around the world once a year? NO! I do not believe in a Christian god!
Do I believe in a Muslim “god” that teaches me that there will be no more revelations (sacred writings)—that Islam has sent the last prophet to humanity? That “jihad” (killing in the name of Allah) (God) is justified? This same Muslim “god” that has undereducated women and wreaked havoc on Africa? NO! I do not believe in a Muslim god!
Some of you are gonna argue that it’s not God. It’s the people who have done bad things in the name of God. Fine. If that’s what allows you to stay in your gutter-religion—have at it, but the truth is that religion & God have killed more people than any other! Hitler was a Christian! The early American settlers were Christian, but found scripture to justify slavery.
So! Do I believe in God? Hell fucking no! I don’t believe in your Jewish, Christian or Muslim god! Disrespectfully I say, “Fuck your god!” God is not a Jew, Christian or Muslim! Those names are simply man’s attempt to understand and define what they can never know in the physical realm.
Now! Do I believe that there is something GREATER than myself in the Universe? Abso-fucking-lutely! (There’s something wickedly profound about cursing to make a religious point!) I believe in a Grand Architect—an Omnipotent One—a Great Essence—an Illuminated Source—an Infinite One that can’t be put in the box of religion. I believe in the “god” in me—made in the image to create, think and know! Not to believe and have faith in the unseen. I believe that The Great Spirit gave us this planet to use or abuse. I believe that the Universe is an UN-involved force that has left us to our own devices. There is no Divine Intervention! We are here to go it alone!
You may think your “god” worked a miracle in your life, but when you look at the whole—the totality of human history—your god has not intervened in the affairs of men. He didn’t stop slavery, the holocaust, the murdering of the Indian, AIDS pandemic in Africa, 9/11 or any other act worthy of intervention. But I hear you! God let yo’ mama hit the numbers!
Never again ask if Khalil Amani believes in God! Just because I kick some real shit that you've prolly never heard doesn't make me a disbeliever. This is my SHORT answer! At some point-----------------Think!