God and Religion

Reflect on these humbling passages about God and religion from notable African-Americans.

A form of religion practiced by the millions, but as misunderstood, and unreal to the majority as gravitation is to the untutored savage. We profess to live in the atmosphere of Christianity, yet our acts are as barbarous as if we never knew Christ. He taught us to love, yet we hate; to forgive, yet we revenge; to be merciful, yet we condemn and punish, and still we are Christians. If hell is what we are taught it is, then there will be more Christians there than days in all creation. To be a true Christian one must be like Christ and practice Christianity, not as the Bishop does, but as he says, for if our lives were to be patterned after the other fellow's all of us, Bishop, Priest and Layman would ultimately meet around the furnace of hell, and none of us, because of our sins, would see salvation.
Marcus Garvey

An innocent man is a sin before God. Inhuman and therefore untrustworthy. No man should live without absorbing the sins of his kind, the foul air of his innocence, even if it did wilt rows of angel trumpets and cause them to fall from their vines.
Toni Morrison

Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Before we can properly help the people, we have to destroy the old education... that teaches them that somebody is keeping them back and that God has forgotten them and that they can't rise because of their color.. we can only build... with faith in ourselves and with self-reliance, believing in our own possibilities, that we can rise to the highest in God's creation.
Marcus Garvey

Christians should be ready for a change because Jesus was the greatest changer in history.
Ralph Abernathy

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.
Satchel Paige

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.
Mary McLeod Bethune, Last Will & Testament of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune

For me the goddess is the female of God, She is powerful if different.
Tina Turner, Tina Turner Interview

God Almighty created each and every one of use for a place in the world, and for the least of us to think that we were created only to be what we are and not what we can make ourselves, is to impute an improper motive to the Creator for creating is.
Marcus Garvey

God does not... give people positions or jobs or... good conditions such as they desire; they must do that for themselves.. God does not build cities nor towns nor nations, nor homes, nor factories; men and people do that and all those who want must work for themselves and pray to God to give them strength to do it.
Marcus Garvey

Helped are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception and realize a partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful.
Alice Walker, The Gospel According to Shug

I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet.
Jesse Jackson, 1984 Democratic National Convention Address

I believe in prayer. It's the best way we have to draw strength from heaven.
Josephine Baker

I don't think about my previous success. I'm happy that the work I did has been very successful. All I can do is leave it and God hand's and hope the fan feel where I'm coming from.

I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at commensurate speed.
Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

I go through the same problems all young people go through. Being in this business, I accept that there are positives and negatives but having a strong family base and a belief in God enables me to weather the storms.
Aaliyah, MusicGala.com

I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know that there is a God - the God within me that's always present and will protect me. I'm not afraid to climb any mountain, because I know that I'm protected. Even if I fall and die, I'm still protected. My faith is on that level.
Halle Berry

I meditate and pray all the time. The faith and respect that I have in the power of God in my life is what I've used to keep myself grounded, and it has allowed me to move away from the storms that were in my life.
Halle Berry

I never really look for anything. What God throws my way comes. I wake up in the morning and whichever way God turns my feet, I go.
Pearl Bailey

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
Frederick Douglass

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
Alice Walker

I want to breathe in the Spiritual.
Tina Turner

I'm convinced that I'm a child of God. That's wonderful, exhilarating, liberating, full of promise. But the burden which goes along with that is, I'm convinced that everybody is a child of God. . . . I weep a lot. I thank God I laugh a lot, too. The main thing in one's own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.
Maya Angelou

If I were to say, ''God, why me?'' about the bad things, then I should have said, ''God, why me?'' about the good things that happened in my life.
Arthur Ashe

If the white man has the idea of a white God, let him worship his God as he desires. If the yellow man's God is of his race let him worship his God as he sees fit. We, as Negroes, have found a new ideal. Whilst our God has no color, yet it is human to see everything through one's own spectacles, and since the white people have seen their God through white spectacles, we only now started out (late though it be) to see our God through our own spectacles. The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. We Negroes believe in the God of Ethiopia, the everlasting God - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, the One God of all ages. That is the God in whom we believe, but we shall worship Him through the spectacles of Ethiopia.
Marcus Garvey

It is only the belief and the confidence we have in a God why man is able to understand his own social institutions, and move and live like a rational human being.
Marcus Garvey

It is the indispensable duty of those, who maintain for themselves the rights of human nature, and who possess the obligations of Christianity, to extend their power and influence to the relief of every part of the human race from whatever burden or oppression they may unjustly labor under.
Benjamin Banneker, Banneker's letter to Jefferson

It isn't until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are - not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within - that you can begin to take control.
Oprah Winfrey

My faith has been the driving thing of my life. I think it is important that people who are perceived as liberals not be afraid of talking about moral and community values.
Marian Wright Edelman

No two persons think alike, even if they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have believers.
Marcus Garvey

Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person. That is natural. There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle. So every man's spice-box seasons his own food.
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God.
Maya Angelou

One and God make a majority.
Frederick Douglass

Only by God?s grace have I made it to see today and only by God?s grace will I ever see tomorrow.
Jesse Owens

Our creator is the same and never changes despite the names given Him by people here and in all parts of the world. Even if we gave Him no name at all, He would still be there, within us, waiting to give us good on this earth.
George Washington Carver

People see God every day, they just don't recognize him.
Pearl Bailey

Poor conceited humanity! Interpreters of God indeed.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Uncalled

Prayer begins where human capacity ends.
Marian Anderson

RELIGION is one's opinion and belief in some ethical truth. To be a Christian is to have the religion of Christ, and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be a Mohammedan but there are so many religions that every man seems to be a religion unto himself. No two persons think alike, even if they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have believers.
Marcus Garvey

Religion without humanity is very poor human stuff.
Sojourner Truth

Sins, like chickens, come home to roost.
Charles W. Chesnutt

So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Take away the highest ideal -- FAITH and CONFIDENCE IN A GOD -- and mankind at large is reduced to savagery and the race is destroyed.
Marcus Garvey

The experience of God, or in any case the possibility of experiencing God, is innate.
Alice Walker

The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Lord had a job for me, but I had so much to do, I said, "You get somebody else--or wait till I get through." I don't know how the Lord came out, but He seemed to get along: But I felt kinda sneakin' like, 'cause I know'd I done Him wrong. One day I needed the Lord--Needed Him myself--needed Him right away, And He never answered me at all, but I could hear Him say Down in my accusin' heart, ?Nigger, I'se got too much to do, You get somebody else or wait till I get through?
Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Lord had a Job

The Lord was pleased to strengthen us, and remove all fear from us, and disposed our hearts to be as useful as possible.
Richard Allen

The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime---the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail

The war of Armageddon has already started... God is using his many weapons. He is sending hurricanes so fast that [the blue-eyed devils] can't name them. He is drowning them in floods and causing their cars to crash and their airplanes cannot stay up in the sky. Their boats are sinking because Allah controls all things and he is using all methods to begin to wipe the devils off the planet, [and] the enemy is dying of diseases that have never been so deadly.
Malcolm X

The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.
Charles W. Chesnutt

Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.
Will Smith, Just the Two of Us

To be a Christian is to have the religion of Christ, and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be a Mohammedan but there are so many religions that every man seems to be a religion unto himself.
Marcus Garvey

We reduce the deity to vulgar fractions. We place our own little ambitions and label them ?divine messages?. With our short sight we affect to take a comprehensive view of eternity.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Uncalled

When I was young, I said to God, god, tell me the mystery of the universe. But God answered, that knowledge is for me alone. So I said, god, tell me the mystery of the peanut. Then God said, well, George, that's more nearly your size.
George Washington Carver

When Jesus Christ asked little children to come to him, he didn't say only rich children, or White children, or children with two-parent families, or children who didn't have a mental or physical handicap. He said, Let all children come unto me.
Marian Wright Edelman

While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation.
Maya Angelou

White people really deal more with God and black people with Jesus.
Nikki Giovanni

You may be assured that we won't ever let your words die. Like the words of our Master, Jesus Christ, they will live in our minds and our hearts and in the souls of black men and white men, brown men and yellow men as long as time shall last.
Ralph Abernathy

Young man, young man, your arm's too short to box with God.
James Weldon Johnson