Nikki Lynette 8.16.08 PM

EDITORIAL: I Pray To A God I Don’t Believe In…And you probably do, too

ptagidbi artworkWhen I was a kid, just like most of you who are reading this, my religious beliefs were handed to me from parents who’s beliefs were handed to them. Whether you were raised Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Taoist, more than likely it was because some adult informed you that worshipping God is what you are supposed to do. I started questioning my belief at an early age, when everybody was able to catch the Holy Ghost except me. I even faked it a couple times to see if maybe the Holy Ghost would be like “Hey, that girl right there is hella down with us” and then come to me for real. It didn’t happen, it actually earned me an ass whooping. Yet, the true turning point was when I found out, in my teens, that Christianity had been forced on Black people during slavery. I was pissed. I felt betrayed and disgusted, and on Sundays when my mom woke me and my sibs up to visit the church my family owned, I would beg not to go. That earned me an ass whooping, too. And it was one of those “You told Harpo to beat me” levels of ass whooping. But you know what? It was totally worth it.

My song “Praying to a God I Don’t Believe In” is the first song I ever wrote about my beliefs. It’s part of a larger project called “Gone But Not // Duality” that is all about making a statement on how the past affects the future. This famous piano player named Lee Musiker did a whole album of really beautiful, original piano pieces, produced by Ira Antelis. Usually, when you are dealing with folks who have worked with superstars like Tony Bennet and Christina Aguilera, you don’t think of them as the kinda people who’s music would be easy to sample. But Lee and Ira actually went looking for producers and artists to remix their stuff, that’s how I got involved. To keep with the concept of the project, I thought about something in my life that is “gone but not,” and the first thing that came to my mind was… well… God. I’m not more enlightened than anybody who’s reading this. I’m just not scared to be honest about what I don’t know.

I have friends of multiple races and have dated my fair share of long-haired white boys, but despite being counterculture I am unapologetically black. So much so that whenever people ask what I’m mixed with, I reply “I’m mixed with slave and other slave.” Just like you, I’m still figuring out life as I go along. Too often, religion takes away personal responsibility and puts it in the hands of the dude in the sky who somehow doesn’t care when children are dying in Israel and Palestine but totally cares about being shouted out during music award ceremonies when some overhyped rapper wins in the “Best New Coon Ni**a” category.

I have seen “God” change the lives of people who are recovering from substance abuse. I have seen thugs become husbands and hoes become housewives. For those people, God is not only real, but necessary. But where was God when I underwent molestation and sexual abuse as a kid? Where was God when I was a teen runaway, cross-dressing so I wouldn’t get caught? Where was God during the Transatlantic Slave Trade, during the Jewish Holocaust or the Bombing of Hiroshima? The same higher power that has been such a loud motivating force for others hasn’t been much more than a quiet whisper for me. I’m not an atheist or an agnostic, because in order for me to pick a title I would need to know where I stand on God. All I know is it’s my job to be a good person, whether the big homey in the sky has my back or not. And that’s why, when people ask me what I believe in, my reply is “I believe in myself.”

Check out Nikki on her social accounts @nikkilynette.

  • Anthony Mason

    Are you kidding me?

    • Brindle

      this is silly and lacks thought…

  • Wow AHH…. Really? This is what you hit us with on Black history month? Forget the numerous brothers and sisters struggling with being shot by police, single parent homes and poverty. Forget about the ancestors that died for us to be here. In this supposed month of Black History you choose to push propaganda about women faking the Holy Spirit and people who are dismissive of God? This is a highly offensive piece and you guys seriously need to be ashamed. Unless you’re going to present one article with 2 perspectives (a believer and a non believer) you are adopting the author’s belief and using that perspective for profit. This is beyond sh*tty. I’m down with being accepting of all people no matter what they believe in, but this is a seriously misplaced article that reeks of political placement. There are numerous conversations to be had on this subject. But in this month with all of the turmoil that Blacks are up against, this is what you push? F*ck your website and the owner for this sh*t. Life is tough enough without some twisted, half baked perspective of some wannabe singer/rapper taking away the shine specifically reserved for Uplifting Blacks to sh*t on the church to get her one-sided/ cross-eyed argument across. F*ck y’all!

    • Anthony Mason

      Thank you for putting pressure on these fools. AHH writers aren’t about s***. You think there is no God???? STOP while you can.

    • John Jacob Jones

      This is dumb. If our ancestors died for anything, it’s the ability to speak openly about their beliefs. Period. Just because hers are different from yours don’t make it less valid. It’s funny you bring up Black History Month but when she actually acknowledged that Christianity was brought to blacks by slavemasters, you ignore that part huh? How exactly is sharing her own views NOT uplifting black people? You literally on here tearing down a woman you don’t know who is actually a great artist all because of your overly dogmatic biased opinion. Just because somebody questioned the existence of your spook God in the sky don’t make this female a bad person or make this website bad. You say you are “Down with being accepting of all people” but the judgement and negativity in this shows that people like you are the reason why niggas like me stopped believing or question our beliefs. You all judge no matter what and ignore any good unless it reflects exactly what you think. You ignore she said God is real to some people, ignore her saying she got abused before, this is real life and all you have is judgement and a closed mind. So what if All Hip Hop lost you as a viewer of their site because they won me over by being a site that’s not scared to post stuff like this. Notice I gave my opinion without having to use profanity unlike you yet you are so religious and Holy. Okay. We see who the crazy people are. Do your thing Lynette! We got your back

      • I don’t know… The way you use the word “spook” makes you kinda suspect. I did not tear down the author. Reading is fundamental. I tore down the website. Focus. The author’s view is one-sided. I don’t see a piece from a “believer’s” perspective, do you? The author’s view is cross-eyed in that most of the Black community does not view God in that manner, wouldn’t you agree? The author did speak of women faking the spirit, did she not? And she was dismissive of God, like it or not. And what month is this? Black History month! My words are all laser accurate, does not sh*t on the author and clearly targeted the website. You’re emotional and should probably smoke some weed before you write. Maybe that will calm you down a bit.

      • John Jacob Jones

        I think Jackie is right about you, you not even trying to think critically. Her article does not speak for all women or claim that all women faked having the holy ghost as a kid, her article does not say nobody else should believe in God, her article does not have to reflect the opinion of all blacks in the world. She wrote an honest piece from her point of view, and you called her a wannabe singer/rapper, you talked bad about her perspective… Maybe you are just the type to disrespect black women but since I was raised by one I can’t do that.

      • Once again, reading is fundamental. When did I say “all women” as you clearly suggest? When? And she is a wannabe rapper. Is she not presenting a product for people to listen to along with this rhetoric?

        And let me just get at you for real. You used the term “Black Women”. This is exactly why I’m against this discussion at this moment. “Black” has no place to reside in a discussion about the existence of God. Color is not in that discussion. But you know where color gains relevance?

        Black history month!!!!!

        There is only one way for all of us to settle if God exists or not. Die! That is the only definite proof. Not many people want to do that.

        All topics like this does is causes people to fight. The believers against the none believers. Look at you, me and most people on this thread. As soon as the topic arises the believers jump to defense of their God. The none believers jump to show how their position is correct. Next thing you know it’s a war of screaming with no true progress towards resolution. There’s a time and a place for this discussion. But when you use the term “Black” it should be aimed towards warm feelings and actually learning something about our ancestors during this month. So, while I hear your yelling, I really don’t want to hear it because it’s not the time nor place for it. Which is what I am complaining to the website about (who clearly only did it for Internet traffic and not to address a particular issue).

      • Anthony Mason

        I got @ Black Jay Supreme’s side….

        This article is one sided and disgusting. This is not journalism….

      • Good looking fam…

      • Perfect Timing

        You clearly failed by stating you stopped believing in GOD because of people? Does that even make sense to you? I swear the devil honestly doesn’t even have to work hard to drag some of you to hell with him.

        If I started murdering people in the name of Ghandi would you claim Ghandi influenced me to be violent? That’s how flawed your mentality is in your statement.

        Also lose the religion was forced on black people via slave masters argument. Those were NOT Christians and do not represent Christ in anyway

      • Anthony Mason

        Yes. Anyone who would physically abuse, brutally punish and rape and FORCE inhumane unpaid labor on someone is not of God. Slave owners have nothing to do with Christ. Those who did not repent are with their “god” right now screaming for help.

        They did not allow slaves to have free will or own property in this life but those slaves who stuck through until the bitter end are no longer suffering….

        White slave owners were hanging pregnant women upside down from trees and cutting their babies out, murdering mothers and fathers, raping children and cheating on their spouses with their female slaves and impregnating them. They were Lucifer’s advocates and followers… The wives and family members who watched it and did not intervene were equally as wicked…

    • PeoplePlease7

      If we are following the wrong system (belief system) or have the wrong concept of a supreme being, then it needs to be challenged right now, especially with the turmoil taking place in our community. Now is always the best time to raise these issues so we can hash out differences, stop wasting energy on the wrong path and move forward on a more uniform accord.

      The spiritual, financial and physical energy we invest in our former enslavers version of God through churches (and mosques, synagogues, etc.) could be spent truly getting our act together. If there is no “sun” in the sky coming back to save us, then we need to know now so we can get a plan B going to save ourselves. If God is all powerful but sits on the sidelines, then God doesn’t need our puny tithe money so we can start investing that money into schools and put people like yourself in charge of curriculum.

      • No! No! No! Let me ask you something…. Having cops kill us isn’t complicated enough? Having single parent families isn’t hard enough? What about poverty? How does a conversation about the existence of God help that situation? You know what? I don’t expect those who don’t believe in God to see my perspective. That’s the dope thing about God to me. Your relationship with or without him is on you. Not me and every dude on the corner. And that is the glaring contradiction that almost every person on this thread is overlooking. WHO YOU SERVE IS UP TO YOU AND YOU ONLY! Don’t come on this hip hop site spewing your rhetoric because that’s YOUR LIFE AND YOUR PERSPECTIVE. You don’t believe in God? Fine. That’s your choice. But don’t drop an article on a HIP HOP WEBSITE trying to seek converts to your perspective. Because you’re making it something else. US vs. THEM.
        This is absolutely not a conversation that needs to happen. If you believe this is a conversation that we as Black people need to have then why not HOMOSEXUALITY? Why not the KKK? In fact, I will go so far as to say that if you defend this supposed article, then you should be an advocate for a homosexual person writing an editorial on this site expressing their views and seeking supporters. I don’t think that sh*t has a place here, just as this current article doesn’t.

        This article is pure click bait. I ain’t buying that. It doesn’t belong here and AHH should be ashamed of that sh*t. Trying to bring us together through common beliefs (such as hip hop) should be the site’s primary objective. Not searching for differences within the core beliefs of people, starting unnecessary fights.

      • PeoplePlease7

        I hear where you’re coming from in terms of the format they presented this in. Still I respect the open dialogue, even homosexuality and kkk included, so that we can publicly identify, condemn and prove it is a counterproductive philosophy or unhealthy way of life and move forward collectively. Maybe that should take place on a different platform.

        I’m sure you know everyone who doubts the traditional religious explantation of God is not an atheist per se, they just don’t subscribe to the man made explanations and religious politics that have been disproven by examining science and history. Be good to get minds like Wise Intelligent, Lupe Fiasco or KRS-One in on these topics.

        “Keep that bible on the shelf, God helps those who help themselves” – KRS One… who then went on to put out an album called “Spiritual Minded” years later. To each their own…

      • Perfect Timing

        Everything you’ve learned came from a book.. Even those who taught you learned from a book. KRS was ignorant for his statement. You can’t guard against what you can’t see, that is why spiritual guidance is NOT something you can do on your own.

        Science is simply mans way of trying to understand god. Science is flawed and imperfect. These are educated assumptions about things that existed long before man was present.

        You only believe that you are breathing air right now because another man told you that’s what it is.
        Yet you trusted him..
        That’s the concept of faith.

        The reality is you can’t see the air you are breathing but it keeps you alive just the same. You can’t see God either yet he keeps you alive just the same. There is nothing without purpose and you were created for a purpose, when you no longer serve that purpose or never pursue that divine purpose your clock will stop and that is not in your control no matter how much you think it is.

      • Anthony Mason

        DEEP….Excellent way to phrase such a difficult topic. Kudos for that intricate yet thought provoking post…

  • Brindle

    if God made us in his image… Why the hell are we always trying to make him in ours??

  • wickedjones

    Now thats real.

  • Spijo

    This lost soul is entitled to her own opinion. It doesn’t make sense feeding people the wrong I information, wrong beliefs and blasphemy. Rather live your own life as you please and stop spreading nonsense. Its your right to believe in whatever you want after all.

    • John Jacob Jones

      Because sharing her belief and opinion is “feeding people blasphemy.” Got it.

  • Rapfan

    “Yet, the true turning point was when I found out, in my teens, that Christianity had been forced on Black people during slavery.” You are obviously horribly uneducated. Ethiopia officially proclaimed Christianity as a state religion (in 333AD). Scholars even found proof of Ethiopians in Jerusalem during the initial missionary work of Saint Peter. Since King Ezana’s empire spanned Ethiopia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Southern Egypt and Somalia do you not think they spread Christianity to other neighboring countries in Africa? I know a lot of Orthodox Ethiopians who are very proud of this fact. They even consider themselves the birthplace of Orthodoxy and have one of the oldest churches in existence today. To say that Christianity was forced on black people is about as ignorant as it gets. Did it happen to some? Sure. You were clearly making a blanket statement inferring that all black people were forced to practice. But hey, if it fits your juvenile agenda have at it.

    • PeoplePlease7

      Would a more precise statement be “a westernized Anglo-Saxon version of Christianity was forced on Black People kidnapped from Afrika? The bigger valid issue she raises is do we have the wrong concept of a supreme being regardless of it’s historical African origins.

      • Perfect Timing

        Kidnapped from Africa? You might want to correct that since they were sold by rival tribes to the Europeans

      • Actually, you’re like that half and half you’re drinking. SOME tribes sold out the brothers. But the vast majority were taken by force at the hands of Whites. Get it right Sir Scared Caucasian.

      • PeoplePlease7

        You don’t know the definition of kidnapped, dialogue is pointless.

    • John Jacob Jones

      There are literally historical data backing up the FACT that Christianity was forced on slaves. Wow. You all ca’t even incorporate the truth into your dogma

  • D_Ably

    The problem you have is believing in god. God ain’t about to do jack, its all on us. Fk that dude, he/she just a watcher.

    • Perfect Timing

      You didn’t give yourself Life so keep thinking the way you do, and one day when you don’t wake up you’ll be reminded you are not in control

    • There’s a simple way to find out if God exists….. DIE! Kill yourself and come back and tell us what you see. 😂😂😂

      This conversation is stupid. This is a hip hop site. Take that sh-t over to Blasphemous Weekly Magazine.

      • Brindle


  • Perfect Timing

    It was great to read how deceived, bitter, self absorbed, brain washed and misinformed this woman really is.

    First let’s address the fact that you ask “WHERE WAS GOD?” When all of these bad things were happening to you? So wait.. God is to blame for the evil in the world? Not the devil? Funny how nobody ever questions whether the devil is real or not but they always question god’s existence. Now who does that benefit more? The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he doesn’t exist.

    Do you NOT realize that if it was not for god things would even be worse? If you think the devil is wreaking havoc now just wait until god really removes his grace and mercy.

    People like her will say how dare god allow 5,000 babies to die but will never give him praise for the 5 million he saved.

    You can’t want the benefits of spirituality but lack the faith it takes to understand it and receive it.

    The fact that you even think Christianity is a religion shows you don’t have the slightest clue as to what you’re speaking on. Jesus never forced anyone to follow him and clearly stated that anyone in need of the word come willingly. So how can you claim Christianity was FORCED on black people? Those were NOT Christians and what they were forcing was NOT Christ like, stop being the devil’s pawn.

    It’s obvious she has not fully healed from the things that have happened to her. To whom much is given much is required. Gold is molded in fire, steal sharpens steal. Why do you not consider your hardships, tribulations and your struggles your blessings? Or do you not realize when you want to build a stronger body you go through some pain at the gym.. When you clean out your body of drugs you go through terrible withdrawal. Once you understand why things happen to you, you can understand how to build from these things.

    • Anthony Mason

      Great post. Everything I was thinking regarding this mess. People won’t realize how bad things are until they experience the absence of God for eternity….

      God is life and light and everything we need. This life is a test….

    • Brindle

      WELL SAID…

    • John Jacob Jones

      You see a woman talk about being molested and beaten as a child but you call her brainwashed and self absorbed for questioning her belief in God. That’s stupid. I don’t know how else to phrase it. Its just stupid as hell. If SHE is self absorbed for writing about her own point of view, then what does it make you for saying she is wrong for having one? You just really sound stupid

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