Disturbed by the religiousness of inner city gangs and organized crime groups

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Discussion by: hueman0un
I’ve lived in a few very rough neighborhood where gangs rule the streets as their turf, deal drugs, and harass.  Unfortunately, I had to live alongside these thugs for sometime.  What disturbs me is how aggressively religious these criminals are or claim to be.  They say things like “Jesus forgives me for my sins!  I’ve accepted Christ!”   And that is the only law these gang members need. They “sin” and are “sinners” aka bad people…but “if you accept Christ”  he forgives all sinners.  This excuses them to essentially be bad people.  Jesus forgives them because they’ve “accepted” him and thus they can do whatever they want.  What’s ironic is that good people who do not accept Christ are then the ones who are going to hell. These thugs deal drugs, rob people, threaten, and beat up people but they belong to a church and Jesus forgives them.  They all wear crosses.  If you notice many gangsta rappers wear diamond crosses.  One rapper, DMX, raps about raping, robbing, and murdering also has extremely religious songs about his “deep” spiritual faith.  Listen to his albums and you will be disgusted, and they are also religious.  It’s good to know what these Christians are doing…dealing drugs, robbing, and murdering..In fact I have heard things like drug dealers in the community in fact pay the church a cut of their dealings and the religious community then spreads the word that they are good decent kids. I’ve met some very nasty people who claim they are good merely because of being associated with a religion.  I’m also disturbed by the way these thugs regard women, and this is in America, but they might as well be Taliban.  They regard women as god’s creations to please man and that god was a man, and they expect women to serve them, to please them, and are essentially just there to breed with and to care after the infant.  In fact in many of these gang households once the son is 11 or 12 he is the man of the house and tells his mother what to do.

19 COMMENTS

  1. I was just writing on transgenderism in another thread here, and halfway through had to dive to the floor because of gunshots outside my window. Y’all almost lost a contributor just now.

    I might have something more insightful to say later, but right now my endocrine system demands vodka and big fat blunt, so for now I’ll just leave you with Lordside Gangster.

    I freakin’ love this song.

  2. Frankly, this sounds made up. Can you provide any references to newspaper articles, social surveys or anything of that kind that describe the situations you mention? How do we know you’re not just telling stories?

    • this is based on personal experience..it is a story but a true oneIn reply to #4 by PERSON:

      Frankly, this sounds made up. Can you provide any references to newspaper articles, social surveys or anything of that kind that describe the situations you mention? How do we know you’re not just telling stories?

    • In reply to #4 by PERSON:

      Frankly, this sounds made up. Can you provide any references to newspaper articles, social surveys or anything of that kind that describe the situations you mention? How do we know you’re not just telling stories?

      “Made up”? Really? [Removed by moderator]

      When I was younger I was in a Mexican gang. Religion is inextricably linked with gang culture. We’d say “viva las cruces” to denote our set. La Nina (aka the Holy Death) is a pervasive icon. Laugh Now Cry Later meme has clear theological underpinnings. I could go on for days, but I don’t think I’m going to educate someone so completely naive that they actually think the OP sounds “made up”. I’ll proceed as a formally initiated member of this culture, and I hope you learn about something you know you have absolutely no experience with.

      Religiosity and gang culture share a common cause, and also perpetuate each other. Criminality, tribalism, and religion all thrive in poverty. The chaotic lifestyle promotes superstition as faulty pattern recognition, and afterlife belief cheapens life and promotes ultimately suicidal behavior. Then of course there is the whole amorality of John 3:16. As William Burroughs once said, “If you’re doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn’t worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”

      To be anecdotal, what I’ve seen is the sin-doctrine do a lot of psychological harm to promote antisocial behavior. We are all evil, flawed, sinners. No one has integrity. We are all loathsome… so fuck it, esse. Add to this the amoral aspect of all sins being equal, and the whole commodifying of virtue turns into a Ponzi scheme. It’s the same thing as suicide bombers, atrocities predicated on belief in absurdities.

      or you could just listen to Luniz. Luniz 51/50

      • In reply to #9 by This Is Not A Meme:

        In reply to #4 by PERSON:

        “Naive”? Because I question an unsourced set of assertions, which you justify with another set of unsourced assertions? Hardly. I’d also point out that you know as much about my background as I know about yours.

        Luniz

        So you take song lyrics literally, and don’t believe that rappers (and other artists for that matter) are prone to exaggeration and fabrication in any way, is that correct?

        Don’t you think it’s a bit odd if nothing has been written about this at all? That it stretches credibility?

        I should be clear: I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, hasn’t happened. I’m saying “show me the evidence”. If there really isn’t any reporting on it, is there no outlet (skeptical, left-leaning, ethnic minority focussed, etc) that would be interested in a pitch on the topic? Are there no local reporters you could work with who’d be interested in such a scoop?

        • In reply to #10 by PERSON:

          “Naive”? Because I question an unsourced set of assertions, which you justify with another set of unsourced assertions? Hardly. I’d also point out that you know as much about my background as I know about yours.

          I was trying to convey an indignant tone, but somewhat playfully not insultingly. The purpose of the tone is to communicate how far off you are, and that it relates to the cultural enigmas of morbid poverty. It’s an interesting epistemic matter, how one’s socioeconomic background contributes to their knowledge of things and their certitude concerning them.

          Luniz

          So you take song lyrics literally, and don’t believe that rappers (and other artists for that matter) are prone to exaggeration and fabrication in any way, is that correct?

          I happen to know the Luniz, but that’s besides the point. You are not familiar with the large body of artistic works associated with gang culture, through which religion is a pervasive theme. The OP also cited many artsts who blend the themes of gangsterism and religion. If it’s not to your tastes and you are unfamiliar, that’s part of the cultural/epistemological schism.

          Don’t you think it’s a bit odd if nothing has been written about this at all? That it stretches credibility?

          There is plenty written on the matter, entire books. You have not read one. Your ignorance is not evidence of absence. Here, this is a great tool for learning about the subject.

          I should be clear: I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, hasn’t happened.

          False. You said said it sounds made up, meaning you doubted it is true or could be true. That’s bourgie certitude. If you know you have not read one book on the subject, and you know you have no experience with the matter, drop all certainty and stay curious. Demand evidence, yes, but do not draw conclusions.

          I’m saying “show me the evidence”. If there really isn’t any reporting on it, is there no outlet (skeptical, left-leaning, ethnic minority focussed, etc) that would be interested in a pitch on the topic?

          Are there no local reporters you could work with who’d be interested in such a scoop?

          There is tons of evidence. This is like when a Creationist says there is no evidence, and one suggests they go to a museum. This is a problem with a classist society. People have the luxury of never learning of these ugly things. The nuances of ghetto problems are not scoops. There is a child-prostitution track down the street from my house, and that’s not a scoop but there is archived data. Child prostitution is also rampant in Cambodia and sub-Saharan Africa, but it’s not a scoop. There are scholarly articles written these matters, but that’s something one would have to google. It’s a topic has to research directly, not absorb through the osmosis of common media, like say pedophilia an the Catholic Church.

          I recently attended a lecture with Dawkins and Faircloth, where Faircloth expressed a need to reach out to the Black community where religiosity is much more stubborn. We know ethnic religiosity contributes to issues like homophobia, especially in terms of voting on issues like marriage equality. What I pointed to in my last post is that gangs and religion are both bolstered by conditions of poverty. I believe the correlation/causation question is much more interesting and complex. One can also look to the role of religion in prisons, and how that influences gang culture. I would like to think that by simply eliminating religion we can have a better world, and that its correlating problems would disappear with it… but that’s an ongoing debate.

  3. I can believe it. This is not only inner city gang thing. It works the same for example with Russian Orthodox church. Many of their church buildings and monasteries are renovated with mafia money and everybody knows about that and not blinks an eye. And it is also a very macho culture. And of-course there are areas in Italy where mafia is as ingrained in the society as is Catholicism and seem to get along just well.

    I am as baffled and disgusted by this as well and wonder what is going on in the heads of such people especially the church officials.

    • In reply to #7 by QuestioningKat:

      Is there a question or purpose for this anecdotal rant?

      I really don’t understand why something like this even gets posted. There was no legitimate question here.

      • In reply to #11 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #7 by QuestioningKat:

        Is there a question or purpose for this anecdotal rant?

        I really don’t understand why something like this even gets posted. There was no legitimate question here.

        I like the topic, but you are both very correct.

    • In reply to #14 by Eliot:

      If I was a criminal I’m sure I’d be religious if for no other reason than to impress the members of the parole board and probation officers. It makes perfect sense.

      No it doesn’t for the simple fact that questions of faith do not arise in parole hearings. How do I know? Well I was just released on parole on Monday! Ha!

  4. “To be anecdotal, what I’ve seen is the sin-doctrine do a lot of psychological harm to promote antisocial behavior. We are all evil, flawed, sinners. No one has integrity. We are all loathsome… so fuck it, esse. “

    This is really a terrible self fulfilling prophecy. It amazes me how people often hold onto this idea long after they abandon their religiosity. You see it come out when someone wants to express the hopelessness of some problem that could be solved if people simply pulled their heads out of their asses. I am not weak or broken, or selfish, I was taught to think for myself and do what I know is right, and I do what I damn well know is right even if no one else is watching because I know how much better off the world would be if everyone lived off this principle. No excuses. Why can’t we just teach kids that when people do bad things it’s usually because they fail to grasp the consequences of their actions, for themselves and for everyone else? We are only broken if we let ourselves believe that we are broken, we all get to decide what kind of people we want to be.

  5. So you’re telling me that out of the murder, rape, dealing drugs, and believing in God, that it’s the God part which upsets you most? Damn sir, you certainly have some messed up priorities in life.

    • In reply to #17 by Gangmember:

      So you’re telling me that out of the murder, rape, dealing drugs, and believing in God, that it’s the God part which upsets you most? Damn sir, you certainly have some messed up priorities in life.

      no..they use religion to judge other people and to give themselves a clean conscience. as i said they practice the ideology that jesus forgives anyone who”accepts christ” even though they rape rob and murder theyve accepted christ so theyre clean regardless of what kind of life they lead…its disgusting. theyre extremely fundamentalist and its no wonder the fundamentalists in other parts of the world are farming heroin
      .those fundamentalists grow it and these fundamentalists deal it and both sides use religion as their only law and it works to support their criminal lifestyle

  6. It’s all very well to criticise the lack of references in the personal statement above, but it would be more helpful to look up whether there are any reliable sources that make the same link between youth gangs and Christianity.

    Here’s one reliable and published fact – there are ATM machines at Ashfield Young Offenders Institution “through which prisoners can order snacks and personal items such as rosary beads”. So rosary beads must be higher on the shopping list for prisoners at Ashfield than for most people?

    Guardian article

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