Black, Saved, and Smart Encourages Controversial Discourse on Science and Religion
Conventional religious practices typically discourage criticism and asking too many questions, especially from children who are young and curious. It seems as if the Bible promotes blind obedience, and asking questions is interpreted to be a sign that one’s faith is not strong enough, despite the fact that the Bible is filled with preternatural events that cannot be explained with logic or science.
This reason is why people believe that science and religion are antithetical. Typical Christians take the word of the Bible as law, while scientific facts often contradict events written in the Bible. Torrey Fingal, as a Black Christian man with a degree in Chemistry, realizes that and believes that science and religion do not have to exist independently of each other. To add to that, while the Bible preaches about peace and forgiveness and “turning the other cheek,” being Christian does not have to compromise his values as a Black person whose people are oppressed and discriminated against.
Raised as an active member of a Black church in a Black neighborhood in a suburb of Washington, DC, with Black friends in a Black school, and even later going to get his degree in the historically Black Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, being Black and being Christian is just a matter of fact for Torrey. He had not even considered that his religion could be a threat to the Black population.
By founding his blog named Black, Saved, and Smart, he opens the ground for discourse that encourages religious intellectuals to be able to bring both religion and science to a middle ground. It provides a safe space for mostly African-American intellectual Christians to speak their minds out without fear of judgment or reprise. In this way, Black, Saved, and Smart is no stranger to thought-provoking questions and concepts that challenge the traditional way of practicing religion. One of their titles, “I’m Both Christian and Mad as Hell,” talks about the conflict between the Christian value of forgiveness and Torrey’s indignant anger towards the treatment of his people.
“It’s Okay to Question God” addresses the misconception about questioning God. It says that instead of thinking that one literally should not ask any question, it simply means that God should not be questioned in such a way that undermines His authority. Other titles are “Is God Really Male?” and “Don’t Turn Off Your Brain in Church.” Currently, in the works is a biweekly social media show entitled “Here’s What Really Happened,” depicting well-known Bible stories in a more accurate historical context.
The blog aims to empower African Americans to know that they can be Black, brilliant, and Christian at the same time, and engage them in a healthy free exchange of ideas regarding science, philosophy, and religion with enough tension to be discomforting but not enough to be borderline atheistic. The two main goals of Black, Saved, and Smart are to encourage critical thinking regarding science and religion in the context of current social issues and to challenge the current Americanized version of Christianity that is very widely preached.
You can find out more about Black, Saved, and Smart and their upcoming media series “Here’s What Really Happened” by visiting their website and following their social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.