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Ice-T

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Musician

Ice-T (aka Tracy Marrow) is an American rapper and actor. [1]
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On his audiobook, 'Ice Option', Ice-T goes into great detail about his opinions on prayer and religion:
"Religion. The 1% Nation. When I first moved from New Jersey to Los Angeles, I was sent to live with a religious aunt of mine. She was a Sunday school teacher and each week she would take me to church. I was 12 years old and I was already suspicious. It seemed to me that any of the Christian, religious practices in America really weren't made to include the black community. Churches and religions were designed to help the white people who were already there to maintain control. I became even more suspect of the church when I was out on the streets. People were living in such poverty and all the praying in the world didn't seem to help the situation. I began to have really hard times out in the streets and I stopped going to church altogether. I was damn near on a homeless tip when I was in my twenties. I was hustling and I didn't have an apartment. I was staying in hotels or at a buddy's house. When I was rolling, I'd have a career for two months and then I'd flip and move. And then there were times when I was extremely broke. And I would spend a lot of time alone. When I got hurt and went through trauma, I knew I had a choice: I could either pray or not pray. When you're out on the streets, after a while, you start realizing it's gonna be only you. When I was doing wrong, I thought it was a jinx to pray. Rather than calling in on God to help me do something low, I'd better try to do it and maybe he wouldn't see me. A car accident 12 years ago really changed my outlook on spirituality. I had never used an outside person for help or any outside religion for relief. I was afraid to. They told me I'd never walk again. So, I went into myself and pulled myself together the only way I knew how: alone. I didn't want to rely on prayer and think that it alone was going to make me get better. I didn't trust it. 'I have to get better', I told myself. I refused to pray. I just went right into myself. I learned that no religion is more powerful than you're own spirit and determination. This became the main philosophy for the 1% Nation, my current belief system. I formed the 1% Nation with my homies on the Lollapalooza tour in 1991. It quickly became a way of life for me. The main premise is that 1% of the world doesn't wait to seek Heaven in the afterlife. We strive for it now. We're not suckered in by religions that offer death payoffs. We already know how to find happiness and how to live in love in this lifetime. 1 percenters see the ideals of the nation more as a living theory than a religion, because we don't pray to an icon. We believe that Heaven and Hell are emotional states, not real places you're sent to when you die. As a 1 percenter, we believe the worst Hell you'll ever possibly be in is when you're emotionally hurt. When somebody you love abandons you or a member of your family dies or when a loss leaves you with a broken heart. Although I've been though serious physical pain - the car accident left me with my pelvis broken in three places - I learned that no amount of physical pain can compare to the hurt in your heart. No happiness can compare to the joy you feel when you're around people you love or a partner is making you feel good. Not just physically, but spiritually. These feelings put you in touch with heaven. And the 1 percenters seek out the positive emotional state of Heaven. Humans can launch a rocket ship from the Earth that will land on a planet in 50 years, but they cannot create a living cell from scratch. Only God, a force that is neither male nor female, has the power to create the miracle of life. 1 percenters believe the creation of life is the most important element of existence. Sex is the only thing you're ever going to do in your life that is holy, because this is where life is created. Everything else you do should be a quest to make the world a better place for other people and the lives of children. We've been compared to a sex cult 'cause we believe the meaning of life - the Holy Grail - is found in male/female connection in reproduction. If God didn't want us to make love, sex would be the most distasteful, terrible thing in the world. If we had to slash our own wrists to have children, we could possibly be extinct by now." [2]
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In the book, 'Ice - A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption - From South Central to Hollywood' (pp. 198), Ice-T recounts a story where he's talking with his son after catching him stealing a tennis racket: "I don't know if there's a God up there, but if there is, then he knows you knew what the fuck you was doing, and you should get caught."
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On Wikipedia, Ice-T had been cited as an agnostic based on another quote which was supposedly from 'Ice - A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption - From South Central to Hollywood' (pp. 181). The quote reads, "Marrow is an agnostic, and has stated that he does not know if God exists". However, an Amazon.com "Search Inside" search turns up zero results for the keyword "agnostic" within the book. I checked page 181 and this quote does not exist there. There's only one edition of the book, so either the page number was cited wrong and Amazon.com simply hasn't catalogued every page in the book for its "Search Inside" search or this is a misquote. Everything points to the latter. Especially given that the book is written by Ice-T himself and the supposed quote sounds like it's from a biography, not an autobiography. Unless evidence arises to the contrary, it seems we can dismiss the validity of this quote. However, I'd like this discussion to remain in case someone mistakenly cites it in the future.