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  1. #1
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    Feb 2004
    Santa Barbara, CA
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    The Bible condones slavery

    *note* This thread spawned from: What is marriage? - APOK

    Now slavery:


    At the end of the twentieth century, many Confederate heritage groups, amongst them the League of the South, promoted the position that the nineteenth century Confederate States of America comprised an orthodox Christian nation. Within this historical interpretation, the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) is understood to be a religious conflict over the future of the United States fought between the pious Christians of the Confederacy and the irreligious heretics of the Union. This belief comprises what we term the ?theological war? thesis. In turn, this reasoning leads many Confederate heritage groups to claim the ?stars and bars? battle flag and other Confederate icons to be Christian symbols and declare that opposition to them equates to a rejection of Christianity. In this article we unpack these contentions, examining their origins in pro-slavery texts of the mid-nineteenth century and a marginal literature composed primarily within the Southern Presbyterian denomination by theologians including Robert Lewis Dabney, James Henley Thornwell and Benjamin Morgan Palmer. Following these ideas and their advocates into the twentieth century, we review their reappraisal in the post-WW2 period by authors such as Richard Weaver, Rousas John Rushdoony, C. Gregg Singer and Eugene Genovese. By the 1990s, prominent voices supporting these ideas belonged to neo-Confederate nationalist leaders, such as League of the South president, Michael Hill and director, Steven Wilkins. From this assessment we argue that proponents of a Christian Confederate nation are engaged in a revisionist history that has its roots in a belief that slavery is a Christian institution.

    read it all at http://www.okaloosanaacp.com/canadian_review.htm

    I'm bemused that I have to dig this stuff up for you, Apok. The recent history of the church should be among your strong subjects.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; July 11th, 2004 at 04:20 PM.
    To begin to think is to begin to be undermined.
    Albert Camus, An Absurd Reasoning

    Who knows most, doubts most.
    Robert Browning

  2. #2
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    May 2004
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    Slavery is an old institution. Pagans Plato and Aristotle supported slavery. Aristotle said "From the hour of their birth some are marked out for subjection, others for rule" (From "Politics" quoted in "Christianity on Trial" p27) (see http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/anci....html#Aristotle for the context.*

    Slavery was already an institution when Christianity came into being. St Paul says "Slaves obey your masters", but then also urges masters to treat their slaves well, because ultimately, we all have one master. (Ephesians 6:5ff), because in heaven "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (1 Corinthians 12:13)

    There have been Christians struggling against slavery throughout the history of Christianity. Some of the early popes supported it...

    Pope Gregory I forbade slaves from marrying free Christians. Pope Gregory XI would sometimes enslave people who were excommunicated.

    Pope Nicholas V was in favour of slavery.

    HOWEVER in 1537 Pope Paul III said that no American Indian should be enslaved. Pope Innocent XI ruled that it was not permitted to buy or sell Africans who had been sized against their will. The Papacy condemned slavery or the slave trade in 1462, 1741, 1815 and 1839.

    This might seem a chequered history. However compared to other belief systems; such as Islam, which still supports slavery it is by far a better record.***

    Christians have, through Christianity itself, come to realise that slavery is wrong. Islam can't because of the nature of Islam. Muhammed is put forward as the 'ideal' man. He owned slaves. If Allah had wanted to end slavery - he'd have ordered his prophet to ban them.
    As to 'liberalism', for Christians can look beyond the laws and morals that are affected by trends. Let's look at the liberals who believed that people should keep to themselves... Firstly, what do Christians base goodness on...

    " The grand plea is, "They are authorized by law." But can law, human law, change the nature of things? Can it turn darkness into light, or evil into good? By no means. Notwithstanding ten thousand laws, right is right, and wrong is wrong still. There must still remain an essential difference between justice and injustice, cruelty and mercy. So that I still ask, Who can reconcile this treatment of the Negroes, first and last, with either mercy or justice?"

    So argued the Christian, John Wesley in his "Thoughts Upon Slavery".


    Christianity is inherrently inclusive. It was a faith that was born in Asia and spread to Africa before it spread to Europe. Although it grew faster in Europe for many centuries, it is now growing much faster outside of Europe. African, Asian and Latino Christians have doubled in the past 25 years and now number 980 million. This compared to only 730 million "white" (European & American) Christians! Numerically at least, Christianity is no longer just the white man?s religion.

    *Note that all great civilizations have had slavery
    Indus Valley
    A look at slavery under Roman Pagans can be found at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/anci...ry-romrep1.html

    ** St. John Chrysostom's homily on this passage suggests that it means that it matters not what we are in this life, slave or free, Greek or Jew, because in the end we are all equally called to God - so it is not a support of slavery, any more than it is suggesting people should be Greek.

    ***Mauritania still has slavery
    In Sudan, the Muslim-Arabs continually attack the Black-African south, and cart away Christians and animists into slavery.

    "Yet another refugee in Birak from Jafal said that the Janjawid told them: "You are opponents to the government, we must crush you. As you are black, you are slaves." The government is on our side. The government plane is on our side." "

    "Despite its being illegal in the UAE to employ a child under 15 and to expose a child to dangerous work, using children as camel jockeys continues despite years of pressure for it to stop."

    Okay, let's look at the liberals....
    "Inferiority was assumed by Thomas Jefferson, Voltaire, and even John Locke ...(who) did not hesitate to defend slavery in his draft of the Fundamental Constitution of Carolina.", Carroll, V & Shiflett, D "Christianity on Trial: Arguments against anti-religious Bigotry", p31.

    The atheist liberal; Locke who helped draft a constitution too, established slavery. " he wrote the "Fundamental Constitutions for the Government of Carolina" in 1669"... "Black chattel slavery received particular sanction and protection under Locke's law: "

    Specifically, one rule says:
    "CX: Every freeman of Carolina shall have absolute power and authority over his Negro slaves, of what opinion or religion soever."

    "...echoed in Liberal John Locke's defence of slavery as "Property."[18] Quesnay's and Mandeville doctrine of "let the Satan whom Smith esteems as the knowing Director of nature, fix the dice," is echoed by Adam Smith's 1759 The Theory of the Moral Sentiments, as in his anti-American tract of 1776, The Wealth of Nations"
    In other words, governments, churches etc, had no right to impose laws. Let nature sought things out. If some people are slaves, then it is natural for them to be so.

    Whilst the Christian influence continued after the US Revolution. It was Christians in the UK and the USA who were the main force behind slavery; where men such as Wesley and Wilberforce (in the UK) and Garrison (in the USA) arguing on the idea of all men are created in God's image, that slavery was against the laws of God!

    "Prior to the 1861-1865 War, there were a number of Christian abolitionists (Rev. Fee, Cheever, Weld, Rankin, Foster, Goodell, Pillsbury, etc.) opposing slavery. Nowadays, their Bible-based reasons for doing so are generally unknown."

    It was Christians who saw beyond the limits of the law, to man's intrinsic worth (their Godness) that had it changed.
    See also http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14036a.htm

    "...Wilberforce, Sharp and their allies had to battle prevailing attitudes like, "Humanity is a private feeling, not a public principle to act upon" (Earl of Abingdon) and "Things have come to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade public life" (Lord Melbourne). It is also notable that pagan philosophers such as Aristotle regarded some people as "natural slaves", and 'Enlightenment' philosophers hostile to Christianity such as Hume and Voltaire believed in inferiority of dark-skinned people. "
    So I see the division being between those who wanted less federal government interference (the South), and those who urged a stronger government to enforce Christian ideals (the Noth). A lot of liberals urged a small government, that what ever you do in your own business, is your business. Christians argued for 'higher principles.'

    Also note that slavery in the Ancient World was not racist, and was not necessarily a state of permanent being.

    When God allowed slavery He did so because sometimes He allowed His children lee-way.

    "Jesus described his messianic mission in terms of proclaiming freedom for the prisoners and release for the oppressed (Luke 4:18?19). This declaration?a fulfillment of Isaiah 61?underscores his role as a holistic liberator. And though Paul doesn't speak out directly against slavery, his egalitarian assessment of community in Christ, in effect, undermines the institution and lays a groundwork for a Christian perspective on all issues of justice and equality."
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2004
    Sheffield, S.Yorks., UK
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    Re: The Bible condones slavery

    3PP: I looked at that religious war article and regard the Southern slaver's arguements and more to the point, pseudo-religious reasoning and justification in the same light as I do the eugenic based arguements and beliefs of the Afrikaners and the Third Reich. Political hogwash.
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
    Emitte lucem et veritatem - Send out light and truth.
    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
    Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? - Homer Simpson.




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