Slavery was attended with evils. As it existed in the South, it was not in any way perfect or utopian. But too often the real problems with slavery were not the problems we have been told about. However, as discussed earlier, Christians should be quick to notice the discrepancies between biblical slavery and that practiced in the South. These differences between the biblical standard and Southern slavery do make impossible an unqualified defense of the institution as it existed and operated in the South. Furthermore, the cruel mistreatment given to some slaves is inexcusable and truly despicable. All such evil was wicked and indefensible. When modern Christians condemn such things, however, they must recognize that they are not condemning something defended by the South. This mistreatment was reprobated by the majority of ante bellum Southerners as well. Modern condemnations of these abuses are several centuries late.
Third, a problem with slavery not yet discussed is the fact that slavery promoted what can be called a "slave mentality" in the minds of some blacks. Not everyone, as we have seen, was so affected. There are amazing stories regarding the industry and ingenuity of many slaves. Not everyone imbibed the "slave mentality," but many did. There are many complaints in the Slave Narratives which indicate this. The majority of those interviewed complain that they would rather be slaves again than to be free with all the responsibilities that freedom entails. Ironically, if slavery had not been so pleasant an experience for the majority, this mentality would not likely have such a strong hold upon the minds of some of their descendants today.
Finally, slavery gave an issue to radical revolutionaries by which they could provoke animosity against the South and, consequently, the "old order" which held sway in this nation prior to 1861. The War that resulted gave these radicals opportunity to increase the size and power of the federal Government in this nation to undreamed-of proportions. Our nation, after 1865, was transformed into a distinctly different entity than it had been before. The nation established by the founding fathers, a limited, constitutional republic, a union of free States, was no more. And the modern, messianic State which seeks to bring salvation by law, was firmly established.
Doug Wilson & Steve Wilkins, Reformed Theology 39 Comments
[7/26/2012 3:43:03 AM]
Fundie Index: 49
Excusing slavery and racism dance of diction in 3...2...
7/26/2012 10:54:30 AM
Finally, slavery gave an issue to radical revolutionaries
The "radical revolutionaries" were the ones trying to secede, unless you have some secret, personal definition of the word "revolution" that you haven't shared with the rest of the English-speaking world. The only additional power taken by the Federal Government was the 14th Amendment, which basically said that the rights granted in the Constitution to all Americans can't be overridden by state law. This was to prevent the former Confederate states from doing what they tried to do after the war (and eventually did, anyway): enact state laws that took rights back away from the former slaves. The amendment didn't actually work. It was only in the 1960's that racial segregation was finally outlawed.
This mistreatment was reprobated by the majority of ante bellum Southerners as well.
As someone old enough to remember seeing "white" and "colored" rest rooms and drinking fountains in Tennessee and the governor of Alabama personally attempting to block the entry of black students into the University of Alabama after promising "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" (and getting re-elected in a landslide), I call "bullshit".
7/26/2012 11:22:51 AM
The Bible does talk about an owner's right to beat the crap out of a slave as long as he doesn't kill him/her. Those deprived of liberty and self-determination, and fed last during famines were certainly not leading the good life.
7/26/2012 11:40:04 AM
if slavery had not been so pleasant an experience for the majority, this mentality would not likely have such a strong hold upon the minds of some of their descendants today.
First: Fuck you.
Second: let's put this to a test. I offer you the so pleasant an experience of becoming my slave. Tomorrow I'll come to your house, drag you off, and put you to work. Seeing how it's God's will, you'll be happy to oblige and won't try to escape. You'll just accept it. Right?
We won't let any of that "messianic State which seeks to bring salvation by law" get in the way of our witness to the Lord.
Oh, you mean it's only for the others? You would never accept being a slave?
I feel sorry for you. Have fun in Hell.
7/26/2012 1:00:37 PM
Regarding this: comment:
"It's true that many former slaves who were interviewed for oral histories of slavery indicated that life was easier when they were slaves. It is also true that all of the historians who recorded those stories were White, and it is possible that the historian recorded what they wanted to hear OR the former slave said what they thought the historian wanted to hear."
What they "used", (distorted and cherry picked.), was the Freeman interviews done by Federal investigators in the 1930's. The interviews were with surviving Freemen who had been slaves when they were very young.
First the interviewers frequently asked leading questions, has if they were expecting benign views of slave life.
Secondly these people had almost all only been slaves when they were very young and people do tend to be nostalgic about their years as a kid.
Thirdly these people had lived practically all their lives in the Jim Crow South which was a highly unplesant place for a Black person. This would affect their view of their childhood.
Fourthly despite leading questions the majority of the Freemen interviewed did not prefer slavery to freedom. Many may have said life was better, (Seeing their youth through rose coloured glasses and trying to please the interviewers.), but they still preferred freedom.
Fifthly Some of the interview subjects were interviewed more than once and in some cases those interviewers were Black. Guess what in virtually all cases if the interviewer was Black the memory of slavery given to the interviewer was significantly, ooften massively more negative.
Sixth, despite the circumstances that pushed for a more benign view of slavery what comes out of the interviews is still very negative, with lots of beatings, abuse, overwork and plain old fashion horror.
7/26/2012 1:22:16 PM
when one fails at history this bad...
Hitler and the purple truant monster dance a jig in Hell.
7/26/2012 1:49:19 PM
I wonder what your thoughts would be, if you would imagine yourself as the slave and not the master.
7/26/2012 1:53:35 PM
Former slaves wanted to go back to slavery? Really? That's not exactly the impression I got from this letter
to his former master dictated by former slave Jourdon Anderson
7/26/2012 1:58:42 PM
Well, there we go. Conservatives are by very definition people who want to turn back the clock to a more "acceptable" moral time frame.
Now we know what year they want it to be.
If this does not prove how utterly lunatic this political party is, I do not know what would.
Oh wait, its their, at the time, leading candidate blaming everything on a big red guy living underground.
7/26/2012 6:06:11 PM
With the exception of an end to slavery in America, fighting a bloody Civil War to KEEP the moron population in the Union was, in retrospect, a serious blunder.
Besides, slavery wouldn't have survived the Industrial Revolution anyway, especially with the rise of Communism in the 20th century. (One of the few positive aspects of the Communist movement was the end of feudalism in the few nations that still had it)
7/26/2012 10:06:11 PM
I love the topic of slavery in the bible.
I love how on one hand the bible tells all slaves to be obedient and do absolutely everything their master tells them to and to never complain. When its also the same book that has Moses basically lead a twisted revolution to free the Jewish slaves from Egypt.
The double standards of the bible are amazing.
7/26/2012 11:04:01 PM
Doug and Steve,
First, please explain why more whites are on welfare than blacks.
Second, the "radical revolutionaries" that you decry were those who believed that slavery s practiced in the South was inhumane. Is humanity a radical revolutionary idea? if so, call me a radical.
7/27/2012 5:17:05 AM
Nobody tries to justify eating shrimp, but they're always trying to justify slavery.
7/29/2012 8:49:18 AM
Fundies Make Me Sick
Most of this is reasonable and has at least some basis in fact. The last paragraph however, is where I take issue. Also, slavery in the Bible was just as bad as slavery in the South, because slavery is WRONG, period.
7/30/2012 9:06:33 AM