In the discussion about homosexuality and LGBT rights, one of the arguments against a strict, literal interpretation of the verses that seem to condemn that orientation is that the Bible condones slavery. It does, in multiple places and, for me, these are some of the least palatable parts of the Bible. Perhaps the most blatant of these verses is Ephesians 6:5, which says ” As for slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling and with sincere devotion to Christ.” Paul is saying with the sentence that slavery, if not condoned, should at least be tolerated. In those times, slavery was part of the economy. Perhaps people in the first century felt that slavery was a necessary evil, I don’t know. But, I do know that, in today’s society, slavery is an evil that needs to be ended.
In the past week, I’ve read articles quoting two Congressmen from Arkansas who try to spin the idea of slavery by twisting scripture and morality to legitimize their claims that homosexuality is a terrible sin. In this case, since the progressive argument asks if they intend to reinstate slavery as it is condoned in the Bible, our fundamentalist friends have to come up with some mental gymnastics to say first century slavery (and, by extension, 19th century slavery as well) wasn’t that bad. It’s very interesting how they do so.
Let’s start with state Rep. Jon Hubbard who said in his recently published book, “Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative”, that:
“The institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.”
Really? Being torn from your family, being forced to work someone else’s fields, being treated property and, often, being sorely abused is a blessing? Even if it is in disguise, that’s a pretty shitty blessing if you ask me. Amazingly, Hubbard has found support for his words in the Arkansas State House.
Loy Mauch not only agrees with Hubbard, he ups the ante and calls Lincoln a Marxist and compares several well-known American soldiers members of the Wehrmacht, the army of Nazi Germany. This is an obvious attempt to paint Union soldiers as war criminals and guilty of atrocities. Unfortunately, Mauch has his history confused; the Wehrmacht generally fought hard, yet honorably for a terrible cause. He’d have made his point, stupid as it is, better if he’d compared them to the Waffen SS, the military arm of the Nazi party. But, I digress; Mauch declared in letters to the editor of the Little Rock Democrat-Gazette that:
“If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861? The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity.”
So, not only is slavery a boon to the black community, the Confederate States of America was a Christian nation, founded by God and slavery is, therefore, a good thing. I swear, reading this makes me feel like I’ve traveled in time back the mid-1800’s and I’m listening to John C. Calhoun speak about “our peculiar institution”. Both the statements are rather sickening
Listen up, gang, because I’m about to break it down for you. I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t care how they spin it, owning other people is wrong and I refuse to believe that God ever condoned it. I believe it because God would never condone treating people as property. Stopping such things is onne of the reasons Jesus came to us. It’s about time we admitted we got on board with Him.