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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Justified, Sep 8, 2002.
What was so bad, or good about slavery?
When you focus on the bad, things do look worse than they really are.
I suspect that would depend on whether you were the slave or the slave owner.
Yes, slavery was bad.
[ September 09, 2002, 06:19 PM: Message edited by: eric_b ]
Interestingly, we are a nation founded on the premise that all men are created equal and have certain unalienable rights yet the man who penned that had slaves as did many folks in the North and the South. Remember the ships were harbored in MASS not MISS. MASS started with Indians and went on to Africans. Hence slavery was bad because it contradicted our basic premises as well as the Christian call to make men free in Christ. I would love to go back and talk to the preachers in those days when it first got started and figure out their heads on this because it does boggle me.
However, slavery was in Scripture and was sometimes more what we would call indentured servitude, but at times it was like our slavery was and of course captured peoples became servants/slaves. There was the year of jubilee where at least the indentured servants were set free though they could stay with their master. In a sense it was little different than our own employer/employee system except that in many cases the slave was beter cared for than an employee and was cared for for all his life not until Enron folded or just before he could get a retirement check.
Ironically, the slave owner that was used to base the book Uncle Tom's Cabin was a Northerner who was continually chastised by his Southern neighbors for abuse of his slaves. Interviews of former slaves by folks in the WPA in the 30's paint a different picture than what is portrayed today. It was quite likely more like "Song of the South" (by the way banned in the US) than Simon Legree. One Arkansas lady said life was just fine until them ruffians from up North came in. It is hard to understand a way of life so different than our own or to see it from their eyes. In another article that I posted some slaves who took the train North came back because it was not all it was reported to be up there.
Slavery has been with man from early days and is still practiced today. No culture is guiltless. We forget that the folks brought here were already slaves to their own countrymen. Even on the worse plantation I would venture to say that life was better for them here than as a slave in Africa.
Also, remember Joseph? Man meant it for evil but God meant it for good. Many of those folks became Christians and went to Heaven instead of a pagan's Hell. Would there have been a George Washington Carver if there had not been slavery? Would he have even been born and what life would he have had in Africa and where would he have gone when he died? When we get to Heaven we may find out.
No, I do not condone slavery and I do not understand how it came about in this country, but it did and we need to worry about present slavery and not past slavery and to consider that good came out of a bad thing by the grace of God. One Balck man wrote a book called, "Out of America" saying that he was glad his ancestors got here by whatever means because he has seen the quality of life in modern Africa. The poorest descendent of a slave here has it far better than his counterparts in Africa.
The four biggest tragedies of American slavery are.
1. That the slave traders were so cruel to pack them so tightly in the ships that many died on the way over. (Note again, they were run by Northerners).
2. That familes were broken up and that a people who should have found Christ by other means had to find it as slaves.
3. That a war is blamed for something that all honest researchers admit was on it's way out and would have been done in ten years or less even if there had been no war thus clouding the real issues and the atrocities of the victor leaving bitterness until this day. (I just a History channel on American Korean war crimes that are just coming to light. One day maybe the truth about Northern war and post-war crimes may come to light as well and healing can begin.)
4. That the South gets the entire blame for something that the entire country was guilty of even though the exalted EP only freed slaves in the South not in the North and Abe did not want any Blacks in the territories for fear of blood mixing.
Slavery was a blight on this country, this whole country and now it is long past and what else can we say about it?
Slavery where and for whom?
Slaves have been a part of history long before The United States.
It's the white man who has more slavery in his history than the black.
But it seems to me that by and large every instance of slavery mentioned anywhere has been referenced as a bad thing.
Would you want to be the property of someone else?
[ September 09, 2002, 06:24 AM: Message edited by: A voice crying in the wilderness ]
Property? Some religions teach the property thing, only the "property" is a wife!
Just throwing that into this slave thread.
Funny thing about the N.T. is that Jesus and Paul and Peter and John and the rest never spoke against slavery.
Out like social engineers.
True, sheeagle some women are still bought and sold still in Arab worlds.
Voice, I am not sure the white man has the record on slavery. There has been a lot of slavery in man's history. The Asians practiced it as well as many tribes around the world. If you count serfdom as slavery and it was fairly close to that or the English right of first night in Scotland you bump up the "white" tally. In most cases, it is usually the one race enslaving the same race until transportation shrunk the world so to speak and people were able to war with folks they did not know existed. The ANE was loaded with slavery and they were not what we consider white. Many are little more than slaves today in Communist and Arab countries. Frankly, I cannot think of any "white" countries that legally practice it unless you count prostitution and I would since many of the girls are forced into it.
What's so wrong with it? It's barbaric. Owning another human being can be put no other way.
What was considered to be "treating the slaves like their own family"? Shacks to live in with dirt floors? Rags to wear? Beatings for disobedience? Meager food portions? Selling the children or spouses to other slave owners, splitting the families? What about the practice of slave owners to fornicate with their slaves...and then own their own offspring, without acknowledging them as such?
They weren't considered people....Can you imagine being treated like you weren't human? Were these people given any choice about anything? No.
If you were to come to California... go into Los Angeles, and ask this question of a black person. I dare say you would be given a valuable lesson in why slavery is wrong.
Slavery is this countries shame. Any time a human being isn't treated with respect...for even being human....it's wrong!
Would the practice of slavery fit into the New Testiment comandment to "Love your neighbor as yourself"? Resoundingly No.
Is there ever a reason for slavery?
God purposely sent the Jews into slavery more than one time.
I am not for the institution of slavery. It is a cultural thing. The Bible does not condemn it.
However, good can come from evil. How many (American) slaves were brought to America only hear the gospel (or their descendants) and believe. How do we know God didn't direct such an event for the purpose of people hearing the gospel that might not have previously happened? Is it possible Romans 8:28 really means what it says?
"Would the practice of slavery fit into the New Testiment comandment to "Love your neighbor as yourself"? Resoundingly No."
This is incorrect. The NT teaches how peoplea re to apply "love your neighbour as yourself" **within the context of salvery***. Thewre are teeachings about how slaves are to treat masters as Christinas. And how masters are to reat slaves. The NT even tells salves to remain "as they are".
Too often we read he relatively recent North American experience back into the bilbe, and we come out with something worse than it was.
Paul was willing to look at himself as a slave of Christ, and that as a positive.
We need to remember that the whole huan dignity thing along with the ultimacy of personal freedom is very much a modern idea, not a biblical one.
No, I do not believe that there is a "reason" for
American slavery. I do believe, however, that our
God can work His good pleasure In Spite of our
incidious human history.
As I have said before, I share in that history. I
have also watched the destructive history in my
family, which, I am sure, is the result of my
family's very ugly history.
But I also believe our God, when He states, as
the God Who never changes, (KJV) "I the LORD
thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children upon the third and
fourth generation of them that hate me; and
showing mercy unto thousands of them that love
me, and keep my commandments." He has
visited the iniquity of my fathers upon me and
found me, by His grace and mercy alone, loving
Him, so He has shown me mercy. I cannot
explain how I am so fortunate, but I am, and my
children are blessed for it. He is So Good!!
Your right, I responded to this question within the boundaries of my experience in being an American living in Los Angeles County...and seeing the residual effects of this haneous practice. The pain it cost...then and now.
Actually they were run by Spanish and Dutch, if the history books are correct.
Many died on the way over... seems a lot like the Trail of Tears...for the Cherokee Indian, My ancestors. Inhumane treatment of other people seems to be an American quality...for lack of a better word.
Okay, I'm not even going to look in on this topic... It's making me angry.
We may be discussing different time periods WS. My Mexican buddy has told me that the Spanish were the biggest slave dealers of all time. I have not looked that up to confirm it, but it seems right from what I remember of West Civ.
The slave ships were harbored in Mass and the main "dealers" were Yanks, but English and other folks may have actually commanded. Mass did start with Indians and had the business down pat by the time the African trade started.
Also, for the record the lad made famous in Amadeus did not want to be a slave, but books written in the 50's show that he went back to Africa and became a slave trader. Of course, the revisionists will fix that. Not an impossibility as 7% of all slaves were owned by free Blacks. 600,000 were free in 1860 and 60,000 lived in VA and their state song was written by a Black man who was politically incorrect enough to refer to his people as "darkies." Hence the move to remove it as the state song.
As pointed out elsewhere, the slavery of the O.T. and the N.T. was different from that of the U.S. prior to the Civil War. Slaves in the old world, as in the Bible, could work their way to freedom. In the Roman Empire it was better to be a slave than to be a poor non-Roman citizen because slaves were given some protection under Roman law, non-Roman citizens were not.
The slavery of the new world, the U.S. prior to the Civil War, was hopeless. The slave could never earn freedom. The slave owners considered every child of a female slave as part of their property. Slavery was passed on through the mothers. The only way a slave could become free was if an owner granted freedom by drawing up official legal papers.
Here is a twist. My ancestors were/are Scottish. The first ones arrived here in New England in 1652. They were taken prisoner at the Battle of Worcester (in England) and sent as indentured servants to the colonies. These men had been soldiers fighting to restore King Charles II to the Throne of England. When Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scottish army at Worcester in 1651 there were so many prisoners of war that the English could not care for them. So they shipped them to the colonies as indentured servants, slaves if you will. They, my ancestors, came over on a ship named the John and Sara, many of these prisoners were put to work in a Iron Works in near Boston, MA and some were sent to work in lumber mills in Maine. Others were sold to wealthy citizens in and around the Boston area. They eventually worked their way to freedom.
Can I get in on one of those class-action reparation cases? I mean, my ancestors were forced to leave thier homeland against their will, sold as slaves and people earned a profit from their forced labor. I feel so abused.
[ September 12, 2002, 06:05 AM: Message edited by: BibleboyII ]
. . .Was slavery bad?
Let's look at some of its "American history" (other posts have given other reasons more eloquently than I could).
Many Bible verses were taken out of context to justify the type of slavery that happened in this country.
A race of people were considered "less than human" to justify the practice.
Successive generations were "born slaves;" there was no "7h year of jubilee" to free them of that condition.
That race was "disallowed" a "proper" education.
After slavery was abolished, the prejudicial feelings against that race continued and lingering violence against that race continued among the mainstream up till recent history; the residual effects of which can still be found, and (surprisingly enough) not that far from the surface.
Many of the educational problems that seem to plague certain groups stem from a "conquered culture" frame of mind. There is a trend among certain groups- Native American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, African American"- because of past mistreatment, to lack a "sense of who they were/are/ where they came from, and the next generation being able to acheive a higher level than the previous.
It was observed that Africans coming to school in America did not have the same trouble as certain groups that were born here.
Groups stripped of their "cultural identity" form a "protest culture" that makes itself distinct from the dominant culture. This is why you can go to different parts of the nation and despite regional accents, find a certain group speaking the same dialect with the exact same inflections, dressing the same, etc. Unfortunately, part of that protest culture sees getting ahead in education as "being White," and so, the trend is away from achieving in school.
All of these things stood (and stand) in opposition to the principles penned by the founders of this nation.
The main (but my no means the only) root system of this "blossom" is slavery and it's supporting ideologies.
For proof that I'm not making the stuff up about education and "protest culture," check out
"Class, Race, & Gender in American Education" edited by Lois Weis; ch.7: "Class Stratification, Racial Stratification, and Schooling" by John U. Ogbu.
"Race, Class, and Education; the Politics of Second-Generation Discrimination, by Meier, Stewart, Jr., and England;
For a real disturbing eye opener, check out "Savage Inequalities" by Jonathan Kozol.
[ September 13, 2002, 01:04 AM: Message edited by: Brett Valentine ]
SOme good thought, Brett, but you also have to look at some other things. Many slaves did earn their freedom or were given it by their masters. Some 600,000 were free already in 1860 with 60,000 being in VA alone. Many people did not have educations in that period because all folks did was farm so many white folks could not read either nor cipher very well. Many slaves did not want not be free (much like some do not want to get off of welfare) and some stayed right where they were and the masters took care of them until that master died. Pushing people into something they were not prepared for was not really good for them either. They could not read, write or cipher and only knew farming. They were free but what would they do? Davis was teaching his slaves these skills though it was technically illegal in Miss because he wanted his folks to be able to compete before he freed them. The Yanks did not train them either since they were using illiterate white immigrants and their women and children in their sweat shops so any Black had the same opportunity up Nawth as those folks and that required no education. It was just a different form of slavery and actually much more cruel than the old form. Many came back South when they found out the Nawth was not the heaven it was declared to be. During Reconstruction, the Yanks used the Blacks in positions to continue to abuse the White Southerner and hence the beginning of racial tension. When a Black is told by the Yank occupation forces that if a White man denies you anything you ask for you can burn his house down that does not tend to promote racial unity. Indeed, disunity is what the Yanks wanted for fear that the Blacks and Whites woud unite and rebel again. There consciences were paranoid. Indeed, Lee said thatif he had known how "Reconstruction" was going to behe would have fought until the last person in the South was dead. Hmm, and we wonder why things have been rough these past 137 years. Southerners were denied rights even to vote. Sadly, when the Yanks left folks did not see the root cause and took out their frustration of the Yankee rape of Dixie out on the Blacks and so we had Jim Crow and everything else since though all that was Yankee bred. Misdirected anger indeed and regretable. Had the Whote and Black seen the real enemy though there might have been WNA II and neither country may have survived that. A lot of sin of the forefathers has created a lot of trouble for the great-great grandsons and it will most likely not get any better until Jesus returns.
My last post was not meant to be an attack on the south (I'm 2 generations removed from Carolina on my mother's side), but a listing of some of the far reaching and lingering consequences of an economical practice and a philosophy that considered a race of people "less than human." That is to devalue a person that God considered valuable enough to die for.
Once you take that step, you can "justify" ownership, mistreatment of "your own property" as you see fit, hatred, rejection because of skin color, simmering anger because of past generational mistreatment, . . .abortion (. . .after all, a fetus isn't REALLY a human being. . .is it?).
God has set a standard for treament of fellow human beings, and as sinners, we all fall short. "American slavery" ("white slavery," "child slavery," "sweat shops") was/were/are just a symptom of a deeper sin problem; you're right. There is a group of people, however, who are intensely aware of the lingering afteraffects of slavery that do exist.
While they do, there is still forgiveness and freedom in Christ.