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9 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2009 - 9:36AM #1
Posts: 22

There has undoubtedly been much good done by Black Christians in this country and the many different denominations of the Black Christian Church. There has been much good done by White Christians and Jews on behalf of Black people in this country as well. There has also been much evil done in the name of Christianity in more than equal number.

True, the Civil Rights Movement was largely spearheaded by the Black Church and Churches of many ethnicities and denominations. It was also just as vehemently opposed by the Black Church and churches of every hue all over the country who preferred that we all keep quite and wait rather than protest and march and fight for our rights. In the antebellum south and even in so-called "free states" the number of churches with an abolitionist bent were outnumbered more than 2 to 1 by those who equated abolitionism with atheism because Jesus expressly commanded slaves to honor and obey their masters as they would Christ and, in the Old Testament, the rules for the treatment of slaves (including when it was permissible to kill one) were laid out in detail. I don't think anyone would claim that Christianity was given to the slaves as a tool for them to use to gain their freedom. It was clearly forced upon us as a means of pacification. That the church was ultimately used as a tool of freedom was more a testament to the tenacity and ingenuity of those African slaves than anything liberating in the bible or in religion itself.

Slave masters used the bible to justify slavery. Slaves were often told that they were the cursed children of Ham whose duty under God was to serve the White man and their only hope of salvation was to accept Jesus Christ as their savior so that they would inherit heaven when they died. In this way Christian missionaries attempted to persuade the slave that his life here on earth was insignificant and that they should bear their burdens without complaint in order to receive their reward in heaven. The dichotomy of "love thy neighbor" and the enslavement of strangers was not lost on some slaves who secretly used this hypocrisy to prove that slavery was "Un-Christian". The fact that this hypocrisy existed not just in the slave masters but in the bible itself was obviously ignored and since the church was the only place where slaves could legally congregate it soon became a center for the abolitionist movement creating a historic legacy of community leadership that continued through the Civil Rights Movement up to today...


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9 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2009 - 2:41PM #2
Posts: 110

This is an awesome read.  It's somewhat of an untold story.  It's one harrowing example of religion in its use as a political tool.

How easy it is to push followers to commit your atrocities when the order comes from a higher power.  God as a sock puppet.  Fantastic.

And then, the irony... Their own tool used against them.  Were it not reality, I'd probably be watching this on the big screen.

Were it not reality...

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