Institute on the Constitution: Notes on Session 10 – War Between the States and Women’s Suffrage Dilutes the Franchise

I have been watching the Institute on the Constitution course on the National Religious Broadcasters network on Thursday nights. Last night was session 10 and covered amendments 11 through 27.  I have raised numerous issues with the course over the first nine sessions, and session 10 only added to my negative reaction.

At this point, I am just going to supply some observations about the course from memory. I may do a more detailed follow up next week.

Discussing the 13th Amendment, Peroutka disparaged the Emancipation Proclamation as a political ploy on Lincoln’s part. In his discussion of the 13th Amendment, Peroutka correctly said that the amendment freed the slaves but then added that subsequent actions made us all slaves. He compared the military draft and income tax to the enslavement of blacks. To me, this comparison crudely minimizes the awfulness of slavery.

He had little good to say about the 14th Amendment. Consistent with his status of board member of the League of the South, he make the Confederate case that the amendment was never legally ratified.

Throughout his discussion of the Reconstruction amendments (13-15), Peroutka referred to the Civil War as “The War Between the States.” When David Whitney came forward to discuss his view that the 16th Amendment did not actually authorize a federal income tax, he called the Civil War, “The War for Southern Independence.” These designations are consistent with Peroutka’s view that the wrong side won the Civil War.

Probably the oddest position taken was opposition to the 19th Amendment. Peroutka complained that a woman’s right to vote “dilutes the franchise.” He said he often gets strong reaction to his position (I wonder why) but he explained that a married female voting may cancel out the vote of her husband.  He painted a picture of the family being represented at the voting booth by the husband. If a woman has no husband then she could vote, but otherwise he believes women should be represented by their husbands at the polls.

How about that ladies?

There were other things that raised my eyebrows but I need to do a bit more research before I write about them.

 

 

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  • Roussas

    By what standard do you criticize Peroutka? Slavery is biblical. Coverture (in which the husband represents his wife in all legal, civic, and political matters) is biblical. Both of these practices have been the bulwark of Christian civilization for centuries.

    If you find Peroutka’s views to be odd and they cause your eyebrows to be raised, then that only proves that you don’t know your Bible. Can you truly say that you know Christ if you don’t know your Bible?

  • Javier Ramirez

    I hate to have to respectfully disagree with you since up to now I have been and still am a great fan of your work to expose the likes of Barton and his pseudo history writings. I strongly take issue with the statement that Peroutka’s case for the 14th amendment not properly being ratified is “Consistent with his status of board member of the League of the South”. Sorry but that is a cheap shot. I havent heard his talk on this but the 14th amendment’s ratification has been the topic of serious scholarly study by serious academic scholar historians. One is by Forrest McDonald in the Georgia Journal of Southern Legal History http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/jslh1&div=6&id=&page=

    Another hard hitting look is in the Alabama Law Review looking at the gross irregularities of the ratification process which you can read here http://www.law.ua.edu/pubs/lrarticles/Volume%2053/Issue%202/Bryant.pdf

    And finally a very important paper in the Western New England Law Review on Ohio’s ratification and its reasons for their later rescinding it http://digitalcommons.law.wne.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1097&context=lawreview

    I’m pretty sure McDonald and the other writers aren’t affiliated with the League of the South. I agree that in this stage of history its all academic but its an all important academic discussion. This has nothing to do with having neo confederate sympathies but is a serious historical question

  • ken

    Javier Ramirez# ~ Sep 14, 2013 at 7:48 am

    “I strongly take issue with the statement that Peroutka’s case for the 14th amendment not properly being ratified is “Consistent with his status of board member of the League of the South”. Sorry but that is a cheap shot.”

    Simply because one of the issues he raises may have some academic merit, doesn’t suddenly make Peroutka’s motivations valid. The League of the South promotes southern secession and an all white government. Peroutka’s use of the issues regarding the ratification of the 14th amendment is consistent with that goal.

  • ken

    Roussas# ~ Sep 14, 2013 at 4:10 am

    “By what standard do you criticize Peroutka?”

    By the standard of US Civil law, not Biblical law.

  • Les

    I normally feel well informed by your comments, especially about Barton’s twisting of facts. You are always spot on that issue. Also usually agree with your views about the bigoted League of the South.

    However, today’s comments are over-the-top accusations. The formal term for the 1861-65 war in my 1960s high school and college American history courses was always the “War Between the States.” Each teacher or professor carefully explained why the northern term “Civil War” was inaccurate political propaganda. Those views are held not only by League of the South extremists, but by most Southerners of the past 1-1/2 centuries, including moderates. It’s a regional issue, and not one of the sort of religious or racial bigotry on which you usually comment so well informed.

  • Richard Willmer

    “Slavery is biblical.” Really?! How so?

  • Richard Willmer

    (My own view is that those who cling to this ridiculous ‘slavery is biblical’ nonsense have allowed themselves to be blinded to deep, universal truths by narrow cultural and political considerations.

    It is also the case that the ‘racist right’ wishes to reserve slavery to only certain sections of the population; they would in all probability be hypocritically horrified at the idea that they should, according to their own ‘biblical’ logic, have an equal opportunity of being enslaved themselves!

    But I’ll hear what ‘Rousass’ has to say on the Bible before I cite my own biblically- and theologically-based arguments against the notion that ‘slavery is biblical’. More important, of course, is the contention that slavery is anti-Christian. After all, we Christians worship Christ, and not a book, so all this ‘this / that / the other is [allegedly] biblical’ stuff is ultimately of secondary importance.)

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Javier and Les – Thanks for your comments. I am certainly willing to hear additional views on these matters. Historically these views have been associated with Lost Cause literature but I am sure that others have adopted them without the baggage of that movement. I probably am reading Peroutka’s remarks, in part, through the lens of his leadership in the League.

    Les – What about the term War for Southern Independence? Doesn’t it seem odd to use that term now?

  • Javier Ramirez

    @ Ken,

    “Simply because one of the issues he raises may have some academic merit, doesn’t suddenly make Peroutka’s motivations valid”

    The reverse is also true and is what I was getting at. Simply because his motivation is derived from some neo confederate sympathies doesnt make it a non issue, scholarly/academically speaking that is, and linking it with the League of the South doesnt render it so. I was just trying to make it known that you dont have to have neo confederate sympathies, I dont have any, to look at this issue apart from that historical context. Whatever his motivation were the question is still a valid one.

    @ Warren,

    Thanks for being willing to look at that honestly. I expected that from a true scholar like yourself. Like I said you do awesome work and I frequent your blog frequently for solid info. Please keep up the good work!

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Les – What about the term War for Southern Independence?

    FTR, the proper term for the Civil War is “The War of Northern Aggression.”

    ;-O

  • Richard Willmer

    I’m still fascinated by Rousass’s assertion that ‘slavery is biblical’.

    I’d be really interested to know

    1. what people like Rousass think the term ‘biblical’ means (and I suspect that this understand is what constitutes ‘being biblical’ is the core of the problem);

    2. how one can justify the use of the Bible to justify something to which we would not (rightly, in my view) want to be subjected.

    Or is ‘Rousass’ one of those commenters who churns out arbitrary assertions and then makes a quick exit lest she/he finds the ensuing dialogue too ‘challenging’?

  • Richard Willmer

    Whoops … too early!

    My first ‘question’ should have read:

    “1. what people like Rousass think the term ‘biblical’ means (and I suspect that this understanding of what constitutes ‘being biblical’ is the core of the problem);”

  • Zoe Brain

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.

    (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.

    (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment.

    (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.

    (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

    Of course that’s the Old Law. There’s a good argument to say that it has been abrogated, despite Matthew 5:18 (I’ll use the KJV here)

    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    So let’s look at the New Testament:

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.

    (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.

    (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

    The reason for the Southern Baptist Convention’s split from the North was over different interpretations of the Bible. One party thought it inherently inhuman, the other thought it permissible, even blessed, as long as slaves were treated with some humanity.

    So yes, of course it’s “Biblical”. A lot of things are, you can cherrypick whatever is most convenient to back up your pre-judged position.

    Then there’s this:

    9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

    10 but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    (1 Timothy 2:9-12 KJV)

    9-10 I agree with, and try to live by. 11-12… let’s just say I disagree, and with actions not just words.

    You can claim this is “out of context”, “metaphorical” or whatever. That’s what the words plainly say though. For those who believe the Bible is inerrant and literally true, that the authors of the KJV 1610 version were inspired to transcribe the literal Word of God, this is what you’re compelled to believe.

    A minority of those who call themselves “Christian”, to be sure. A minority of those of the Religious Right? If so, a very substantial one.

  • Zoe Brain

    I’ve missed out a few of course. I’ll just include a few more New Testament ones:

    Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

    Colossians 4:1 KJV

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

    Ephesians 6:5 NIV

    Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

    1 Peter 2:18 NIV

    9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

    Titus 2:9-10 NIV

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Zoe

    What do you understand by the term ‘biblical’? Let’s start there.

  • Teresa

    Slavery, at best, has a tortuous history within Christianity, as well as a complex definition. It cannot denounce slavery, simply because it has Sacred Scripture (Biblical, Richard) as a substantiation for this institution. Zoe has offered substantial quoted proof for this.

    The Catholic Church, Luther, Calvin could not denounce slavery, per se. “Just Tide” or “Just Title” slavery (slavery by way of prisoners of war, criminal punishment slaves, voluntary indentured slavery … a father giving away his son) was not seen as opposed to human, natural, or Divine Law. What was excoriated within slavery was “chattel” slavery, property as such … loss of certain human rights. This became such a mare’s nest to separate that it’s almost useless to separate the wheat from the chaff regarding proper treatment of slaves.

    In 1863 John Henry Newman penned some fascinating reflections on slavery. A fellow Catholic, William T. Allies, asked him to comment on a lecture he was planning to give, asserting that slavery was intrinsically evil. Newman replied that, although he would like to see slavery eliminated, he could not go so far as to condemn it as intrinsically evil. For if it were, St. Paul would have had to order Philemon, “liberate all your slaves at once.” Newman, as I see it, stood with the whole Catholic tradition.

    In 1866 the Holy Office, in response to an inquiry from Africa, ruled that although slavery (servitus) was undesirable, it was not per se opposed to natural or divine law.

    The topic of slavery is a sticky wicket, and we best be prepared to acknowledge that fact before we start creating an illusory Christianity from our own delusional thinking. One would be hard-pressed to find leading Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian hierarchy being “unqualified” abolitionists in the antebellum period.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Teresa

    I think it’s important first of all to establish what one really means by ‘biblical’, and – more importantly – ‘Christian’. We should also recognize that these two terms can be regarded as being far from synonymous. It is, after all, ‘Christianity’, not ‘biblianity’! ;-)

    What particular Christians have said at various points in history is something that can be looked at, but in a proper historical context, of course, and remembering that ‘human progress’ is something that can and does occur.

  • Richard Willmer

    (Just to look at another issue for a moment: leprosy. Jesus effectively overturned the prescription, in Leviticus, for the treatment of lepers. He did not allow himself to be ‘enslaved’ by words on a bit of parchment, or whatever the texts that eventually came to be the Book of Leviticus were written on …)

  • Richard Willmer

    (Or again, we might look at Abraham’s rather ‘complex family arrangements’: would ‘Rousass’ consider these to be ‘biblical’? After all, they are reported in the Bible and are not explicitly condemned.)

  • Richard Willmer

    (The point is really that, if we idolize the Bible, we end up in all kinds of messes.)

  • http://americancreation.blogspot.com/ Tom Van Dyke

    A couple of points–

    –In the ancient world, slavery was often a mercy for criminals, rebels and prisoners of war–the alternative was killing them.

    –There was also the belief [and perhaps a reality] that some people couldn’t make it on their own and therefore were “natural” slaves [see Aristotle], to be protected as much as “exploited.”

    –It was argued [well, IMO] by Christian abolitionists that had Christ or Christianity fought for abolition in the Roman days, Christianity would have become a violent political movement in this world instead of a peace-loving religion with a message of hope for the next. Of course, that also meant that the biblical “approvals” ["slaves obey your masters"] of slavery were no longer relevant in the 1800s.

    –The “common knowledge” about the role of the Roman Church might stand for a reevaluation, such as

    The Truth About the Catholic Church and Slavery

    The problem wasn’t that the leadership was silent. It was that almost nobody listened.

    Rodney Stark

    Some Catholic writers claim that it was not until 1890 that the Roman Catholic Church repudiated slavery. A British priest has charged that this did not occur until 1965. Nonsense!

    As early as the seventh century, Saint Bathilde (wife of King Clovis II) became famous for her campaign to stop slave-trading and free all slaves; in 851 Saint Anskar began his efforts to halt the Viking slave trade. That the Church willingly baptized slaves was claimed as proof that they had souls, and soon both kings and bishops—including William the Conqueror (1027-1087) and Saints Wulfstan (1009-1095) and Anselm (1033-1109)—forbade the enslavement of Christians.

    During the 1430s, the Spanish colonized the Canary Islands and began to enslave the native population. This was not serfdom but true slavery of the sort that Christians and Moors had long practiced upon one another’s captives in Spain. When word of these actions reached Pope Eugene IV (1431 to 1447), he issued a bull, Sicut dudum.

    The pope did not mince words. Under threat of excommunication he gave everyone involved fifteen days from receipt of his bull “to restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of said Canary Islands…These people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of any money. Pope Pius II (1458 to 1464) and Pope Sixtus IV (1471 to 1484) followed with additional bulls condemning enslavement of the Canary Islanders, which, obviously, had continued. What this episode displays is the weakness of papal authority at this time, not the indifference of the Church to the sin of slavery.

    &c.

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Teresa

    You said “… we best be prepared to acknowledge that fact before we start creating an illusory Christianity from our own delusional thinking.”

    This is perhaps the really important point: when – as we probably all do – we (ab)use fragments of the Canon of Sacred Scripture, taken out of context, to justify what our personal and social consciences tell us is unjustifiable, we are indeed batting on a very ‘sticky wicket’.

    Those who today seek to use Scripture to justify slavery must take into account that they are doing so in pursuance of their political agendas, and then ask themselves some very serious questions about their method and motives.

  • Zoe Brain

    Richard Wilmer wrote:

    The point is really that, if we idolize the Bible, we end up in all kinds of messes

    And many Protestant sects in the USA do explicitly and unashamedly idolise the Bible.

    See

    http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html

    http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago2.html

    What do you understand by the term ‘biblical’? Let’s start there

    A practical definition is “irrational, cruel and hypocritical, superficially based on a convenient interpretation of a chosen translation of fragments of a selected set of ancient written works of mixed and often dubious authenticity”.

    A more exact meaning is “whatever a person who commonly uses the word thinks it means.”

    Thus “Biblical Science”, “Biblical Counselling”, “Biblical education”, “Biblical Child-rearing”, and even “Biblical Government”.

  • Zoe Brain

    Example:

    “I understand the National Academy of Science’s [sic] strong support of the theory of evolution,” one reviewer wrote. “At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that ‘creation science’ based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.”

  • Richard Willmer

    Yes – I think the ‘bibliolatry’ and the highly relativistic of the idea of what constitutes ‘being biblical’ are the key problems.

  • Richard Willmer

    Try again!

    Yes – I think the ‘bibliolatry’ and the highly relativistic idea of what constitutes ‘being biblical’ are the key problems.

  • Richard Willmer

    Teresa cited people who were clearly experiencing ‘inner conflict’ with respect to the issue of slavery. And one can see why they did.

    It is of course true that Jesus spoke, in what has become know as The Sermon on the Mount, of his not abolishing the law; but look at the ‘peroration’: “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 7 : 12 NJB) – a pretty uncompromising statement. And again, when a young theologian (aka. lawyer) asks Jesus what he must do “to inherit eternal life” (Luke 10 : 25 NJB), Jesus asks him both what is written in the Law and how he ‘reads’ (aka. understands) it. This exchange goes on into the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

    Now, I strongly suspect that noone (‘Rousass’ included) would like to be enslaved. Therefore – if my suspicions are correct – noone, according to the words of Jesus, should seek or promote the enslavement of others. One can only attempt to justify slavery if one first ‘waters down’ what Jesus is reported to have said. Those Christian thinkers understood that, but were also confronted with bits of text that appeared to say ‘slavery was okay’. Hence their conundrum.

    Much of the Church (in ‘the West’) has now ‘moved on’, and seeks to work on the clear paradigm that it’s “Jesus first; book(s) second”. (Among other things, advances in our scientific knowledge about all kinds of things have forced us to re-evaluate certain ‘biblical’ positions we may have held in the past.) And that would be my paradigm. If I’m wrong, then I am happy to be heretic! But I don’t believe I am.

    (BTW, I value it when people tell me I’m wrong about something … so, by Matt 7 :12, I can ‘biblically’ justify my statements of opposition to the ‘bibliolators’. ;-) )

  • Richard Willmer

    @ Zoe

    Specifically on the point of ‘creationism’: I support the idea that it should be admitted (though not in a ‘science’ book – since ‘creationists” contentions are not based on scientific evidence) that the theory of ‘creationism’ is sincerely held by some people.

    I would, of course, argue against the theory of ‘creationism’ on the grounds that the purpose of those myths in the early part of the Book of Genesis are not to present historical or scientist fact, but are about moral truths (the need for people to have a day of rest each week in order to function well; the responsibility of human persons to care for the planet as ‘stewards’; the horrible damage we do when we ‘play at being God’; etc).

  • Patrocles

    “He compared the military draft and income tax to the enslavement of blacks. To me, this comparison crudely minimizes the awfulness of slavery.”

    Denying this comparison, to me, crudely minimizes the awfulness of the draft.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Pat – Throughout our history, men have been expected to come to defense of the nation/state. The framers debated adding a religious exception to the requirement that men form a militia when needed. They didn’t. Many of them distrusted standing armies and expected all able bodied men to serve. Peroutka had no trouble with explaining the militia that way when discussing the 2nd amendment. All of a sudden he has a problem with compulsory service when discussing the 14th Amendment.

  • Patrocles

    I don’t think that a Christian who justifies the draft has no reason to think himself better than another Christian who justifies slavery.

  • Les

    “Les – What about the term War for Southern Independence? Doesn’t it seem odd to use that term now?”

    Warren. Perhaps this is where a personal conversation would find our views in sync. If referring to historical terminology, then “War for Southern Independence” is one of the common terms for the events of 150 years ago, and inoffensive. IF it is used as a call for action after 1865, then it is treasonous and often a euphemism for racism.

    “the proper term for the Civil War is “The War of Northern Aggression.”

    Tom. My 1960s college professor frequently used that term, always with a twinkle in his eye and a smile. To some extent it was good-natured pulling the chain of the many northern students in class, the majority with family names of the post-Civil war Italian and Eastern European immigrant waves. That was almost a half-century ago. It’s dangerous if radical extremists take that terminology as an excuse for political action or victimization mentality — strains of the sort of thinking common in Europe before WWII and in the Middle East today. Everybody loses.

  • Teresa

    Tom said:

    The Truth About the Catholic Church and Slavery

    The problem wasn’t that the leadership was silent. It was that almost nobody listened.

    Absolutely, poppycock, Tom. We’re to take a one-off statement from a 7th Century Queen-Saint as from the Church? We wait some centuries later to hear from the Papacy, and only in specific cases … not a papal pronouncement declaring slavery, per se, in and of itself, as evil. It simply does not have the authority to state that; else, it would be going against one of the 2 foundations of Revelation: Sacred Scripture and Tradition.

    The Church, Herself, was mired in slavery. As the “barbarians” converted, the Church amassed thousands of slaves bequeathed them from the newly converted pagans. Monasteries, abbeys became slaveholders. And, they did not enmasse emancipate those slaves lickety-split, and with good reason. Convents and some priests, bishops in the antebellum South had slaves, and held those slaves without Vatican censure.

    It is certainly clear, that the Church tried to ameliorate the conditions of the slave and of slavery, in general. She spoke clearly about the spiritual, emotional and physical dangers to the slaveholder and the slave. She spoke against treating slaves as property, per se, without protection of basic human rights. She was adamantly opposed to simply snatching persons where they lived, and making them slaves … unless, there was war and persons became slaves as a result of becoming prisoners of war, criminals, volunteer indentured. She would prefer slavery not be in the world, but She does not say it cannot be in the world.

    Listen up: slavery is NOT against the Divine or natural law. Period. That statement simply will not hold because of Sacred Scripture, including the New Testament. That we’ve become “enlightened” (whatever that means) in the last couple hundred years does not change Scripture.

  • Richard Willmer

    We should never be ‘slaves’ to words on a page, Teresa.

    However ‘sacred’ they may be, the texts that make up the Canon of Scripture were written by people who were ‘in contexts’ and who ‘had agendas’. This is a reality with a God who chooses to work through humanity

    Ultimately, the Word comes through a Person, and that Person said “always treat others …”

    (I’m surprised at you, Teresa – and slightly wondering what is your agenda here.)

  • Richard Willmer

    (Of course, the Church has tacked and weaved and compromised down the ages … and still does those things; it may also be the case that some kind of prime facie case for slavery being ‘biblical’ – given certain understandings of the nature and purpose of Scripture – might be made. But to suggest that slavery is in any way ‘Christian’ is surely to descend into abject nonsense.)

  • Teresa

    Richard said:

    (I’m surprised at you, Teresa – and slightly wondering what is your agenda here.)

    I have no agenda, Richard. I have a commitment to t(T)ruth; however, it may discomfit me … or, anyone else.

  • Richard Willmer

    But your statement “Slavery is NOT against the Divine or natural law. Period.” is a bald assertion that flies in the face of what we know to be true from human experience and, I would argue, words of Jesus.

    Truth is not an abstract concept; it is about what promotes human dignity and the common good. Truth without praxis is useless and meaningless.

  • Richard Willmer

    (Some people confuse ‘truth’ with ‘fact’; they are not the same thing in Christian dialectics … or indeed in the dialectics of many other faiths and philosophies.)

  • Richard Willmer

    (Nor is ‘truth’ the same as ‘fact’ in science, by the way. Facts are [revealed by] experimental results; ‘truth’ is concerned what is might be able to be deduced from the facts. Scientists, [preferably!] on the basis of facts, will propose theories; those theories are not the ‘truth’, but they are [or should be] the best available approximations to the ‘truth’ at a given juncture. As someone who has undertaken scientific research – producing a thesis with the catchy title “Mechanisms of Nitration and Oxidation in solutions of Dinitrogen Pentaoxide in Nitric Acid” [excellent reading for the insomniac!] – I have proposed theories about particular chemical processes. I expect other to improve on those theories – to find better [and this where 'praxis' often comes in] approximations to the ‘truth’ about what just what is going on those little ol’ test tubes. But this is not just how science works – it is how LIFE [you know, that thing that God has given to us] works. Falling back on [IMO highly defective] assertions like ‘slavery is biblical’ is tantamount to living life in reverse gear! I would suggest that such ‘backsliding’ is most certainly against devine and natural law; as creatures in God’s image, we are ‘hard-wired’ to want ‘a better tomorrow’ … so thinking that ‘yesterday’s failed ideas’ might have ‘creative merit’ strikes me as both silly and anti-christian. Yes, the fact is that the Church has ‘tolerated’ [or worse] slavery; but the Truth is something else.)

  • Gus

    Some people need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the last half of the 19th century when the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were passed. The traitorous southern states lost the War of Southern Rebellion, now grow up and stop all this teenage-like nullification.

    The South lost, get over it.

  • Patrocles

    My master Jesus Christ has a strong message: All worldly victories are temporary, and all “lost causes” will be put before the court again, at the Day of Judgement.

    Also my master doesn’t approve of wars, and certainly not of “holy wars” – the attempts to sanctify Lincoln’s war are quite useless.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Pat – The League appeals to “the War for Southern Independence” – to them it was not just Lincoln’s war but a war to liberate them. It does no good to associate it with Lincoln as if he simply wanted to go to war. All efforts to reduce the Civil War to a simple set of factors with one side being all good and the other being all bad is revisionism.


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