Yes, Biblical Slavery Was the Same as American Slavery

Yes, Biblical Slavery Was the Same as American Slavery August 25, 2014

biblical slaveryI’d like to respond to two recent posts on slavery in the Bible from Jim Wallace of the Cold Case Christianity blog. I’ve argued several times before with Wallace (here, here, and here).

Let me begin with a positive comment on his “Four Differences Between New Testament Servitude and New World Slavery.” Many Christian apologies for biblical slavery avoid the most unpleasant passages in the Bible, such as the part about slavery for life (Lev. 25:44–6), but Wallace’s list of relevant Bible verses is fairly complete.

That’s a good start, but he argues toward an odd conclusion:

The New Testament Servitude of the Ancient Near East had little in common with the New World Slavery of our American ancestors.

Wallace tries unsuccessfully to distinguish slavery as it was practiced in the Old Testament from that practiced in the 13 Colonies and then the United States (I’ll call this “America”). Let’s take a look at his four claims.

“1. A Difference In the Motive Behind Slavery.” We read that slavery in America was for the economic gain of the masters, while in ancient Israel, “the primary motive for slavery was often the economic relief of the servant.”

First, let’s disentangle the different kinds of slavery. In America there were two kinds. An indentured servant was typically a European who came to America to work for another European. Masters paid for their servants’ passage, and they provided food, clothes, and training. In return, the servants were typically obliged to work for four to five years (terms varied). Roughly half of the European immigrants to the 13 colonies came as indentured servants.

The other kind, of course, was chattel slavery where the slave and any children were owned for their lives and were property that could be bought or sold. Here, Americans enslaved non-Europeans, typically from West Africa.

The Bible documents the same practices: Hebrews owning Hebrew slaves for roughly six years (indentured servitude) and Hebrews owning non-Hebrews for life (chattel slavery).

Let’s return to Wallace’s characterization of Hebrew slavery. He’s right that slavery as an institution in America benefitted the masters. Obviously, the same was true in Old Testament Israel—why else would it have lasted? It wasn’t an obligation that Hebrew masters took on reluctantly, only as a service to the community. Wallace gives OT (Old Testament) slavery a pro-servant spin, but the verse he cites (Lev. 25:35–7) is not about slaves.

Wallace is also right that OT slavery addressed financial issues. Ditto American indentured servitude. He’s not off to a good start in making a distinction between American indentured servitude and OT slavery of fellow Hebrews.

“2. A Difference As to How People Entered Into Slavery.” Wallace finds several different types of indentured servants in the OT and imagines that these illustrate important differences when compared with American indentured servants.

  • “Voluntary Temporary Indentured Hebrew Servants.” These were just like American indentured servants.
  • “Voluntary Permanent Hebrew Servants.” Suppose one indentured servant married another. What do you do if the man has completed his term, but his wife and children must remain with the master? If you’re thinking that the Bible recommends the master compassionately permit the wife and children to leave as well, you’re giving the Bible too much credit. No, the Bible says that the man could opt to remain, but only as a permanent slave. I know of no parallel with the American concept of indentured servitude (which is not a plus for the biblical position).
  • “Involuntary Hebrew and Gentile Criminals in Restitution.” Thieves must make restitution for their crimes. If they can’t, they will be sold as slaves. I imagine there were cases like this in America.
  • “Permanent Pagan Servants.” These are slaves for life taken from surrounding tribes and from the non-Hebrews living in Israel. Wallace tries to dilute this by arguing that Israelites still couldn’t kidnap and sell people into slavery (Ex. 21:16), but the NET Bible says that this refers only to the kidnapping of fellow Israelites and selling them into slavery (like Joseph, sold by his brothers). The trick here is to make sure that you understand what kind of slavery a particular Bible passage is referring to.

Here again, American and OT slavery are matched step for step.

“3. A Difference In How People Were Treated Once They Were Slaves.” Wallace says, “Slaves were treated humanely and their treatment was regulated by Biblical law.”

  • The Bible dictates that slaves could rest on the Sabbath and celebrate religious holidays. Slaves could adopt their masters’ religion. Conditions in America were similar, and Christianity was an important tool in keeping slaves in line.
  • The Bible holds masters accountable for fair treatment of slaves. For example, beating is allowed but only up to a point. Conditions in American were similar: the 1739 South Carolina code limited the number of hours that slaves could be made to work and fined anyone who killed a slave £700. The 1833 Alabama law code dictated, “Any person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offence had been committed on a free white person.”

“4. A Difference In How People Freed Themselves From Slavery.” Wallace argues that there were more ways for OT slaves to free themselves than in America.

  • Someone could pay the debt of an indentured servant, or they could do it themselves.
  • The indentured servant could complete his term of service.
  • Slave could be freed if injured from a beating (it’s unclear which kind of slave this refers to).

How is this different from conditions in America? In addition, slaves in America sometimes bought their freedom, which the Bible doesn’t address.

Let me again give Jim Wallace credit for giving a fairly thorough list of Bible verses on the subject at hand. But Jim, tell me the truth. Are you a Poe? You let the Bible speak for itself, and it does: it documents a 2500-year-old version of American slavery. The two are almost identical, point by point.

That’s why it’s hard to understand Wallace’s conclusion:

While it is clear that the ancient Israelites did possess slaves, it is also clear the reason for their possession, the manner in which they were treated, and the manner in which they could be released was very different from the institution of slavery in more recent times in Europe and America. … It is unfair to say that the God of the Bible supports the institution of slavery as we understand it in more modern times. That version of slavery had little in common with the version of servitude in Biblical times.

No, the God of the Bible supported a form of slavery basically indistinguishable from that practiced in America.

The United States didn’t get much of its founding principles from the Bible—principles such as democracy, secular government, separation of powers, and a limited executive; freedoms of religion, speech, press, and assembly; protection from self-incrimination and double jeopardy; speedy and public trial, trial by jury, and the right to confront witnesses; no cruel and unusual punishment; and no slavery—but one trait that it got almost identical to the biblical version was slavery.

This discussion is concluded in Part 2.

This government of God was tried in the U.S.
when slavery was regarded as a divine institution.
The pulpit of that day

defended the buying and selling of women and babies.
The mouths of the slave-traders
were filled with passages of Scripture,
defending and upholding traffic in human flesh.
Robert Green Ingersoll

Photo credit: Travis Forsyth

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  • Annerdr

    I grew up in the South. My elementary school social studies teachers had been taught in the South. Here’s what they told me.

    1. A Difference In the Motive Behind Slavery. The purpose for Southern slavery was to take care of the poor African who otherwise would be starving to death in the jungle, unable to take care of himself and his family, and (primarily) teach that African about Christianity.

    2. A Difference As to How People Entered Into Slavery. Africans would volunteer for slavery because they saw how powerful white people were.

    3. A Difference In How People Were Treated Once They Were Slaves. In most cases, African slaves were treated well, like one of the family, and taken care of until death.

    4. A Difference In How People Freed Themselves From Slavery. African slaves didn’t want to leave their beloved masters.
    In short, Southern slaveholders, and their descendants, justified the moral wrong of slavery to themselves and to the world exactly like ancient Hebrew slaveholders did. I’m fortunate in that I loved reading and ran across things at the public library that provided a more honest version of history than my social studies teachers provided.

    • Claire Nollet

      Wow. Did your teachers REALLY teach you that “Africans would volunteer for slavery because they saw how powerful white people were.” Man, your teachers were some really self-deluded white idiots. What horse****.

      NO ONE volunteers for slavery. Especially since it must have been well known how the captured slaves were shackled and imprisoned in Africa until they could be shipped overseas. And who would voluntarily agree to be separated from their family and culture for the rest of their life?

      Slaves were treated well? Yeah, that’s why slaves lived in terror of being “sold down the [Mississippi] river” to the deep south, where their life expectancy was horrible because of the insanely inhumane conditions. That’s why there are so many archival pictures of slaves with hideous scars on their backs from savage whippings. That’s why slaves ran away so often that the Underground Railroad had to be developed.

      That’s why it was against the law to teach a slave how to read, for fear the poor bastard would actually get their hands on the Declaration of Independence, and wonder why he was being treated so differently than the document declared human rights should be.

      • I’m sure there was a wide variety of conditions. American slavery, bad as it was, was in general better than in much of the rest of the New World. Only about 5% of the Africans shipped to the New World wound up in America. Twice that number went to Jamaica alone, where the economics were such that they were worked to death and then replaced.

      • Annerdr

        I was also taught that the War of Northern Aggression was not fought over slavery. That was just an excuse to allow the damned Yankees get power over the Southerners. And that we will rise again.

        On the up side, I didn’t believe it since I did read so very, very much that disagreed with this. I went on to get a degree in history because I became fascinated with the way that humans can twist and justify pretty much any horror if it helps keep their particular group in power.

        Unsure what my son would be taught (things have definitely improved, but some things I prefered to cover myself to ensure he was taught correctly – history, sex ed, morality) in his public school, I reviewed the slave system with him. His teacher was impressed because when one smart-ass kid in fourth grade said slavery didn’t seem so bad (the kid was white), my son (also white) pointed out that even as a plantation owner it sucked because you and your family were surrounded by 300 people who HATED you and you would feel the need to terrorize your slaves to keep them from killing you and your family.

        • MNb
        • Claire Nollet

          re being surrounded by people who hated you — Many people know that George Washington’s will made provisions to free HIS slaves after his death.

          What’s not widely known is that his slaves were not to be freed until after his death, but also after the death of his wife, Martha.

          And not all the slaves on the property WERE his slaves. The rest were Martha’s. And she had no plans of freeing any of her slaves; they were to be handed out as property to her heirs.

          Apparently, Martha lived in mortal terror of George’s slaves, because she knew that they knew that all they had to do was kill her to gain their freedom. She became very paranoid after George’s death.

        • Annerdr

          I doubt that would be uncommon. It’s a rational response to being surrounded by people you treat poorly.

        • That’s a fascinating observation about Martha. Perhaps she treated them extra nice.

          One dark chapter in American slavery was Thomas Jefferson’s keeping of slaves. I don’t think he freed them on his death, arguing that they couldn’t make it on their own.

        • gimpi1

          As I recall, Jefferson had actually taken out a mortgage using his slaves as collateral. At his death, I think many were sold to pay his debts.

        • Yeah, he was a brilliant guy, but he wasn’t much of a farmer. I heard that he was $100,000 in debt at his death.

        • gimpi1

          He was a fascinating mass of contradictions. A lover of liberty who owned slaves. A advocate of simple living who lived lavishly. A man who argued against debt, yet ran up huge debts. No matter how you look at it, the man gets 10 out of 10 for cognitive dissidence.

        • Kodie

          Ask A Slave is a satirical web series based on the actress’ time working as a living history character at the popular historic site, George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Starring Azie Dungey as Lizzie Mae and directed by Jordan Black.
          All questions and interactions are based on true events.

          https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHPZR1lUMS47BA-N2Ihrtlg

        • wtfwjtd

          Ah yes, the struggles of the wealthy–life must be so tough when you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, and eventually inherited a fortune. We common folk have life soooo much easier…

        • Greg G.

          The story that the Civil War was not about slavery began as soon as the war ended. It was all about “states’ rights”. But the only right ever mentioned was slavery. They change the terminology and the narrative.

        • wtfwjtd

          Yes, and of course it was the vile politician’s fault that the Confederacy lost the war–you know, those politicians that the people of the South themselves had elected. They lost because, you know, Jeff Davis wore women’s underclothing, or some other such blathering nonsense. Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

        • Jackson

          I don’t remember where I heard it but there is a saying “In elementary school you learn that the civil war was about slavery. In high school you learn that the civil war was about state’s rights. In college you learn that the civil war was about state’s rights to have slavery.”

        • I was raised in Richmond, VA, and I remember several homes with drawings of a short old codger in a Confederate uniform with the slogan “Forget hell!” underneath.

          Yep, the South will rise again.

    • Ah, if only biblical slavery could be like the American utopia.

      • Annerdr

        Exactly. You wonder why they kept attempting to rebel and/or escape since they were all so happy.

        • MNb

          Must have been because they were ungrateful non-christians.

        • Which begs the questions why some of their leaders were preachers then, like Nat Turner.

    • smrnda

      On ‘volunteering’ – a lot of the time, supposedly ‘voluntary’ work arrangements were totally coercive.

      After slavery was abolished, a number of laws against ‘vagrancy’ were passed so that any Black person seen anywhere could be accused of ‘vagrancy’ and slapped with a fine, and then would be forced to work it off. Of course, under such a system a person could be more or less forced into working off their ‘vagrancy’ time and time again. Similar tactics were used in Mexico to enslave indigenous peoples – B Traven’s books deal with this a great deal. A great deal of legal codes, historically, have been about getting people to submit to forced labor.

      • MNb

        Contract labour (according to Wikipedia “contractarbeid” translates as indentured servitude) in Suriname was exactly like that. It was made nearly impossible to pay debts off by working on a plantation.

        • smrnda

          This went on in the States under the guise of the ‘company town’ and even included white worker. The idea was workers were billed for expenses, and paid in ‘company money’ that could only be redeemed at the company store, so you were in debt for life. The song that ends “I owe my soul to the company store” sung in the US is about this.

          That history has been erased from US history books as US right wingers (I don’t call them ‘conservatives’ ) have decided that history needs to be more pro ruling class. I’m not surprised if the neo-Confederates down south are making history books tell ‘both sides’ of slavery these days.

        • Pofarmer
        • MNb

          I only can repeat what I wrote above: contract labour in Suriname was exactly like that. If you dared to buy something at another store you got fined. Of course prices in the company store were twice as high as elsewhere.

        • smrnda

          It seems that if ‘slavery’ ; explicit ownership of another person is abolished, it isn’t too difficult for those who want slaves to find ways to make it possible. On paper, and in some abstract way the person is ‘free’ but not in any sensible, real world way.

          How long did that practice continue in Suriname? Many history books talk about an ‘end to slavery’ but they tend to ignore things like this.

        • Plutosdad

          Wow I never really understood 16 tons, or what the company store was. We just sang all these songs in school and the teachers didn’t really tell us what they were about. Or maybe they did, it was 3rd grade so I wouldn’t have understood if they did.

      • Annerdr

        Yes, and all done to “help” the African Americans or the indigenous people of Mexico. Not at all to maintain and reinforce the white power social structure. Not. at. all.

      • Roman law had a provision for “self-sale” into slavery. Of course, the people who did this were usually desperate, unable to find work. Naturally “voluntary” slaves have always been the minority. A law in Louisiana also permitted free black people to sell themselves.

      • Claire Nollet

        My father (born in 1921) served in WW2 with a man whose father was warden in a prison deep in the American South; this man had been largely raised by the trustee prisoners.

        This man’s father was quite well off — because of the prisoners. A local business wanted a bunch of workers to do a nasty spot of labor cheap? (Such as cotton picking at a large plantation, etc.) A call went out to the local warden, and suddenly, any black man, and a few white men, who were walking along the country roads were arrested for vagrancy and told they had to work off their “crime” by being hired out to the local business.

        The prisoners saw none of the money, but the warden — and the sheriff, and the judge — got their cut from the business owner. To his credit, the man that my father knew was deeply ashamed of his father, and had cut ties with him.

  • C.J. O’Brien

    Well, practically nothing in the culture and societies of the ANE was “almost identical” to any tradition or institution of the modern (Western) world, so I feel like you’re overstating the case somewhat.
    But Wallace’s post makes no sense. He claims to want to be talking specifically about “New Testament Servitude” but he adduces zero evidence from the Greco-Roman cultural matrix of the New Testament, he just quotes Hebrew scripture from the Pentateuch as if the civil law of a fictional idealized Judean state of the Iron Age was normative for “ancient Israelites” living under the Roman Imperium. Based on the incoherence in his use of terms and the confusion of historical eras in this single post, it appears to me that he knows functionally nothing about the relevant history, and so can be safely ignored on the matter.

    • I did hesitate before saying that they were almost identical, but I can see no significant differences between the customs. If you see any, point them out.

      I didn’t mind Wallace using biblical dictates in lieu of history about the time. I don’t actually care much about what the rules and customs were in practice. Instead, I’d like to let the Bible tell us what Yahweh wants or thinks. That is, give the Bible enough rope to hang itself.

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for this.

    I’ve noticed that people, trying to defend the indefensible notion of Biblical inerrancy as regards morality will claim that the slavery described and affirmed in the Bible was more like indentured servitude. They will only cite the (slightly) more reasonable ways of enslaving members of your own tribe.

    They totally ignore that it was just fine to enslave for life as chattel non-tribal members, i.e. pagans. Prisoners of war, captured women and children, people bought from slave-traders, anyone not a citizen of your nation was fair game for lifetime chattel slavery, including rape, beatings and breaking up families.

    Personally, I prefer a standard of ethics that doesn’t give enslaving fellow human beings a pass.

    • I do appreciate Wallace (the Christian author of the post I critiqued) acknowledging slavery for life. Most of the Christian apologists don’t. I suspect that many of them don’t even know what their own Bible says.

  • Mick

    The Christian says:
    Masters were to be held accountable for the way they treated their slaves:
    Exodus 21:20
    And if a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished.

    But he fails to mention the very next verse, which says but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two (Exodus 21:21 NIV) In other words, the slave owner could be punished if the slave died, but the slave owner could bash the shit out of his slaves every day and there would be no punishment if the slave didn’t die.

    Later the Christian says:
    Foreign slaves were prescribed refuge under Biblical Law. They were not treated as property

    And again he fails to mention Exodus 21:21 which clearly states that slaves were treated as property: the slave is their property. (Exodus 21:21 NIV)

    • Lightning Baltimore

      A scan of English translations on BibleGateway.com shows that most indicate that the master shall not be punished if the slave lives for a couple of days before dying. Only a handful refer to the slave recovering after a day or two, as in the NIV translation you’ve chosen.

      • Here are a number of different translations side by side. I see “survives” and “gets up” as well as “recovers.”

    • Greg G.

      The NIV and similar translations of Exodus 21:21 don’t make much sense. Why would it say that if the slave doesn’t die there is no punishment? The harsher reading seems more likely that if the slave dies but not the same day as the beating, the slave-holders is off the hook. So it seems that the punishment for beating a slave to death was the loss of property as long as the slave suffered a day before expiring.

  • Al

    Bob since you are an expert on slavery could the slaves in America be beaten to death without breaking any laws?

    • What a coincidence! I answered that very question in the post above.

      • Al

        Thank you. Can you tell me what atheists were involved in ending slavery before the civil war?

        • Abraham Lincoln is all that comes to mind.

        • Can you tell me if there were any Christians in favor of slavery before the Civil War?

        • Al

          There probably were some based in a incorrect understanding of the Bible. So who were the atheists involved in ending slavery? Any come to mind?

        • MNb

          Have you forgotten what I told you about the French Revolution? Those anti-christians abolished slavery 70 years before christian America did.

        • smrnda

          If the Bible is such an easy book to misunderstand, then it’s not a very good book from the standpoint of providing instructions in how to live

          I mean, Gravity’s Rainbow, Finnegan’s Wake, these are some well known hard to understand books, but they are read as literature and art, not as moral guides. A moral guide should be clear enough that nobody is confused.

        • There probably were some based in a incorrect understanding of the Bible.

          Interesting. I thought that an honest reading of the Bible showed that chattel slavery was exactly what the Israelites did. Show me how I’m wrong.

          So who were the atheists involved in ending slavery? Any come to mind?

          Lincoln? You’ve heard of him? 16th president?

        • Al

          Where is the proof that Lincoln was an atheist? Need some explicit statements.

          Question: How did the Israelites get their slaves? How did the south?

        • Greg G.

          Abraham Lincoln was a non-believer in Christianity until he was accused of it during a campaign for Congress. He put out a handbill that said he had ” never denied the truth of the Scriptures”, which is clearly not saying he had ever supported the truth of the Scriptures. Just because a person doesn’t come out as an atheist doesn’t mean they aren’t one.

          Israelite and southern slave owners got their slaves the same way: they paid money for them.

        • Al

          Didn’t the Israelites get their slaves from those they conquered?

        • … and how does this get you off the hook for your god being OK with slavery for life?

        • Greg G.

          The Bilbe has no regulations about the slaves aquired by conquest. That may have been an earlier time or just legend.

          Leviticus 25:44-46 (NIV)
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

          Genesis 17:12 (NRSV)
          12 Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old, including the slave born in your house and the one bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring.

          Exodus 12:43-45 (NRSV)
          43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45 no bound or hired servant may eat of it.

          Deuteronomy 15:12 (NRSV)
          12 If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set that person free.

          Exodus 21:2 (NRSV)
          2 When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt.

          Exodus 21:7 (NRSV)
          7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do.

        • The Bible hangs itself, and yet apologists keep apologizing. I wonder how they sleep at night–the ends justify the means, I suppose.

        • adam

          What does any of THIS have to do with the IMMORALITY of the slavery in the bible?

        • Dys

          Nothing whatsoever. Al is playing the same game most internet apologists do when discussing slavery and the bible – shrug off the fact that it’s condoned in the bible, and focus on taking credit for fighting against it (and ignoring or denying the role Christianity/Judaism had in propagating it in the first place).

        • adam

          Well of course, if HIS god were not IMAGINARY, he would have demonstrated that long ago.

          Being DECEPTIVE, that is BEARING FALSE WITNESS is key to apologetics…

        • “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” ― Abraham Lincoln

          They got slaves through capture.

        • MNb

          Hey Al, how come that a pagan could write this in the first half of the 2nd Century, but no Church father came even close?

          “What you shun enduring yourself, attempt not to impose on others. You shun slavery—beware of enslaving others! If you can endure to do that, one would think you had been once upon a time a slave yourself. For Vice has nothing in common with virtue, nor Freedom with slavery.”
          “Freedom is the name of virtue: Slavery, of vice…. None is a slave whose acts are free.”
          “Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.”
          “No man is free who is not master of himself.”

          Epictetus, some 15 centuries or more before something similar dawned upon christians. How come? Had all those smart christians “a incorrect understanding of the Bible”? Why did it take them so look to develop a correct one, if the pagan Epictetus was so much faster?

        • The Greek Cynics and Stoics opposed slavery long before Christianity even existed and a very long time before they sanctimoniously began taking credit for abolition.

          I think Al’s “We Christians single handedly wiped slavery from the earth” attitude is a bit overblown.

        • Dys

          “I think Al’s “We Christians single handedly wiped slavery from the earth” attitude is a bit overblown.”

          Especially when you consider the fact that papal decrees were responsible for sanctioning the practice in the New World. How much patting on the back does a religion deserve for working to clean up a problem it caused?

        • Especially when you consider that Christianity was pretty much in charge for 1000+ years in Europe. They didn’t even overturn slavery in their own back yard. The claim that slavery offends Christianity is ridiculous.

        • adam

          He is probably referring to something like this:

        • Al

          What did the atheists do to end slavery in ancient times? What did they do a couple of hundred of years ago?

        • How does this get you past the fact that your own holy book accepts slavery?

        • Al

          Since the Bible is a historical book it accepts slavery as a fact of life in ancient times. God gave guidance to the Israelites in how they were to deal with this issue. In the NT, the focus is on how to live within the institution of slavery in a god honoring way. The church did not have the means at this time to end slavery nor has it ever.

          Now tell me where the atheists were in ancient times who spoke against slavery. Who were they? What did they accomplish?

        • Before we go off on your pointless tangent, tell me how we can conclude, from the Bible itself, that God is against slavery.

        • Al

          I can’t think of anything specifically but that He instructed His people to treat slaves humanely.

          BTW- I can’t think of any command for a husband not to beat his wife either. I guess that would mean He approves it. Right?

          Then again, we can’t turn to atheism for any insights on this or slavery. Bummer.

        • Correct. God is OK with slavery but, like other things, there are right ways and wrong ways to practice it. There are right and wrong ways to practice commerce, animal husbandry, marriage, and slavery. God might give rules for how to handle them best, but that leaves a glaring gap between our view of slavery and God’s.

          I can’t think of any command for a husband not to beat his wife either. I guess that would mean He approves it. Right?

          Does God mention this one way or another? No? Then why bring it up except as a desperate, inept attempt to save your sinking boat?

          Then again, we can’t turn to atheism for any insights on this or slavery.

          Trust you to never learn a goddamn thing. How many times have we been over this? No, atheism doesn’t help us with quantum mechanics, cake baking, or morality. That’s simply not its domain.

          To your larger point, you’re right that Christianity does say something about morality. And, as we’ve seen, it gets it outrageously wrong. You want insights into slavery? Good ol’ Yahweh has them in abundance. And they’re all wrong. Kinda surprising for an omniscient deity, no?

          Pro tip: don’t bring up arguments in which the evidence is not in your favor.

        • Kodie

          Since the Bible is a historical book it accepts slavery as a fact of
          life in ancient times. God took guidance from the Israelites in how they
          were to deal with this issue.

          Fixed that for you.

        • Dys

          Frankly, there wouldn’t have been enough of them to be identifiable as a movement, and considering the demonization they constantly received by religions such as yours, even if they had, we probably wouldn’t find out about it. When you have to play the guessing game today to find out who’s likely to be an atheist in today’s politics, it’s even harder in the past.

          But you’re still busy trying to create a distraction to get around the fact that the bible condones a blatantly immoral practice, and that the Christian religion itself authorized it. Patting Christianity on the back for working to resolve a problem it helped foster and spread only deserves so much consideration. And your idea that only those who wrongly interpreted the bible endorsed slavery is a joke based on delusional wishful thinking.

        • adam

          A bit?

        • It helps that Epictetus was born a slave.

        • Al

          Not that familiar with the writings of the church fathers. There are over 38 volumes. Have you read all of them to know that they have not written about slavery?

        • MNb

          If they had written against it, do you think it would have been neglected for 1000 – 1500 years? If they have written against it, why did it take organized christianity so long to take action?

        • Ron

          Who cares what the Church Fathers wrote? What matters to Christians (i.e. followers of Christ) is what Jesus said about slavery:

          “And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. ~Jesus (Luke 12:47-48, NASB)

          “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’” ~Jesus (Luke 17:7-10, NASB)

          tl;dr

          Jesus on slavery: “No problems. I’m cool with it.”

        • Al

          What is the contexts of Luke 112:47-48 and 17:7-10? What is the point that Jesus is making?

        • Ron

          Context? In Luke 12 slavery is used as an analogy for what awaits those found unprepared upon Jesus’ return. As for Luke 17: there is no context. In fact, it’s a complete non sequitur. Jesus just throws it out there in response to his disciple’s request to increase their faith.

        • Dys

          “There probably were some based in a incorrect understanding of the Bible.”

          Interesting. How do you know their understanding was incorrect? Because a God setting rules down for how to do slavery the “right” way instead of abolishing it sure doesn’t seem anti-slavery to me.

        • Ron

          Some? You mean like most of southern US Christendom? You are aware of the major schisms that occurred over slavery in three denominations (Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians), aren’t you?

        • hector_jones

          Watching an apologist at work is often just like watching a game of Twister.

        • Al has the correct interpretation of the Bible, but the Southern Baptist Convention, built on support of slavery, didn’t?

          I’m impressed that this blog attracts such erudite commenters.

        • Al

          I don’t know that much about this period. Ask Bob. He’s the “expert.”

        • Greg G.

          You’ve heard of the Baptist Church and the Southern Baptists, haven’t you? The used to be just the Baptist Church but they had a schism over slavery.

        • In 1995, on the 150th anniversary of the split, the Southern Baptist Convention issued a resolution repudiating racism and slavery.

          You’re the American Christian Al. You really should educate yourself on what your Bible has supported.

        • Greg G.

          In addition to MNb’s quote:

          A Roman pagan writer who thinks of slaves as friends who should be treated well.

          “‘They are slaves,’ people declare. NO, rather they are men.
          ‘Slaves! NO, comrades.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are unpretentious friends.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are our fellow-slaves, if one reflects that Fortune has equal rights over slaves and free men alike. That is why I smile at those who think it degrading for a man to dine with his slave.

          But why should they think it degrading? It is only purse-proud etiquette… All night long they must stand about hungry and dumb… They are not enemies when we acquire them; we make them enemies… This is the kernel of my advice: Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.

          ‘He is a slave.’ His soul, however, may be that of a free man.”
              — Seneca the Younger (4 BC – 65 AD), Epistulae Morales, 47.

          Jesus doesn’t think slaves should even be thanked for their service.

          7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” –Jesus, Luke 17:7-10

        • But then again, the world was going to end any day now. (Or at least Jesus thought so.)

        • adam

          What ‘incorrect understanding of the bible’ are you talking about?

        • Al

          That slavery was to be practiced by Christians. There is no teaching in the NT for it. It says nothing that Christians are to have slaves or to get slaves. Since the NT was written in the period when slavery was widespread it does acknowledge it and that some or most Christians were slaves and that some were masters. In these cases the NT does give guidance how these relationships are to be. Paul does say that if a person can become free then do so.

        • Philmonomer

          There is no passage in the Bible that condemns slavery.

          (Arguably, Paul thought it best that Christians should not enslave other Christians. But Jews also thought it best not to enslave other Jews, and it makes sense that the Bible teaches that you shouldn’t enslave your own “kind.” What it does NOT say is that you should enslave no one.)

          Simply put, slavery (in at least some forms) is ok in the Bible. It is undeniable.

          (Actually, lots and lots of people do deny it. But they are not intellectually honest.)

        • The best that I can find in the Bible about slavery are God bragging, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

          In other words, it sucks if you’re the slave, but if it’s some other dude, no problem.

        • Al

          The Bible does not say slavery is ok. Rather it recognizes that it is part of the fallen world and gives guidance in how to deal with it.

          What’s tragic is that the atheist has no argument against it but mere opinion. It’s neither evil or good. It just is.

        • Philmonomer

          The Bible does not say slavery is ok. Rather it recognizes that it is part of the fallen world and gives guidance in how to deal with it.

          See, you are doing the intellectually dishonest thing. In this regard, the Bible clearly/unequivocally 1) provides guidance on how to deal with slavery and 2) fails to say slavery is wrong/bad.

          Based on these two facts, there is no other conclusion than slavery is morally permissible.

        • MNb

          “It says nothing that Christians are to have slaves or to get slaves.”
          Wow, that’s a strawman if there ever was one. No atheist claims that according to the Bible “christians are to have slaves or to get slaves.” Atheists argue that a) the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery (which you implicitely agree with when arguing that Ancient society was completely different from ours), b) implicitely approves of slavery (which you dispute by arguing that it’s all about indentured servitude) and c) indentured servitude might be less evil than slavery, but still totally sucks.
          The conclusion is that biblical morals are seriously outdated. If you disagree you are invited – I can use you as an indentured servant. I’ll make some room for you in the chicken shack. Deal? It will be an uplifting spiritual experience for you, I promise.

        • You might throw in this sweetener: tell Al that he would be allowed to adopt your religion.

        • Al

          The Bible does not approve of slavery. It does recognize that is it part of a fallen world and it gives guidance in how to deal with it.
          Ultimately this world will be done away with where sin and slavery will no longer part of it.
          The atheist can give his opinion that he doesn’t like slavery but can never show that its evil.

        • The Bible does not approve of slavery.

          That’s a bold statement. Back it up or retract it.

        • The atheist can give his opinion that he doesn’t like slavery but can never show that its evil.

          Another flabby claim. Show me how the definition of “evil” makes it a word atheists can’t use.

        • Kodie

          The bible acknowledges that slavery is a fact and says nothing is wrong with owning people, if they are the other people.

        • So you admit that neither God nor Jesus declare slavery as an institution to be a bad thing and you try to salvage the Bible by saying that it never argues that Christians should acquire slaves. Is that it?

          I would’ve had higher standards. You can apply whatever moral attributes to God that you want, right? Why not imagine that he’s better than that?

        • Al

          Slavery is not a major issue in the NT. Christ did not come to abolish slavery per se. That would come later as His followers through the centuries worked on.

          Christ did come did deal with breaking the power of sin which enslaves people. The slavery to sin is far worse than the slavery to men.

          BTW- what is your “higher standard” based on besides your opinion?

        • Slavery is not a major issue in the NT.

          Yeah, tell me about it.

          Christ did not come to abolish slavery per se.

          I wonder why he didn’t at least give his followers a clue that it was something worth stopping.

          Oh wait—no, Jesus thought that the end was nigh. Perhaps that explains why he didn’t care.

          The slavery to sin is far worse than the slavery to men.

          If sin is made up, then perhaps we ought to focus on the issues in the here and now.

          BTW- what is your “higher standard” based on besides your opinion?

          That’s it. Just my opinion. And the wisdom of society. You’re saying that not decrying slavery isn’t a problem in your opinion?

          Why? Do you have something else?

        • The Man With The Name Too Long

          “Christ did come did deal with breaking the power of sin which enslaves people. The slavery to sin is far worse than the slavery to men.” Do you think he succeeded? I’m not sure what you mean by this either. Are we “enslaved” in the sense that our sin pushes us to sin more? If that’s the case then Christ failed to break the power of sin of which you speak. Maybe it means that the power of sin causes us to turn away from good, but that can’t be the case since atheists commit the sin of disbelief (and others) yet many of them still do good things, and many people before Jesus were the same way. This is another of those, “What exactly did Jesus (and his ‘sacrifice’) do?” conversations.

          As to whether or not the “slavery of sin” is worse than “slavery to men”, there’s no point in trying to discuss this since it’s a matter of opinion.

        • adam

          So you dismiss the OT.

          Isn’t YOUR Jesus god the SAME god of the OT who prescibed how to procure and treat slaves?

        • Kodie

          Holy fucking shit, Al. The bible says it’s ok to own another person as property, like you might buy a car or a computer or an oven, to perform tasks dependably without having wishes of their own. And to cross threads, what a regard for life your god has! He created these people according to you, sacred in the womb, only to be born as if an inanimate object to buy and sell and treat as you will, and discard when it’s used up.

          So what if slavery is a historic fact, god could have smited all the slave owners and said do it your damn self or pay humans adequately for their service and treat them with the same respect you expect for yourself. We still pretty much have slavery, people are underpaid to serve people and get treated like shit while doing so, selling a great portion of their actual life for much less than it’s worth so you can eat in a restaurant or have your trash picked up or your children educated.

          Fuck you and your biblical morals.

        • Timothy Cooper

          Well of course Al wasn’t there to set them straight.

        • Annerdr

          As atheists would not have declared themselves then due to the harsh reaction of the Christians around them, this is a rather spurious question. I personally am descended from Christians, good Christians, pastors of their church and respected in their communities, who owned and beat their slaves and justified it as being acceptable in the Bible.

    • HematitePersuasion

      I think I understand what you’re asking, and I think it’s the wrong question. Even if beating a slave to death was illegal, was the crime prosecuted? And I think the answer is pretty clearly no.

      • We’re comparing apples to apples by comparing Southern laws protecting slaves against OT laws protecting slaves. And there certainly were Southern laws protecting slaves, as noted in the post above.

    • Plutosdad

      And as we all know, if it’s a law then people don’t break it.

      I guess all the memoirs and stories published from escaped slaves are all lies from Satan then, because Southern slave owners treated their slaves well! I suppose you believe house slaves had it easy too, they weren’t beaten and even killed by the white women that owned them for crimes as egregious as spilling some soup. Those are also lies.

      • MNb

        Your first sentence is meant sarcastically of course. Historians actually take the opposite view. If it was a law this means people practiced what was prohibited.

    • Annerdr

      Isn’t the fact that they could be beaten intolerable enough? We’re talking human beings exactly like you, who could be beaten on the whim of their “owner”. Owner is in quotes because people cannot own people — the system is absurdly evil.

  • Guest

    No, Biblical slavery was not the same as American slavery.
    But what would you know about it, unbeliever?
    Repent of your sins, only then may you learn the Word of God.
    Otherwise, you know nothing.
    Many will be refined, purified and tested, but the wicked will prove wicked,
    none of them will have understanding. But the wise shall have it.

    • “The wise”? Give me an argument, wise one. Show me how my argument is flawed. This is just a meaningless drive-by.

    • Philmonomer

      I wonder if this person realizes he doesn’t help, and actually hurts, his cause?

    • Robert_Loblaw

      oh, just because you said so? no counter-points to refute the author’s careful deconstruction of an already exhaustive argument? of course not, all you need is to point out that he is not a believer! and who could forget to quote the words that he does not believe in, eh?

  • MNb

    I simply don’t get the “indentured servitude” argument. How is that morally justified? Suriname had it for several decades after slavery was abolished in 1863. It’s how the British-Indians and Dutch-East-Indians ended up in the country.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Mariënburg

    This is just one example of a rebellion out of several. The servants didn’t like indentured service at all.

    According to Wallace and co the Bible says slavery is bad, so apparently indentured servitude is OK. Would they really think it a good idea to reintroduce it again? If no indentured servitude doesn’t come to their rescue. At best Wallace and co show that the OT doesn’t suck that bad – but its morals still suck.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_indenture_system

    The last transport from Dutch East Indies arrived in 1939. This is what the transport ships looked like:

    http://www.imexbo.nl/mediapool/74/744902/resources/big_33358968_0_800-571.jpg

    Their Dutch masters were devout christians.

    • All the way across the Pacific and through the Panama Canal? That’s a long trip.

      • MNb

        You won’t be surprised that quite a few “voluntary” workers died underway. Cost reduction, see. Like Smrnda above I simply don’t get how indentured servitude saves the OT.

    • smrnda

      I need to find a source on this, but occasionally in the US colonies, people would kill the indentured servant before their term expired, usually when the agreement meant that the indentured servant would be paid some sum of money upon release.

      • Greg G.

        I have read that as the indentured servant’s term neared it’s end, the most dangerous jobs were assigned to him. No sense risking a long-term investment.

        • hector_jones

          Hah. You need to do some reading. If you did you’d find out that in biblical indentured servitude as the indentured servant’s term neared its end they threw him a non-stop party. None of this is in the bible, but you need to ‘understand’ that it’s true.

    • Plutosdad

      And in America we had Bacon’s Rebellion, with the indentured servants and slaves fighting against their owners. That was when slave owners wised up and tried to get people to see how indentured servants had it so much better, to get them to look down on black slaves and not join up with them. Wallace is just playing into this.

      • Greg G.

        Bacon’s Rebellion happened about 100 years before the Revolutionary War and began when Nathaniel Bacon raised a vigilante army to fight Indians. Governor Berkeley refused to send the Virginia Militia, apparently because he had a trade business with them. He sent the Militia to oppose Bacon’s group but the vigilantes defeated them and took Jamestown. Bacon died suddenly, some say he was poisoned. The rebellion fell apart and order was restored. My direct ancestors, a father and son, we’re on opposite sides. The father was a Colonel in the Militia. His 18 year old son was sentenced to hang but his father interceded. I don’t know of any slavery angle.

        • Plutosdad

          The main problem was Bacon’s Rebellion was composed of both whites and blacks,and many former indentured servants, as Bacon himself was. This served to convince many wealthy people that 1. slaves were better since they never got free to cause trouble later, and 2. they had to do whatever they could to drive a wedge between poor whites and poor blacks, to make sure the other whites never again worked with or helped black slaves. (this was repeated with the Republican Southern Strategy in the 1960s).

          Maybe it was not slavery so much as a racial angle I am thinking of.

          It is one of the turning points of black history in America. If you google “bacon’s rebellion indentured servants slavery” there are a bunch of links near the top. Also Michelle Armstrong’s The New Jim Crow covers it in one of the early chapters.

        • Greg G.

          Thanks for the sources. I’ll check them out.

          My ancestor, Col. Bridger went on to be a general in the Virginia Militia. He and his brother came to the colonies to supervise the roofing of a church that may still be standing and in use*. Their uncle was the Archbishop of Canterbury at some point. I doubt he or his brother or his son were indentured.

          *There’s a question whether the church he is buried under was the original or a replacement. If it’s a replacement, it’s the second oldest church in continuous use in North America, if original, the oldest.

  • smrnda

    Even if they are different, OT slavery is still morally indefensible. I don’t see why people don’t give up at trying to rehabilitate Biblical slavery.

    • Yeah, but what’s the alternative? God being A-OK with slavery plus no more objective moral truth is a tough pill to swallow.

      • smrnda

        Well, you could go with the idea that the Bible isn’t totally right or authoritative, but then you’d be throwing out a key doctrine of many Christians – Biblical infallibility.

        • Pofarmer

          The truth is hard.

        • gimpi1

          It’s a pity so many people will twist themselves into logical and ethical pretzels to avoid the simple reality that the morality posited in many Biblical accounts is pretty crappy, and our “hedonistic” and secular society often does much better.

          I’m just not that logically and ethically flexible. More moral yoga, perhaps:-)

        • smrnda

          I think hedonism is one of the most morally defensible philosophies. If the purpose of life is pleasure, it becomes hard to justify suffering.

    • joshuaism

      Give up rehabilitating Biblical slavery? If you did that how would you ever reach the ultimate goal of rehabilitating American slavery?

  • MNb

    As my comment underneath has gotten too longwinded once again I’ll try to reformulate it in a short and to the point way. Because christianity there is no better way than an analogy, a parable, a piece of theology if you like to call it that way.

    Atheist: Your holy book sucks, it says stealing is OK. Look here, here and here.
    Apologist: No no no! You misunderstand those quotes! They don’t talk about stealing paper money, cheque fraud and credit card fraud. They don’t even talk about stealing golden and silver coins. They talk about stealing coins made of copper. Actually they regulate stealing coins in old societies which have disappeared since long.
    MNb: I scratch my head.

  • GCBill

    If the best defense of a practice you can come up with is “it’s not as bad as American slavery,” you should rethink whatever you’re advocating.

    • Nice! A variant is that Israelite morality was better than that of surrounding tribes. First, this is said without much evidence to support it, and second, that’s not much of a bar to set for the omniscient Creator of the Universe.

      • gimpi1

        A low bar, indeed. Good point.

  • Plutosdad

    Now that I moved to the South (sort of, I live in Virginia), I hear some of the same attitudes. People really believe the BS that slaves were treated well, and that the people of the North were the REAL racists, because they hated black people just as much and sent runaway slaves back. I don’t mean everyone here thinks like this, but I never heard it in my life in Chicago, so just hearing it twice is a big deal to me.

    The whole idea of “it was for economic relief of the slave” also sounds straight outta FOX news. That is why corporations need tax breaks, but we need to restrict SNAP even more because charity is corrupting, corporations only do good with their money.

    • MNb

      Incredible. I remember the TV-series Golden Girls, not exactly the most progressive one ever, having an episode on this issue some 30 years ago. The four heroins thoroughly got debunked by an Afro-American friend.

    • RichardSRussell

      Now that I moved to the South (sort of, I live in Virginia)

      The capital state of the Confederacy is not merely “sort of” the South.

      • Plutosdad

        Some people tell me I am not far south enough, I work in the District so I’m in “Northern Virginia” or NOVA

        • RichardSRussell

          “Washington DC: a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.”
          —John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th US president

      • “The South” often refers to a kind of nuttiness that you find more in the Gulf states.

        I lived my first 10 years in Richmond, though I’m admittedly out of touch now. I suspect that the “sort of” qualifier (as opposed to, say, Alabama or Mississippi) isn’t amiss.

    • Kodie

      I’ve never lived in the south for comparison, but suffice it to say the north can be pretty racist. I grew up in suburban New York, and white people justify a lot more racism than you might think.

  • He has another article linked after it which tries to explain why slavery is okay because, basically, we all die and go to heaven anyway.
    But I think that misses the point that the Bible gives specific instruction about how to do Slavery.
    If the Bible said nothing about slavery at all, it’s an easier dodge. But when the Bible goes to lengths to give rules and outlines and prescription of how to do slavery ‘the right way’, then you really have to question why all that information is in there. Apparently God sometimes cares more about proper economic situations than personal freedom?

    • Claire Nollet

      “He … tries to explain why slavery is okay because, basically, we all die and go to heaven anyway.”

      Oh, OK. Then all charity is worthless. There’s no point in trying to alleviate any human suffering, because the suffering people will all go to heaven.

      Well, THAT’S going to save me a ton of money on charity and good works going forward. My sponsored Guatemalan family will just have to suck it up and start going hungry — which is great, because the sooner they die of starvation, the sooner they see Jesus.

      What an ass.

      • Greg G.

        That’s a problem I see with Karmic religions. If you kick someone when they’re down due to a Karmic retribution, the length of their suffering should be shortened or they will receive a blessing. If I kick them when they are blessed, their blessing would be extended to compensate. If I assist a suffering person, their suffering must be extended. Why should Karma reward or punish me when no matter what I do neither harms nor helps in the long run?

        • Claire Nollet

          Well, I don’t help people because of karma or anything else. I help people because my family had a rough patch economically when I was a kid in the 1960s, and I remember what it was like to go to bed hungry and cold.

          I can’t save the whole world, but for the kids I’ve sponsored over the years, I made a world of difference to THEIR childhood, and to their future earning potential as an adult (that is, they were able to go to school until they were 18).

    • I’ll be addressing that article tomorrow.

  • RichardSRussell

    Can you quit your job and walk away any time you want? No? Then you’re a slave. You have no personal freedom. Period. End of story.

    Quibbling over the different colors of the pebbles that have rolled down from that single gargantuan mountain of a fact is casuistry of the most servile and craven variety.

    • adam

      Of course I can quit my job and walk away any time I want.

      • RichardSRussell

        Then you’re not a slave.
        It’s even easier for me: I’m retired.

    • Greg G.

      I can walk away from my job but walking away from the bank that holds the mortgage on my house would be tough.

      I know men and women who are in a SITCOM – Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage. They aren’t exactly free.

      • RichardSRussell

        Would the bank have you flogged if you missed a payment?

        • Greg G.

          They are even more insidious. They start adding fees and service charges.

        • Powell Powers

          omg this is really uber funny i’m super impressed

        • Niemand

          Student loans are not wiped out by bankruptcy any more. Wages can be taken from people who are not paying their student loans. What they do if you don’t have an income I don’t know, but I strongly suspect we’re moving back towards debtor’s prisons. Prison labor is an increasing part of the “free market” economy. We’re not quite to where the two bits meet (get into debt=imprisonment and forced labor) but it looks like we’re moving in that direction pretty quickly. Yeah, the bank might end up owning you.

        • adam

          Perhaps student loans will be wiped out now:

        • Kodie

          I get it, but work for pay is something like a rock and a hard place. You know, the old “if you don’t like it, get another job.” Your lot in life is to need to sell a large portion of your life in order to get the essentials to stay alive, so that you can be of use to your employer. So the employer doesn’t pay someone else to own you, but a lot of people do not have a choice of employer or the freedom to be selective about conditions, or speaking up about illegal conditions. I can’t see a great life ahead of me if the best part of me is sold so I can merely eat, and I know I’m relatively spoiled compared to conditions elsewhere on the planet. The problems are compounded when you need to feed and house other people, the choice to quit is no choice, your best years slip away in no time, and what was your life? Was it yours or did someone else do little more than take care of your basic needs just so you can keep showing up?

      • InDogITrust

        Richard didn’t say everyone who is not a slave is entirely “free.”
        Perhaps he should have stated it as: “Is it a violation of the penal code for you to quit your job?”

        The negative impacts of just up and quitting one’s job don’t result from the specific act of quitting one’s job: they result from the fact that no job = no $.
        That is, you *are allowed to* walk away from your job any time you like. You’ll have to deal with the consequences of not having a job, but the act of quitting in and of itself isn’t what causes the problem.
        YMMV depending on contractual obligations. But again, if you walk away from a contract job, the trouble you get in is a result of violating the contract.
        SITCOMs are legally free in that they have personal liberty. They might feel trapped by their legal obligations to others, but that’s not the same as the law stated they are literally someone else’s property.
        Of course the sorry fact is that a lot of people on this planet are held in de facto slavery, in that the conditions are virtually the same, even if the law doesn’t recognize the legality of the relationship.
        Forgive me if i’m pedantic. But the post is about slavery as a legal institution. Apologists like JazzQueen try to claim biblical slavery was a completely different legal institution from american slavery.
        Mind you, i’m totally on board with the idea that the average person is utterly screwed by the current system.

  • Claire Nollet

    In 1858, Abraham Lincoln said, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.”

  • Pofarmer

    For all those trying to reason with Asmondious. Keep in mind that this is the kind of stuff his religion believes. showed up on a Facebook feed

    http://www.marypages.com/ArchangelSaintMichael.htm

    • Greg G.

      By the intercession of Michael, that looks like putting another god before Yahweh.

      • Pofarmer

        The whole thing would be amusing if they didn’t take it so seriously.

        • Greg G.

          It’s polytheism in denial.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s really quite interesting. The Catholic Church has constructed this whole alternate reality, which really bears only passing resemblance to the world we actually inhabit. Catholics then get all huffy and defensive when you point out that things don’t actually work like their modeled world would suggest.

        • smrnda

          I think all monotheisms are polytheisms in denial. Any supernatural being other than the One God is just a less powerful god, and almost all monotheisms have such supernatural beings.

        • Then there’s that whole Trinity thing.

        • adam

          You must mean this thing:

        • Niemand

          Can anyone explain who the holy ghost is supposed to be? I kind of think I understand the characters of Jesus and Yaweh, but I just don’t know how this HG guy fits in.

        • Al

          The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the Trinty.

        • adam

          Where is this TRINITY defined in the ‘bible’?

        • Al

          Its not defined as much as demonstrated.

        • Then demonstrate it.

          If you went back in time and asked Paul about the Trinity, what do you suppose he’d say? Would he recite the Athanasian Creed? No, I’m pretty sure he’d have no idea what you were talking about.

          That kinda makes the Trinity look made up.

        • Al

          There are to many passages in Scripture that can only be understood by the Trinitarian doctrine.
          Paul would agree that the nature of God is trinitarian. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. Three person sharing the same nature as deity. Paul refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as God. Paul was not polytheist but a monotheist.

          Don’t worry. I don’t expect you to get this.

        • This is your argument? Give me all references you have from Paul to the Trinity, or whatever clues you can find. I can think of none. Perhaps you have some in mind.

          If you’re saying that there are passages that can be interpreted differently when seen through Trinitarian glasses, well, obviously. The same is true for Gnostic, Marcionite, and other kinds of worldviews. This does nothing to support your argument.

          You want us to believe that the most fundamental idea about the nature of God is not even mentioned in your enormous holy book? Maybe it was (dare I say it?) invented?

        • Al

          Some of the passages that show the Trinity are:
          Genesis 1:26
          John 1:1-3
          Acts 5:3-4

          Hope this helps.

        • Greg G.

          Thanks, Al. The Genesis verse is a remnant from the polytheism roots. The John passage introduces the Word or Logos making it a Quaternity. It seems to have an Egyptian influence like Philo. The Acts passage doesn’t differentiate between God and the Holy Goats anymore than all the different names for God in the Old Testament.

        • adam

          Don’t worry, we can all see that you dont get this.

          It is clear by the diagram that there are 3 gods not one in YOUR system.

        • hector_jones

          “Don’t worry. I don’t expect you to get this.”

          Because no one really does get this. Getting it and pretending to get it aren’t the same thing.

        • Kodie

          You need to be more explicit for the people who don’t get what ‘3rd person’ means. 1, 2, 3. 3 people.

        • adam

          It is ONE of the THREE gods that christians worship….

        • Greg G.

          Ahkenaten was the first monotheist we know of. I think all the Egyptian gods were just that one god in that system. I’m certain they had some justifications for that.

  • MNb

    Breaking news and especially Pofarmer (maybe Asmondious as well) is going to like it. The diocese Paramaribo (capital of Suriname) will appoint an exorcist. It’s in my newspaper De Ware Tijd and not online yet. Three quotes:

    “It looks like a fresh wind is blowing through the RCC. We can trace it back to Pope Franciscus.”
    “Deacon Waterberg says that the church is on her way to appoint an exorcist. If he is appointed his name will not be made public.”
    “The devil has remained as described in the Bible: a disloyal angel who leads a legion of evil spirits.”

    • Pofarmer

      Yeah, the RCC is diving back in the deep end.

      • Greg G.

        We see that in other denominations, too. The young are being driven away by the church’s core beliefs so the leaders think they are too weak on those subjects.

        • Pofarmer

          The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    • smrnda

      Why not make the name public? Are they worried about the guy being overwhelmed by exorcism requests?

      • Ron

        The spirits are willing but the revelation is weak.

      • Pofarmer

        Laughed at would be my guess.

  • Pofarmer

    Lol. One, of my Bil’s posted an apologist video that had Albert Einstein arguing with a school professor reminiscent of God’s not Dead. It ended with the young Einstein explaining to the professor that evil was the absence of God. Except it’s totally made up. I posted “never happened” and then gave a link to a Snopes, article on it. To my surprise, I got 3 up votes. My BIL, replied that it wasn’t about Einstein, it was about the message. I replied that the message should stand on it’s own without being miss attributed then. I had probably better just stay off facebook.

    • MNb

      Not to mention that Einstein was way too intelligent to say that “According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat.” Not to mention that his “teacher”, if qualified, would have answered that no law of physics says such a thing. Cold just means relatively low temperature. The “student” applies a daily life term on temperature with a form of energy. That’s an elementary mistake. Regarding that form of energy the “student” doesn’t distinguish between heat as the kinetic energy of molecules and the transfer of heat, which causes changes of temperature.
      The correct answer to “does cold exist” is “it doesn’t have a place in the terminology of physics.” Of course that makes the entire point irrelevant.
      Something similar is the case to the darkness vs. light argument. It has nothing to do with physics. Black holes in fact show that we totally can study “the absence of light”.

    • I had my way with that video here.

    • UWIR

      Evil isn’t a real thing, it’s just an absence of God? So what’s up with that “deliver us from evil” line? If evil isn’t a real thing, how is one delivered from it? If someone wants to show how evil Hitler is, do they list all the good things he didn’t do? When scientists find a rock on Mars that has spent the last million years not providing humans with any value, do they say “Gee, that’s a really evil rock”? The fact of the matter is that is much more accurate to say that goodness is the absence of evil. I mean, sure, if you want to win a humanitarian of the year award, you’re probably going to have to perform some affirmative acts. But if all you want is to have people call you a good person, then all you have to do is not do anything bad. Someone who goes their entire life not insulting anyone, not ever getting angry, not ever being dishonest, etc., would be called a saint.

      And if this is presented as a solution to The Problem of Evil, it’s a massive failure. Simply reframing evil as an absence of good doesn’t address the issue. If I’m freezing in my apartment because my landlord hasn’t bothered to fix the furnace, I’m not going to take kindly to my landlord saying “Well, cold is just the absence of heat”. Whether we call it “evil” or “the absence of good”, its presence argues against God.

  • Philmonomer

    FWIW, in this week’s Atheist Experience (I listen to the podcast), I thought Matt Dillahunty did a pretty good job of walking a Catholic through slavery in the Bible, showing how that demonstrates we all (basically) use the same faculties to evaluate moral actions–and that we don’t use the Bible as any sort of grounding for morality.

    • Pofarmer

      I listened to it today. That was a really good show.

  • InDogITrust

    How about we pass a law that says anyone who thinks biblical slavery is justifiable shall become a slave under biblical terms.
    Make these people put their freedom where their mouth is.

    • Not them. Their daughters. Since the Bible also permits selling daughters into slavery.

      • InDogITrust

        Mmmm, no. They can’t sell their daughters unless their daughters agree that biblical slavery is justifiable. Some of these bastards really would sell their daughters if they thought they could get away with it.

    • Eric Sotnak

      Actually, there is a really interesting reply to the apologist here. If Biblical slavery was defensible, while American slavery was not, then would the apologist approve of re-legalizing slavery subject to the proviso that it conform to Biblical restrictions? If not, then on what grounds would such re-legalization be opposed?
      There are many Americans, after all, who are experiencing financial hardship. If Biblical slavery existed for the purpose of alleviating financial hardship, then why would it not be an ethically acceptable option for today’s Bible-believing Christians?

  • Urbanlemur

    this is just the kind of article i would expect from a supposed christian turned atheist.

    • Kodie

      That’s just the kind of comment one would expect from a typical drive-by Christian who just wants to get something off their chest but doesn’t want to say what that is, in case someone asks them to elaborate.

      • Urbanlemur

        ok, here you go. the notion that God or Christianity encourages or approves of slavery is utterly false. all you have to do is read the Bible to see that. truth be told, anyone who was found to have sold another person into slavery was to be executed. another case in point: as voluntary slavery was widely practiced during biblical times, God put into place laws that would protect the lives and health of slaves. they were also given the opportunity to become free during the 7th year. Paul, the author of many of the NT writings, all but ordered the Philemon to release his Christian slave from his service to “do what is proper”. in addition to these, numerous verses from the NT show that God values slaves as much as any free person and is not partial to anyone’s standing before other people.

        what i don’t understand is why someone like Seidensticker feels he has to twist Scripture in order to authenticate his distaste for it. it’s like two people who absolutely love one another and get married, then absolutely hate each other when they divorce. if he doesn’t believe in the Bible anymore, fine. but don’t drag it and the people who do believe in it through the mud.

        • Kodie

          I don’t understand why people believe it. Period.

          But you should read the bible with less rationalization, and then maybe you would see what Bob’s saying, instead of getting a reaction. The bible is a distortion of reality and as long as you put your faith in it and rationalize what it says in there, you’re going to come up with people who do not protect their invisible best friend because we don’t need to have one. You could also read some of the other comments that address the same things you pretend aren’t a problem. It makes you uncomfortable, and it should make you uncomfortable. We’re not here to let you excuse the deity of your preference for ugly things like genocide and slavery with a “just read the bible the right way like me!”

        • Urbanlemur

          the Bible is what it is. my faith is in God and in His Word which is the Bible. if you choose to believe otherwise, then so be it. if you are uncomfortable with God, then perhaps you should go to Him and explain why…He will listen.

        • Kodie

          Tell me how I’m supposed to go to a figment of your imagination and ask it a question.

        • Urbanlemur

          how about you start by reading the Bible? it has a lot of answers for you there.

        • Kodie

          Why aren’t you a Muslim?

        • Urbanlemur

          because i don’t believe in Allah or Muhammed. and btw, the Biblical God and the Muslim god are not one in the same as many would have you believe. ask any Muslim and they’ll tell you the same thing.

        • Kodie

          That’s not the answer to my question. You rejected a very popular and documented deity you simply do not believe in. I don’t think your bible is anything but a popular fiction, so your answer to me is just read it? Just read the Koran.

        • Urbanlemur

          that was a perfectly legitimate answer. if you don’t like it, ok. i’m not here to try and appease you. i believe in God and the Bible, period. if you don’t, then that’s you. end of discussion.

        • Kodie

          You’re very unreasonable that way – all chatter, no substance, just read the bible so you can ask god, I don’t believe in Allah because he’s not god, I just believe because I believe. You’re not impressing anyone so I don’t know why you bothered to say anything in the first place. God in the bible condones slavery, and you would know that if you opened your eyes when you read the bible.

        • Urbanlemur

          i’m not trying to impress anyone, even you. i just tell it like it is. if you’re not happy with it, then that’s just you. also, i have a right to post an opinion just like you do so don’t even try to make me feel bad for posting what i did. and since this discussion is not getting us anywhere, i will bid you goodnight.

        • Kodie

          You’re uninformed, but you felt like you had to say something, it’s not the same thing. There are over 200 posts in this thread alone, and you didn’t read any of them first. You want to criticize Bob with “just read the bible if you don’t believe me,” and do not describe where Bob “distorts” anything. You want people who critique your beliefs to shut the hell up, that’s why you came here. The problem is you can’t put an argument together. Your advice is to “read the bible” and guess what, so many have. You’re blind to its flaws like an abuse victim.

        • Dys

          But you’re not telling it like it is, at all. You’re just telling us what your wishful thinking wants it to be.

          The discussion didn’t go anywhere because you didn’t have any real objection beyond “I think you’re wrong”.

          i have a right to post an opinion just like you do

          Only if Bob decides you do. Because it’s his blog. That your opinion is incredibly uninformed just means it won’t be taken seriously.

        • MNb

          “i just tell it like it is.” “i have a right to post an opinion”
          Nice contradiction. An opinion by definition is not telling like it is.

        • Susan

          that was a perfectly legitimate answer

          Kodie: Why?

          Urbanlemur: Because.

        • So the post about slavery is all wrong, just because you’re sure it’s all wrong. You have no reasons and no specific errors you can point out.

          And now you realize that your demand that we read the Bible isn’t an honest search for the truth–with you carrying the equivalent burden to read other books–but just an empty assurance that you’ve backed the right horse. Just because you’re sure it’s right.

          You’re not impressing us here.

        • Urbanlemur

          and i would say that many Christians who would read this would not be impressed with you either.

        • Ouch–you’re not portraying your fellow Christians in a good light. They don’t care about evidence either? A content-free “You’re wrong cuz God!” is enough for them as well?

          If I were you, I’d be nervous that they’re not going to appreciate your characterizing them as boneheads.

        • Urbanlemur

          funny. you’re twisting the argument here just you did in the piece but i’m not buying it. so how is it that someone who claims to have been a Christian all of a sudden decides that they don’t believe in God any longer? it pretty much would be discerned that you never had a true conversion to Christ. is that true?

          i would recommend that anyone who wants to understand the true nature of “servant” or slave go to biblehub and search for slave. that will give you a more accurate portrayal.

        • Kodie

          Did it ever occur to you that there is no such thing as a true conversion to Christ? That it is self-deception? And that when one realizes they were deceiving themselves, the whole thing collapses. You seem deep in it yourself, such that you never considered it from another perspective.

        • Susan

          funny. you’re twisting the argument here just you did in the piece

          Funny. You’re failing to explain how Bob S. has twisted the argument here just as you failed to explain how he twisted it in the article.

          how is it that someone who claims to have been a Christian all of a sudden decides that they don’t believe in God any longer?

          From where I sit as a long time lurker and recently hyperactive commenter, it appears that Bob critically examined “the” bible and christian claims and found them wanting. I have to agree.

          it pretty much would be discerned that you never had a true conversion to Christ.

          Bullshit.

          i would recommend that anyone who wants to understand the true nature of “servant” or slave go to biblehub and search for slave. that will give you a more accurate portrayal.

          More accurate how? I thought you told us to read “the” bible.

          Many of us have. Why is biblehub’s portrayal more accurate?

        • Urbanlemur

          it’s not more accurate…it’s just an accurate portrayal of what the Bible states. nothing wrong with that.

        • Susan

          it’s not more accurate…

          A comment ago, you described it as “more accurate”. Which is it? I’ll address either.

          it’s just an accurate portrayal of what the Bible states

          OK. So it is more accurate. By what measure? How do you evaluate that?

        • Urbanlemur

          because it uses Scripture references AND Hebrew definitions.

        • adam

          Exactly how I portrayed it:

          Slaves are purchased PROPERTY that you can beat as much as you like as long as they live for a day or two after you BEAT them.

          http://biblehub.com/leviticus/25-44.htm

          Redemption of Bondmen
          …43’You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God. 44’As for your male and female slaves whom you may have– you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. 45Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession.…

          Leviticus 25:45
          You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.

          Holman Christian Standard Bible
          Your male and female slaves are to be from the nations around you; you may purchase male and female slaves.

          Exodus 21:21
          but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

        • Susan

          it uses Scripture references AND Hebrew definitions.

          I just went to bible hub and typed in “slavery” and I don’t see how they undermine Bob Seidensticker’s article at all. He addresses these apologetics.

          Nor does that link do much to support your opening statement: “the notion that God or Christianity encourages or approves of slavery is utterly false.”

          For the love of Pete, please provide something.

          Earlier, I mentioned that I don’t think you’ve read your fabulous book. Just apologists’ interpretations. This only confirms my suspicions.

          Is there a specific link to biblehub that does something to argue with the article here?

          Have you read the article here? I’m starting to think you only read the title and didn’t even bother to listen to its arguments.

          You know, you’ve made a lot of claims and done absolutely nothing to support them.

          “Read the Bible. There are a lot of answers there.”

          “Answers to what? Where?”

          (Crickets.)

          “Read biblehub.” (subtext “There are a lot of answers there.”)

          OK. Where? Please be specific.

          You’re letting Jesus down.

        • I hear baby Jesus bawling.

        • MNb

          I can give you a theologian from the 18th Century who defended contemporary slavery by “using Scripture references AND Hebrew definitions”.
          So we are immediately back at Susan’s question: “By what measure? How do you evaluate that?”

        • I feel moved by the Spirit to back up your claim with a quote from one such book (Slaves Without Masters, 1857):

          If we prove that domestic slavery is, in the general, a natural and necessary institution, we remove the greatest stumbling block to belief in the Bible; for whilst texts, detached and torn from their context, may be found for any other purpose, none can be found that even militates against slavery. The distorted and forced construction of certain passages, for this purpose, by abolitionists, if employed as a common rule of construction, would reduce the Bible to a mere allegory, to be interpreted to suit every vicious taste and wicked purpose.

        • Kodie

          I suppose it also never occurred to you that these were rationalizations to keep you from being horrified and leaving this disgusting faith?

        • So some interpretations of the Bible are correct and others are wrong? How do you tell the difference? In particular, how can you tell which camp you’re in–the accurate or the inaccurate camp?

        • Kodie

          as a long time lurker and recently hyperactive commenter,

          A positive addition. If anyone wanted to know what I’d hope to sound like if I could keep my temper, it would definitely be you.

        • Susan

          If anyone wanted to know what I’d hope to sound like if I could keep my temper, it would definitely be you.

          Thanks Kodie. That’s about the sweetest thing you could say to me. 🙂

          I’m just bumbling along but that made me smile.

        • MNb

          Personally I don’t want you to keep your temper and I suspect BobS doesn’t want to either. One of the factors that might very well contribute to the success of his blog (the comments regularly go well over 1000 – compare other atheist blogs!) is the variety of characters. If this is correct this blog needs you as much as it needs Susan.

        • Kodie

          Nothing to worry. I just don’t have time to measure my words, and after agonizing to write short, pleasant emails for work and being so careful, I come here to say what’s really on my mind. It’s just that sometimes I’ll see something someone writes and think, I wish I could have put it so well.

        • MNb

          “recently hyperactive commenter”
          What Kodie writes.

        • I’m trying (without success) to cajole you into providing evidence and arguments either in favor of the God position or rebutting something that I’ve said in a post. What do I gotta do?

          As for deconversion from Christianity, there are many Christians you could ask (example: one of the atheist blogs is from ex-pastors). No, it rarely happens “all of a sudden.” Often, it’s reading the Bible and really paying attention to what it’s saying (instead of papering over the crazy bits) that does it.

        • adam

          Let’s go right to the ‘bible’

        • Nonsense

          Who cares if your impressed? Your arguments are not impressive to him either.

        • adam

          ….

        • Kyle Wheaton

          Kodie, quality stuff here, your putting into words hours upon hours of frustrated conversations with Christians.
          At a certain point you need to see the major holes in the bible and start exploring into other things instead of taking the “God is the answer for everything” approach. If Jesus really was real, and I’m not saying he isn’t/wasn’t, then why do human beings who get beyond less than a fraction of what eternity taste like get punished the most terrible punishment for things no one can help.
          It’s like God got a new puppy and it pissed on the floor, but instead of God putting him in puppy timeout for a few moments, he throws the puppy into the bathroom and leaves him in there until for all eternity.
          Human punishment after death created by God, shows clearly, he is either not ALL loving or Hell doesn’t exsist.
          Personally, I think we have enough human punishment today with just not even knowing where we really came from or our purpose as a species.

        • Nonsense

          Why does he have to see certain holes and explore other things? Why does it matter if he lands in the Bible believing camp

        • MNb

          So you believe in your christian god because you have read the Bible, which your recommend us to read to convince us that we should believe in your christian god.
          CIrcular argument.

        • adam

          So the ‘god’ of Abraham is their and YOUR god?

          I asked a Muslim and he said you are lying, that you have to lie. Their ‘god’ is the ‘god’ of Abraham.

          Since you’ve already lied about slavery, you have a history of LYING.

          So that means YOU do have the same god as the Muslims, you just HAVE to LIE.

        • Susan

          how about you start by reading the Bible?

          I read it. Humans. Most of it is really not very good. Much of it (like the Koran) is horrifying.

          What led you to the conclusion that it’s anything but human writings?

          it has lot a lot of answers for you there.

          Answers to what? Specifically where?

        • And you read other people’s holy books? If not, why ask others to read yours? Yeah, I know it’s popular among English speakers, but popularity hardly equates to correctness, especially given the thousands of nutty religions humans have invented through the millennia.

        • Nonsense

          I read other religion’s books and I just disagree with them. Is that okay with th you Bobbie? You seem to have an issue when people don’t fall in line with atheism

        • Yes, that’s fine with me, Andy. Not sure what the problem is.

        • adam

          Yes, a lot of answers…

        • adam

          I am uncomfortable with you because you seem to have the NEED to LIE to convince people.

        • MNb

          “as voluntary slavery was widely practiced during biblical times, God put into place laws that would protect the lives and health of slaves”
          Given the fact that the Bible is your all time favourite book – likely even infallible – would you support voluntary slavery in the 21st Century? If no, why do you deviate from your all time favourite book here? If yes I’m ready to buy your daughters. I can use some maid servants for the next seven years.

          Exo 21:7 “And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.”

          I promise you not to beat your daughters so hard that they will die. But I have no doubt you will be OK with me using a stick.

          Exo 21:20 “And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.”

          What’s your price? I want to make a deal with you.

        • Nonsense

          Would it matter if he biblically answered your question?

        • MNb

          No, because it cannot be demonstrated that the Bible is relevant for the 21st Century and that’s what my questions were about.
          It would matter though if he just answered it. Must I really explain to you how?

        • Susan

          the notion that God or Christianity encourages or approves of slavery is utterly false. all you have to do is read the Bible to see that.

          Yet here we have an article where someone who has clearly read “the” bible makes a good case that “the” blble both encourages and approves of slavery. Rather than show where his case is in error, you simply assert that he has “twisted” things without showing where.

          You don’t sound like someone who’s read your book. More like someone who’s listened to apologists interpret it.

        • Lemur: do us all a favor and read something outside your circle. Yes, I realize that there are plenty of people eager to pat you on the head and assure you that you’ve backed the right horse. But if you want to sit at the adult table, you need to do the hard work and analyze opposing arguments.

          Read the 2 posts thoroughly and then tell me what of this list of yours is still unaddressed.

          what i don’t understand is why someone like Seidensticker feels he has to twist Scripture in order to authenticate his distaste for it.

          Since we’re sharing: what I don’t understand is why someone who seems well educated like you has this much confidence with so little research. Instead of ignoring the post and blathering on about why your position is correct, I suggest you address them directly, like an adult. Before other commenters thrash you for your ignorance.

          Oops … too late.

        • Urbanlemur

          thank you….and God bless you all.

        • Taking the loving high road? Or is this just “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”?

          God is more likely to bless you if you engage with the arguments instead of offering content-free rejections.

        • Urbanlemur

          now that’s an interesting comment coming from an atheist. no thanks, i’ll let the Bible speak for itself.

        • Because the atheists are the ones eager to engage in actual arguments and the Christians like to make content-free claims?

          i’ll let the Bible speak for itself.

          And therein lies the problem: the Bible is a mirror. You see yourself in it, and everyone sees their own version.

        • Urbanlemur

          and why is it that “supposed” Christians who become atheists feel that they have to mock God and His Word and malign those who truly do love God and His Word. why can’t they simply say, “you know, it was nice but i don’t believe it anymore” and walk away from it. why is there the propensity for them to twist Scripture and present to the world what they believe is the “real” truth according to them? what happened to “agree to disagree”?

        • Kodie

          There’s no “supposed”. Insulting people doesn’t make what you believe any truer. And if Christians would believe what they believe but not seek to overthrow the government with their fantasy they cannot prove, nor even agree on, as a cohesive group, then nobody would give a shit.

        • Urbanlemur

          insulting? really? show me where i insulted you.

        • Kodie

          You believe the lies that true Christians don’t leave the faith, and insult atheists who used to be sincere Christians. You really want to believe that it’s so true nobody could leave, but guess what, it’s a fantasy, and plenty of sincere Christians come to recognize that it has no basis in reality.

        • Urbanlemur

          you’re right in a sense. i don’t believe (and many share this) that someone who claims to be a Christian and then turns away ever had a true conversion. i know you and many people do not like it but that’s the truth of it.

        • Kodie

          It just makes you feel better to believe it, but it’s demonstrably not true.

        • I’m sure there are thousands of ex-Christians who would assure you that they were more dedicated than you. They’d say that they were in the same position. How then can you be convinced that you are a true Christian?

        • Nonsense

          I am convinced they were not based upon 1 John.

        • Tell me more. What about that book supports this conclusion?

        • Susan

          I don’t believe (and many share this)

          Irrelevant. Unless you accept Muslim hell because you treat a mere prophet as a god. You really need to make a case.

          that someone who claims to be a Christian and then turns away ever had a true conversion

          How do you measure “true” conversions? Christians love to say “true” but it’s a meaningless term in these statements.

          I know you and many people do not like it

          It doesn’t matter if I like it or not. It does matter that this is the worst kind of thinking. And ad hoc rationalization to explain away the presence of real people who realized christian claims are not supported.

          You could prove us all wrong by supporting them. Can you?

          but that’s the truth of it

          Why should anyone believe that? Why do you believe it?

        • MNb

          Because you “don’t believe that someone…. ever had a true conversion” “that’s the truth of it”?
          Wow, I have met many arrogant christians, but you top them all.

        • Dys

          Yes, it’s obnoxious because it’s yet another example of Christians pretending to have knowledge they don’t possess. They do the exact same thing when claiming that atheists secretly know a god exists. Too many Christians mistakenly believe that they have carte blanche to make ignorant and stupid comments about the convictions, past or present, of people’s beliefs. They don’t, and neither do you.

          That’s the real truth of it.

        • Nonsense

          Actually his argument is biblically based. Regardless of your position on the Bible since he claims to be a Christian it makes sense he would look to it. Kind of weird that his thoughts on this offend you so much

        • Dys

          It’s nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s offensive because it’s blatantly self-serving tripe meant to justify their baseless assertions of knowledge. Not weird at all. The fact that an insult is biblically based doesn’t magically make it not an insult.

          What is kind of weird is responding to comments made over 2 years ago. Yet I suspect you’ll have an excuse for it as well.

        • Kodie

          It’s a home-schooling Christian creationist – of course they’re googling old atheist blog posts in the middle of the night.

        • Dys

          Looking through some of his other Disqus comments, it’s pretty clear that spouting nonsense is pretty much all he’s capable of.

        • Kodie

          Relying on whatever the bible says about atheists instead of what atheists say is fucking ridiculous. It’s funny you use the word “offend” because you think it’s “weird” that people get it wrong and say stupid offensive things because the bible said to say these things to atheists, and you’re the one who’s actually offended enough to be posting in the middle of the night because you’re oblivious to why anyone would be offended by people who are repeating offensive things to us about us instead of listening to us and going, “oh, I never thought about it that way before.”

        • MNb

          You got the things the wrong way. If his argument is biblically based that’s too bad for the Bible – ie it affects my position on it.

        • I have no interest in simply mocking Christianity. I say things that you may not like, but it’s with a higher goal than simply annoying you.

          It should be pretty obvious why I’m not going to go the “It was nice, but I don’t believe” route. Look around–you see politicians climbing all over each other declaring how much they luv Jeezus and how we must circle the wagons because the secularists are attacking. Prayer in the city council meetings, Creationism in the public schools, and so on. That’s why it’s an issue.

        • Nonsense

          Ingomesxhool and have zero problem teaching my kids all thoughts on the creation, etc. why does it bother you?

        • That’s English and … is that Klingon?

          Anyway, assuming I’ve understood you, it bothers me when anyone is taught something false in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence.

          Consider your own position. Does it bother you knowing that children are taught Scientology or Islam? If you’re out there trying to spread the Word, I’m guessing so. How much more offended would someone be if the things being falsely taught were in the face of scientific evidence?

        • adam

          I think the propensity to twist “Scripture” is the hallmark of the believer not the disbeliever.

          After all it was YOU who twisted the bible when your LIED and claimed:

          ok, here you go. the notion that God or Christianity encourages or approves of slavery is utterly false. all you have to do is read the Bible to see that. truth be told, anyone who was found to have sold another person into slavery was to be executed.

          How can you CLAIM ‘truth’ when you HAVE to LIE to make YOUR point?

        • Urbanlemur

          no lie there…only what you disbelieve.

        • adam

          You lie.

          Let the bible speak for itself….

          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)

        • MNb

          “feel that they have to mock”
          Because it’s fun. Btw have not even been a “supposed” christian, as I haven’t been baptized.

          “what happened to “agree to disagree”?”
          If you feel like that you just can ignore this blog. Nobody will haunt you. But as soon as you enter this blog you, like everybody here, including our dear BobS, potentially is a target of mockery.
          Because it’s fun.

          Mockery is far from the only point though.

        • adam

          Let the bible speak for itself….

          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)

        • Golly! Maybe that “let the Bible speak for itself” bit wasn’t such great advice.

        • adam

          Oh ye of little faith….

        • Dys

          i’ll let the Bible speak for itself.

          Then you’ve got no argument when it comes to the fact that the bible endorses slavery. You’ve just undermined yourself.

        • ChaznGwenie Gugins

          God may or may not have endorsed slavery. He seems to be giving rules but that does not mean the same as endorsing. God also allowed Moses to give rules on divorce but God was not in favor of divorce. God also wanted to lead his people before they had their first king, yet the people wanted a king like the surrounding nations had. I Samuel 8:7
          So it is clear God has allowed many things because the people wanted them. As I have said the slavery issue is odd and I do not understand all the things discussed in the bible about slavery.I certainly do not reject God because he may have allowed slavery.

        • Dys

          So it is clear God has allowed many things because the people wanted them.

          There’s a significant difference between allowing divorce, establishing a ruler, etc. and letting people own other people as property. The main point is that it’s very difficult to posit an omnibenevolent God (or even a perfectly moral one) that had it in his power to outlaw slavery and yet did not. Apologists recognize this problem, which is why they keep desperately trying to recast biblical slavery as indentured servitude.

          But there is a tacit endorsement in allowing a blatantly immoral institution like slavery. And when you have God telling the Hebrews to get their slaves from neighboring countries, it certainly sounds like an endorsement by any reasonable definition.

          I certainly do not reject God because he may have allowed slavery.

          Of course not. Neither do I. I don’t believe in God because I see no compelling evidence whatsoever to support his existence. The problem of evil doesn’t disprove God, but it does throw a wrench in the works for some of his claimed properties. And the only real escape from it is the cliched non-answer of Mysterious Ways.

        • ChaznGwenie Gugins

          Simply because you are someone who feels God should have handled things differently doesn’t prove anything other than you do not agree with God.History is full of beings that did not agree with God. See Ezek 28:12-19 and Isaiah 14:12-20 to see one being that wanted it his way!!

        • adam

          “Simply because you are someone who feels God should have handled things differently doesn’t prove anything other than you do not agree with God.”

          No, it is more that YOUR ‘god’ doesnt demonstrate any ‘god’ qualities.

          It is almost like the bible was written by murderous, misogynistic, homophobic MEN..

        • Dys

          Stories in a book do not constitute evidence that a god exists, nor do they automatically qualify as history. Like I said, the escape hatch is always going to be “God works in mysterious ways” – it’s the cop out answer to the blatant immorality God endorses/allows/commands.

        • Chaz: You do know that this is an atheist blog and that many of the commenters are atheists, right? We’ll consider arguments for God’s existence, but we won’t take it as a given. Bible quotes won’t help your argument.

          If you want to convince us of that remarkable claim, you must provide some pretty impressive arguments and evidence.

        • ChaznGwenie Gugins

          Fair enough Bob. I will bow out of the conversation at this point. Have a nice day and good luck on this site.

        • adam

          ..

        • If providing good evidence for the existence of God isn’t your thing, then thanks for dropping by. But if you have good arguments, you’re welcome to share them with us.

          We don’t accept incredible supernatural claims just because you’d like us to.

        • Nonsense

          Lol! This is hilarious. You don’t care what he presents. You are iron clad in our beliefs so what exactly could actually bring.

          It’s the same stuff the Pharisees and scribes brought to Jesus. Just one more sign ….

          Nothing would be sufficient for you. Why don’t you admit that? You have no problem pointing out that this is an atheist blog so why don’t you complete the statement: nothing anyone brings here will convince you otherwise.

        • You don’t care what he presents. You are iron clad in our beliefs so what exactly could actually bring.

          Wrong again. I follow the evidence. Give me sufficient evidence that Odin exists, and I’m there. Or Yahweh.

          Nothing would be sufficient for you. Why don’t you admit that?

          Uh … because it’s not true?

          Give me your best argument for God’s existence.

        • adam

          “Simply because you are someone who feels God should have handled things differently doesn’t prove anything other than you do not agree with God.”

          It not that we ‘feel’ YOUR ‘god’ should have handled things differently, it is that YOUR ‘god’ does not handle them in a Godly fashion, but in a fashion written to cover for the fact that this ‘god’ is just imaginary.

        • I think you’re imposing your views on God and the Old Testament. How do you know God wasn’t in favor of divorce? That he gave rules to Moses makes clear that he was. Ditto slavery–an ordinary guy like you might impose rules to make the best of a bad institution. An omnipotent deity like God can do way more than that.

          God didn’t like kings? Consider how the Bible was written–first by a prophet or scholar with this opinion, next by one with that opinion. One book says God doesn’t like kings, and another says something else.

          I certainly do not reject God because he may have allowed slavery.

          But what does the Bible look like but a book written and inspired solely by men? A book that puts rules about slavery into God’s mouth? Does that really look like what an omnibenevolent god would actually say?

        • ChaznGwenie Gugins

          Not quite. God did not favor divorce. How do I know? I know from scripture, how do you know differently.? Read Genesis 2:24 God said man will cleave to his wife and become one flesh. In God’s view marriage was permanent. Read Mat 19:7-9 where Jesus is telling you why God permitted divorce. Because of the hardness of man’s heart. That’s how I know. want to show me how you know?

        • adam

          ” Because of the hardness of man’s heart. ”

          And THIS is the VERY BEST that YOUR ‘god’ is capable of?

          Then why call it ‘god’?

        • Hardness of hearts is like kryptonite to God–he just can’t overpower it.

          Iron chariots, too.

        • Greg G.

          Paul got 1 Corinthians 7:10-12 from Deuteronomy 24:1-4, which has no provision for women to divorce so he says the Lord ordered that part but Paul thought men should not divorce, either. The law of the land of the Corinthians allowed women to divorce their husbands.

          Mark copied from 1 Corinthians 7:10-12 when he had Jesus talking to his disciples. But that would make no sense to the disciples as women couldn’t divorce their husbands. Matthew and Luke caught that mistake and dropped it.

          Matthew 19:3-9 comes from Mark 10:2-12 and the part you are referring to comes second-hand from Paul, who was talking about the Lord who communicated through scripture, not directly from a historical Jesus. The whole thing is fiction.

        • Read Mat 19:7-9 where Jesus is telling you why God permitted divorce. Thats how I know. want to show me how you know?

          You’re pretty confident for a guy whose holy book is a sock puppet that can be made to say about anything you want. You already alluded to the bit about Moses and divorce. Here’s the verse: “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house” (Deut. 24:1).

          It’s as easy as that.

          I suppose you’ll say that that’s just what Mo said, but obviously God wouldn’t let anything get into the Bible that was amiss. Or perhaps you’ll say that God clearly didn’t want divorce to be that easy, but where’s the evidence for that?

        • ChaznGwenie Gugins

          Read Jesus words in Matthew 19:8
          Jesus says Moses, because of the hardness of your heart suffered you to put away your wife but from the beginning it was not so.
          The hardness of the people was the reason. And as far as God is concerned He does not care that you would have done things differently. I grow real tired of people that have what they perceive as a better way than God and think themselves smarter. You who do not believe in God do not show yourselves to be smart at all. You simply do not want to be held accountable to a creator so you have deceived yourselves.

        • Jesus says Moses, because of the hardness of your heart suffered you to put away your wife but from the beginning it was not so.

          I don’t think Dueling Bible Verses is where you want to go. That the Bible can be twisted so easily to say different things (1) doesn’t show that your holy book is particularly reliable or useful and (2) argues that it’s contradictory and therefore unlikely to have come from God.

          The hardness of the people was the reason.

          Not a very good argument. God says to himself, “Dang! These Hebrews have weird traditions on divorce, and I’d sure love to see them changed … but what can li’l ol’ me do? I’m just the omnipotent Creator of the Universe.”

          That doesn’t sound like how God works. He gave the Ten Commandments, with the death penalty for most of them. Doesn’t sound like God has any problems making clear how things have to be done.

          And as far as God is concerned He does not care that you would have done things differently.

          And that’s what you say after you know that God exists. Before that point, you look at the evidence, including what God is supposed to have said and done, and see if it sounds like what an omniscient, all-good god would do. If not, then you reject the supernatural claims.

          I grow real tired of people that have what they perceive as a better way than God and think themselves smarter.

          Then I fear you need to get real tired of me, real fast. Until I know that God exists (I don’t), I have no choice but to evaluate the supernatural claims with my own fallible brain. It ain’t much, but it’s all I’ve got.

          You simply do not want to be held accountable to a creator so you have deceived yourselves.

          Is that why you reject Islam, Mormonism, and Scientology? Or is it because the arguments for those religions are weak? And if you’re allowed to reject weak supernatural claims, will you extend that privilege to me as well?

        • Nonsense

          Who said he isn’t extending the privilege? Do you allow him to speak based upon his worldview?

          From reading your posts, ninotba chance. You are clearly an emotionally oven person.

        • You’re angry about something, but I have no idea what. Take a breath and explain it to me more thoroughly.

        • adam

          “You simply do not want to be held accountable to a creator so you have deceived yourselves.”

          Actually no, we dont believe that YOUR ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY.

          You on the other hand are really the one who does not want to be held accountable for your own actions, you want Jesus to take responsiblity for YOUR own actions.

        • ChaznGwenie Gugins

          You are quite right Adam. I am convinced from reading the bible that God is the creator and that I have sinned aginst him. I am think the penalty is harsh but its his creation so its his rules. Besides I believe if you accept Jesus as the son of God who dies a substitutionary death on our behalf you will be saved. I would like to live my life the way God had intended and I believe when he returns he will remake the earth and we can get on with fulfilling his plan that he had for us before Adam and Eve sinned. so yes I would rather had eternal life with God than face darkness without him.

        • adam

          “Besides I believe if you accept Jesus as the son of God who dies a substitutionary death on our behalf you will be saved.”

          So you’ve LIED
          It is not atheist who dont want to be held accountable it is ‘christians’ like YOU.

          I have no FEAR of IMAGINARY gods.

          But you should understand that even the ‘god’ is the bible is a ‘sinner’ according to the ‘bible’.

        • ChaznGwenie Gugins

          No lie. I said I was guilty, I just happen to have someone who will pay my penalty. If you want to suffer yourself then by all means just die in your sins. that is your right. I am finished here. I don’t think Bob cares much for the direction the conversation is going. I am not here to convince you of anything. I responded to the article about slavery so this is getting way off course.

        • If you want to suffer yourself then by all means just die in your sins.

          Speaking for myself, I’d be quite content to suffer in proportion to my sins in a Purgatory-like way. The Christian infinite-punishment hell is, of course, impossible for a loving god to have created.

          I don’t think Bob cares much for the direction the conversation is going.

          Keep giving us evidence and argument, and you’re welcome here forever. We don’t have a lot of use for evangelization, however.

        • Nonsense

          So, you don’t like people who disagree with you in the end. That’s awesome

        • MNb

          What’s even more awesome is your silly non-sequitur.

        • adam

          Of course, you’ve LIED
          It is not atheist who dont want to be held accountable it is ‘christians’ like YOU.

          I have no FEAR of IMAGINARY gods.

        • I am think the penalty is harsh but its his creation so its his rules.

          It doesn’t work that way. Once you know God exists, then you can accept whatever arbitrary nonsense he demands, I suppose. But before that point, when the claims for an omniscient creator who unaccountably looks no more morally enlightened than a Bronze Age barbarian, you question them.

          Besides I believe if you accept Jesus as the son of God who dies a substitutionary death on our behalf you will be saved.

          Why do you have to believe? You didn’t opt in to take on Adam’s sin; why must you opt in to take on Jesus’s saving sacrifice? Indeed, Paul says the same thing in Romans 5:19.

        • Nonsense

          How do you know he did not consider these points prior to his belief in God?

          You do realize it hits a point where everyone of us, including you, operate by a faith commitment regardless of what we ascribe. There comes a point where peeps agree to disagree.

          So, this guy hasn’t thoroughly studied Biblical slavery. Who cares? After he studies, he may agree with your assertion but still worship the god of the Bible, which is his right.

        • You do realize it hits a point where everyone of us, including you, operate by a faith commitment regardless of what we ascribe.

          No, I don’t realize that. I don’t think I use faith (defined as: belief without sufficient evidence or in the face of contrary evidence) for anything. I do use trust however (defined: belief supported by sufficient evidence and which will change if/when the evidence changes).

          So, this guy hasn’t thoroughly studied Biblical slavery. Who cares? After he studies, he may agree with your assertion but still worship the god of the Bible, which is his right.

          Yes, that’s possible. I’m simply trying to reach agreement on what the Bible says about slavery.

        • MNb

          “Who cares?”
          If I were Chaz I would care.

        • MNb

          Eternal life with your god (an ethically deprived one) is the same darkness you try to avoid so hard.

        • Nonsense

          Why would anyone want to speak with someone who references someone’s bible to a sock puppet?

        • My goal isn’t to offend. If you’d like to chat about anything, let me know.

          My criticism is of Christians who bend the Bible to make it look more like them. Aren’t you critical of them as well?

        • MNb

          Why do you?

        • MNb

          “I certainly do not reject God because he may have allowed slavery.”
          Neither do I. My three main reasons to reject god do not contain the word slavery.
          However the OT providing rules for slavery goes against the “God is Good” stuff many christians like so much.

        • Greg G.

          The Bible says “Thou shalt not kill” came from God. It doesn’t have “Thou shalt not enslave people.” But it also says God commanded the killing of women and children which is the highest degree of endorsement. So you can’t really say what God endorses or not.

          It’s like the Bible was written by people trying to justify whatever they wanted to do at a given time.

        • Dys

          This is the Christian version of “Fuck you for demolishing my poorly researched argument”.

        • adam

          READ your bible…

        • Dys

          The passage about man-stealing wasn’t about outlawing selling people into slavery, it was about stealing other slaveowner’s slaves.

          what i don’t understand is why someone like Seidensticker feels he has to twist Scripture in order to authenticate his distaste for it.

          Uh, you’re the one making poor excuses and twisting scripture to get around the distasteful parts. Like most people who don’t bother to read the bible very critically, you’ve failed to recognize the fact that the bible describes two different types of slavery. You’d think, for how much Christians claim to read the bible, they’d have a more comprehensive understanding of it. But unfortunately, adamantly sticking to devotional interpretations numbs their brain to any other possibility.

        • Yep, two different types of slavery, just like the ones in America.

          I should write a post.

  • Urbanlemur

    many folks here are incensed that i actually wrote an opposing post. wow, what responses! i give it to you that you folks are adamant about what you believe and that’s fine. but you know what? true Christians are very adamant about what we believe also and get offended just like you do with us. we take God very seriously just as He takes us seriously. but i won’t waste any more of your time. i have other things to do just like you probably do also. have a blessed life.

    • Kodie

      “Incensed”? Don’t hurt your arm patting yourself on the back. You didn’t make your case that there is a god, and you defended the practice of slavery, because slavery’s always good when god says it is.

    • Wrong again. You’ve had the problem explained to you many times. Providing a competent Christian argument would be fine. We’d welcome the challenge. The problem, as you seem unable to understand, is that you’re giving us nothing. You’ve got nothing but schoolyard reasoning.

      Being adamant isn’t the point.

      You don’t have any arguments, do you?

      • adam

        Probably this one:

      • adam

        Probably this one as well:

      • ChaznGwenie Gugins

        I too believe in God but I do have a problem with some of the slavery practices and others I simply do not understand. I am unclear why a non-Hebrew slave was to be permanent property yet Hebrew slaves can be free after 7 years. I also understand how some people were better off as slaves because they could not provide for themselves.or their family. Remember there was no food stamp program, no unemployment compensation and no welfare office so a person falling on hard times did not have the same options as are provided in the united states currently.
        But I must admit I have not spent a lot of time pouring over the details. I do believe in God and if your argument against either following God or that God does not exist because he allowed slavery I find the argument weak. You or I do not have a clue about the culture and acceptable practices of 3000 years ago.

        • I do have a problem with some of the slavery practices and others I simply do not understand.

          What’s hard to understand? It seems pretty clear to me. God in the Old Testament looks just like other Bronze Age gods of the time—simply a Superman version of a man of the time.

          I think what you mean by “do not understand” is that it looks on its face as pretty bad stuff, and you feel obliged to shoehorn that into some sort of reasonable box.

          I am unclear why a non-Hebrew slave was to be permanent property yet Hebrew slaves can be free after 7 years.

          Is it unclear? The Other usually gets the short end of the stick compared to people who are like me.

          I also understand how some people were better off as slaves because they could not provide for themselves.or their family.

          Yeah … God is omnipotent. Is that the best he can do? “I’ll just provide the institution of slavery as a safety net for my most cherished creation” doesn’t sound like God.

          Remember there was no food stamp program, no unemployment compensation and no welfare office

          Remember: God loves us to pieces and can do anything.

          if your argument against either following God or that God does not exist because he allowed slavery I find the argument weak. You or I do not have a clue about the culture and acceptable practices of 3000 years ago.

          God looks identical to the Bronze Age men that wrote of him … almost as if they created him. That’s the argument.

        • Kimberly Matthews

          what a lot of people do not understand is that the Hebrew Israelites were put into slavery because of disobedience to God’s Laws, Statues and Commandents- for following after false gods read Dueteronomy 28 thru 34 of God’s blessings and curses for the Israelites, this is why God allowed slavery! [TransAtlanic Slave Trade] now these people [Hebrew Israelites] or so called Negroes were the one’s taken from West Africa { this is where they had migrated to] and were sold by the Tribal Africans- they were the ones that sold our ancestors [ if you are an American Negro or Black Person as we are labeled] we were sold into slavery to the white man, yokes of Iron were put around their necks and they were shipped to the four corners of the earth.– now in the Bible there were different ways or reasons to enslave people as in Genesis 37;28 where Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery to the Ish’me-el-ites for 20 pieces of silvers. Now if a Hebrew servant was brought, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing, if he came in by himself ,he shall go out by himself; if he were married,then his wife shall go out with him, but If his master had given him a wife, and she had bore him sons and daughters; the wife and children shall be her masters [ the children by birth would be slaves], and he [her husband] shall go out [leave] by himself. And if the servant shall plainly say I love my master, my wife and my children, I will not go out free: then the master shall bring him into the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul, and he shall serve him forever. This is called self sale [the servant sold himself to his master to stay with his wife and children]. Another answer to enslavement in the Bible, is when there was war- against their enemies, they would smite every male with the edge of a sword; but the women, the children, the cattle, all that is in the city and the spoils of the enemies would be confiscated [enslaved by capture]. also read; { Leviticus 25:39-thru-55 } It says; And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxed poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shall not compel him to serve as a bondservant: But an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile; And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return, For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as bondmen. Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God. Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids, Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall be your possession, and ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever, but over your brethern the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour. { therefore slaves can be purchased or attained as an inheritance, as in Leviticus 25:45-46}..Here is one more read { 2nd.Kings 4:1-7}This is where a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets { she cried unto Elisha} because her husband had died and apparently he owed a creditor, so the creditor came to take her two sons to be bondsmen, to pay the debt. In Biblical times there were a lot of ways and reasons for people being enslaved or put into slavery as well as in these days and times in America and in other countries.
          God allows slavery to happen for various reasons, Sometimes to inflict punishment for being disobedience, for capture during war etc. But man also unrighteously and hatefully enslaves his fellow man for his own evil selfish, wicked agenda, but rest assured, everyone will be Judged! especially the enslaver.

        • Not really sure what the point of all that was.

          American slavery had indentured servitude (for people who were like us) and chattel slavery (for people who weren’t). Old Testament slavery was the same.

          Doesn’t put God in a very good light, does it?

        • Susan

          what a lot of people don’t understand is that the Hebrew Israelites were put into slavery because of disobedience to God’s laws.

          I know the story. But your inability to demonstrate that there is any truth to this is not a problem with my “understanding”.

          The rest is more gibberish. And preaching.

        • MNb

          “Now if a Hebrew servant was brought, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing.”
          Which did not apply to black slaves. What does tell you about the OT god? It tells me that he’s a racist.

          “God allows slavery to happen for various reasons, Sometimes to inflict punishment for being disobedient, for capture during war, to pay a debt owed.”
          Captured during war? You just justified “so called Negroes were the one’s taken from West Africa and were sold by the Tribal Africans” because they were all captured during war.

          “this is where they had migrated to”
          You seem to think Hebrews were black. It’s unscientific nonsense. as DNA research has made clear.

    • MNb

      So you don’t want to make a deal with me regarding your daughers, whom I’d like to purchase as housemaids.
      I suppose you reject your own Holy Book after all. I’m not surprised.

    • Dys

      You take God so seriously you couldn’t be bothered to actually understand what the bible really says about slavery, nor make a good argument trying to excuse the bible’s endorsement of it. And then you feel the need to undeservedly pat yourself on the back, mistaking the refutations of your poorly reasoned arguments as some evidence that you accomplished something.

      have a blessed life.

      This type of send off has become the failed apologist’s “fuck you”. They’re just not honest enough to come out and say it.

  • ArcaneLife

    The Last comment is a joke. Whether you or I would like to agree or not, America has always drawn inspiration from the Bible. An accurate study of the founding fathers and those who put their lives on the line to forge this nation were Bible believing Christian.Unfortunately, they exhibited flaws and thats why your last statement made me laugh because you said “no slavery” as if to infere that the US at its inception wasnt a nation built on slaves.( right?) That we most be honest. I am a black person and quite familiar with what transpired in American Colonialism and how black people were treated as second class citizens. It is true that Many people owned slaves(even Africans had “slaves” although we kept our identity and culture among ourselves) before we were extradited( if I can put it that way) to the ” Land of the free and the home of the brave”.
    the “slavery” that the Bible promote is not the same as the one America had in place. You may say I’m ignorant but that is the case. Both societies were different in how one officiated. Not everybody could survive and make a living especially at a time where the amount of animal (Cattle, Sheep, etc) determined wealth. Often times people sold themselves as you stated correctly in order to survive. This was prevalent in other societies. When dealing with a society where welfare and reforms for all is virtually non existence, what alternative did people have to survive, feed themselves or their families? The Jewish laws and what transpired in America was different.
    One. “Slavery in America” strip Blacks of their identity, assigned to them “white” names( if there is such a thing.
    Two. It was perpetuated to make the white race a superior group to Blacks. The falsifying belief you made that this was similar is further compounded by the fact that they A master could actually Marry one of his daughter to a “slave” under OT times. ( History in school never mention this to be the case).
    Thirdly. One of interest to me is that why did so many black people believe the Bible. I know the usual atheist I speak to will say that “Slave owners gave it to their servants” but since most black leaders are fully aware of what transpired in American Slavery, why did we have the Bible with us and each generation of black only tend to see more been raised and continuing to be Christian Ministers.Isn’t that a bit ironic that King Jr would use a book that he held a PhD in to lead the Charge for Civil Rights (I’m born in the 90’s BTW)
    But I have personaly been researching many black slaves and former slaves who became Christian and remained Christian afterwards. Why didn’t they abandon it. People like Frederick Douglas to name.
    I would love for you to respond.
    ECM

    • Greg G.

      The Jewish laws and what transpired in America was different.

      You don’t hear this from Christian sources much. They always get it wrong.

      The colonists from Europe thought of themselves as like the Israelites in the Bible. They bought foreign slaves. They had indentured servants from Europe and they hired free men.

      This passage shows the distinction between three types of workers:

      Exodus 12:43-45 (NRSV)43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45 no bound or hired servant may eat of it.

      Indentured (bound) servants were freed after 6 years. In the US, they were freed after 6 years. Here are two passages that describe this:

      Deuteronomy 15:12-17 (NRSV)12 If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set that person free. 13 And when you send a male slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. 14 Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today. 16 But if he says to you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his earlobe into the door, and he shall be your slave forever.You shall do the same with regard to your female slave.

      Exodus 21:2-6 (NRSV)2 When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt. 3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. 5 But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,” 6 then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

      Notice how a Hebrew could be tricked into becoming a permanent slave using family values? The Bible spells it out clearly for the slave owner exactly how to do it.

      Women did not get the indentured servant option.

      US slavery laws did not allow indentured servants to become permanent slaves.

      Exodus 21:7-11 (NRSV)7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly with her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.

      Here is a passage on buying permanent slaves who could be passed on in a will:

      Leviticus 25:44-46 (NRSV)44 As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves. 45 You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. 46 You may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property. These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one shall rule over the other with harshness.

      Notice that fellow Israelites were not to be treated with harshness, which implicitly allows non-Israelites to be treated harshly. How harshly?

      Exodus 21:20-21 (NRSV)20 When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

      A foreign slave could be beaten to death without penalty if they suffered at least a day before expiring. The punishments were harsh in surrounding verses but was unspecified here. That would allow for a slap on the wrist.

      There are some laws about Jubilee where slaves were released every fifty years. There is no record of that ever happening. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time but it got canceled before it was implemented.

      The slavery laws of the Americas were originally following the Bible slavery laws. The laws changed over the years just as the laws about Jubilee did.

    • Whether you or I would like to agree or not, America has always drawn inspiration from the Bible.

      And whether or not you like the fact, the founding fathers gave us a blatantly secular constitution.

      An accurate study of the founding fathers and those who put their lives on the line to forge this nation were Bible believing Christian.

      That’s nice. Nevertheless, they still gave us a secular constitution.

      as if to infere that the US at its inception wasnt a nation built on slaves.( right?)

      Wrong.

      I’m from Virginia. America had slaves. I get it.

      the “slavery” that the Bible promote is not the same as the one America had in place.

      And since the thesis of this post comes to precisely the opposite conclusion, go through it and show me where I made a mistake.

      When dealing with a society where welfare and reforms for all is virtually non existence, what alternative did people have to survive, feed themselves or their families?

      Seriously? You’re saying that times were tough in the land that God provided for his beloved children, and slavery was the only option people had to make ends meet? Doesn’t make God sound like an especially loving and thoughtful Creator.

      since most black leaders are fully aware of what transpired in American Slavery, why did we have the Bible with us and each generation of black only tend to see more been raised and continuing to be Christian Ministers.

      It is indeed ironic that black people accepted the subjugating religion of their masters. One hypothesis that sounds compelling to me is that the preacher might’ve been the most powerful and respected man in the black community, and that helped maintain Christianity’s prestige. But if you have other thoughts to explain this, I’d like to hear them.

      I have personaly been researching many black slaves and former slaves who became Christian and remained Christian afterwards. Why didn’t they abandon it.

      Good question, but let’s not lose sight of the primary issue here, the difference (or not) between American slavery and biblical slavery.

      • Only Some Stardust

        Christians deliberately threw ‘boons’ to Christian black people, like letting them not work on certain days, and did what they could to wipe out other religious beliefs among them.
        Also, some tried to use the contradictory piece of work that is the Bible to try and convince Whites not to enslave others, since you can make just about any claims you want with it if you squint hard enough, and such individuals would have been reluctant to give up one of their few ‘weapons’; if they couldn’t appeal to Whites via secular principles of kindness and compassion, they could appeal to their (perceived) Boss.

        edit: Wha? This is not the comment I hit reply to… dammit Disqus.

  • 2016 A.D. (or C.E. or whatever else), and there’s still idiots talking nice about slavery. Something that’s still happening today in many locations, particularly in tribal regions in the Mideast… *ugh* just *ugh*

    • I’ve commented about a podcast with two African-American men defending slavery (search for “Dan Savage”).

      This is what religion makes you do.

  • Slavery can be generally defined as follows:

    1. The condition in which one person is owned as property by another and is under the owner’s control, especially in involuntary servitude.
    2. (Law) the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
    3. The subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work

    So at least two conditions have to be met in order to properly be called slavery: (1) The person has to be forced into the position against their will, and (2) the person has to be made to perform some kind of labor, and paid nothing or next to nothing, for a certain amount of time, up to life. This would not generally include people punished for crimes in a just court of law. If anything meets these two conditions, it can be properly called slavery. I will argue that the Bible allowed for situations that meet these conditions.

    In the Old Testament foreign slaves could be acquired by war, purchase, or birth. Deut. 20:12-14 says that the Israelites could force the inhabitants of the region they call their “Promised Land” as well as “all the cities that are at a distance from [them] and do not belong to the nations nearby” into forced servitude if they surrender their land and belongings. If they don’t surrender, their towns will be besieged and their men will be killed and the women and children can be taken as booty. In Judges 1:28-34 it even says the Israelites forced the Canaanites, the Naphtalites, and the Amorites into servitude, all while the “LORD was with them.” 1 Kings 9:21 tells of how King Solomon conscripted foreign tribes who the Israelites couldn’t exterminate “to serve as slave labor” building temples, palaces, and the walls of towns. And to distinguish the rules between Hebrews and non-Hebrews, Leviticus 25:44-46 specifies that foreign slaves are not to be freed after the 7th year as a Hebrew servants do, they serve for life and can be inherited as property. This meets both of the conditions for slavery above in that under Old Testament law (1) persons could be forced into the position of subordination or property to another person against their will, or be born into that position, and (2) made to perform unpaid labor.

  • futureboy

    Great post!

    I’ve been reading about the history of American slavery and abolitionists, and one interesting document which popped up was The Bible Against Slavery (1838) by Theodore Dwight Weld:
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Bible_Against_Slavery

    Have you ever seen/considered the arguments presented there? The main point is that the “servants” weren’t actually considered possessions or property. I somehow always come back to the masters being allowed to beat their slaves, so they are, by definition, considered property (that which you can damage you own).

    It’s an interesting read, though, and wondered if you’ve ever come across it.

  • Brad Magyar

    So, I’m confused by your position. Are you saying that the Bible is bad or that American slavery wasn’t that bad?

    • Kodie

      Uh…. slavery is bad. Christians who pretend slavery in the bible “wasn’t that bad” are bad.

      • Candy Smith

        “Bad”

        What is your basis for what is “bad” and not “bad”? What makes your opinion right?

        “Usually the slavery thing is coming from an Atheist trying to somehow invalidate God or the Bible.To me the atheist first has to answer the question What’s wrong with slavery? I mean in the naturalistic worldview shouldn’t the stronger dominate the weaker? In fact shouldn’t the stronger encourage the slaves to breed more of the “weaker” perpetuating a slave race to serve the stronger? It would be a Darwinian dream come true. I’m not sure where the naturalistic moral imperative would come from other than personal preference.”

        • Greg G.

          In what way is slavery not bad, besides the perspective of a slave owner?

        • Kodie

          You are fucking mental, to start with. Owning another person as one would livestock is abuse. What’s wrong with abuse? Are you asking me what atheists would have a problem with abuse?

          You really don’t understand evolution in the least, and might be a terrorist. You don’t understand morality because of your religious delusion impediment.

        • What is your basis for what is “bad” and not “bad”? What makes your opinion right?

          You seem to imagine an objective morality. I see no evidence of such a thing. Got any?

          I mean in the naturalistic worldview shouldn’t the stronger dominate the weaker?

          Nope. It’s survival of the fittest, but fittest doesn’t mean “most fierce.”

          Read something besides Christian claptrap.

    • Greg G.

      American slavery was bad, American slavery was based on Bible sanctioned slavery, so the Bible is bad.

  • Korus Destroyus

    Sorry, these are bad similarities. Several thousand laws were written regarding slavery in America. Being able to cherry pick similarities actually doesn’t make them the same at all. And Jim is right, there is no chattel slavery in the Bible. You basically admit that for Hebrews, we have indentured servitude, but for Gentiles, you claim this is chattel slavery. Umm … why though? Is the only similarity that it happened for life? Because in many nations, indentured servitude can last for life. I’m not sure how that equates to chattel slavery.

    I’m also quite curious as to how you rationalize the biblical commands on the treatments of slave, including the Bible forbidding threatening a slave (Colossians 4:1), that the master must treat the slave with equality and justice (Ephesians 6:5-9), that a slave must be treated as if they were your brother (Philemon 15-16), and that masters and slaves were fundamentally equal (Galatians 3:28). Considering it’s an obvious fact that none of this was replicated in American slavery, that destroys the thesis of this entire post. And it is in fact the case that the Bible condemned the contemporary Roman slave trade.

    • Greg G.

      Being able to cherry pick similarities actually doesn’t make them the same at all.

      The similarities are easy to find. Major distinctions are harder to find.

      Slavery is sanctioned in the Ten Commandments. It is OK to own slaves but a horrible sin to covet your neighbor’s slave.

      Exodus 20:13-17 (NRSV)13 You shall not murder.14 You shall not commit adultery.15 You shall not steal.16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

      We don’t see a “Thou shalt not” against slavery. Other cultures of that time and in that vicinity ate pork but not the Hebrews so it is not just a cultural norm.

      Slaves were bought from foreigners with no questions asked. Indentured or bound servants were Hebrews who worked for six years and the males were rewarded with stock and goods. The colonies in America adopted this system with indentured servitude for six years for young British men and women and foreign slaves bought from foreigners kept for life and their offspring.

      Exodus 12:43-45 (NRSV)43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45 no bound or hired servant may eat of it.

      Leviticus 22:10-11 (NRSV)10 No lay person shall eat of the sacred donations. No bound or hired servant of the priest shall eat of the sacred donations; 11 but if a priest acquires anyone by purchase, the person may eat of them; and those that are born in his house may eat of his food.

      These passages show that purchased slaves were not indentured servants.

      Leviticus 25:44-46 (NRSV)44 As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves. 45 You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. 46 You may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property. These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one shall rule over the other with harshness.

      Slaves could be kept forever and could be bequeathed to the owner’s heirs. They could be treated like slaves and they are excluded from the injunction of not being treated harshly which was just for Israelis.

      Exodus 21:20-21 (NRSV)20 When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

      A slave could be beaten to death without punishment if they could walk away from it and suffer through the night, or at least until sunset when the next day started.

      Deuteronomy 15:12-17 (NRSV)12 If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set that person free. 13 And when you send a male slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. 14 Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today. 16 But if he says to you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his earlobe into the door, and he shall be your slave forever.You shall do the same with regard to your female slave.

      Exodus 21:2-6 (NRSV)2 When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt. 3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. 5 But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,” 6 then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

      These passages show that a Hebrew could be an indentured servant. Even a Hebrew could be made a slave for life. Both passages spell out exactly how to use family values to con an illiterate teenager into becoming a slave for life.

      But the New Testament is different, right? Jesus says to not have slaves, right? Wrong!

      Luke 12:47-48 (NRSV)47 That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

      Jesus is in favor of slaves being beaten, even for no reason.

      In Philemon, Paul is writing to the owner of Onemisus in order to return the slave to his rightful master. He doesn’t make a plea for his release, only that he not be treated badly, because that apparently didn’t go without saying in the first century Christian community.

      But the rest of the New Testament calls for slaves to be freed, right? Nope. They are to obey their earthly masters.

      Ephesians 6:5-9 (NRSV)5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; 6 not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, 8 knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free. 9 And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.

      Colossians 3:22 (NRSV)22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord.

      1 Timothy 6:1 (NRSV)6 Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed.

      Titus 2:9 (NRSV)9 Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back,

      1 Peter 2:18-20 (NRSV)18 Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. 19 For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20 If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval.

      Was that because it was just the way society was in the first century? No, here is a Roman pagan writer who thinks of slaves as friends who should be treated well.

      “‘They are slaves,’ people declare. NO, rather they are men.

      ‘Slaves! NO, comrades.

      ‘Slaves! NO, they are unpretentious friends.

      ‘Slaves! NO, they are our fellow-slaves, if one reflects that Fortune has equal rights over slaves and free men alike. That is why I smile at those who think it degrading for a man to dine with his slave.

      But why should they think it degrading? It is only purse-proud etiquette… All night long they must stand about hungry and dumb… They are not enemies when we acquire them; we make them enemies… This is the kernel of my advice: Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.

      ‘He is a slave.’ His soul, however, may be that of a free man.”

          — Seneca the Younger (4 BC – 65 AD), Epistulae Morales, 47.

      Jesus doesn’t think slaves should even be thanked for their service.

      7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded?” –Jesus, Luke 17:7-9

      Both the Old Testament and the New Testament allow for slavery and even harsh treatment of slaves. It is dishonest when Christians try to equivocate slavery with indentured servitude, the way foreign slaves are treated with the way Hebrew servants are treated.

      Colonial slavery seems to have begun as Bible slavery. If it changed over time, it would be an indication that the Biblical laws didn’t work out as well as expected.

    • Several thousand laws were written regarding slavery in America. Being able to cherry pick similarities actually doesn’t make them the same at all.

      Seems to me that the highlights of American slavery was involuntary slavery for life. And that’s what Lev. 25:44-46 promises. So I guess they’re pretty much the same institution.

      You basically admit that for Hebrews, we have indentured servitude

      Admitted? No, I explained it.

      but for Gentiles, you claim this is chattel slavery. Umm … why though? Is the only similarity that it happened for life? Because in many nations, indentured servitude can last for life. I’m not sure how that equates to chattel slavery.

      Would “slavery for life” avoid this problem?

      The actual problem remains: God is OK with slavery for life. Kinda makes him look bad.

      I’m also quite curious as to how you rationalize the biblical commands on the treatments of slave, including the Bible forbidding threatening a slave (Colossians 4:1), that the master must treat the slave with equality and justice (Ephesians 6:5-9), that a slave must be treated as if they were your brother (Philemon 15-16), and that masters and slaves were fundamentally equal (Galatians 3:28).

      First, go back and prune from your list any examples of indentured servitude.

      Next, justify how God can be OK with slavery for life.

      Considering it’s an obvious fact that none of this was replicated in American slavery, that destroys the thesis of this entire post.

      Yes, that would . . . if it were true. It’s not. Biblical slavery was the same as American slavery.

      I should write a post about that.

      it is in fact the case that the Bible condemned the contemporary Roman slave trade.

      And yet God is OK with slavery for life. I think we’ve identified the problem.

      • Korus Destroyus

        “Seems to me that the highlights of American slavery was involuntary slavery for life. And that’s what Lev. 25:44-46 promises. So I guess they’re pretty much the same institution.”

        Chuckle. The vaguest, most general aspect of two slave systems are the same, which makes them the same institution. Or maybe duration of the slave system isn’t the only aspect of slavery. Perhaps treatment can be added.

        “The actual problem remains: God is OK with slavery for life. Kinda makes him look bad.”

        But how is the slave being treated? Perhaps reading my comment in full before beginning to respond would’ve helped you. Which is where my large number of NT quotes comes from. You don’t even manage to address it since it single-handedly destroys the post. The Bible forbidds threatening a slave (Colossians 4:1), says that the master must treat the slave with equality and justice (Ephesians 6:5-9), that a slave must be treated as if they were your brother (Philemon 15-16), and that masters and slaves were fundamentally equal (Galatians 3:28).

        Upon realizing this, you kinda just latch on to the point of “it lasts for your entire life”, essentially sacrificing almost everything you wrote in your blog post. What happened to all that evil treatment? If the worst thing about the biblical institution is that it lasts for life, I don’t really see how any outrage can be extracted. Game, set, match.

        • . The vaguest, most general aspect of two slave systems are the same, which makes them the same institution.

          Wrong again. “Slavery for life” is fundamental, not vague, since my argument was that biblical slavery was pretty much equivalent to American slavery. But good for you for giving it the old kindergarten try.

          But how is the slave being treated?

          The Good Book has an answer to all questions, my son. “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.”

          God wuvs you this much!

          Perhaps reading my comment in full before beginning to respond would’ve helped you. Which is where my large number of NT quotes comes from.

          We needn’t limit ourselves to the New Testament. God doesn’t change, remember? The OT has (how shall I put this?) a different perspective on slavery. And when we turn to the NT, Jesus doesn’t say anything about overturning this system. If he thought that the end was nigh and it didn’t matter, he was wrong; if he thought that slavery was A-OK, he looks like a bastard, hopelessly out of touch with modern morality.

          Dang! Can a god get a break, please?

          And before you say that the New Testament verses overturn or countermand or somehow otherwise make the OT moot, first tell me how you get past the Bible being contradictory.

          You don’t even manage to address it since it single-handedly destroys the post. The Bible forbidds threatening a slave (Colossians 4:1), says that the master must treat the slave with equality and justice (Ephesians 6:5-9), that a slave must be treated as if they were your brother (Philemon 15-16), and that masters and slaves were fundamentally equal (Galatians 3:28).

          That’s cute! You think that if you can find a Bible verse that says what you like, you can just quote that, and that’s the end of the story. You’re adorable! But let me let you in on a secret, little fella. The Bible is a bi-i-ig book, and it says a lo-o-ot of crazy shit. You really can’t cite the Bible saying one thing unless you’re sure it doesn’t contradict the Bible saying the opposite thing somewhere else. (Well, unless you don’t care about being honest, which I suppose I should keep as an option for you.)

          If the worst thing about the biblical institution is that it lasts for life, I don’t really see how any outrage can be extracted. Game, set, match.

          When we read the Bible honestly (you ought to try it sometime) and let all of it speak, the all-beneficent Yahweh turns out to be an asshole. Game, set, match.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “Wrong again. “Slavery for life” is fundamental, not vague, since my argument was that biblical slavery was pretty much equivalent to American slavery. But good for you for giving it the old kindergarten try.”

          That’s pretty much the only thing. I’m actually entirely right, since my comment addresses the countless obscure slavery laws you used as a comparison for biblical slavery. It’s all so very vague.

          “The Good Book has an answer to all questions, my son. “Anyone who beats their male”

          What about the New Testament? That was kind of the jab of the comment. The OT is pretty brutal. But this fails as an argument since we’re kind of discussing “biblical” slavery, not just the OT, and so the present day circumstances actually matter. Thank God not all people think this simply.

          “We needn’t limit ourselves to the New Testament. God doesn’t change, remember?”

          Who said God changes? This is pretty fanciful nonsense. The same objective morality from the same God can hold that different situations require different moral responses. We’re in a different circumstance than we were in the OT days, which may require a different moral response (i.e. NT). Unless you genuinely think that a moral code requires the same moral response to literally all situations.

          “And when we turn to the NT, Jesus doesn’t say anything about overturning this system.”

          So what? He doesn’t speak about slavery, period. But the rest of the NT couldn’t be more clear. And this is what it says (and something you still don’t address):

          The Bible forbidds threatening a slave (Colossians 4:1), says that the master must treat the slave with equality and justice (Ephesians 6:5-9), that a slave must be treated as if they were your brother (Philemon 15-16), and that masters and slaves were fundamentally equal (Galatians 3:28).

          And these rules, indeed, are incomparable to American slavery. Just admit it. You don’t need to hate Christianity to think it’s wrong.

        • It’s all so very vague.

          The Bible talks about slavery for life for “others.” And that’s how it was in the South (and elsewhere).

          On this overarching point, they were the same.

          What about the New Testament? That was kind of the jab of the comment.

          Oh, yeah, I understood. The OT shows God as a cruel slave master, so you’d rather change the subject. Let’s first get agreement on Yahweh’s rules for slavery. I’m not sure what there is to talk about w/r the New Testament. It’s not like Jesus gets a moral clue and declares that slavery is immoral.

          The OT is pretty brutal. But this fails as an argument since we’re kind of discussing “biblical” slavery, not just the OT

          Yahweh is unchanging, remember? It’s not like I’m citing Yahweh out of context. If Yahweh says slavery is A-OK, then that’s a rather bold black mark in the negative column. If you want to say that Jesus was a bit more moral, that’s fine, but it doesn’t change Yahweh’s indictment.

          Thank God not all people think this simply.

          Maybe some people have short memories. I’d rather hold Yahweh’s feet to the fire. Don’t blame me that the story says he’s unchanging.

          Who said God changes?

          We agree that he doesn’t? Great! I wonder why you keep wanting to turn the camera off Yahweh.

          The same objective morality from the same God can hold that different situations require different moral responses.

          OK—slavery for life isn’t OK in all situations. But it is for some. Let’s just let the Good Book® speak.

          We’re in a different circumstance than we were in the OT days, which may require a different moral response (i.e. NT).

          Irrelevant. I’m simply showing the skeletons in Yahweh’s closet. If you want to say that Jesus wasn’t quite so bad, that’s nice but irrelevant.

          So what? He doesn’t speak about slavery, period.

          Bingo. He knew slavery would be a social problem for millennia, and he didn’t do a single thing to stop it. He is magic, right? He could’ve eliminated a lot of suffering. I guess eliminating suffering isn’t how Jesus rolls. Or (more likely) he was fine with slavery.

          something you still don’t address

          Sure, let’s grant that the New Testament wasn’t quite as bad as the OT. Not the point.

          The Bible forbidds threatening a slave (Colossians 4:1), says that the master must treat the slave with equality and justice (Ephesians 6:5-9), that a slave must be treated as if they were your brother (Philemon 15-16), and that masters and slaves were fundamentally equal (Galatians 3:28).
          And these rules, indeed, are incomparable to American slavery.

          Wrong again.

          Say, I’ve got an idea: why don’t you actually read this post? It makes clear your error.

        • MR

          I’m just thinking that if I’m a slave…, by definition I’m not being treated with equality, justice, as a brother or equal. If I were being treated with equality, justice as a brother and equal, I wouldn’t be called a slave.

        • Kodie

          As a woman, I’m sure people think they are not sexists when they are. This is why they get offended if a woman opens her mouth to protest. I can extrapolate that any oppressed segment, such as “I can’t be a racist, I have a black friend” or whatever, oppressed minorities sure do not feel equal to the status quo, even if the status quo thinks they’re doing a great job, and of course, they don’t like to hear they’re doing a terrible job!

          I mean, I’m sure they thought they were treating their slaves like, a little better than animals, maybe, assuming they don’t expect more, and given how employees feel in the workplace like they are boxed into their role, like even if they try to break out with effort, they are taken for granted for being better than they need to be and kept low and powerless. If you don’t like it, change jobs, right, like anyplace you can get work will be different! No, they will see you as the most valuable lackey and keep you unpowerful and underpaid. If this happens today, do you really think anyone ever treated their slave like they were just a person with a job working for you (and by that, I mean, like a human being, like an equal)? It doesn’t happen at jobs today. People think you should be thankful to have a shitty job with low pay, no respect, and no real leverage or options NOW, so really do you think they treated slaves like a brother and equal? I think not!

        • epeeist

          If you want to say that Jesus was a bit more moral, that’s fine, but it doesn’t change Yahweh’s indictment.

          But Jesus is part of the Yahweh/Jesus/Paraclete trinity. So, if the trinity is unchanging then Jesus shares in the bad stuff. If Jesus is more moral then the trinity can’t be unchanging.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “The Bible talks about slavery for life for “others.” And that’s how it was in the South (and elsewhere).”

          Right, that’s one general (not all that significant) agreement. What I’m discussing is something so much very more important: the treatment of the slave.

          “Oh, yeah, I understood. The OT shows God as a cruel slave master”

          There’s no doubt the OT is unbelievably brutal. But aren’t we talking about Christianity here, not Judaism?

          “Irrelevant. I’m simply showing the skeletons in Yahweh’s closet”

          Umm, no, read your own post. The title says “Biblical slavery”, not “Yahweh” or “Old Testament” slavery.

          “Bingo. He knew slavery would be a social problem for millennia, and he didn’t do a single thing to stop it. He is magic, right?”

          He also didn’t speak about the protocols responding to volcanic eruptions. He spoke about the necessary moral codes to follow, and what comes after (such as abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade and whatnot) is simply a logical consequence of Jesus words. To give Jesus His unending credit, He did heal two slaves in the NT (Luke 7:1-10; Luke 22:51), proving He thought even slaves should not be abused. And that’s revolutionary for the time, no? That’s why we see the other NT authors come in and make it more clear.

          So, combining that with the other verses I’ve given, that’s a “Game, set, match” finish for your “biblical” comparison to American slavery. An “OT comparison” is a separate question – it is probably the case that OT slavery, in terms of treatment, was closer like American slavery. But the NT is just something else for the age it was written in.

        • Greg G.

          Right, that’s one general (not all that significant) agreement. What I’m discussing is something so much very more important: the treatment of the slave.

          You still haven’t read Leviticus 25:44-46 for comprehension. It says that fellow Israelites are not to be treated harshly but foreign slaves are to be treated like slaves, that is, they may be treated harshly, like being beaten per Jesus.

          There’s no doubt the OT is unbelievably brutal. But aren’t we talking about Christianity here, not Judaism?

          Umm, no, read your own post. The title says “Biblical slavery”, not “Yahweh” or “Old Testament” slavery.

          The Old Testament is in the Bible. It is the part with the laws about slavery that are not abolished in the New Testament or by Christianity.

          He did heal two slaves in the NT (Luke 7:1-10; Luke 22:51)

          Note that in Luke 7:1-10, the slave was owned by a Roman, not under Biblical law. Jesus did not tell the centurion that the slave should be freed. Jesus couldn’t cure slavery. In Luke 22:51, whoever cut the ear off would be subject to having his ear amputated per Exodus 21:23-25. Again, Jesus didn’t cure that slavery, either.. All you are doing is pointing at squirrels. Healing a slave does not counter all the verses in the Bible that endorse slavery.

          So, combining that with the other verses I’ve given, that’s a “Game, set, match” finish for your “biblical” comparison to American slavery.

          Ha ha ha ha! You admitted that both the Bible and colonial slavery had slavery for life, then said, “Squirrel!” repeatedly. You didn’t point to a single distinction between those types of slavery. You lose again.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “You still haven’t read Leviticus 25:44-46 for comprehension. It says that fellow Israelites are not to be treated harshly but foreign slaves are to be treated like slaves, that is, they may be treated harshly, like being beaten per Jesus.”

          Jesus didn’t say that, though, Leviticus said that. Jesus actively healed the slaves, actually. Which implies Jesus didn’t think their abuses should’ve happened to begin with … which implies you’re loading a load of bunk.

          “The Old Testament is in the Bible. It is the part with the laws about slavery that are not abolished in the New Testament or by Christianity.”

          OT: Beat crap out of foreign slaves
          NT: Treat slave like a brother, you’re not allowed to threaten them, etc, etc

          Easy clap.

          “Note that in Luke 7:1-10, the slave was owned by a Roman, not under Biblical law.”

          That’s irrelevant. To suggest that Jesus didn’t think this person was really a slave is a load of shite.

          “Healing a slave does not counter all the verses in the Bible that endorse slavery.”

          But I’m not saying the Bible bans slavery. I’m saying it enforces a form of “slavery” (or really indentured servitude in modern terms) where slaves cannot be mistreated.

          “Ha ha ha ha! You admitted that both the Bible and colonial slavery had slavery for life, then said, “Squirrel!” repeatedly. You didn’t point to a single distinction between those types of slavery. You lose again.”

          I destroyed you before you even wrote this. As I wrote to Uncle Bob, the distinction is in the treatment of the slave, not the duration of the slavery.

          “Luke has Jesus making a distinction between severe beatings and light beatings, but they are beatings all the same. The point of the parable is to make it seem like God is justified in punishment.”

          Sorry, “makes it seem like”? So you admit you’re imagining this interpretation of Luke 12:47-48?

          “Of course I picked Seneca to contrast Jesus. So what if there were other philosophers that disagreed with Seneca. Do you subscribe to the other philosophers about how to treat slaves and owning people. Seneca was ahead of his time.”

          Seneca was far behind Jesus. It’s well known that the Stoics failed to cause any sort of social change, for one. Again, the Stoics thought that nothing was to be done about slavery because the slave could just be personally good. But Christianity actually teaches to actively prevent harm to the slave.

          >”Squirrel!”

          Is this some new phrase?

        • Greg G.

          Jesus didn’t say that, though, Leviticus said that.

          Leviticus is in the Bible which makes it about Biblical slavery, the topic of the article. Why are you trying to change the subject?

          Jesus actively healed the slaves, actually.

          Mark 2:1-12 has Jesus heal a paralytic in Capernaum. This is based on the case in 2 Kings 1:2-4. Where Azahiah fell through a lattice, the paralytic was lowered through the roof. Where Elijah told Azahiah that he would never leave his bed, Jesus healed the paralytic and told him not to leave his bed there but to take it home with him.

          The story is another fictional miracle story based on a story from Elijah and Elisha.

          John 4:46-54 is about Jesus healing the son of a nobleman in Capernaum.

          Matthew 8:5 combines the two stories, making them about the paralyzed servant of a centurion in Capernaum. In Matthew 8:9, the centurion says, “I am also under authority” which doesn’t make a lot of sense but it seems to be taken from Jewish Wars 2.10.4 where Caesar sent Petronius with an army to place statues in the temple and to kill any that opposed him, but he was sympathetic to the Jews and explained to them “for I am under command as well as you.”

          Again the gospel story is supplemented with accounts of things that had nothing to do with the story.

          Luke 7:1-10 modifies Matthew’s version by having the servant being sick, rather than paralyzed, but near death.

          It is a fictional story based on a fictional story and modified with each telling with accounts that have nothing to do with it.

          Mark 14:45-49 is about Jesus’ arrest. A servant’s ear is cut off but Jesus doesn’t heal it. John 18:2-12 is another account where the servant’s ear is cut off. John even gives the servant’s name but doesn’t mention that Jesus screwed the ear back on. Matthew 26:47-56 has the ear cut off and Jesus doesn’t put it back on. Luke 22:47-53 has a shorter account of the arrest but includes the amputation but this time, Jesus poofs it back on.

          Perhaps Mark got the kiss of betrayal from 2 Samuel 20:9-10 where Joab kissed his brother and disemboweled him at the same time. The betrayal seems to come from Psalm 41:9, along with the sharing of bread. Proverbs 27:6 also has betrayal of a friend and kisses from an enemy..

          The original story is fiction and the ear healing is an additional fiction.

          The gospels are fiction but the Old Testament was considered law in real life.

          OT: Beat crap out of foreign slaves
          NT: Treat slave like a brother, you’re not allowed to threaten them, etc, etc

          Jesus: Beat your slaves because God punishes people which makes it OK.
          Not Jesus: Slavery is horrible. Free you slaves.

          I destroyed you before you even wrote this. As I wrote to Uncle Bob, the distinction is in the treatment of the slave, not the duration of the slavery.

          The OT law allowed a slave to be beaten to death if he suffered a day or two before dying. Their children were slaves for life and could be bequeathed. We hear the worst stories of slavery during the time leading up to the war. We do not have many actual stories like that from Judea because nobody was trying to end it because they thought it was from God.

          You still haven’t pointed out any major things in the colonies that don’t fall under the OT law. Later things that came after centuries of slavery in America are a different story. The system of slavery in the colonies was set up based on the OT laws.

          Sorry, “makes it seem like”? So you admit you’re imagining this interpretation of Luke 12:47-48?

          Read the context of the passage from Luke 12:42 through Luke 12:47-50. Luke 12:49 says, ““I came to throw fire on the earth. I wish it were already kindled.” The parable is about punishing people as if it is the accepted thing to do. What hell do you think it means?

          Seneca was far behind Jesus. It’s well known that the Stoics failed to cause any sort of social change, for one. Again, the Stoics thought that nothing was to be done about slavery because the slave could just be personally good. But Christianity actually teaches to actively prevent harm to the slave.

          Irrelevant. Jesus only reinforced the notion of slavery.

          George D. Armstrong’s 1857 The Christian Doctrine of Slavery
          http://www.unz.org/Pub/ArmstrongGeorge-1857

        • Korus Destroyus

          “Leviticus is in the Bible which makes it about Biblical slavery, the topic of the article. Why are you trying to change the subject?”

          Right – biblical slavery, meaning including the New Testament. Which nullifies quite a lot of Leviticus. Why are you trying to change the subject?

          Anyways, my last comment easily proved Jesus doesn’t thing slaves should be harmed since He actively heals them in the Gospels. Your response was to go crazy and start trying to disprove different stories of healing. Unsurprisingly, the efforts were awfully played out and no such disproof ever materialized.

          “Mark 2:1-12 has Jesus heal a paralytic in Capernaum. This is based on the case in 2 Kings 1:2-4. Where Azahiah fell through a lattice, the paralytic was lowered through the roof. Where Elijah told Azahiah that he would never leave his bed, Jesus healed the paralytic and told him not to leave his bed there but to take it home with him.”

          At first, I considered the possibility that there are genuine similarities here that might have resulted in literary influence. Then I actually read both passages – Mark 2:1-12 and 2 Kings 1:2-4. This is complete garbage. The stories are nothing alike. In 2 Kings, there IS NO PARALYTIC. You outright lied to make that up. Ahaziah falls through a roof, gets injured and is told he’ll die there. The only similarity in any conceivable way to Mark 2:1-12 is someone going through a roof. The entire comparison is garbage.

          “Luke 7:1-10 modifies Matthew’s version by having the servant being sick, rather than paralyzed, but near death.”

          How the hell is that a modification? Paralysis is a sickness. More garbage.

          The “ear cut off” thing is even more absurd. One Gospel story gives more context to one of the stories than the other Gospels. This doesn’t mean anything. Only two Gospels mention the virgin birth. This doesn’t mean anything. It just means they didn’t mention it. Where are your disproofs?

          “The gospels are fiction”

          Historians have demonstrated the opposite. The Gospels were written under the genre of ancient biography and are full of history. Why are your claims so usually opposite to facts?

          “Jesus: Beat your slaves because God punishes people which makes it OK.
          Not Jesus: Slavery is horrible. Free you slaves.”

          Making up fiction … doesn’t show anything. I’ve already crushed your attempts to claim Jesus said to beat your slaves, because per THE VERY VERSES YOU CITED, Jesus never told anyone to beat their slaves.

          “You still haven’t pointed out any major things in the colonies that don’t fall under the OT law.”

          Strawman fallacy? I pointed out the OT law is actually quite a bit like American slavery (without the race part). It’s the NT, or the Bible as a whole (the very title of Bob’s article) that makes a vast rift of a distinction.

          “Read the context of the passage from Luke 12:42 through Luke 12:47-50. Luke 12:49 says, ““I came to throw fire on the earth. I wish it were already kindled.” The parable is about punishing people as if it is the accepted thing to do. What hell do you think it means?”

          Why don’t YOU read Luke 12, which OUTRIGHT CONDEMNS the servant for beating his slaves?

          Luke 12:45: But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk.

          Here, beating your servants is put at the same level as getting drunk. Which means once the servant makes excuses for why Jesus isn’t here yet, he starts committing many evils. Thanks for crushing your own claim. I have never seen a self-refutation as good as that. You have provided better evidence against the claim that Jesus allows slave beating than I could ever have.

        • Greg G.

          Right – biblical slavery, meaning including the New Testament. Which nullifies quite a lot of Leviticus. Why are you trying to change the subject?

          So you are saying that God’s Old Testament Law was not objectively moral. Why do you now argue that there is objective morality? How are we supposed to know what it is?

          Anyways, my last comment easily proved Jesus doesn’t thing slaves should be harmed since He actively heals them in the Gospels. Your response was to go crazy and start trying to disprove different stories of healing. Unsurprisingly, the efforts were awfully played out and no such disproof ever materialized.

          The Gospel of Luke has Jesus endorsing the beating of slaves. So we cannot believe your understanding of the gospels and neither should you.

          I pointed out the OT law is actually quite a bit like American slavery (without the race part).

          The Jews enslaved foreigners. They bought slaves from foreigners. They kept the offspring of slaves as slaves. They bequeathed the slaves in wills. That is all in the Bible. The American slave racket was following all the rules. If the Bible had said to enslave only light-skinned people, that’s who the American slavers would have bought. Since the Bible only specifies foreigners, they bought foreigners from foreigners.

          Why don’t YOU read Luke 12, which OUTRIGHT CONDEMNS the servant for beating his slaves?

          Jesus endorses the punishment there to cut the slave in two.

          I have read Luke 12 and understood it. You should try reading for comprehension. It is a parable. The lord in the parable represents the Lord. The servants represent people of earth. The parable is teaching that a lot will be expected of people who have much and will be punished more than the person who has little. Jesus uses the beating of slaves as a metaphor for the Lord punishing persons. Jesus is not teaching that the Lord is wrong for punishing people by using the slave beating metaphor, is he? Jesus uses the righteousness of the beating of slaves as justification for the Lord dealing out punishment. Jesus drives the point home with

          Luke 12:49 (NRSV)49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!

          Why are you having such difficulty reading the text for what it says? Cognitive dissonance? Has your religion made you this insensitive to someone advocating the killing and torturing of slaves just because the speaker is named Jesus?

        • Korus Destroyus

          “So you are saying that God’s Old Testament Law was not objectively moral. Why do you now argue that there is objective morality? How are we supposed to know what it is?”

          When did I say it wasn’t objective? Strawman fallacy.

          “Why do you now argue that there is objective morality? ”

          I’ve always argued this. Care to post a link of where I said morality is subjective, in those words?

          “How are we supposed to know what it is?”

          Ughh, read the Gospels or something. Or if you’re illiterate, ask a faithful Christian.

          “The Gospel of Luke has Jesus endorsing the beating of slaves. So we cannot believe your understanding of the gospels and neither should you.”

          But we’ve seen, from your own examples, Jesus never endorsed slave beating in Luke. He uses the case for a parable and … nothing else.

          Luke 12:45-46: But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

          So the master is going to cut up the slave, not because it’s a moral right to beat slaves, but because this slave was beating the crap out of the other slaves. These are the verses directly preceding ones you ripped flat out of context in vv. 47-48. You don’t think domestic abuse is sufficient grounds for punishing someone? If so, please exit the internet.

          Not my fault you can’t read. You’ve been repeatedly given the opportunity to demonstrate your claim and have not, and will never do so.

        • Greg G.

          “So you are saying that God’s Old Testament Law was not objectively moral. Why do you now argue that there is objective morality? How are we supposed to know what it is?”

          When did I say it wasn’t objective? Strawman fallacy.

          “Why do you now argue that there is objective morality? ”

          I’ve always argued this. Care to post a link of where I said morality is subjective, in those words?

          Post a link? I quoted the very text at the top of the post you are replying to. You said, “…meaning including the New Testament. Which nullifies quite a lot of Leviticus.” If Leviticus was objectively moral, then nullifying it is objectively immoral. Either it is objectively immoral to not kill someone for picking up sticks on a particular day of the week or it is not.

          “How are we supposed to know what it is?”

          Ughh, read the Gospels or something. Or if you’re illiterate, ask a faithful Christian.

          How do we know the gospels are more moral than the Old Testament? How do you know anything in the Bible can be moral when it says a rape victim must marry her rapist and can never be divorced? If you do not have an understanding of a moral system, reading the Bible is a horrible idea. You need to understand morality so you can tell which are moral lessons and which are the lessons of immorality. If you have that understanding, you don’t need the Bible.

          Then you are off on the Jesus and the beating of slaves. It is a parable. The master is the beater of the slaves who corresponds to God. If Jesus is saying the beating is wrong, then the parable is saying that it is wrong for God to punish wrong-doers.

          Then you accuse me of approving of beating in some twisted way because you favor beating someone for beating someone, in an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth morality, which the gospels say Jesus taught against.

          The parable is followed immediately by Jesus saying, “49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! ”

          Luke 12 is the Jesus who was fed after midnight.

          Not my fault you can’t read. You’ve been repeatedly given the opportunity to demonstrate your claim and have not, and will never do so.

          I have accepted that you cannot read the Bible without your God-goggles on so you will not see the contradictions and the readings that were intentionally harsh. But it is cathartic to highlight your illiteracy.

        • I’m still waiting for evidence that objective morality exists and that we humans can reliably access it.

          If you can’t answer, let me know so I stop bugging you about it.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “I’m still waiting for evidence that objective morality exists and that we humans can reliably access it.”

          The evidence that demonstrates Christianity, by default, also proves objective morality. Presto:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0iDNLxmWVM&t=5s

          But I’m sure I’ve posted you the link to this video a few times and you could have figured that out on your own.

          “humans can reliably access it”

          Umm, Bible?

        • Fail. I’d explain why, but I’m sure you don’t care.

        • Right, that’s one general (not all that significant) agreement.

          You want to say that Yahweh’s support of slavery for life is an insignificant issue? I must disagree.

          What I’m discussing is something so much very more important: the treatment of the slave.

          Yahweh has already been charged, tried, and sentenced. By supporting slavery when he could’ve eliminated it, he’s a bastard. Case closed.

          But just for laughs, sure, if you want to flail about and argue that Yahweh redeems himself a little by showing that his slave treatment was decent, go ahead. Please start by listing all the bad treatment prescribed in the OT and show why it makes sense.

          There’s no doubt the OT is unbelievably brutal. But aren’t we talking about Christianity here, not Judaism?

          Aren’t we talking about Yahweh, the god of Christianity? You do know that it’s the same guy for both religions, right?

          what comes after (such as abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade and whatnot) is simply a logical consequence of Jesus words.

          Yeah? You’ve got my attention. Show me how Jesus’s statements, actions, and proclamations about slavery are completely laudably given modern standards. Last time I checked, he had skeletons in his closet, too.

          To give Jesus His unending credit, He did heal two slaves in the NT (Luke 7:1-10; Luke 22:51), proving He thought even slaves should not be abused. And that’s revolutionary for the time, no?

          Jesus could’ve eliminated slavery with a thought, and he didn’t. What an asshole.

          “Well, he wasn’t bad for the time” is a pathetic rationalization for God.

        • Korus Destroyus

          You’ll have to excuse my long periods of not responding. Since our last discussion, I’ve become incredibly inactive on disqus.

          “You want to say that Yahweh’s support of slavery for life is an insignificant issue? I must disagree.”

          I’m just much more concerned with the treatment of the slave, to be frank. If the relevance of the period is a disagreement, then there’s no helping that.

          “Yahweh has already been charged, tried, and sentenced. By supporting slavery when he could’ve eliminated it, he’s a bastard. Case closed.”

          Yahweh has been sentenced … by your blog post. Come on now, this isn’t working too well for you. I should also remind you that slavery was eventually abolished because no one was properly following the NT’s commands on how to treat slaves and people.

          “Aren’t we talking about Yahweh, the god of Christianity? You do know that it’s the same guy for both religions, right?”

          Umm, right, but there’s also something called “different circumstances”. In the OT days, we had no redemption for sin and were all Jews living under theocratic Israel. Now, we’re all gentiles living across the world with a new mission and a redemption for our sins. Yahweh gave us new measures to act in this new world (NT).

          It’s like those karate movies with your old master. When you start out, he gives you a set of rules and tasks, but after time goes on, circumstances change and you improve, you have new missions, new objectives, etc. Same old karate master, not the same old things to do.

          “Yeah? You’ve got my attention. Show me how Jesus’s statements, actions, and proclamations about slavery are completely laudably given modern standards. Last time I checked, he had skeletons in his closet, too.”

          No he didn’t. If the NT says you need to treat your slave like a brother, and then you rape your slave, that’s grounds for abolishing slavery. Which is what Christians did before any other society. Have you, by any chance, heard of the 19th century novel Uncle Toms Cabin? The very novel that shifted public opinion against slavery for the first time? The very same novel that basically loads one hardcore Bible thumping religious argument after the other to end slavery?

          ““Well, he wasn’t bad for the time” is a pathetic rationalization for God.”

          Good thing I never said that then. Perhaps you’d like to show your strawman the door on its way out.

        • I’m just much more concerned with the treatment of the slave, to be frank.

          Yahweh is a moral monster. “Yeah, but he had some semi-decent rules about treatment of slaves” doesn’t help when he’s supposed to be omnibenevolent.

          Yahweh has been sentenced … by your blog post. Come on now, this isn’t working too well for you.

          You’re right there. Christians can wish away any unhappy thoughts (“Yahweh is an asshole” being one of them).

          I guess it’s a superpower. Jesus promised the apostles healing powers, so perhaps this ability to pick and choose your reality is the modern version.

          I should also remind you that slavery was eventually abolished because no one was properly following the NT’s commands on how to treat slaves and people.

          So with godly rules about slavery, it’d be A-OK in your mind today?

          Umm, right, but there’s also something called “different circumstances”.

          Ah, so slavery for life is fine in one time period and not in another? This moral relativism has my head spinning.

          Yahweh gave us new measures to act in this new world (NT).

          This god of yours changes his mind a lot.

          It’s like those karate movies with your old master. When you start out, he gives you a set of rules and tasks, but after time goes on, circumstances change and you improve, you have new missions, new objectives, etc. Same old karate master, not the same old things to do.

          The karate master is mortal and imperfect. I hold Yahweh to higher standards—maybe it’s just me.

          No he didn’t. If the NT says you need to treat your slave like a brother

          Hmm—that is good advice. My brother is free, so all slaves should be free.

          Kidding! Jesus had no interest in freeing slaves.

          Which is what Christians did before any other society.

          The Stoics argued against slavery even before the Christians existed. I guess Christians are slow learners.

          Have you, by any chance, heard of the 19th century novel Uncle Toms Cabin?

          “Christianity finally figured out that slavery was bad 18 centuries after their perfect god didn’t tell them to abolish it!” I think that needs some work to actually be compelling.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “Yahweh is a moral monster. “Yeah, but he had some semi-decent rules about treatment of slaves” doesn’t help when he’s supposed to be omnibenevolent.”

          Yahweh is morally perfect. He didn’t just have semi-decent rules, but commanded the equitable and just treatment of slaves, banned masters from threatening slaves (which is highly important), told Christians to treat slaves as if they were your brother, says that masters must be devoted to the wellbeing of their slaves, and Jesus repeatedly healed damaged/hurt slaves.

          “Hmm—that is good advice. My brother is free, so all slaves should be free.”

          Umm, the advice is treat your slave like a brother, not make their situations identical. Of course, a Christian master is fully allowed to free their slave if they so wish. Even an OT master could do that. The NT obviously never necessitates slavery should be practiced, it obviously just regulates how slavery should work if practiced.

          “Jesus promised the apostles healing powers, so perhaps this ability to pick and choose your reality is the modern version.”

          What picking and choosing? All the above statements are facts and I can supply irrefutable verses for all of them. The only “cherry picking” going on is ignoring the NT in favor of a much nullified OT when talking about “biblical” slavery.

          “So with godly rules about slavery, it’d be A-OK in your mind today?”

          Sure. If slaves were treated perfectly, that would remove the only original impetus to actually end slavery (“look at all the abuse and killing and hard labor etc etc”). If slaves were treated just like anyone today … what’s the problem?

          “Ah, so slavery for life is fine in one time period and not in another? This moral relativism has my head spinning.”

          The situation is totally different. You keep omitting that in these responses. I mean, much of the original laws that commanded what you keep clinging to have been replaced as having fulfilled their original purpose. How does that NOT change things?

          It’s like those karate movies with your old master. When you start out, he gives you a set of rules and tasks, but after time goes on, circumstances change and you improve, you have new missions, new objectives, etc. Same old karate master, not the same old things to do.

          “The Stoics argued against slavery even before the Christians existed. I guess Christians are slow learners.”

          They actually didn’t. That’s a historical misrepresentation. The Stoics were fine with slavery because “the slaves could act morally good anyways”. I guess you’re a slow learner.

          ““Christianity finally figured out that slavery was bad 18 centuries after their perfect god didn’t tell them to abolish it!” I think that needs some work to actually be compelling.”

          Well, that’s actually a lie and a misrepresentation of what I wrote. Christianity condemned the Atlantic Slave Trade the moment it began, but Christians who have competing interests (beside their religion) didn’t. Anyways, even though Christianity played a big role in the slave trade, it was ultimately also Christianity that ended it, and if Christianity didn’t exist, it would not have been ended.

        • Yahweh is morally perfect. He didn’t just have semi-decent rules, but commanded the equitable and just treatment of slaves, banned masters from threatening slaves (which is highly important), told Christians to treat slaves as if they were your brother, says that masters must be devoted to the wellbeing of their slaves, and Jesus repeatedly healed damaged/hurt slaves.

          If I have to explain to you how this is suboptimal, then that speaks for itself.

          Umm, the advice is treat your slave like a brother, not make their situations identical.

          Yeah? Is that your policy here in 2019?

          “Whenever I hear anyone arguing over slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln

          Of course, a Christian master is fully allowed to free their slave if they so wish. Even an OT master could do that.

          But if you don’t feel like it, God gives you the guidelines to be a godly slave owner.

          Is that your policy here in 2019?

          The NT obviously never necessitates slavery should be practiced, it obviously just regulates how slavery should work if practiced.

          Is that your policy here in 2019?

          The only “cherry picking” going on is ignoring the NT in favor of a much nullified OT when talking about “biblical” slavery.

          God gives rules for appropriate slavery in the OT. Therefore, he’s a dick.

          Seriously, this isn’t hard. Slavery is morally wrong now, and it was morally wrong then. Therefore, the OT is wrong.

          “So with godly rules about slavery, it’d be A-OK in your mind today?”
          Sure. If slaves were treated perfectly, that would remove the only original impetus to actually end slavery (“look at all the abuse and killing and hard labor etc etc”). If slaves were treated just like anyone today … what’s the problem?

          The weren’t treated the same, moron. They were slaves!

          Exodus 21:20-21 says: “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.” Praise the Lord.

          “Ah, so slavery for life is fine in one time period and not in another? This moral relativism has my head spinning.”
          The situation is totally different.

          Right. Moral relativism. Slavery was OK then, but it’s wrong now.

          I suggest you give yourself the option to take that approach to homosexuality: it was wrong in OT times, but it’s OK now.

          much of the original laws that commanded what you keep clinging to have been replaced as having fulfilled their original purpose. How does that NOT change things?

          Because your unchanging God made this morally reprehensible rules! You still worship the OT god, right?

          Wow, how hard is this? Your own Bible has convicted your god.

          It’s like those karate movies with your old master. When you start out, he gives you a set of rules and tasks, but after time goes on, circumstances change and you improve, you have new missions, new objectives, etc. Same old karate master, not the same old things to do.

          God is unchanging. God is unconstrained by local conditions. If slavery were wrong, he would have said so in the OT.

          The Stoics were fine with slavery because “the slaves could act morally good anyways”.

          “The Stoics produced the first condemnation of slavery recorded in history.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery#Ancient_Greece

          Christianity condemned the Atlantic Slave Trade the moment it began

          Citation needed.

          But let’s see what your claim is. “It only took Christianity 1500 years after becoming a dominant force within Europe to figure out that slavery was wrong!” Is that your final answer?

        • Korus Destroyus

          “”Whenever I hear anyone arguing over slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln”

          Frankly, if I were treated as a brother by my slave master, or had Jesus as a master, I wouldn’t have a problem. Can’t be worse than any other blue collar job out there.

          “But if you don’t feel like it, God gives you the guidelines to be a godly slave owner. Is that your policy here in 2019?”

          Umm, correct. If you could ensure that slaves are treated perfectly by masters, and then made it law in 2019, I’d have bigger worries. You actually think I don’t believe the stuff I say? Now that you’re finally out of excuses, it’s nice to see “ughhh but IS THAT YOUR POLICY IN 2019” is the worst I need to deal with.

          “Right. Moral relativism. Slavery was OK then, but it’s wrong now.”

          Nope, strawman, fail. Still OK if slaves don’t get abused. Slaves do get abused, and so not OK. That was the position 2,000 years ago, it’s the position now. Keep up.

          Now that you’re done quoting Wikipedia on Stoics on slavery, I’ll educate you with actual scholarship. You should try doing what I do – reading actual scholarship – for your information. R.W. Sharples writes;

          “One area in which the Stoics have been subject to particular criticism is that of slavery, a standard institution in ancient society which few questioned altogether… The Stoics, on the other hand, concerned themselves not with developing a theory or a critique of the institution of slavery, but with arguing that the status of slave or free person was irrelevant to the true freedom which the wise alone possess, whatever their actual circumstances; even a slave can be virtuous. The wise person alone is free (see Chapter Four), and will be even if a slave; the wise person is also (regardless of actual status) a king, as well as a magistrate, a judge and an orator.” (Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics: An Introduction to Hellenistic Philosophy, Routledge, 1996, pg. 126)

          “Citation needed.”

          OK. This academic book:

          https://ia802809.us.archive.org/15/items/HowTheCatholicChurchBuiltWoodsThomasE.Jr.4949/How%20the%20Catholic%20Church%20Built%20%20-%20Woods%2C%20Thomas%20E.%2C%20Jr._4949.pdf

          Pages 133 to 152.

          “But let’s see what your claim is. “It only took Christianity 1500 years after becoming a dominant force within Europe to figure out that slavery was wrong!” Is that your final answer?”

          Nope, Christians knew it was wrong immediately. It just took 1,500 years for the theology to actually overcome the corrupt political rulers/thinkers who profited off the institution.

        • Frankly, if I were treated as a brother by my slave master, or had Jesus as a master, I wouldn’t have a problem. Can’t be worse than any other blue collar job out there.

          That’s cute. You’ve forgotten the rules about beating? Exodus 21:20-21.

          No, you weren’t treated as a brother. You’d be, y’know, treated like a slave. Perhaps you missed that part?

          “But if you don’t feel like it, God gives you the guideline s to be a godly slave owner. Is that your policy here in 2019?”
          Umm, correct.

          Bravo for consistency and not turning away from the crazy stuff in the OT. You’ve read Lev. 25:44-46? It approves of slavery for life.

          If you could ensure that slaves are treated perfectly by masters

          Huh? Don’t change the subject. We’re talking about OT slavery. No, they weren’t treated perfectly. Ask the slaves what “perfectly” meant, and I think they’d mostly want to be set free.

          You actually think I don’t believe the stuff I say?

          Nope. You’ve made your position very clear. Thank you.

          “Right. Moral relativism. Slavery was OK then, but it’s wrong now.”
          Nope, strawman, fail.

          No, not a strawman, just an error on my part. I didn’t realize that you were A-OK with both indentured servitude and slavery for life. Again, bravo for consistency.

          Still OK if slaves don’t get abused.

          And you’re changing the subject again. Slave masters had a beating rod for a reason—they used it.

          “But let’s see what your claim is. “It only took Christianity 1500 years after becoming a dominant force within Europe to figure out that slavery was wrong!” Is that your final answer?”
          Nope, Christians knew it was wrong immediately.

          Wha-a-a-at?? You just said it wasn’t wrong!

          Try to keep up with your own attitude.

          It just took 1,500 years for the theology to actually overcome the corrupt political rulers/thinkers who profited off the institution.

          Huh? Are you saying that the Bible made clear that slavery was morally wrong but that ordinary, fallible people pushed aside the truth of the Bible? You’re hilarious! Show me where the Bible says that slavery is wrong.

        • Kodie

          Sort of playing devil’s advocate here, but it’s not impossible for there to have been slave owners who treated their slaves like… people. Like, hi, we have an amicable arrangement, and the slave is not free to leave at will, but as far as circumstances go, are better off staying in this situation than leaving anyway, and their owner is not a dick, so the slave is actually motivated positively and not threatened with beating. It is like work now – you get some bosses who are abusive dicks, and some you wish would pay you more at a great working environment, but you don’t want to trade for better income and worse working conditions.

          In my experience, bosses NOW tend to treat you like a slave, who are not really free to leave (other working conditions and pay are similar, so why bother to risk it), and beat you emotionally. That might just be me. I know there are bosses who are more collaborative and recognize the talent you offer and don’t take advantage of it. I know they exist, I just never experienced that, but I also want to say slavery is still wrong. Christians excusing slavery or indentured servitude as “the way things were” at a period in time, when it was more beneficial to sell yourself* than to be left to die, same mindset that homeless people should just “get a job” as if the job they can get or the probable multiple jobS they will need to cover expenses, is not really slavery either… at a certain level, having A job is not enough, and being able to schedule more than one job is not the boss’s problem! People who have to work shifts and employers who use software to schedule their workers unpredictable hours each week, to ensure nobody goes above part-time, so they can’t claim any benefits, and they cannot schedule their other job(s), and they cannot register for any classes so they might get more stability.

          We still have a terrible system, and maybe so-and-so is not an employer, but they still think welfare should require employment, and generally stigmatize poor people who can’t just pull themselves up by their bootstraps because many people are just out of touch and oblivious what being broke means, and what it actually takes to save enough to get to another level. Rent is high, electricity, gas, internet, food, children…. most people have some or all of these expenses, and a smartphone is not a luxury, it’s expensive. Shoes, food. “Get a job” is so hollow and unfeeling, so anyone who is of that attitude is pretty much equivalent to a slave-owner to me. Some people’s options are to be treated like a dog here or some other place, and their work is valuable but devalued. To tell people if they don’t like their job, they can just get another one is bullshit.

          *When it was more beneficial to sell yourself…. I mean, we kind of still do this. If you sign up to work, you allegedly have rights, but you are vulnerable. Employees have rights, but employers have threats. It costs more money than an employee is paid to complain about conditions which might be abusive, cruel, and even illegal. Getting another job is not only a risk, but the risk to ruin what you already have to get another job even worse or just the same is discouraging. Lowly workers, I mean maybe still homeless, maybe just out of homelessness, are the most tread-upon and easily threatened and manipulated. They don’t want to lose this opportunity to take home a little cash, so employers treat them like shit.

          To bring this full circle, like, my experience is a long series of terrible bosses, cautions from family and friends that “everyone hates their job”, and long periods of being unemployed while not even looking because I quit or got fired, I feel like optimistic in some sense. There are normal-headed bosses who aren’t tyrannical douches, and there must have been normal-headed slave-owners who treated their slaves like brothers, despite it all, there must have been relatively cooperative slavery situations. Even though it’s wrong to own people, there must have been people who felt that, as long as they owned a person, they recognized their slave as a person not an object, and felt they owed that person as much dignity as they could. As wrong as that still is, I wish I ever had a boss who recognized I was a person. I don’t think it’s very common, still don’t know why anyone thinks they are better than anyone else can assume “get a job” is the answer to anyone’s problems. Having certain jobs or certain bosses is costly to the spirit and barely pays any bills, what is a person supposed to do?

        • Sort of playing devil’s advocate here, but it’s not impossible for there to have been slave owners who treated their slaves like… people.

          Yes, and this is the positive spin Christians put on it. If you’re in some financial fix, indentured servitude can be a way to pay off a debt.

          But this doesn’t address slavery for life. Nor does it address the fact that God himself established the rules, which included the beating rule. God being magic could’ve made sure that beatings were never necessary. Or could’ve made sure that financial obligations never necessitated indentured servitude.

          I agree that there are crappy work situations even today, but God’s world has magic.

          stigmatize poor people

          Add a couple of children, and I can’t imagine the hassle.

        • Kodie

          but God’s world has magic.

          That’s kind of what I don’t understand. I think this is the curse of Eden. We have to work, we don’t get nuthin’ for free. Some work harder than others, and the people who take their work situation and benefits for granted tend to treat people like slaves. How hard is it to remember to put lemon in my water? Why is my shirt come back to me wrinkled???? They pay money for service, and expect perfection from people being paid very little. I had this conversation with someone who has been in admin – a former boss I had was in engineering. I mean, it was an engineering company. He could staple his own documents, but called me to his office to put staples in his stapler if it was empty. There’s people like me who think, what kind of lowlife loser can’t put his own staples in a stapler when it runs out? It’s not that I can’t do it, but I cannot figure out why he can’t do it himself, and that starts to kill me a little bit at a time.

          I understand certain job titles have certain roles within the office, but somehow it’s beneath me… it happens a lot. A man who went to college and never learned any office skills can’t work the copier, I understand. He doesn’t have time to stand there and wait for 50 copies, I understand. Typing out some 4-page handwritten screed to an airline because something about golf clubs, I think the guy’s a lunatic but I know he can’t type it out himself, so I do it (that was a different boss at a different appointment). Thinking I am immediately available because nothing I’m doing can possibly be very important, to respond to the call of my name at a low speaking voice from another room, which was neither really loud enough to hear (so I also had to train myself to hear it anyway), nor said in any appreciative way, like maybe as a question, or “Kodie, can you please come?” for example, to put staples in the stapler of an engineer, I do not understand. It was just “Kodie” from another room in a flat monotone, and I was expected to hear my name or he’d be annoyed with me!

          Ok, the solutions for poverty in the bible, we’re expected to think these were charitable solutions, that people did the destitute a favor by offering to let them work for nothing so they weren’t out in the cold. We know from today, the attitudes that haves have toward have-nots, that people have gotten soft and won’t look for work. There is some social value in having a job, and yet having a job doesn’t mean even having a home. Despite labor laws over the past century, employers keep sliming out of their obligation. There are certain jobs that will, apparently, always have willing bodies, so employers do not care about retention. They do whatever they can to avoid paying overtime or even full-time, so they do not have to legally provide benefits, and if you are treated unfairly, harassed, hostile work environment, I didn’t even get into that at the same job with the incompetent staple-refiller, EOE laws, it’s really hard for someone with nothing to go up against unfair hiring practices, or unfit workplace environments. If the employee makes demands, management can always find another reason to fire them that won’t look suspicious.

          If god has the magic ability to make sure everyone has a place to live and enough to eat and feed their children also, that would be great. Christians like to think stupid things like whenever a door closes, god opens a window, but it’s on the 24th floor, anyway, they blame the person out of work for not being willing enough to humiliate themselves indefinitely for a lot less than their job is worth, necessitating more than one job in many cases, because the meek shall inherit the earth or some shit. I can understand even being humble to god, but encouraging this hey I have it great and you can have it great too, just buck up and lick your boss’s boots and do whatever they say, and you’ll never get ahead, and it’s ok if he treats you like that, and if you don’t like it, it’s upon you to find someplace else to work, when they’re pretty much all like that, but I do ok, my boss respects me and appreciates my work, but you are a piece of shit if you don’t work, so basically slavery is ok with a lot of people even now – the illusion that a worker is free to leave at any time…. I mean, anyone can quit a job, they just have nowhere better to go, that’s the thing. No sympathy for complainers, just get a different job!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbq571QME2Y

        • I can’t remember a crappy boss, but I’ve had crappy coworkers. I guess I’ve been lucky.

        • MR

          Oof, you are lucky. I’ve had my share. Currently my boss, who was an amazing boss, became a Trumpian. In these past couple years that has reflected in his day to day interactions with people. He’s become negative, critical, racist, mean-spirited and spiteful. At every turn, there’s some cynical comment about Mexicans or CNN or liberals. Just veiled enough to avoid lawsuit issues. Whereas before he looked for solutions to problems, now he throws up his hands and people are “stupid” and “lazy.” I’m lucky enough that his sourness hasn’t turned on me yet, but it makes life kind of miserable when you’re constantly subjected to listening to this &#8203shit.

        • I have been lucky, yes. Best wishes for keeping out of the way of Mr. Caustic.

        • Pofarmer

          Isn’t it amazing? I’ve got some friends who have become red hat wearing Trump supporters and it’s pretty much completely ruined my opinion of them.

          I had another guy ask me “Why do people make such a big deal about the MAGA hats.” I just gave him a look and he changed the subject. They know, they damned well know.

        • “Why do people make such a big deal about the MAGA hats.”

          Wait–I thought they meant Make America Gay Again. Not so … ?

        • Greg G.

          Come work for me. I can guarantee you will have memories.

        • I can guarantee you will have memories psychic scarring.

          Did I correctly FTFY?

        • Greg G.

          Yes. Can you tell me, did you get a better offer?

        • Greg G.

          it’s not impossible for there to have been slave owners who treated their slaves like… people.

          A first century Roman pagan writer who thinks of slaves as friends who should be treated well.

          “‘They are slaves,’ people declare. NO, rather they are men.
          ‘Slaves! NO, comrades.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are unpretentious friends.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are our fellow-slaves, if one reflects that Fortune has equal rights over slaves and free men alike. That is why I smile at those who think it degrading for a man to dine with his slave.

          But why should they think it degrading? It is only purse-proud etiquette… All night long they must stand about hungry and dumb… They are not enemies when we acquire them; we make them enemies… This is the kernel of my advice: Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.

          ‘He is a slave.’ His soul, however, may be that of a free man.”
              — Seneca the Younger (4 BC – 65 AD), Epistulae Morales, 47.

          Jesus doesn’t think slaves should even be thanked for their service.

          7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” –Jesus, Luke 17:7-10

        • Greg G.

          Wha-a-a-at?? You just said it wasn’t wrong!

          Try to keep up with your own attitude.

          KD should wait until the voices in his head come to a consensus before he gets on Disqus.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And spoil the fun of him making such a massive asshat of himself, surely not?

        • Korus Destroyus

          “That’s cute. You’ve forgotten the rules about beating? Exodus 21:20-21.”

          Umm, garbage. That verse in Philemon is in the NT, which, as we’ve established, is far different in slave treatment then OT. In fact, not just established but proven. But you knew that and wrote this nonsense anyways.

          “No, you weren’t treated as a brother. You’d be, y’know, treated like a slave. Perhaps you missed that part?”

          And in the NT, there is no distinction between “treated as a slave” and “treated as a brother”. Got it?

          “Bravo for consistency and not turning away from the crazy stuff in the OT. You’ve read Lev. 25:44-46? It approves of slavery for life.”

          Conflating OT and NT discussions again, puke.

          “And you’re changing the subject again. Slave masters had a beating rod for a reason—they used it.”

          And this is banned in the NT.

          “Wha-a-a-at?? You just said it wasn’t wrong!”

          Ah, let me clarify. Non-biblical slavery is wrong.

          “Huh? Are you saying that the Bible made clear that slavery was morally wrong but that ordinary, fallible people pushed aside the truth of the Bible? You’re hilarious! Show me where the Bible says that slavery is wrong.”

          I’ve already shattered this. The NT explains several wrong ways of doing slavery. And those were the ones practiced by the rulers. The reason why it took 1,500 years to get rid of it was because that’s how long it took to overcome the corrupt political rulers of the world. Does this surprise you?

        • “That’s cute. You’ve forgotten the rules about beating? Exodus 21:20-21.”
          Umm, garbage. That verse in Philemon is in the NT, which, as we’ve established, is far different in slave treatment then OT. In fact, not just established but proven. But you knew that and wrote this nonsense anyways.

          So let me get this straight. We’re on the same page that slavery for life is fine with God (Lev. 25:44-46) and beating is also fine (Ex. 21:20-21). But Paul in a private letter to Philemon asks for leniency for one man, and that somehow overrides all the rest?

          Jesus said nothing about overturning slavery. Your gods were fine with it.

          in the NT, there is no distinction between “treated as a slave” and “treated as a brother”. Got it?

          Wrong. “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.”

          Thus ended the reading for today.

          Or are you saying that you beat your brother with a rod?

          “Bravo for consistency and not turning away from the crazy stuff in the OT. You’ve read Lev. 25:44-46? It approves of slavery for life.”
          Conflating OT and NT discussions again, puke.

          It’s the same god, moron.

          “And you’re changing the subject again. Slave masters had a beating rod for a reason—they used it.”
          And this is banned in the NT.

          It’s the same god, moron.

          Ah, let me clarify. Non-biblical slavery is wrong.

          I don’t remember reading that in the Bible. Anyway, you’ve made God an immoral bastard with his approval of what we in America know and love as slavery.

          “Show me where the Bible says that slavery is wrong.”
          I’ve already shattered this. The NT explains several wrong ways of doing slavery. And those were the ones practiced by the rulers.

          If Jesus cared about slavery, he would say, “No more slavery, starting now.” Not only does he not use his magic to make it happen, he doesn’t even make clear his anti-slavery position. Which he doesn’t have.

          The reason why it took 1,500 years to get rid of it was because that’s how long it took to overcome the corrupt political rulers of the world. Does this surprise you?

          It does. God is limited by the wicked ways of man? God can’t just get his will done? What kind of impotent wimp do you worship??

          Tip: you’d be more effective in your arguments if you’d just follow the facts instead of having an agenda to save God’s reputation. God doesn’t do anything to salvage it. Why should you bother?

        • Ignorant Amos

          …moron.

          You rate him too highly. While insulting morons.

        • I was interpreting his “puke” as a label and responded in kind. But yeah, I should’ve apologized to the morons. My bad.

        • Greg G.

          “And when we turn to the NT, Jesus doesn’t say anything about overturning this system.”

          So what? He doesn’t speak about slavery, period. But the rest of the NT couldn’t be more clear. And this is what it says (and something you still don’t address):

          Jesus spoke of beating slaves as if it was the right thing to do.

          Luke 12:47-48 (NRSV)47 That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

          Jesus thought that the idea of thanking a slave was absurd.

          7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” –Jesus, Luke 17:7-10

          Contrast Jesus’ thinking on slavery to a Roman pagan from the first century.

          “‘They are slaves,’ people declare. NO, rather they are men.
          ‘Slaves! NO, comrades.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are unpretentious friends.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are our fellow-slaves, if one reflects that Fortune has equal rights over slaves and free men alike. That is why I smile at those who think it degrading for a man to dine with his slave.

          But why should they think it degrading? It is only purse-proud etiquette… All night long they must stand about hungry and dumb… They are not enemies when we acquire them; we make them enemies… This is the kernel of my advice: Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.

          ‘He is a slave.’ His soul, however, may be that of a free man.”
              — Seneca the Younger (4 BC – 65 AD), Epistulae Morales, 47.

        • Korus Destroyus

          Good God, I’ve never seen such a twisting in my life.

          “Jesus spoke of beating slaves as if it was the right thing to do.”

          Luke 12:47-48 says it’s the right thing to do? I read it and it just doesn’t. Good try, though, depicting slaves being beat (pretty common thing at the time) isn’t the same as saying it’s good. The NT is also full of depicting good Christians get beat and killed. Google “Beatitudes”. Your representation of Luke 17 is accurate, but this little detail is ultimately unimportant. The contrast to Seneca is fundamentally dishonest and hilarious.

          It’s odd you chose Seneca as the contrast (rather than the scores of writers who didn’t think much of slaves and were the consensus at the time, like Aristotle who thought a slave was a useless tool). Seneca was a Stoic and thought slaves shouldn’t ever be freed because they were just destined to be slaves and, besides, for whatever harm happens to them, they can just act like good people.

          That’s what one calls an outright debunking of Greg G.

          Jesus regularly healed slaves in the NT (Luke 7:1-10; 22:51). Meaning he thought slaves should be humanely treated. Why don’t you mention these verses? Game, set, match.

        • Greg G.

          Luke 12:47-48 says it’s the right thing to do? I read it and it just doesn’t.

          It seems to be an IQ problem from your own diagnosis. Luke has Jesus making a distinction between severe beatings and light beatings, but they are beatings all the same. The point of the parable is to make it seem like God is justified in punishment. If Jesus is not presenting slave beating as the right thing to do, then he is being sarcastic about God’s punishments being OK.

          And WHOOOOOOOSH! Seneca goes over your head, too. Of course I picked Seneca to contrast Jesus. So what if there were other philosophers that disagreed with Seneca. Do you subscribe to the other philosophers about how to treat slaves and owning people. Seneca was ahead of his time.

          Jesus regularly healed slaves in the NT (Luke 7:1-10; 22:51). Meaning he thought slaves should be humanely treated. Why don’t you mention these verses? Game, set, match.

          I didn’t mention those verses because they are irrelevant.

          Jesus didn’t command that the slaves be set free. Jesus never said to not beat slaves because he thought there were legitimate reasons to beat slaves, including not being trained. Jesus never suggested thanking slaves because he thought it was ridiculous.

          Your reading comprehension sucks.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I didn’t mention those verses because they are irrelevant.

          And healing slaves can have fuck all to do with believing they should be treated humanely. As you say, setting them free better covers that concept. Where does Jesus say that the godly thing to do is set ones slaves free? Slaves were/are a commodity. It is prudent to look after ones property in order to get the best return for the investment. Who benefited most from Jesus healing slaves?

          Another curious thing is by what metric do we measure a slave’s beating?

        • Pofarmer

          The same objective morality from the same God can hold that different
          situations require different moral responses. We’re in a different
          circumstance than we were in the OT days, which may require a different
          moral response (i.e. NT). Unless you genuinely think that a moral code
          requires the same moral response to literally all situations.

          That’s just, I mean, Wow.

          You should get a medal for mental gymnastics.

          And a treatment for the God Virus that has infested your brain.

        • Korus Destroyus

          Copying and pasting what I wrote to Greg boy:

          An IQ check would help here when it comes to sentence comprehension. If I get robbed, it is morally acceptable to go to the police. If someone is swearing, it is morally acceptable to tell them it’s not good to swear. Two different situations, two different moral responses, the same objective morality.

          From what I remember when I was wiping you off the curb in the university/hospital debates, you were the most unpleasant and crass person to talk to.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m rather perplexed at what you imagine you’ve shown here.

        • Greg G.

          An IQ check would help here when it comes to sentence comprehension. If I get robbed, it is morally acceptable to go to the police. If someone is swearing, it is morally acceptable to tell them it’s not good to swear. Two different situations, two different moral responses, the same objective morality.

          That is as stupid this time as it was originally.

        • Pofarmer

          Glad it’s not just me.

        • Greg G.

          Unless you genuinely think that a moral code requires the same moral response to literally all situations.

          If you are going to call it “objective” morality, then it does require the same moral response in all situations. If it does not, then it is subjective morality because it is subject to the situation.

          Or are you just arguing because you like how the word “objective” sounds and don’t care what it means.

        • Kodie

          You ever notice how these “objective morality” arguments often close in on the example, “raping children or babies for fun”?

          It’s never just “raping”, nor vague list of torments “for fun”. And we treat babies and children like special categories of people, against whom it’s wrong to do something, but right to do against a teen or adult or old person, or gay person, or black person or female person? I don’t know if you get that adult white males are “person” and anyone else is a category of person.

          So, it’s apparently just fine to rape women for fun, or children for a very serious reason. Their favorite example is subjective to crime, vulnerability of victim, and motive?

        • Greg G.

          I think the “for fun” is to make sure it is from one’s own volition. It’s OK to torture a child if it is to keep a space alien race from blowing up the planet as long as you don’t enjoy it too much, or something.

        • Kodie

          That makes the example supremely subjective, so they should stop trotting it out.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “If you are going to call it “objective” morality, then it does require the same moral response in all situations.”

          An IQ check would help here when it comes to sentence comprehension. If I get robbed, it is morally acceptable to go to the police. If someone is swearing, it is morally acceptable to tell them it’s not good to swear. Two different situations, two different moral responses, the same objective morality.

        • Greg G.

          An IQ check would help here when it comes to sentence comprehension.

          You flunked. Your example proves you are a moron, with apologies to morons.

          If it is objectively immoral to steal, you would get the same penalty whether you were stealing to enrich yourself, to harm the other person, or to feed a starving child.

          But if we go by the Old Testament, it is more like your scenario:
          Kill someone? Kill him.
          Use the Lord’s name in vain? Kill him.
          Get lippy with your parents? Kill him.
          Pick up sticks on the Sabbath? Kill him.

          But the Old Testament is supposed to be an advancement over other laws of that place and time because the penalty for theft wasn’t necessarily death, it was cutting off a hand.

        • Kodie

          To be as fair as possible, these are people who think killing wicked people rids the world of wickedness. If you lived in a society where the penalty for any infraction was death, wouldn’t you end up with an ideal society of people who naturally don’t suck or obey out of fear? If you ended up in a situation where you needed to steal to feed your starving child, you are more motivated to arrange your life so you’re not in that position. You might even sell yourself and your child to slavery.

          If you pay a lot of attention to the rules of the bible and what’s a sin, etc., and I think you might be the most qualified on this blog, you see heaven would be filled with people who wouldn’t dream of lying to protect someone’s feelings, or steal so much as a pen from work to sign their child’s permission slip to go to a science museum. Every person (I am pretty sure) has their behaviors and qualities of being a person that are so annoying, that those people would belong in hell, compared to how perfect you think you are, and aren’t annoying anyone at all. Besides those damaged guilty and frightened religious people, I think most people think their personal behaviors and philosophies are the way everyone should be. Imagine making a religion out of your personal preferences, which is what the bible seems to be, and just kill anyone who does stuff you hate. Eventually, you create your utopia, because anyone who ever does something you hate is dead, and anyone who is alive knows you are the sovereign and whatever you don’t like will get them killed, and behaves exactly as you like, or else die.

          See where I’m going with that? Christianity has a fucking lot of nerve comparing atheism to tyrannic governments. Now, Christians don’t kill people who lie or steal. They are pretty lax on rape also. They are pretty lax on rape against children, depending on the situation. Most of them are not at all lax on homosexuality, so you can’t consensually fuck someone of the same sex, but you can non-consensually fuck a woman if you’re a successful white man or a white teen male with a good future ahead of you, or a coach grooming a young high school or middle school girl, but not a boy. That girl caused him to stumble, but he attacked the boy to turn him gay. Two different blames.

          I guess what I’m saying is they were not interested in subjective morality, like why someone might have done something generally or personally felt to be offensive, so maybe give so-and-so a little more leeway than whosiewhatsit. Already you don’t see even the most strict Christians holding to their own ideals, and don’t seem to understand objective morality as they preach it. Police put themselves voluntarily in harm’s way, so this excuses white cops killing young unarmed black men, because? I mean, they like and support Trump, because? I know why, but that goes against their biblical beliefs hard. Even less conservative Christians say they live in the real world, they are liberals, they stand up for minorities, and … I swear I think they still think there’s objective morality, and that they are following it. It’s wrong not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, they are supportive and legally obligated, etc., and determine other Christians who follow the letter of the bible to be “bad” or “immoral”, objectively!

          I think most people have personal preferences, and that’s all the bible seems to be – get rid of all offenders (of the crimes listed, or whatever you Greg G. hates), and the world will approach good and perfect.

        • Korus Destroyus

          A lot of yapping with little substance. The price of sin is death. God could come down to Earth right now, judge us all guilty and punish us, and would be perfectly justified. That we’re given an opportunity of repentance is only due to God’s grace.

          “That is as stupid this time as it was originally.”

          But you’re only saying that to get likes from your fellow atheists k00ks and not to bring forth substance. The point remains:

          An IQ check would help here when it comes to sentence comprehension. If I get robbed, it is morally acceptable to go to the police. If someone is swearing, it is morally acceptable to tell them it’s not good to swear. Two different situations, two different moral responses, the same objective morality.

        • Susan

          The price of sin is death.

          What do you mean?

          God could come down to Earth right now…

          From where? I thought Yahwehjesus was omnipresent. Not a sky fairy.

          you’re only saying that to get likes from your fellow atheist kooks

          No. He’s saying it because you have substantiated exactly nothing. You are just doing empty preaching. It’s stupid.

          Two different situations, two different moral responses, the same objective morality.

          I have to agree with Greg G. here. That’s pretty stupid.

        • Pofarmer

          KD makes a box of rocks look erudite and contemplative.

        • Greg G.

          KD would be more useful if he was anthracite and bituminous.

        • MR

          Gneiss.

        • Greg G.

          “Gneiss is nice but don’t take it for granite.” –my high school science teacher who got it from her college professor

        • Korus Destroyus

          I’ve been off Disqus for a while. Suddenly checked back.

          “What do you mean?”

          Exactly what I said. The price of sin is death.

          “From where? I thought Yahwehjesus was omnipresent. Not a sky fairy.”

          I’ve never seen someone get triggered by common language like “God could come down right now”. I mean, I suppose He could materialize or something somewhere and then crush us all. Obviously I can’t explain the precise mechanics. Is the above meant to be serious?

          “No. He’s saying it because you have substantiated exactly nothing. You are just doing empty preaching. It’s stupid.”

          I’m crushing every argument that’s being made against me and the Bible. There’s not even any preaching going on, let alone “empty preaching”.

          “I have to agree with Greg G. here. That’s pretty stupid.”

          And just like Greg G, you’ll be at a loss to provide an actual coherent reason for why it is so.

        • I’ve been off Disqus for a while.

          There is a god!

        • Greg G.

          But the god thingy turned his head for one second, and KD headed straight for Disqus.

        • Greg G.

          And just like Greg G, you’ll be at a loss to provide an actual coherent reason for why it is so.

          Because you keep comparing two different things. Here one is robbery and the other is being insulted. Why not do two robberies, one much worse than the other, like at opposite ends of the spectrum, then try to argue that giving the same punishment for both is right because “objective morality” and shit.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “Because you keep comparing two different things. Here one is robbery and the other is being insulted.”

          I’m comparing these things because it’s sufficient for my example. In fact, what I’m saying is literally insanely obvious. Different circumstances, different moral response. Your response to being robbed is different than your response to being insulted. I can’t believe this is under contention. It’s as if you wouldn’t be able to admit 2+2=4 if you had any thought it could challenge your atheistic prejudices.

        • Greg G.

          I’m comparing these things because it’s sufficient for my example. In fact, what I’m saying is literally insanely obvious. Different circumstances, different moral response.

          You are comparing those things because they are inapt apples to oranges comparisons. Of course different types of offenses will have different responses. That makes your example entirely irrelevant. I am comparing the same type of offenses and they yield different responses, too, which shows that the same offense is relative. You hate that because it destroys your argument.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “You are comparing those things because they are inapt apples to oranges comparisons. Of course different types of offenses will have different responses. That makes your example entirely irrelevant. I am comparing the same type of offenses and they yield different responses, too, which shows that the same offense is relative. You hate that because it destroys your argument.”

          You just destroyed your own rebuttal to me. Thanks. Conversation complete. The second sentence admits “Of course different types of offenses will have different responses”. Done. Different circumstances imply different responses. This is the same point you failed to realize. Later, you say “I am comparing the same type of offenses” – irrelevant. Think for two seconds. The circumstances in the OT and NT times are completely different, and so, by basic logical deduction, the moral response is different. We’re not talking about the same circumstances at all. My point, which you’ve had difficulty understanding, is that the circumstances are now totally different from OT to NT times. Which means, by your own words, “Of course” what I said is true.

        • Susan

          Exactly what I said. The price of sin is death.

          Everything that lives, eventually dies. You might as well say the price of sin is digestion or breathing.

          You haven’t established that sin exists, let alone that there is any price to it.

          I mean, I suppose He could materialize or something somewhere and then crush us all

          I don’t.

          Obviously, I can’t explain the precise mechanics.

          Obviously. You can’t explain anything. You don’t seem to feel any responsibility to do so. But you do like to make assertions.

          I’m crushing every argument that’s being made against me and the Bible.

          Like your god claims, this all seems to be in your imagination.

          you’ll be at a loss to provide an actual coherent reason for why it is so.

          Because you’ve claimed “objective morality”, and you’ve provided no support for it.

          So, again. What do you mean?

          I’ve never seen someone get triggered by common language like “God could come down right now”.

          I wasn’t triggered. I just find it fascinating (and endlessly disappointing) that god claims shapeshift depending on the point someone wants to assert or allude to.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “Everything that lives, eventually dies. You might as well say the price of sin is digestion or breathing.”

          Umm, that’s not what I said. Congrats at your red herring. The price of sin is death. As in, if you sin, God would be just in ending your life right then and there. Stay focused.

          “You haven’t established that sin exists, let alone that there is any price to it.”

          Since it can be established that Christianity is true, this is established by default.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0iDNLxmWVM&t=5s

          “Obviously. You can’t explain anything. You don’t seem to feel any responsibility to do so.”

          Umm, I have no responsibility to explain the mechanics of the supernatural. That is correct. Seems like this bothers you.

          “I wasn’t triggered. I just find it fascinating (and endlessly disappointing) that god claims shapeshift depending on the point someone wants to assert or allude to.”

          Still triggered? As I just explained, perhaps you’re slow, “God will come down and judge us” is just traditional language and doesn’t imply actual shapeshifting. God has no shape that can shift. Think.

        • Since it can be established that Christianity is true

          You’re buying the lede, as they say in journalism. Your claim is an enormous one. Too bad, as usual, no one can back it up.

        • Greg G.

          You’re buying the lede, as they say in journalism.

          I think they say, “You’re buRying the lede.” Or is “burying” a moderation trigger?

        • Right you are. Typo, now fixed. Thanks.

        • Greg G.

          Umm, that’s not what I said. Congrats at your red herring.

          She quoted what you said in the line above that. She said that in response to what you said. It is your red herring to imply that she was quoting you.

        • Susan

          Umm, that’s not what I said.

          What did you say?

          Congrats on your red herring.

          You claimed that the wages of sin is death. I asked you what you meant by that. I noted that everything that lives, eventually dies. In an effort to ask you to be clear.

          The price of sin is death.. As in, ifyou sin, God would be just in ending your life right then and there.

          Lives end right then and there, and always have, since long before humans existed.

          Stay focused.

          I have.

          Since it can be established that Christianity is true,

          Define “christianity” and establish that it is true.

          this is established by default

          No, it’s not.

          =====

          Edit: A few seconds later to blockquote properly.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “You claimed that the wages of sin is death. I asked you what you meant by that. I noted that everything that lives, eventually dies. In an effort to ask you to be clear.”

          Sorry, what? The statement “the price of sin is death” means an execution. Not just waiting for natural death. Didn’t you even consider that possibility?

          “Define “christianity” and establish that it is true.”

          The establishing of Christianity is done by the video I posted. You can’t have missed it. As for the definition, this is beyond obvious. Christianity involves believing in the mere doctrines of the Christian religion and the teachings of Jesus, belief in the inspiration of the Bible.

        • Susan

          The statement “the price of sin is death” means an execution. Not just waiting for natural death. Didn’t you even consider that possibility?

          You make utterly unsupported claims and I’m supposed to have understood that you meant execution?

          “The price of sin is death” means an execution?

          The establishing of Christianity is done by the video I posted.

          It is not.

          You can’t have missed it.

          Didn’t miss it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          “The price of sin is death” means an execution?

          Absolute ballix in reality.

          How many “sinners” get executed?

          Another Christian fuckwit assertion by a simple Dime Bar.

        • Korus Destroyus

          “”The price of sin is death” means an execution?”

          That’s literally what the words say.

          “You make utterly unsupported claims and I’m supposed to have understood that you meant execution?”

          Maybe you just need better reading skills? If you seriously can’t comprehend “the prince of sin is death” means someone must be killed, in fact think this claim “unsupported”, either your levels of rationality or reading are so dismally low that this discussion becomes far too difficult.

        • Susan

          That’s literally what the words say.

          Nothing in Romans 6 even seems to imply that. Let alone, “literally” mean that.

          Maybe you just need better reading skills?

          It doesn’t seem so.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It doesn’t even say “The price of sin” ffs.

          A see KD is making up his own shite again.

          https://www.compellingtruth.org/wages-of-sin.html

          I unblocked the fuckwit just to see what latest fuckwittery he was spewing that you felt needed responding too. The usual knuckle-dragging idiocy a see.

        • Greg G.

          A lot of yapping with little substance. The price of sin is death. God could come down to Earth right now, judge us all guilty and punish us, and would be perfectly justified. That we’re given an opportunity of repentance is only due to God’s grace.

          You are yapping theology. Sin is an imaginary affront to an imaginary being.

          An IQ check would help here when it comes to sentence comprehension. If I get robbed, it is morally acceptable to go to the police. If someone is swearing, it is morally acceptable to tell them it’s not good to swear. Two different situations, two different moral responses, the same objective morality.

          Even monkeys understand that if there is a warning cry for a ground predator, like a lion, they climb a tree to safety. If there is a warning cry about an eagle, they seek shelter from above. Different situations require different responses.

          Your example is a stupid as can be. If it is hot outside, go jump in the river. If there are alligators about, go jump in the river.

          Compare apples and apples. Compare moral acts with like moral acts. But if you must include the situation, it is subjective as it is subject to the situation.

          Getting robbed is not a moral act. Reporting a lie about a robbery would be a no-no for many reasons, including spending time alone with Ben Dover.

          Swearing is weird. A word that is not taboo, doesn’t get used as a swear word. Making a word taboo for certain usages makes it useful in such situations. If you don’t like swearing, make all words acceptable and they lose their swearing value. If God didn’t want his name used in vain, he wouldn’t tell what it was, then nobody could use it as a swear word and he wouldn’t forbid the substitute word for his name so it wouldn’t be used either. I wonder why an omniscience didn’t think that through. Or the creator could have left out the endorphin feedback for swearing so nobody would do it. I wonder why an omniscience didn’t consider that. It’s probably one of those imaginary sins made up by priests who could collect things of value from suckers.

        • Kodie

          I love how the price of sin is death, you know. Everyone is a sinner, and you know that, because everyone dies. Just like every other living thing on earth. What? I don’t know where they got an idea that morality is absolute. There are really annoying and offensive things people do all the time, which means they’re really thoughtless, self-absorbed, and maybe not. Most people think they are pretty good, and don’t mean to hurt anyone, and most hurt people are socially cautioned not to let their true feelings show. I mean, people get in fights, they cry, there is only one resolution and this eliminates the person without power, so we allow ourselves to be hurt and annoyed. We allow our selves all the time to know where our place is, and what the consequences of airing your grievances might be.

          I don’t think there seems to be any social or mental consequences for being immoral to certain degrees. I mean, there are some really bad things people can do, and for some reason are still ignored. If you have a successful career or a body of genius work, have a winning personality, it’s so easy for people to see you what you mostly are or have been rather than the worst thing you ever did, but then there are people who are only remembered for the worst thing they ever did, which might be morally tame as far as regular behavior goes, because they are not powerful enough to live it down. They pretty much have to move somewhere else.

        • Korus Destroyus

          Have been off of Disqus for about a month or two.

          “You are yapping theology. Sin is an imaginary affront to an imaginary being.”

          Running away from the argument and stamping around your disbelief as if I give a damn is not helping you. Stay on focus. God could come down, judge all of humanity at this moment and toss us into hell and that wouldn’t be immoral – simply because of the fact that this is literally the punishment of sin. And all dispute of this claim is subjective.

          “Your example is a stupid as can be. If it is hot outside, go jump in the river. If there are alligators about, go jump in the river.”

          Completely incoherent.

          “Compare apples and apples. Compare moral acts with like moral acts. But if you must include the situation, it is subjective as it is subject to the situation.”

          I could do that infinitely easy. I thought it went without saying there are examples of this. If someone steals from you, you can report them to police. If someone insulted you, you can restrain your response as to not create a further problem. Different moral situations, different responses. Magic.

          “If you don’t like swearing, make all words acceptable and they lose their swearing value.”

          I’m sure us believing Christians would love to do that, sadly, we don’t have the cultural power to control such a thing. You guys do. And you haven’t bothered removing the swearing value at all.

          “I wonder why an omniscience didn’t think that through. Or the creator could have left out the endorphin feedback for swearing so nobody would do it.”

          Umm, that’s not the function of the endorphin glands. I think the omniscient creator did a good job of thinking it through.

        • Greg G.

          I could do that infinitely easy. I thought it went without saying there are examples of this. If someone steals from you, you can report them to police. If someone insulted you, you can restrain your response as to not create a further problem. Different moral situations, different responses. Magic.

          You Disqus vacation didn’t help. You are still not getting it. Stealing and insulting are not the same thing so different responses are appropriate. Compare stealing and stealing. Do you have the same penalty for stealing your valuables that you use if someone stole some food for a starving infant? If you treat them differently, the crime is not objectively the same moral wrong. You have avoided the point several times. It is as if you know you are wrong but won’t admit it. Running away for a month or two didn’t undo it.

          I’m sure us believing Christians would love to do that, sadly, we don’t have the cultural power to control such a thing. You guys do. And you haven’t bothered removing the swearing value at all.

          You are back to trying for the world’s stupidest comment. The taboo comes from the Bible. We’re told that Christianity is the largest religion.

          Umm, that’s not the function of the endorphin glands. I think the omniscient creator did a good job of thinking it through.

          Glands (plural)? You have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe you should take a break from Disqus for a longer period. Maybe you will make more sense in your next reincarnation.

        • The taboo comes from the Bible.

          Gosh darn it, that makes sense!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Galatians, Ephesians, Philemon and Galatians are letters written by a pretender who contradicted the later Jesus of the book, right, left and centre.

          Paul’s authority supersedes YahwehJesus?

          When it suits religious fuckwits, then of course it does.

          https://www.jesuswordsonly.com/books/175-pauls-contradictions-of-jesus.html

        • Greg G.

          Galatians, Ephesians, Philemon and Galatians

          Do you mean 1 Galatians and 2 Galatians?

          Paul Exhorts Celibacy, But Jesus Clearly Says It is A Choice Not Within Everyone’s Power.

          I don’t think the author of that page, https://www.jesuswordsonly.com/books/175-pauls-contradictions-of-jesus.html , is reading Paul fairly. Paul is not saying that celibacy is in everyone’s power.

          1 Corinthians 7:1-3 (NRSV)
          1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

          From this translation, Paul is quoting a letter to him when he writes “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” The page author attributes it to Paul himself. Paul recognizes conjugal relations between man and wife which refutes the idea that he believed a man shouldn’t touch a woman.

          1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (NRSV)
          8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. 9 But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

          Here Paul recommends not getting married or having sex because he believed the Lord was coming at any time. He didn’t think there was time to have a baby or raise a family. But he recognized that some men were too horny to not want sex and said it was better for them to marry, which is pretty much what the author says Jesus was saying.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do you mean 1 Galatians and 2 Galatians?

          The Galatians that fuckwit KD was alluding to when he cited it in defence of biblical slavery.

          Galatians 3:28

          https://www.bibleref.com/Galatians/3/Galatians-3-28.html

          I don’t think the author of that page, https://www.jesuswordsonly…. , is reading Paul fairly. Paul is not saying that celibacy is in everyone’s power.

          I wouldn’t doubt it. It’s the old Rorschach reading of the scriptures. I cited that site so as not to be accused of bias.

          The author explains his reasoning lower down the article…

          Paul taught against being married. He wrote in 1 Cor. 10:27-28:

          “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not sin.”

          In line with this Paul also wrote:

          “I wish all were as I am,” meaning unmarried. (1 Cor. 7:7.)

          To help prevent the desire to be married, Paul said: ‘It is good that a man should not touch a woman.’ (1 Cor. 7:1.)

          If Paul is a true prophet and wishes something, such as avoiding touching a woman and to not “seek to be married,” then Paul clearly endorses celibacy for us too as a superior way of life.

          However, Jesus speaks differently of celibacy as something for some but not all disciples. It is not a command or even an exhortation. It is merely a legitimate option. “He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.” Matt. 19:12.

          The contradiction arises because Jesus never says or implies “do not seek marriage.” Significantly, Jesus never applies any moral suasion or pressure to be celibate, while Paul clearly does so.

          Here Paul recommends not getting married or having sex because he believed the Lord was coming at any time.

          It seems to me that Paul was advocating celibacy, but if one was going to have a shag, it was better to do it without sinning.

          He didn’t think there was time to have a baby or raise a family.

          This is a bit problematic for the whole Roman Catholic rules on nookie shtick.

          It intrigues me that according to the religious, coitus had to be able to result in a baby. But if it was understood that there was going to be no time for intercourse to result in a baby, then celibacy should have been the default position.

          But he recognized that some men were too horny to not want sex and said it was better for them to marry, which is pretty much what the author says Jesus was saying.

          I don’t read it that way in his reasoning explanation I reproduced above.

          Obviously the author of gMatt writing a generation or two after Paul realized the problem in which this whole nonsense would result, the rules were relaxed.

          I suppose it is a matter of interpretation. But doesn’t it make more sense that Paul had no problem advocating celibacy, because he thought the end was nigh, but by the time gMatt was being written, everyone knew the end wasn’t as nigh as Paul thought, so the issue was more of a choice than in Paul?

        • Greg G.

          I was responding to the explanation given below for that interpretation of Paul. The author seems to have been reading his own agenda into Paul rather than reading 1 Corinthians for comprehension.

          Besides, Matthew 19:12 is not about celibacy, it is about becoming a eunuch, which is a whole different thing. I suspect Matthew put those words in Jesus’ mouth from reading Galatians 5:11-12 where Paul said he wished the the circumcisers would go the whole way and castrate themselves, which would effectively be becoming a eunuch.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Besides, Matthew 19:12 is not about celibacy, it is about becoming a eunuch, which is a whole different thing. I suspect Matthew put those words in Jesus’ mouth from reading Galatians 5:11-12 where Paul said he wished the the circumcisers would go the whole way and castrate themselves, which would effectively be becoming a eunuch.

          But the interpretation is that there are three kinds of “eunuchs”, those born that way, ones that get physically castrated, and the third…

          and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs;
          not in a literal sense, in which the words are not to be taken, as they were by Origen; who though otherwise too much pursued the allegorical way of interpreting Scripture, here took it literally, and castrated himself F20; as did also a sort of heretics, called Valesians F21, from one Valens an Arabian; and which practice is recommended by Philo the Jew F23, and by Heathen philosophers F24, for the sake of chastity. But here it means such, who having the gift of continency without mutilating their bodies, or indulging any unnatural lusts, can live chastely without the use of women, and choose celibacy:

          https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/matthew-19-12.html

          It is all a matter of interpretation and whether the passage and third eunuch reference is just hyperbole language. Certainly there are scholars that favor the literal view, but there are plenty that take the meaning as metaphorical.

          Other commentaries take the view that it is about celibacy.

          https://biblehub.com/commentaries/matthew/19-12.htm

          But ya know me, I couldn’t really care either way, am just pointing out that the author of that article isn’t taking a unique position.

        • Greg G.

          I know that Christians prefer to read it that way. But the Greek verb seems to me to be based on the word “eunuch” so it looks more like “eunuchising” rather than “made a eunuch”, like “circumcising” rather than “made circumcized”. The second type of eunuchs are eunuchised by men while the third type of eunuchs are eunuchised themselves. But I don’t know much about Greek so maybe it is clear in the Greek but I have only seen it argued by English translation.

          Is it better to go to heaven with one eye or is that a lie?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know that Christians prefer to read it that way.

          Indeed. Of course they will, especially in the modern era. Taking it literally would mean it was something more grievous. How could Jesus be suggesting that to be the most pious of individuals, one was to not have sex and to guarantee such a state of affairs, the cock and balls had to come off?

          Even so, wouldn’t being voluntary eunuchised in order to avoid the temptation of having sex, still be a form of self enforced celibacy in and of itself?

          As you’ll probably know, a number of Christians voluntarily castrated themselves over the centuries for pious reasons. Most notably Origen, who did take gMatt literally apparently. But Christian blokes weren’t queuing up to lop off their tackle in order to take the passage literally. Given that it was merely a suggestion, if indeed even intended literally. Easier just to try and abstain.

          After all, it took the negation of having to get circumcised in order to get the Gentiles onboard. I can’t see how requesting the hacking off of “Fagan and the two Magee’s” would be inviting to anyone other than the most ultra extreme fundamentalist fuckwits.

          Given Deuteronomy 23:1…

          No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD.

          It seems to me the advice in gMatt is contradictory, but then so what, this is the buybull we are talking about after all.

          Btw, thanks for the challenge, it inspires learning the details of something I was unaware of beforehand.

          During my poking about, I found this pdf…

          https://www.ajol.info/index.php/actat/article/viewFile/52578/41183

          Is it better to go to heaven with one eye or is that a lie?

          Ha-ha! Nice paradox. It doesn’t seem to bother the Faithful either way. Lying comes as a second nature and don’t they believe everything is restored to fully functional in the mansion in the sky anyway?

        • A helpful list at that link; thanks.

        • Candy Smith
        • Greg G.

          From the article you linked:

          In Exodus 21:2 a slave was required to be set free after six years of service.

          That is a lie. There is a difference between slaves bought with money and indentured servants. Colonial slavery had indentured servitude, too, because theirs was based on the Bible.

          Colonial slavery was done by Bible-thumping Christians according to the design described in the Bible.

        • Candy Smith
        • Greg G.

          Exodus 21:16 sounds like it is forbidding kidnapping for ransom and kidnapping for slavery. If the verse is not forbidding kidnapping for ransom, show me one that does.

          Is kidnapping for ransom a legal way to make money according to the Bible?

        • Sample1

          Dillahunty has people call in on this topic. Occasionally the pauses and hedging are exquisitely noticeable from the believer. It’s the noise of cognitive dissonance, the MMA fight going on in their heads. It’s depressing when the indoctrinated side wins. The last caller I listened to was obviously a decent enough guy but was possessed by a meme that tricks its host.

          Kind of like those ants whose brains are infected with flukes. The lifecycle of the fluke requires a grazing animal to ingest it. So, the fluke infection results in the intermediate host, the ant, to climb to the tips of grasses (rather than remain below) where a sheep can eat it.

          The believer ingests the faith meme and then all manner of lunacy ensues. Their heart is restless until it can get back into the body of the Shepherd.

          Mike, faith free forever

        • Greg G.

          Another brain fluke that infests Christians is that the Old Testament ordered slaves to be freed after six years, no matter how many times you point out that foreign slaves were slaves for life and so were there children while Israelis were indentured servants who worked for six years, then got a bunch of stock when they finisned.

        • Sample1

          And Hebrew slaves could still be made slaves for life if their master gave them a wife and they had children. At the end of six years the slave could go free, but his wife and kids had to remain with the master. If the Hebrew slave didn’t want to abandon his wife and children with his freedom, he had a choice. A Sophie’s Choice really: remain a slave with your family after the six years or go free by yourself.

          If the slave decided to remain with his family, he was brought before God and his ear would be pierced with an awl, signifying slave for life.

          But, but, but…[insert a flopping fluke rationalization here].

          If slavery is immoral, and it is, then that convicts their God as immoral. The only way out of the situation is divine command theory (which brings in the Euthyphro dilemma) or punting to mystery (we can’t know the mind of God). Maybe the devil is trotted out too in some fashion, a third out. Hey, god strikes out on the topic of morality. Ha.

          Mike, excommunicated

        • Greg G.

          If the slave decided to remain with his family, he was brought before God and his ear would be pierced with an awl, signifying slave for life.

          Exploitation of the family values of illiterate young people for over 25 centuries.

        • epeeist

          If the slave decided to remain with his family, he was brought before God and his ear would be pierced with an awl, signifying slave for life.

          Ear tags can be very fetching

          http://www.discovering-our-countryside.co.uk/mainimages/250411YoungCalf-4a.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve 3 in my left ear.

        • Sample1

          Nice. Hey, I seldom get to chat with you, understandably considering how disqus trajectories have changed, but can I ask a yes/no question? (Excluding the “it’s complicated” kind of replies).

          Just in your opinion, do you think Popper solved Hume’s problem of induction? I’d be most thankful for your reply. It might help me navigate those topics more efficiently.

          Cheers!

          Mike and his spaniel.

        • epeeist

          Just in your opinion, do you think Popper solved Hume’s problem of induction?

          Popper agreed with Hume, that induction cannot be justified. However his take on the hypothetico-deductive method of science and falsification has had a fair number of critics. In particular Wesley Salmon points out that Popper’s idea of “corroboration” is essentially inductive.

          So no, I don’t think that Popper has solved the problem.

        • epeeist

          Nice.

          I did look for a picture with pigs but I couldn’t find one as good as the above.

          This was driven by the fact that my children bought me the Salumi course at this farm. On the course last week I made Mortadella Nostrodale and a couple of kilos of rosemary, juniper and bay leaf pancetta.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Stephen Law’s Evil God Challenge springs to mind.

          https://www.jstor.org/stable/40927250?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

        • Sample1

          This doesn’t suggest that God condones beating of slaves; otherwise why would He say, “If the slave dies, he shall be avenged”. Why? That’s because slaves had right. What this passage implies is that, perhaps if there were masters who were short-tempered and beat his slaves out of anger, and unintentionally kill him or her in process, he himself must be killed (v.23-24) -my underline

          From your link, it just gets better! What’s described above is what would fall under some category of manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter carries a recommendation of 12-16 months of jail time depending on the circumstances but voluntary and involuntary manslaughter can range from 1-30yrs in jail in the US states I checked. These categories of less than felony murder, like manslaughter have been known for thousands of years. 700BC for the Athenians. But your bloodthirsty God commands death! Of course he does. Because he’s a psychopath.

          There are naturalistic models that can sometimes explain how and why cultures may have behaved: anthropology. Have you ever investigated alternative explanations for the craziness in the Bible?

          Mike, excommunicated
          Edit done

      • Candy Smith

        The actual problem remains: God is OK with slavery for life. Kinda makes him look bad.

        I’m also quite curious as to how you rationalize the biblical commands on the treatments of slave, including the Bible forbidding threatening a slave (Colossians 4:1), that the master must treat the slave with equality and justice (Ephesians 6:5-9), that a slave must be treated as if they were your brother (Philemon 15-16), and that masters and slaves were fundamentally equal (Galatians 3:28).

        https://carm.org/sermon-ephesians-61-9-submission-authority

        http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=560

        https://answersingenesis.org/bible-history/the-bible-and-slavery/

        Colossians 4:1
        Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

        Exodus 21
        2 If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.
        3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him.
        4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
        5 But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’
        6 then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the door-post and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

        This is the first type of bankruptcy law I’ve encountered. With this, a government doesn’t step in, but a person, who has lost themselves to debt, can sell the only thing they have left, their ability to perform labor. This is a loan. In six years the loan is paid off, and they are set free. Bondservants who did this made a wage, had their debt covered, had a home to stay in, on-the-job training, and did it for only six years. This almost sounds better than college, which doesn’t cover debt and you have to pay for it!

        This is not a forced agreement either. The bondservants enter into service on their own accord. In the same respect, a foreigner can also sell themselves into servitude. Although the rules are slightly different, it would still be by their own accord in light of Exodus 21:16.

        Galatians 3:28
        There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

        Ephesians 6:5-9
        5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ;
        6 not with eyeservice, as men–pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
        7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,
        8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
        9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

        Again, Paul in Ephesians is not giving an endorsement to slavery/bondservants and masters but gives them both the same commands.

        But was slavery that is discussed in the Bible the same as the harsh slavery? For example, slaves and masters are referred to in Paul’s epistles. In Ephesians 6:5, a better translation is to use the word “bondservant.” The Bible is in no way condoning the practice of bondservants, who were certainly not being paid the first century equivalent of the minimum wage. Nevertheless, they were being paid something, and were therefore in a state more akin to a lifetime employment contract rather than “racial” slavery. Moreover, Paul gives clear instructions that Christian “masters” are to treat such people with respect and as equals. Their employment position did not affect their standing in the church.

        • Greg G.

          Read Leviticus 25:44-46. It says that fellow Israelites are not to be treated harshly but foreign slaves could be treated otherwise, “like slaves”.

          If you rely on apologist websites, expect a whitewashed version of the Bible.

        • So your argument is “Sure, God was an immoral jerk for not prohibiting slavery, but his rules for treating slaves weren’t that bad”? Not much of an argument. God’s still a jerk.

        • Kodie

          For any asshole Christians who think biblical slavery wasn’t the same as owning another person as though they were your livestock and treat them as animals, current US employment for a lot of people is disgusting. I’m not even talking about the slavery and other poor working conditions of people in other countries from where we import most of our goods.

          Most people say, if you don’t like your job, it’s not your terrible boss or your terrible company’s policies to blame, you go ahead and look for another job (or for many people, jobS). Employers are really not eager to be fair to employees, nor ever motivated to be. Some very special and very competitive employers realize their employees are people, and what people want and need, and are able to provide not just the compensation their employees deserve, but the benefits that retain good workers. Every other motherfucker on this earth treats themselves like a boss and their workers like a slave, even with a wage. We all have to have some way to keep money coming in to live, and not everyone gets the luxury of choice as to how they make their living or how much their living is worth to others. Employees are essentially slaves to a system where bosses have the power to threaten employees with consequences.. and it’s goddamned abusive as fuck. They say, you are free to leave. Free to leave and starve and be homeless, because all the other bosses are like that too, because so many people in our culture are still essentially slave-holders?

          Yeah, those slaves in the bible had a “choice” to try to make it on their own. The cultural and economic system guaranteed that they would not, so to live, it’s better to offer yourself to slavery, or cheap wages, just to live. When you are enjoying most of your household goods, imagine the little children overseas who work on assembly lines, because it’s cheaper to outsource manufacturing to a country that doesn’t have any labor laws.

          Please, tell me again how biblical slavery isn’t the same as owning humans like animals.

      • Candy Smith

        Yes, that would . . . if it were true. It’s not. Biblical slavery was the same as American slavery.

        No, it isn’t. You just don’t want to admit the obvious differences between the two, which is sad.

        • Greg G.

          List the differences between biblical slavery and early colonial slavery. You failed to do that the first time you were here.

        • Wrong again. Show me a difference, and I’ll be delighted to admit it. But who cares? God allows slavery for life; ergo, God is a dick. This isn’t hard.

  • Candy Smith

    Am, no, it was not. The Slavery in the Bible was not based on skin color at all. That is a fact.

    https://coldcasechristianity.com/writings/four-differences-between-new-testament-servitude-and-new-world-slavery/

    • Greg G.

      Neither was colonial slavery. They were buying foreigners bought from foreigners, just like the Bible says.

    • Skin color? I never said that. But it was the Other who was involuntarily enslaved for life in both cases–black people in America and other tribes in the Bible.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Candy has reading for comprehension skill issues. So has a tendency to create strawman arguments.

        All that said. Christians have used the Curse of Ham to justify the keeping of people of dark skin as slaves.

        According to the Bible, Ham discovered his father Noah drunk and naked in his tent, but instead of honoring his father by covering his nakedness, he ran and told his brothers about it. Because of this, Noah cursed Ham’s son, Canaan by saying that he was to be “a servant of servants”. (Genesis 9:20-27) One interpretation of this passage states that Ham married a descendant of Cain, who was black, so that the descendants of Canaan were both marked with black skin and cursed to be servants of servants. While there is no indication in the Bible of Ham’s wife descending from Cain, this interpretation was used to justify slavery and it was particularly popular in America during the Atlantic slave trade.

        And he said, ‘Cursed is Canaan! A servile slave he will be to his brothers!’

        http://www.bricktestament.com/genesis/noahs_curse/01_gn09_18-19.html

        In support of the Christian Lego modeler whose buybull Lego diorama’s got banned for being too accurate.

        https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/06/02/lego-fan-pushed-out-of-convention-for-graphic-but-accurate-bible-displays/