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Christianity, Slavery, and Genocide



How Christian Slaveholders Used the Bible to Justify Slavery  2/23/2018 Time: "During the period of American slavery, how did slaveholders manage to balance their religious beliefs with the cruel facts of the “peculiar institution“? As shown by the following passages — adapted from Noel Rae’s new book The Great Stain, which uses firsthand accounts to tell the story of slavery in America — for some of them that rationalization was right there in the Bible."

Gen. Kelly's Civil War Story Derives From 19th-Century Pro-Slavery Evangelicalism  11/9/2017 Alternet: "This framework asserts that the Civil War was not primarily about slavery, that slavery itself was not nearly as bad as we are led to believe (in fact it was a “positive good” in that it exposed Africans to the Gospel and to a “biblical family”). The war was framed as a theological conflict in which Southern culture was an expression of a Godly civilization battling against a materialistic “humanistic” one."

The Missing Black History At Some Civil War Memorials  8/31/2017 Black Agenda Report: "Though I haven’t been to the site of Chicago’s Camp Douglas monument since the 1980s I’m willing to bet the memorial exhibit says nothing about the reason those four or five thousand white boys in Chicago and fifty thousand more white boys in the other camps north and south died. They died because by 1863 the federal armies began fielding regiments of black troops. By war’s end there were more than 200,000 black soldiers in the Union Army, most of them former slaves. The Confederates refused to treat captured black soldiers as prisoners of war. Captured black soldiers were murdered on the spot, or sold into slavery. White officers and noncoms leading black troops were supposed to be tried and summarily executed for leading slave insurrection, a capital offense, so they also took pains not to be captured alive."

How White Christians Used The Bible — And Confederate Flag — To Oppress Black People  6/22/2017 Huff Post: "White Christians in the South didn’t just support slavery — the Southern church was the backbone of the Confederacy and its attempts to keep African Americans in bondage, according to Harry Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History at Yale University."

Black and White Race in American Denominations  3/1/2016 NAE: "The statement by Martin Luther King, Jr., that “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning” still rings true."

Proslavery Ideology: Christian Beliefs  11/30/2015 University of Georgia 

Did Religion Make the American Civil War Worse?  8/23/2015 Atlantic: "Above all, it was a time when Christianity allied itself, in the most unambiguous and unconditional fashion, to the actual waging of a war. In 1775, American soldiers sang Yankee Doodle; in 1861, it was Glory, glory, hallelujah! As Stout argues, the Civil War “would require not only a war of troops and armaments … it would have to be augmented by moral and spiritual arguments that could steel millions of men to the bloody business of killing one another...” Stout concentrates on describing how Northerners, in particular, were bloated with this certainty."

Why Non-Slaveholding Southerners Fought  1/25/2011 Civil War Trust: "Southern clergy defended the morality of slavery through an elaborate scriptural defense built on the infallibility of the Bible, which they held up as the universal and objective standard for moral issues. Religious messages from pulpit and from a growing religious press accounted in large part for the extreme, uncompromising, ideological atmosphere of the time."

Links/Enlaces top

Why Did So Many Christians Support Slavery?

A Southern Christian View of Slavery: James Henry Thornwell
From The Annals of America: 1858-1865, The Crisis of the Union 1861
"THE ANTAGONISM of Northern and Southern sentiment on the subject of slavery lies at the root of all the difficulties which have resulted in the dismemberment of the federal Union, and involved us in the horrors of an unnatural war."

The Religious Origins of Manifest Destiny

The Christian Right


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