Religion in the News
When people think of slavery, they often think of discrimination, unacceptance, and flat out evil. When people think of religion, most people do not think of these same terms. It’s often about, peace, and acceptance. This makes it hard to see how religion can play a role in something so evil like slavery; but religion and slavery go together since the days of Noah.
Discrimination based on skin colour can be traced back to the curse of Ham. Noah cursed his son Ham; who is believed to be the father of the “Africans”. This laid the foundation to help create the myth that the pigmentation of your skin determines if you are a superior person in society or if you are inferior if you have a darker skin tone. Religion can offer support to peoples who are facing great adversity. As seen with the African slaves of the American South. Most of the slaves in the American South were Christian and often turned to God for guidance for the turmoil they were in. Though the Bible does offer support for the salves, it also justifies slavery.
One might be shocked to hear that the most Holy book in Christianity tries to justify something so wrong like slavery, but it does and there are even Saints such as St. Paul who thinks that slaves should be respectful to their masters. This article states that God not only condones slavery but also expects it. This may seem farfetched at first but reading scriptures from the Bible you can make the connection. The first scripture is from (Leviticus 25:44-46) in it, it says that if you beat a slave and they die from the beating you shall be punished, but if the slave lives for another day or two “ no vengeance shall be taken ; he is his property”. This coming from the Holy book of Christianity. A religion that preaches peace, is stating that a human can own another human and claim him as his property. Although Jesus had no comment on the subject, St. Paul thought that slaves should be respectful and work hard for their masters. Though some will argue, this looks like that religion played a huge rule in slavery. Not only Christianity, but also the Egyptians enslaving the Jews to build the pyramids, or the Muslim’s of the 19th century enslaving Africans from the east.
In today’s world it is widely accepted that slavery is wrong, and should never be accepted in any part of the world. It is inhumane and the idea of owning another human is disgusting. Although today leaders and followers of different religions will say that slavery is wrong and is deemed a sin by God. The role religion played for the centuries of slavery endured by countless races; cannot be ignored.
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