Some have quoted the Old Testament when seeking justification of slavery where as others have quoted the New Testament as proof that slavery should be abolished. The Old Testament of the Bible appears to have passages that refer to the treatment of slaves. The Book of Leviticus treated slaves as the owner’s property and could therefore be bought and sold to others. Any property of the slaves became the property of their owner.
It is a common argument for Christian slaveholders to make “…that God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right…” (5). this argument exposes their hypocrisy as it conveys how they attempt to stretch small pieces of scripture to justify the violence of the American slavery. Douglass thus asks if it is humane to use a small piece of writing to damn an entire race to hardship and subhuman treatment. This case of blasphemy is amplified by the observation that Douglass makes of one of his slave masters, Mr. Covey, in that “he seemed to think himself equal to deceiving the almighty” (61).
. . . if you think that things naturally enslaved are free or that things not your own are your own, you will be thwarted, miserable, and upset, and will blame both gods and men. But if you think that only what is your is yours, and that what is not your own is, just as it is, not your own, then no one will ever coerce you, no one will hinder you, you will blame no one, you will not accuse anyone, you will not do a single thin unwillingly, you will have no enemies, and no one will harm you, because you will not be harmed at all.”
Religion and its relationship to slavery is a contradictive subject, whether it was forced upon slaves or was a form of hope and freedom is still commonly debated about to this day. However, these individuals were devoted Christians in the abolitionist movement who all
Also, in the same chapter, Douglass’ expresses his feelings for Mr.Freeland stating, “I will give Mr.Freeland the credit for being the best master I ever had” (Douglass 49). Douglass’ states that Mr.Freeland was not religious but he was the best master he ever had. It is ironic that non-religious slaveholders treat their slaves better than religious slaveholders. Therefore, Douglass notes the irony of religious and non-religious slaveholders: religious slaveholders being more cruel than non-religious slaveholders. Douglass perceives how slaves are treated worse than animals.
Douglass tells us this by saying that he believes anyone who is a slave owner cannot be a Christian. In his view, he believes being a slave owner violates the very principles of being a Christian. Auld quote he believes that the Christianity practiced by the Slave owners and the Christianity practiced by non-slave owners are two
The idea behind keeping the slave’s faith in the Lord was that the Lord allows slavery because white people are better than the blacks. Basically, any slave who disobeyed their owner was disobeying the Lord, resulting in an eternity in hell, “To be good children of the Lord, the slaves must beware of Satan who created their cunning wicked master of Hell – for it was Satan who created their desires for freedom and tempted them to run away” (Oates
He later goes on to say he could hear the cries of chained slaves passing through the docks in the dead of night and it having a profound affect on his psyche. He also points out that the church is not doing its job because it has the power to condemn slavery and their choosing to remain silent on the issue. He brings to light the Fugitive Slave Law, which gives blacks no due process and civil rights. Under this act freed blacks could very well be accused of being a fugitive slave and have to be transported back to the south.
Slavery: Effective on Slaves and Slaveholders In Frederick Douglass’s autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Douglass recounts his life in slavery to reveal to his readers the horrors of the American slave system. To effectively inform his readers of the corrupt system, he publicizes the slaveholders’ hypocritical practice of Christianity. Although he himself is a Christian, Douglass’s narrative is a scathing commentary on the ironic role of Christian religion in the Southern slaveholding culture. Throughout his book, the author expresses and exemplifies his perspective on religion by illustrating the falseness and hypocrisy of the Southern people. To start off, Frederick Douglass suggests that the Southern people’s religion is false and insincere.
This shows that religion went hand and hand with indentured servitude. It indirectly tells the readers that potential indentured servitude owners were mostly likely christian. This helps reveal to the authors the main goal of the system, to convert more people to christianity. The indentured servitude system was well thought out.
Africans who were already enslaved saw conversion to Christianity as a road to freedom, and many others who were not already enslaved believed conversion would protect them from becoming
The following passages were used to combat the proslavery use of the bible because they believe the type of slavery happening in the United States was different from what the bible referred to. They believed having generation born into slavery and never having a chance to earn their freedom was morally reprehensive able and wrong. Furthermore they believed Christians should not take part in this practice. Exodus “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death. Deuteronomy 23:15-16 “You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you.