Frederick Douglass Religious Analysis

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In his autobiography, former slave turned abolitionist and writer, Frederick Douglass, makes a rather bold statement about the relationship between religion and slavery. He goes so far as to say that the most zealous religious practitioners made the cruelest masters and “found religious sanction and support for [their] slaveholding cruelty” (Douglass 32). However, this raises the question of how radical this idea truly is. Is it really so hard to believe that people would be more likely to dig out and stress religious beliefs that coincide with their own actions? I personally believe that most people are more likely to use their beliefs to justify the morality of their actions rather than to question it. Frederick Douglass expected, like so many others might, that conversion would produce a change in slaveholders and drive them to become kinder human beings, who might even emancipate their slaves. This proved untrue in the case of Captain Auld and many other slaveholders at the time. According to Douglass, he became “a much worse man after his conversion than before” (Douglass 32). Slaveholders who fervently practiced their faith would use the Bible to validate cruelty…show more content…
Frederick Douglass would most likely have a similar opinion because he recognized how contradictory the actions of the slaveholders were with faith in general. Those zealous Christians only scrambled to find something in the Bible that could ensure them that this horrific way of making money would not be frowned upon by God. They denied their conscience and had the audacity to quote the Good News as they beat their slaves almost to the point of death. The cruel actions of the slaveholders are nearly impossible to call moral, keeping in mind the overall belief that all human beings have dignity and natural
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