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We Must Defend the Sanctity of Involuntary Servitude

January 3, 2010

Thanks to LOL god for the image.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jonathan permalink
    January 3, 2010 7:56 pm

    Oh come on Barry, you know the bible’s take on slavery is more complex and nuanced than this.

    There was slavery during early periods, although in Exodus we see many attempts to regulate it, such as here:

    Then, the prophet Jeremiah comes and emancipates the slaves, which happens in Verse 8 of this chapter:

    So, according to biblical narrative, from this point in history onward, slavery is no longer condoned by “God.”

    OK, so let us think a second. The book of Jeremiah spans a period from 626 BC to 587 BC. Now, the only two things I know about are movies and the bible, so I am not quite sure about this, but I think that American slavery occurred sometime after 587 BC, which means that it would not have been condoned by the God of the bible or by biblical law.

  2. Barry permalink*
    January 3, 2010 8:07 pm

    You’re right that it’s more complex. Of course, this is what lead to 19th century slavery proponents and abolitionists invoking biblical language in support of their respective causes.

    This is the problem. The issue of slavery is settled in our society; it is not settled in the Bible. Even if the Bible is not overtly wrong about slavery, it is also not right. So much for divine revelation.

  3. Jonathan permalink
    January 3, 2010 9:00 pm

    Well, according to Jewish law at least, the prophets were reformers, and their laws trump the five books of Moses, and then the Talmud trumps the Prophets and the Torah. The general rule is more recent = right.

    The Talmudic rabbis went back to the five books of Moses and found passages implying that slaves of the time were paid, and signed voluntary contracts, although this is probably too esoteric to apply to American slavery.

    The point is though that the bible was written over a period of thousands of years, and the laws did change during that course of time. Looking at it from a Historical or Rational perspective, there is no way to argue that the OT supports slavery beyond the dates given above. Even the NT passages that have been used to support slavery seem more like metaphors for pacifism than anything else.

  4. David permalink
    January 4, 2010 1:08 pm

    Is the one on the right supposed to suggest that the Bible ain’t down with no cowboy fashion shows? Weird.

    • Barry permalink*
      January 4, 2010 1:10 pm

      That’s exactly right.

  5. Jonathan permalink
    January 4, 2010 4:47 pm


    Yes it does. Leviticus 18:22:

    Thou shalt not walk down a runway wearing a cowboy shirt while holding hands with another man. It is an abomination.

    • Barry permalink*
      January 4, 2010 5:01 pm

      And Lo! If thine back is broketh upon the mountain, do not walk with the temptress Proulx. She leadeth to the grave.

  6. Jonathan permalink
    January 4, 2010 10:04 pm

    Could I have a book, chapter, and line for that? Sounds interesting.

  7. Jonathan permalink
    January 4, 2010 11:24 pm

    Cool. Mine came straight from Leviticus. I just gave it an updated translation. Not that I read Hebrew Latin or Greek or anything. I simply translated it.

    • Barry permalink*
      January 4, 2010 11:37 pm

      Who am I to question your scholarship? No one, that’s who.

  8. David permalink
    January 5, 2010 2:50 pm

    Shucks. I didn’t think there was ANYTHING more straight or American than a cowboy fashion show. Back to the drawing board, I guess. Cripes.

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