"Slavery and Christianity could not co-exist . . . , and the doom of slavery became certain [when this was realized]," says Rev. William Goodell, Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A History of the Great Struggle In Both Hemispheres; With A View of The Slavery Question In The United States (New York: William Harned Pub, 1852), p 368. "Christianity had abolished slavery throughout the Roman Empire. . . . The feudal system had been displaced in modern Europe . . .," p 370.
|At one time, for one ultra-short period, Judah (only one of the twelve  tribes of Israel), did try to commit the sin of slavery! The divine reaction/penalty was swift, Jeremiah 34:17, the prompt wiping out of the nation by terrorists and Ancient Babylon, says Rev. George B. Cheever, God Against Slavery (1857), pp 72-81 and 107-115. That ended that!
God and the Bible are ultra anti-slavery, providing the death penalty for even attempting it (modern term, kidnapping).
Even in the depths of Southern slavery, one pro-slavery activist, Thomas F. Marshall, had "too much respect for . . . God, to" [accuse His Word of having pro-slavery words].
Pro-slavery clergymen lacked such respect. They “had simply no moral sense,” said Kentucky clergyman Rev. Robert J. Breckinridge, p 9. Their scandalous behavior was the “acmé of piratical turpitude,” says Lewis Tappan, Address (1843), p 19.
Instead of respect, U.S. clergy, says Rev. Stephen S. Foster in Thieves (1843), were as described by a pro-slavery clergyman, Rev. Smylie, three-fourths of them “of the devil” (pp 14-15). No doubt, in view of slavery's purpose, p 57, including selling women into prostitution, p 41, and advocating lynching of anti-slavery activists, p 46.
For more examples of wicked U.S. clergymen, see the list of vile pro-slavery clergy.
In short, most U.S. clergy lacked the respect that slaver Marshall professed to have for God. Rev. Fee saw that “ninety-nine hundredths of the Christian ministry in our land claim that it [slavery] is at least tolerated by the Bible” (Sinfulness of Slavery, 1851), p 3.
Note 1 Kings 18:19, citing at Elijah's time, an 800:1 ratio of honest vs lying clergy, sadly a continuing dilemma, 1 Corinthians 10:6 and 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
Shamefully, many alleged Christian clergy, expositors and commentators even today, lack even Marshall's "respect for God" on the slavery subject, and despite the vast evidence against it, still falsely accuse the Bible of being pro-slavery.
Italian, as Il Protestantismo Paragonato col Cattolicismo nelle sue Relizione con la Civiltà Éuropea (Roma: G.B. Zampi, 1845, 1846) French, as Le Protestantisme Comparé au Catholicisme dans ses Rapports avec la Civilisation Européene, 8th éd., rev. et cor. avec soin, et augm. d'une introduction par A. de Blanche-Raffin (Paris, 1870) English, by C. J. Hanford and Robert Kershaw, as European Civilization: Protestantism and Catholicity Compared (Baltimore: Murphy & Co, 1850, 1874).
- 441 A.D. (censuring slavers)
- 549 A.D. (church buildings as refuges for escaping slaves)
- 566 A.D. (excommunication-of-slavers proviso)
- 583 A.D. (church issuance of freedom papers)
- 585 A.D. (use church property to free slaves)
- 595 A.D. (freeing entrants to monastic life)
- 616 A.D. (liberty restoration proviso)
- 625 A.D. (ban new slaves, use church property to free current slaves)
- 666 A.D. (ban shaving slaves)
- 844 A.D. (use church property to free slaves)
- 922 A.D. (defines slave-trade as homicide)
- 1102 A.D. (ban slave trade)
Pope Adrian I (771-795): "According to the words of the apostle, as in Jesus Christ we ought not to deprive either slaves or freemen of the sacraments of the chuch, so it is not allowed in any way to prevent the marriage of slaves; and if their marriages have been contracted in spite of the opposition and repugnance of their masters, nevertheless they ought not to be dissolved," and St. Thomas Aquinas (1225/7 - 1274) with respect to marriage: "slaves are not obliged to obey their masters." And: "Human law is law only in virtue of its accordance with right reason: and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence." In "Summa Theologica", I-II, Q.93, Art. 3 ad 2.
". . . the Church, from the beginning, regarded [the slave trade] as immoral . . . In 873, John VIII wrote to the rulers of Sardinia . . . ordering them to restore freedom to slaves bought from the Greeks. . . . ["on Oct. 7, 1462" "Pius II" issued a "condemnation" of the "slave trade."] [See also Biography of Pius II.]
Rev. T. Weld's 1839
J. Birney's 1840 Churches:
Bulwarks of Slavery
Rev. S. Foster's 1843
Brotherhood of Thieves
B. Shaw's 1846
Unconstitutionality of Slavery
Rev. P. Pillsbury's 1847
Churches: Forlorn Hope
J. Tiffany's 1849
Unconstitutionality of Slavery
Rev. J. Fee's 1851
H. B. Stowe's 1853
Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin
A. Lincoln's 1854
Anti-Slavery Peoria Speech
E. C. Rogers' 1855
Slavery Illegality In All Ages
Rev. G. Cheever's 1857
God Against Slavery
Rev. P. Pillsbury's 1883 Acts
of the Anti-Slavery Apostles
"How to Escape Slavery" (One Method)
Library of Congress Data
New York Memorial Action
Ohio Activist in Underground Railroad
Underground Railroad Site
University of California - Davis Site
"A Necessary Bondage? When The Church Endorsed Slavery" by T. David Curp (Crisis, September 2005).
Catholics Continue to Endorse Human Rights: The
June 2008 Supreme Court Habeas Corpus Decision
Copyright © 1999, 2005 Leroy J. Pletten