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Old June 29th, 2018, 06:50 PM   #1
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Teaching Christianity to the enslaved


I heard that at first this was strictly prohibited 🚫 in case they got wise, questioned their conditions and rose up. They also banned them from being taught to read and write for the same reason. Why did as this allowed? How can you teach a man who is enslaved Christianity and to serve god? Was the ’christianity’ the enslaved were taught was different to their owners and rest of the non black population? Were they taught their colour was a curse from god and they had to loyally se be their masters to be blessed by Jesus? How did they deal with chapters saying ‘do unto others as you would wish it be done onto you?’
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Old June 29th, 2018, 07:18 PM   #2
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The Bible is a complex book, subject to multiple interpretations. One can find a Bible passage to support just about anything. Both the Old and New Testaments support slavery. Jesus clearly instructed, 'servants obey your masters.' If you're thinking that Christianity is a force for social justice, you're right. Jesus also instructed masters to be kind and generous to their servants. Masters were supposed to obey God and only give rightous commands to their servants.

Since the slaves were kept illiterate, they were unable to read those parts of the Bible that their masters did not want them to know. To the slaves, Christianity was whatever their masters told them it was. Masters did use Christianity to enforce the existing social order. In that regard they were no different than anyone else who interpreted their faith in a manner that justified what the Christian had already decided was the right way to live.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 08:00 PM   #3
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So what made the owners change from banning them to be taught religion to then allowing it? That would be the way to abolition which they were against. I heard d for the first century of the Atlantic Slave Trade the owners and the darts bekievedtve blacks had no souls, so were not ‘human’ or ‘men’ or ‘women’ but property like cattle so to teach them religion would be inappropriate like teaching cattle and horses!
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Old June 30th, 2018, 03:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lekbo View Post
So what made the owners change from banning them to be taught religion to then allowing it? That would be the way to abolition which they were against. I heard d for the first century of the Atlantic Slave Trade the owners and the darts bekievedtve blacks had no souls, so were not ‘human’ or ‘men’ or ‘women’ but property like cattle so to teach them religion would be inappropriate like teaching cattle and horses!
Maybe those who taught their slaves the Bible wanted to save them from eternal damnation.

And BTW, I am not sure where the Bible argues that there is a separate "soul."
"The traditional concept of an immaterial and immortal soul distinct from the body was not found in Judaism before the Babylonian exile,[1] but developed as a result of interaction with Persian and Hellenistic philosophies.[2]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_in_the_Bible
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Old June 30th, 2018, 03:57 AM   #5
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In the 1740s the American colonies were swept by a religious revival called the Great Awakening. It was during this period of intense religious interest that attitudes toward the slaves changed. Prior to the Great Awakening, there were few efforts to convert the slaves to Christianity, and they were left to practice their traditional African religions.

I don't know that prior to the Great Awakening that slaves were banned from Christianity. It was probably more a case of slave owners just not caring to put out the effort. Thinking of slaves as livestock may have had something to do with it. One would not bother to convert a horse or a cow to Christianity. If you know something of this ban, did the state make it illegal to teach Christianity to slaves or did the Church ban its teachings to those it believed had no souls?

Attitudes may have changed for a variety of reasons, including more than one at the same time. The practice of non-Christian religions could have been offensive to Euro-Americans who were going through a religious revival. There's the very practical use of religion to enforce the established social order. There's also the very Christian belief that they gained credit with God for every person they converted. so that the more people one converted, the greater one's chance of getting into heaven. If every white person is already a Christian, then the only way to gain new converts is among non-whites.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 08:38 AM   #6
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Christianity is favorable to maintaining not only slavery but any sort of subjugation just look at the dark ages. It teaches people who are wronged to A turn the other cheek and B convinces them there's something beyond their physical life to look forward to and if that they don't sin they will live in eternal paradise. Believing in these things will make any slave population or any population with good reason to hate their lives considerably less likely to rebel or do something about it. It's also entirely possible they used targeted messaging or different story's as well, I don't know but it's not really necessary. The same is not true of teaching people to read and write generally.

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; June 30th, 2018 at 09:52 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 08:42 AM   #7

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I know it is not the same thing but slaves were encouraged to sing when they were getting tired while working in the fields. This was to make them "feel better" so that they could work more.

Last edited by Robert165; June 30th, 2018 at 08:44 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 10:45 AM   #8

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If you are talking about slaves in early America, it was mostly Anglo and Anglican (or Protestant) at the time. It's a different thing than Catholicism; there was far less focus on missionary work, whether among natives or slaves.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 03:35 PM   #9
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The Bible is a complex book, subject to multiple interpretations.
I don't see much room for interpretation of this.


Deuteronomy 7 New King James Version (NKJV)

A Chosen People
7 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. 3 Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. 4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. 5 But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their [a]wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire."

Last edited by stevev; June 30th, 2018 at 03:48 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 06:07 PM   #10

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I don't see much room for interpretation of this.


Deuteronomy 7 New King James Version (NKJV)

A Chosen People
7 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. 3 Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. 4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. 5 But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their [a]wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire."

It's clearly telling us not to wear mixed fabrics.
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