STOP saying the bible promotes slavery!!

Nov 2017
789
Commune
#51
The church conferred its stamp of approval on the practice of enslaving Africans when the Portuguese started doing so. Now, I'm not going to claim that no abolitionists were motivated by faith. Clearly, they typically were. However, "Christians" invented the problem to begin with...at least as far as African enslavement by Europeans goes. In fact, papal bulls were issued which endorsed the practice. And really, not only was the practice officially endorsed, the church explicitly granted its permission to enslave Africans. Hence, the church itself contributed greatly to the very creation of African slavery. I think it's great that a subset of the faithful eventually saw the light but let's not gloss over the fact that another subset of the same overall group were primarily responsible for the spread of chattel slavery in the first place. And I do believe they all read the same bible.
I love how only Catholicism is attacked in regards to colonial slavery. Nothing about Protestant slavery by the English, the Dutch, the Danes and even the Swedes (should honestly count France as well given it's one of the cradles of the Protestant heresy) which was even worse, not to mention they came to control the Spanish and Portuguese empires indirectly and kept encouraging their slave trade while trading their own to their colonies.

And no, the Church didn't condone nor "contributed greatly" since the Church by the 14th century was nothing more than a rump state firmly under the control of France, the HRE and the ascending Iberian kingdoms like Portugal and Aragon. The approval of the Church is not condoning, it only means the Church allowed the Portuguese, because the Portuguese forced the Church to approve so.

It's also clear that colonialism started because of the anthropocentric, anti-medieval, Greco-Roman and pagan Renaissance, not Christianity. Evil Christianity took 1500 years to inspire the colonial project, making it clear that it wasn't Christianity that caused colonialism (which includes the African slave trade), nor even served as its justification (justification is not causation). Meanwhile, in just 100 years after the Renaissance started in the 14th century the Portuguese and Spaniards were enslaving Africans and annexing islands off the coast of Africa, and started their invasion of the Americas as soon as they reached it, with your enlightened Protestants that you thoroughly ignore following them soon after.
 
Feb 2013
4,243
Coastal Florida
#52
I'm pretty sure Romans had African slaves when Christianity wasn't yet existing.
Sure but I wasn't talking about the ancient period.

I love how only Catholicism is attacked in regards to colonial slavery. Nothing about Protestant slavery by the English, the Dutch, the Danes and even the Swedes (should honestly count France as well given it's one of the cradles of the Protestant heresy) which was even worse, not to mention they came to control the Spanish and Portuguese empires indirectly and kept encouraging their slave trade while trading their own to their colonies.
A mere recitation of facts is hardly an attack. As for Protestants, you're right, they weren't any better as they carried slavery forward. But then, my mention of "the church" was really a reference to mid-15th century Christianity. At that time, Protestantism was generally unorganized and confined to relatively small pockets of dissent. Clearly, that branch of Christianity didn't evolve into a dominating force until the next century. Hence, practically-speaking, Catholicism was the only game in town when it came to Christian religious authority of the particular period and setting I was talking about there.

And no, the Church didn't condone nor "contributed greatly" since the Church by the 14th century was nothing more than a rump state firmly under the control of France, the HRE and the ascending Iberian kingdoms like Portugal and Aragon. The approval of the Church is not condoning, it only means the Church allowed the Portuguese, because the Portuguese forced the Church to approve so.
The approval of the church is not condoning? On it's face, that's a ridiculous oxymoron. As for the rest, I doubt you possess the means to demonstrate the church was "forced" to do anything in this regard. Politics obviously played a role but the idea that the church had no choice but to approve of slavery is rather far-fetched.

It's also clear that colonialism started because of the anthropocentric, anti-medieval, Greco-Roman and pagan Renaissance, not Christianity. Evil Christianity took 1500 years to inspire the colonial project, making it clear that it wasn't Christianity that caused colonialism (which includes the African slave trade), nor even served as its justification (justification is not causation).
Please. "Christian" religious authorities (self-proclaimed and otherwise) routinely justified slavery by claiming that "converting the heathen" in servitude was good for them.

Meanwhile, in just 100 years after the Renaissance started in the 14th century the Portuguese and Spaniards were enslaving Africans and annexing islands off the coast of Africa, and started their invasion of the Americas as soon as they reached it, with your enlightened Protestants that you thoroughly ignore following them soon after.
As noted above, I didn't draw this distinction between Catholics and Protestants. Rather, I was implicitly lumping them all together when I mentioned subsets and the "overall group". So, I'm an equal-opportunity offender, I suppose. Somehow, I doubt very many of the popes, royalty, slave traders, slave owners, overseers and anyone else involved in the business of slavery were members of any other religion besides some branch of Christianity...at least as far as the system of slavery around and across the Atlantic during the mid to late 2nd millennium A.D. was concerned. Religious apologists may operate under some desperate fantastical notion that all these people were atheists but I don't see any reason to think so. Rather, I think almost every single one of them would have proudly claimed to be a Christian of some stripe if asked.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#53
Sure but I wasn't talking about the ancient period.



A mere recitation of facts is hardly an attack. As for Protestants, you're right, they weren't any better as they carried slavery forward. But then, my mention of "the church" was really a reference to mid-15th century Christianity. At that time, Protestantism was generally unorganized and confined to relatively small pockets of dissent. Clearly, that branch of Christianity didn't evolve into a dominating force until the next century. Hence, practically-speaking, Catholicism was the only game in town when it came to Christian religious authority of the particular period and setting I was talking about there.



The approval of the church is not condoning? On it's face, that's a ridiculous oxymoron. As for the rest, I doubt you possess the means to demonstrate the church was "forced" to do anything in this regard. Politics obviously played a role but the idea that the church had no choice but to approve of slavery is rather far-fetched.



Please. "Christian" religious authorities (self-proclaimed and otherwise) routinely justified slavery by claiming that "converting the heathen" in servitude was good for them.



As noted above, I didn't draw this distinction between Catholics and Protestants. Rather, I was implicitly lumping them all together when I mentioned subsets and the "overall group". So, I'm an equal-opportunity offender, I suppose. Somehow, I doubt very many of the popes, royalty, slave traders, slave owners, overseers and anyone else involved in the business of slavery were members of any other religion besides some branch of Christianity...at least as far as the system of slavery around and across the Atlantic during the mid to late 2nd millennium A.D. was concerned. Religious apologists may operate under some desperate fantastical notion that all these people were atheists but I don't see any reason to think so. Rather, I think almost every single one of them would have proudly claimed to be a Christian of some stripe if asked.
I see the practice of multi-quoting in the belief you're actually saying something. I know that Protestantism didn't even exist (in pockets? there weren't even Protestants at the time, and other heretical movements aren't Protestantism) in the 15th century. My point is that you reflexively attack Catholicism immediately rather than attacking Protestantism, which shows clearly where you stand, so spare me this ridiculous assertion that you oppose all Christian slavery when you don't.

And yes, approval is not condoning, you should be looking at a dictionary instead of telling me that it is an "oxymoron", and you completely ignore how the Church at that point was nothing more than a rump state that had just returned to Italy after decades in France. It had no independence whatsoever and it also wasn't the one doing the enslaving either, it was secular Portuguese, not any Catholic cleric. To repeat myself again, since you don't address this, either the Church approved of Portugal's actions, or it could get itself into further conflict. It really had no choice and was completely under the rule of secular powers.

You also fail completely to not address my argument about the Renaissance since you don't even mention it anywhere in your response, just repeat without evidence that Christians "routinely" justified slavery to convert the heathen without any evidence. The Renaissance on the other hand was the most important cultural movement at the time slavery was revived*, and it shows in the Portuguese Lusiads, one of the most important Portuguese literary works and which has so little Christian elements that could have been something written by a Greco-Roman polytheist.


*Since in the Middle Ages it had been successfully replaced for the most part with serfdom, corvee and other forms of servitude that may be slavery in practice but definitely not in rhetoric. To tell you that Catholicism successfully eradicated Norse thralldom, something never said by anti-Catholic ideologues in their polemics.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#54
Sure but I wasn't talking about the ancient period.



A mere recitation of facts is hardly an attack. As for Protestants, you're right, they weren't any better as they carried slavery forward. But then, my mention of "the church" was really a reference to mid-15th century Christianity. At that time, Protestantism was generally unorganized and confined to relatively small pockets of dissent. Clearly, that branch of Christianity didn't evolve into a dominating force until the next century. Hence, practically-speaking, Catholicism was the only game in town when it came to Christian religious authority of the particular period and setting I was talking about there.



The approval of the church is not condoning? On it's face, that's a ridiculous oxymoron. As for the rest, I doubt you possess the means to demonstrate the church was "forced" to do anything in this regard. Politics obviously played a role but the idea that the church had no choice but to approve of slavery is rather far-fetched.



Please. "Christian" religious authorities (self-proclaimed and otherwise) routinely justified slavery by claiming that "converting the heathen" in servitude was good for them.



As noted above, I didn't draw this distinction between Catholics and Protestants. Rather, I was implicitly lumping them all together when I mentioned subsets and the "overall group". So, I'm an equal-opportunity offender, I suppose. Somehow, I doubt very many of the popes, royalty, slave traders, slave owners, overseers and anyone else involved in the business of slavery were members of any other religion besides some branch of Christianity...at least as far as the system of slavery around and across the Atlantic during the mid to late 2nd millennium A.D. was concerned. Religious apologists may operate under some desperate fantastical notion that all these people were atheists but I don't see any reason to think so. Rather, I think almost every single one of them would have proudly claimed to be a Christian of some stripe if asked.
I see the practice of multi-quoting in the belief you're actually saying something. I know that Protestantism didn't even exist (in pockets? there weren't even Protestants at the time, and other heretical movements aren't Protestantism) in the 15th century. My point is that you reflexively attack Catholicism immediately rather than attacking Protestantism, which shows clearly where you stand, so spare me this ridiculous assertion that you oppose all Christian slavery when you don't.

And yes, approval is not condoning, you should be looking at a dictionary instead of telling me that it is an "oxymoron", and you completely ignore how the Church at that point was nothing more than a rump state that had just returned to Italy after decades in France. It had no independence whatsoever and it also wasn't the one doing the enslaving either, it was secular Portuguese, not any Catholic cleric. To repeat myself again, since you don't address this, either the Church approved of Portugal's actions, or it could get itself into further conflict. It really had no choice and was completely under the rule of secular powers.

You also fail completely to not address my argument about the Renaissance since you don't even mention it anywhere in your response, just repeat without evidence that Christians "routinely" justified slavery to convert the heathen without any evidence. The Renaissance on the other hand was the most important cultural movement at the time slavery was revived*, and it shows in the culmination of over a century of Portuguese Renaissance thought in the Lusiads, the Portuguese national epic used to justify colonialism that has so little Christian elements that could have been something written by a Greco-Roman polytheist.

The Renaissance was the revival of the same civilisation that had slavery as its main mode of production, which is why it is the main influence in the revival of mass scale slavery, and to ignore this in favour of the usual "Dark Ages were the period where Catholicism is the cause and justification of everything" is terrible historical analysis.

*Since in the Middle Ages it had been successfully replaced for the most part with serfdom, corvee and other forms of servitude that may be slavery in practice but definitely not in rhetoric. To tell you that Catholicism successfully eradicated Norse thralldom, something never said by anti-Catholic ideologues in their polemics.
 
Dec 2015
2,512
USA
#55
I see the practice of multi-quoting in the belief you're actually saying something. I know that Protestantism didn't even exist (in pockets? there weren't even Protestants at the time, and other heretical movements aren't Protestantism) in the 15th century. My point is that you reflexively attack Catholicism immediately rather than attacking Protestantism, which shows clearly where you stand, so spare me this ridiculous assertion that you oppose all Christian slavery when you don't.

And yes, approval is not condoning, you should be looking at a dictionary instead of telling me that it is an "oxymoron", and you completely ignore how the Church at that point was nothing more than a rump state that had just returned to Italy after decades in France. It had no independence whatsoever and it also wasn't the one doing the enslaving either, it was secular Portuguese, not any Catholic cleric. To repeat myself again, since you don't address this, either the Church approved of Portugal's actions, or it could get itself into further conflict. It really had no choice and was completely under the rule of secular powers.

You also fail completely to not address my argument about the Renaissance since you don't even mention it anywhere in your response, just repeat without evidence that Christians "routinely" justified slavery to convert the heathen without any evidence. The Renaissance on the other hand was the most important cultural movement at the time slavery was revived*, and it shows in the Portuguese Lusiads, one of the most important Portuguese literary works and which has so little Christian elements that could have been something written by a Greco-Roman polytheist.


*Since in the Middle Ages it had been successfully replaced for the most part with serfdom, corvee and other forms of servitude that may be slavery in practice but definitely not in rhetoric. To tell you that Catholicism successfully eradicated Norse thralldom, something never said by anti-Catholic ideologues in their polemics.
Pretty much all major branches of Christianity in multiple parts of history practiced slavery;
-Orthodox Russian and Byzantium practiced slavery.
-Catholic Spain, France, and Portugal practiced slavery.
-Protestant England, Netherlands, and the USA practiced slavery.

Regardless if you think there's some anti-papist agenda or not, there was a time that the Church did condone and pardoned slavery; it's literally why the entire region of Latin America is predominately Catholic. This isn't something you can really debate.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#56
Pretty much all major branches of Christianity in multiple parts of history practiced slavery;
-Orthodox Russian and Byzantium practiced slavery.
-Catholic Spain, France, and Portugal practiced slavery.
-Protestant England, Netherlands, and the USA practiced slavery.

Regardless if you think there's some anti-papist agenda or not, there was a time that the Church did condone and pardoned slavery; it's literally why the entire region of Latin America is predominately Catholic. This isn't something you can really debate.
I never denied that Christians didn't practice slavery, what I'm denying is that the Transatlantic slave trade was inspired and justified with Christianity becaue slavery was successfully replaced by other forms of labour like serfdom, and Transatlantic slavery is owed to the Renaissance and not Christianity because of this.

And Latin America isn't Catholic for any action of the Catholic Church but as a mere byproduct of the Spanish conquest and centuries of Spanish Catholic immigration, nor is it Catholic for slavery but colonialism, which is not the same. African slaves were brought, but they're a minority and they actually still practice their native religion with some elements borrowed from Spanish and Portuguese Catholicism. Some Native Americans were enslaved, but the vast majority weren't and instead engaged in non-slave forms of forced labour, and they also still largely practice their native religions just like Africans.

And no, the Catholic Church did not "condone" slavery, it merely approved actions done by secular rulers, at a time that it had lost almost all independence. It still challenged them on occasion, only to fail of course. Pope Clement in the 16th century is an example. Charles V sacked Rome because this Pope dared to rebel against him. Catholic clerics were also the ones who opposed slavery the most. Bartolomé de las Casas initially defended African slavery but came to condemn it in its entirety by the last decades of his life and worked tirelessly against it.
 
Dec 2015
2,512
USA
#57
I never denied that Christians didn't practice slavery, what I'm denying is that the Transatlantic slave trade was inspired and justified with Christianity becaue slavery was successfully replaced by other forms of labour like serfdom, and Transatlantic slavery is owed to the Renaissance and not Christianity because of this.
Except that is what happened; the Church did permit and expressively encouraged the enslavement of the various indigenous peoples of America and later Africa as a means of converting them. You see it in letters from missionaries as well as court documents at the time. Religion was a motivation.

And Latin America isn't Catholic for any action of the Catholic Church but as a mere byproduct of the Spanish conquest and centuries of Spanish Catholic immigration, nor is it Catholic for slavery but colonialism, which is not the same.
The entire point of the Encomienda system was to enslave and convert natives, as well as administrate the colonies. That is why the majority of Latinos are Catholic, because their predominately indigenous ancestors were forcibly converted by their conquerors.

That's kind of how imperialism and colonialism works.

African slaves were brought, but they're a minority and they actually still practice their native religion with some elements borrowed from Spanish and Portuguese Catholicism. Some Native Americans were enslaved, but the vast majority weren't and instead engaged in non-slave forms of forced labour, and they also still largely practice their native religions just like Africans.
This is such wordplay that it's not even funny.

People living in an Encomienda had no rights or liberties. They were entirely beholden to their masters who had authority both from the crown and the church over their daily matters. They were property and the responsibly of those who owned them, even well after they had converted to Christianity.

This is basic Latin American history. Anyone going to school in Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, Seville, or any decent 100 level college course on Latin America is taught this.

And no, the Catholic Church did not "condone" slavery, it merely approved actions done by secular rulers, at a time that it had lost almost all independence.
So they didn't "condone" slavery, they just approved of enslavement by secular rulers acting under their authority and approval.

Just stop. This is not helping your argument.

It still challenged them on occasion, only to fail of course. Pope Clement in the 16th century is an example. Charles V sacked Rome because this Pope dared to rebel against him. Catholic clerics were also the ones who opposed slavery the most. Bartolomé de las Casas initially defended African slavery but came to condemn it in its entirety by the last decades of his life and worked tirelessly against it.
And yet the enslavement of Africans would continue for centuries afterwards with active endorsement by missionaries and traders alike as a means to save their souls. Again, not an argument.
 
Nov 2017
789
Commune
#58
Except that is what happened; the Church did permit and expressively encouraged the enslavement of the various indigenous peoples of America and later Africa as a means of converting them. You see it in letters from missionaries as well as court documents at the time. Religion was a motivation.


The entire point of the Encomienda system was to enslave and convert natives, as well as administrate the colonies. That is why the majority of Latinos are Catholic, because their predominately indigenous ancestors were forcibly converted by their conquerors.

That's kind of how imperialism and colonialism works.



This is such wordplay that it's not even funny.

People living in an Encomienda had no rights or liberties. They were entirely beholden to their masters who had authority both from the crown and the church over their daily matters. They were property and the responsibly of those who owned them, even well after they had converted to Christianity.

This is basic Latin American history. Anyone going to school in Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires, Seville, or any decent 100 level college course on Latin America is taught this.



So they didn't "condone" slavery, they just approved of enslavement by secular rulers acting under their authority and approval.

Just stop. This is not helping your argument.



And yet the enslavement of Africans would continue for centuries afterwards with active endorsement by missionaries and traders alike as a means to save their souls. Again, not an argument.

The secular rulers of Europe were not under the authority of the Pope, it was completely the other way around. And no, the Pope "encouraged" nothing, it only approved of slavery because it either did that or the Papacy got destroyed in further wars between Catholics. The Catholic kingdoms only brought the Pope as a further ally against other secular rulers such as France, but they weren't under his authority, the Pope was completely ruled by them instead. Again, Charles V sacked Rome when Clement VII dared to rebel against him.

Basically, things like the Treaty of Tordesillas were not ordered by the Pope, they were approvals based on threats against the Catholic Church to further legitimise Spanish conquest against secular rivals. They would have gone on to conquest without the approval of the Pope, who was nothing but a symbolic figure.

You also clearly don't know all that much about Latin America. Latinos today outnumber Native Americans because the latter were largely exterminated and thus minoritised - and not just because of the Spaniards but also by the English that were raiding and devastating the Spanish colonies and their economy in Latin America in the 16th century -, not because Native Americans were converted en masse, whom, again, still stick to their native religions. Catholic clerics were sent to Latin America, but they were to serve the Spanish migrants that arrived and only secondarily did they try to convert Native Americans.

And no, the encomienda system is not slavery, it's a form of non-slave forced labour, nor was it to convert them, which is something that people need to stop saying. There was enslavement of Native Americans but the vast majority worked as free workers, which obviously doesn't mean they were better than slaves but the point is that it was not slavery.

So to summarise: the Pope did not rule anything but was instead ruled, did not encourage anything, only approved because he had to to prevent wars and to keep the Church alive, and the Spaniards and Portuguese didn't need his approval, only forced the Pope as further legitimisation of their conquests and their slave practices against secular rulers like the French king or the Holy Roman Emperor, who were arguably their main rivals.

To say the Catholic Church actively participated in slavery and actively justified is thus grossly distorting history.
 
Jul 2017
842
Crete
#59
To say the Catholic Church actively participated in slavery and actively justified is thus grossly distorting history.
Catholic Church created North Korea, Pol Pot and responsible for over 20 million deaths last century and
yet pseudo-communist still defend them.
 

Similar History Discussions