Christianity In Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

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Holy Contradiction Frederick Douglass was a black slave in Maryland around the 1830’s and 1840’s who escaped the hardships of slavery and fled to the North where slavery did not exist. He was a great voice for the abolitionist movement and was never afraid to express his thoughts about the Southern slaveholders. His greatest contribution to the abolitionist movement was his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. There are many mentions of Christianity throughout the book, some of which seem to indicate Douglass’ highest admiration for the religion, while others seem to detest it. He had a great struggle between what he thought Christianity to be and how the white Christians carried themselves during his time as a slave.…show more content…
In fact, he writes an entire appendix dedicated to this point. Douglass says, “What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference…I love the pure peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land” (71). Douglass wants the reader to know that he is not criticizing Christianity but is denouncing the religion the slaveholders follow. He goes on to say that he does not recognize what they believe as a religion at all. In fact, he dedicated his life to Christianity as well as the abolitionist movement. Douglass would later go on to become a reverend and teach the word of God to others. Frederick Douglass’ questions about his faith and the hypocritical actions of the Christian slaveholders troubled him greatly. So much so, that it becomes one of the major themes of his book. He goes on to mention it repeatedly, and understandably so. The morals of the slaveholders were in complete contradiction to what he knew of Christ. Luckily for Douglass, he was able to see through the slaveholder’s facade and hold on to his faith before they took that from him in addition to his
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