Southern Christianity and Slavery

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Southern Christianity and Slavery One of the many character flaws of being human is trying to find justification in the wrong doings of either our self or our family members. In the United States, this trait is seen mostly in Southern Conservative Christian families, but during the years surrounding the Civil War the sense of justification for why slavery was not as horrendous as the Northerners had thought was that the followers of Christ, “held slaves without the disapproval of God.” In the early years of Christianity slavery was a sign of economic stature in the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages. The Bible uses the Hebrew term “ebed” to refer to slavery, but that is not exactly correct. “Ebed” refers more to servant or hired worker than a slave. Biblically slavery is only referred to in the Old Testament through the story of Ham, but historically slavery was an integral part of ancient commerce, taxation, and temple religion. The story of Noah and Ham has been used to justify racial slavery because Christians and even some Muslims identify Ham’s decedents as black Africans. The concepts of honor and social order were some of the most important points when Southern Christians defended slavery. Black Africans, as decedents of Ham, were seen as lacking honor and deserved to be enslaved. So to keep the social order in line the South had to preserve tradition putting men over women, and whites over blacks. “Just as women are called to play a subordinate role, so slaves are stationed by God in their place.” Another defense of slavery was that the church could not prove that slavery itself was a sin, “The question, then, is brought within a narrow compass: Do the Scriptures directly or indirectly condemn slavery as a sin? If they do not, the dispute is ended, for the church, without forfeiting her character, dares not go beyond them.” Since Southern Christian

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