Monday, January 14, 2008

How Christians Ended Slavery

From "How Christians Ended Slavery" by Dinesh D'Souza, posted 1/14/07 at KRLA AM

Isn't it remarkable that atheists, who did virtually nothing to oppose slavery, condemn Christians, who are the ones who abolished it?

Consider atheist Sam Harris, who blames Christianity for supporting slavery. Harris is right that slavery existed among the Old Testament Jews, and Paul even instructs slaves to obey their masters. During the civil war both sides quoted the Bible. We know all this. (Yawn, yawn.)

But slavery pre-dated Christianity by centuries and even millennia. As we read from sociologist Orlando Patterson's work, all known cultures had slavery. For centuries, slavery needed no defenders because it had no critics. Atheists who champion ancient Greece and pre-Christian Rome somehow seem to forget that those empires were based on large-scale enslavement.

Atheist Michael Shermer says Christians are "late comers" to the movement against slavery. Shermer advanced this argument in our Cal Tech debate in December. That debate is now online, and you can watch it at

But if what Shermer says is true, who were the early opponents of slavery who got there before the Christians did? Actually, there weren't any...

The truly ironic thing is that if black slavery were still present in the U.S. I suspect very few of today's Christians would raise a voice or lift a finger against it. To speak out for righteousness has fallen into tremendous disfavor. Having imbibed the spirit of the age, even the Church has decided that tolerance (of any and all but the most obviously hideous behavior) is considered loving, and a great virtue. Conversely, speaking out for righteousness is considered unloving and a great spiritual faux pas.

Strangely, many Christians now see the proclamation of God's Law as an 'obstacle to the Gospel' rather than God's instrument to teach men and women what righteousness really is -
thereby leading them to realize they are wretched sinners in need of a savior.

Booker T. Washington certainly saw standing up for righteousness differently than we see it today:
"If no other consideration had convinced me of the value of the Christian life, the Christlike work which the Church of all denominations in America has done during the last 35 years for the elevation of the black man would have made me a Christian."

-Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery, 1907)

Read the rest of this helpful article and consider what the implications are for Christians to stand against the great evils present in our society today such as the promotion of sexual immorality (even to children), abortion, pornography, destruction of religious freedom etc...