Saturday, April 18, 2015

Biblical Defenses of Slavery and Homophobia

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
~ Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Just as Southern slave holders used Leviticus verses to defend slavery so do their 21st century descendents in their attacks on homosexuals. Leviticus 25:44-46 was a standard proof that God supported the institution of slavery.
As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. 
You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property.
You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. ~ Leviticus 25:44-46
Their modern brethren reach a few chapters earlier (Lev. 18 and 20) for passages that justify their hatred of gays. 

Slavers also loved St. Paul whose epistles were filled with instructions to slaves to submit themselves to their masters in all respects even if the masters are cruel. Paul once even returned a runaway slave to his master (Epistle to Philemon), an event used by slave states to justify the Fugitive Slave Act requiring Northern states to return slaves seeking freedom.

Paul's frequently expressed hatred of gays are now popular quotations.

Both slavers and homophobes believed that the Bible is infallible through the centuries and that what was written then applies equally now. This leads to comical results when the issue of slavery in the Bible is raised today. The first commenter in this blog twists himself into a knot so complex the most skilled Eagle Scout couldn't unravel him. According to him, the slaves referenced were really servants and God didn't want to try to undo the economic institution of slavery because it was so ingrained in popular culture at the time. So God just instituted a few reasonable guidelines such as allowing slave holders to beat a slave within an inch of death but not murder them outright.

Christian Bible defenders try to have it both ways with Leviticus. They say Mosaic Law was overturned by that slave loving, gay bashing St. Paul. But is still enforced with regard to homosexuals, not because Jesus said it (He didn't.) but on the word of Paul.

In truth, Paul did away with Mosaic Law because he didn't want to scare away Gentiles with that whole circumcision commandment.  Roman converts got to keep their foreskins but couldn't fuck around so much anymore so Paul allowed them to pig out on pork as consolation.

More on Christians and Slavery

No comments: