Report laments seminary's legacy of slavery, racism
A report just released on the legacy of slavery and racism at a major Southern Baptist seminary is raising some eyebrows.
In contrast to Islam and Sharia, the Judeo-Christian tradition from day one has been adamantly opposed to the slave trade. That's but one reason Sharia must be stopped in its tracks everywhere.
It is incumbent upon our president that he be a man who uses the resources at his disposal to resist, reject and prevent the implementation of Sharia law anywhere, at any time, under any circumstances in the United States.
Sharia law is already making encroachments in American culture in large ways and small, whether its Target cashiers getting a pass for refusing to serve customers who want to buy bacon, or Christians being arrested for handing out free copies of the gospel of John to Muslims on a public sidewalk.
But making concessions to Sharia law over against the moral code of the Judeo-Christian tradition is not something brand new for America. We started doing it in 1619 when we began to tolerate the slave trade, as the first shipment of 30 African slaves arrived on the shores of Virginia.
By the way, the first legally recognized slave in America, John Casor, was actually the property of a black man, a colonist by the name of Anthony Johnson. A Northampton County court ruled in 1654 that Casor was "owned" by Johnson, and was his property for life. There were many black slaveholders in the South at the outbreak of the Civil War, and many of them took up arms against the North.
Here's how columnist Thomas Sowell puts it: "[T]here were thousands of … blacks in the antebellum south who were commercial slave owners, just like their white counterparts. An estimated one-third of the 'free persons of color' in New Orleans were slave owners and thousands of these slave owners volunteered to fight for the Confederacy…"
The slaves who were brought here in chains in 1619 were Africans who had been kidnapped by other Africans and sold to slave traders who in turn brought them to America. The kidnappers, the ones who went into the interior of Africa to capture their fellow Africans to sell them into bondage, were predominantly Muslims.
In fact, according to Sowell, a million or more Europeans were enslaved by Muslim pirates from North Africa from 1500-1800, and whites were sold at slave auctions in Egypt until at least the year 1885. Muslims still openly practice slavery today in places like Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
Muhammad himself practiced slavery, and directed his followers to do the same. Since Muhammad is the ultimate role model for Muslims, and Muslims believe that everything he did will be worthy of imitation until the end of time, slavery will always have moral approval in Islam.
Estimates are that over 17 million slaves were transported out of Africa by Islamic slave traders, and a staggering 8.5 million are believed to have died en route. About 645,000 of those wound up in what became the United States.
Quoting Sowell: "…the region of West Africa…was one of the great slave-trading regions of the continent – before, during, and after the white man arrived. It was Africans who enslaved their fellow Africans, selling some of these slaves to Europeans or to Arabs and keeping others for themselves. Even at the peak of the Atlantic slave trade, Africans retained more slaves for themselves than they sent to the Western Hemisphere…Arabs were the leading slave raiders in East Africa, ranging over an area larger than all of Europe." (Emphasis mine.)
Now, in contrast to Islam and Sharia, the Judeo-Christian tradition from day one has been adamantly opposed to the slave trade.
The civil code of ancient Israel did provide, as America did, for indentured servitude, which was voluntary and had statutory limits after which emancipation was required. As many as two-thirds of the English settlers who came to America in the 17th century came as indentured servants.
Ancient Israel also allowed prisoners of war to be held as slaves, just as the United States did with German POWs in WWII. Planeloads of German POWs were brought to the South and worked in the fields until the end of the war. We couldn't send them home during the war, where they would take up arms again and kill us, and we didn't want to execute them. Servitude was the only compassionate alternative. And it was the same in ancient Israel.
But Moses flatly prohibited the slave trade under penalty of death. "Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death" (Exodus 21:16). In other words, if a strictly biblical code had been followed in 1619, the slave trader who brought that ship to Virginia would have been arrested the moment he landed, prosecuted and hung by the neck until dead. The slaves on board would have been returned to their families and their homelands, and slavery would never have gained a foothold in the United States.
But sadly, we made our first concession to Sharia law in 1619 instead of being guided by the wisdom of Scripture, and we have paid a terrible price for it. Slavery became our first national sin, as abortion is today.
The slave trade is flatly prohibited in the New Testament as well. Paul speaks in 1 Timothy of the proper role of the law, and indicates that the law "is not laid down for the just," who will not need the external coercion of the law to make responsible social choices. Their internal value system will guide their conduct in culture-affirming directions.
So the law is "for the lawless and disobedient...for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, (and) perjurers..." (1 Timothy 1:9-10, ESV).
The word translated "enslavers" (andropodistes) literally means a "man who brings others to his feet." The lexicons define the word this way: "a slave dealer, kidnapper, man-stealer, one who unjustly reduces free men to slavery, or steals slaves of others and sells them."
So if the early colonists had followed either the Old or New Testaments, the slave trade would have been treated as criminal behavior from the very beginning, and America never would have been plagued with all the myriad evils that slavery and racism have brought to our land.
As Sowell has pointed out, the real question is not what created slavery but what ended it. And it was evangelical, Tea Party-types who brought this horrific and barbaric practice to an end.
Sowell: "While slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in its history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all….Moreover, within Western civilization, the principal impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called 'the religious right.'…this story is not 'politically correct' in today's terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened." (Emphasis mine.)
Bottom line: If the Scriptures had been followed instead of Sharia law, there would have been no slavery in America, no Civil War, and no racial unrest. As always, the Bible was the solution, not the problem. Let's stop Sharia in its tracks everywhere before we make another disastrous concession to this dark and dangerous religion.
Bryan Fischer hosts "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" every weekday on AFR Talk (American Family Radio) from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (Central).
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