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"Southern Slavery, As It Was" - Christian school rewrites history

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posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 12:09 PM

School defends slavery booklet
Critic says text is 'window dressing'

By T. KEUNG HUI, Staff Writer

Students at one of the area's largest Christian schools are reading a controversial booklet that critics say whitewashes Southern slavery with its view that slaves lived "a life of plenty, of simple pleasures."

Leaders at Cary Christian School say they are not condoning slavery by using "Southern Slavery, As It Was," a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think.

Principal Larry Stephenson said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery.

"You can have two different sides, a Northern perspective and a Southern perspective," he said.
News Observer

Religious indoctrination, rewriting history to fit an agenda of exclusion, pretty scary stuff. "One of the area's largest Christian schools" is now teaching, slavery wasn't that bad. Citing Biblical references, and saying stuff like, there was a loving relationship between the slave owners and the slaves.

"As a classical Christian school, we think it's important for our students to be able to think and not be slanted to a particular position," Stephenson said. "We want them to think for themselves."

Until two years ago, Stephenson said, middle school students also had read excerpts from "Southern Slavery." He said the booklet was a counterpoint to "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which he said portrayed all Southern whites as treating their slaves badly.


Marcus Ranch, who has three daughters at Cary Christian, said he has no problem with the school using the booklet. He said it offers an accurate portrayal that is overlooked of how many slaves were treated kindly by their owners.

Some highlights:


Here are some excerpts from the booklet:

* "To say the least, it is strange that the thing the Bible condemns (slave-trading) brings very little opprobrium upon the North, yet that which the Bible allows (slave-ownership) has brought down all manner of condemnation upon the South." (page 22)

* "As we have already mentioned, the 'peculiar institution' of slavery was not perfect or sinless, but the reality was a far cry from the horrific descriptions given to us in modern histories." (page 22)

* "Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence." (page 24)

* "There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world." (page 24)

* "Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." (page 25)

* "But many Southern blacks supported the South because of long established bonds of affection and trust that had been forged over generations with their white masters and friends." (page 27)

* "Nearly every slave in the South enjoyed a higher standard of living than the poor whites of the South -- and had a much easier existence." (page 30)

At first you might want to think it's just your typical Southern Christian wackos, but there does seem to be a movement in the US to promote bigotry, in the guise of religion.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 12:14 PM
They want it to be a counterpoint to Uncle Tom's cabin??? A book that was written in that time??? Yeah right!!! Now who's more accurate.

In no way is it justified for a human being to be property of another human being.

Plain and simple. And if there was a so called "loving relationship" between the slave owners and the slaves, why didn't the slave owners let them go then???

This is pure BULLCRAP!!!

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 12:16 PM
They should have just called the book

"It's okay to be a slave, but then again, it isn't really that great. But well, gee gunderson, it might not have been that bad. Aw heck, we don't know - but teach it your kids that it was wonderful anyways"

Man - If they had called it that, books would fly off the shelves....

The simple fact that someone had the nerve to write a book like this FOR CHILDREN'S HISTORY just makes my skin crawl.....

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 12:22 PM
If I'm not mistaken, I believe the book in question is published by an actual Hate group...which should, right there, make it unsuitable for use in school. However, this is a private school, so they can pretty much decide it (as can the parents of the students when they don't enroll next year).

It is true that not all slave owners were monsters, and there are other books that illustrate this point far better than this tripe. Those would be far better to show the other side.

Regardless though, the very IDEA of slavery is monstrous in and of itself.

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 04:20 PM
I can see where they're going but in trying to justify slavery they go horribly wrong. Just like any other institution there were parts that were better then others. For instance small farmers that might have one slave tended to treat them better then those on large plantation. Slaves that were rented out in cities because they were artisians lived decent lives "in comparison to other slaves." You even had slave owners that kept their slaves because in the area they were living it was the only way they could guarantee their safety and welfare (there was just as much racism in the North and with slave laws a lot of times free African Americans were sold into slavery just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.) I'm not saying this was all or even most, but there was an element of decent people in the group that owned slaves. I guess there are varying degrees of evil and maybe this is what the school was going for, if in a mis-guided fashion. Slavery in any fashion is wrong, it needed to and was changed at the point in our nations history when such a change was possible. However, the concept that every person that owned a slave was evil which seems to be the flip side of the information that enters textbooks is wrong also. So, somewhere in between the extreme's we've got to have a truth, right?

posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 05:14 PM
Have we honestly gotten to a point where we have to remind people that slavery is bad?

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 03:47 PM
America is ruining christianity.

posted on Dec, 11 2004 @ 08:50 PM
what really annoys me is people talk about slavery like its a thing of the past.

same crap, diffrent name, still goes on today and went on in the north in the during civil war.

its called wage slavery, and then you dont even have to provide clothes food or board for the slaves, what a deal!

posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 11:11 AM
I was actually told by this guy I know, that the slaves lived a better life then his great great granddad did when he was working down the pit. Yea I know this could well be lies, but I cant help but wonder why white people dont moan about how some of there own ancestors were being treated in that period of time by the upper class.


[edit on 12-12-2004 by Dieu et mon droit]

posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 11:39 AM
Well you're typical medieval serf led a pretty appalling existence under his Lord although doubtless some Lords were better than others. Some witnesses to the Irish famine commented that the Irish peasants led lives of squalor and depredation far worse than that of 'enslaved negroes' but this was to make a point about HOW bad the conditions were not to justify slavery. Any subjugation and enslavement of others is beyond the pale and shouldn't be played down to make it more acceptable.

posted on Dec, 12 2004 @ 02:47 PM
Scary, I went to a Catholic school in Alabama and they taught us how the Bilbe condems slavery.

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