‘The truth is, there were Christians on both sides of the American slavery debate… I have no doubt that many of the people who opposed abolition, interracial marriage, protection of indigenous people, black civil rights, women’s suffrage, etc. believed wholeheartedly that God was on their side and they were simply being faithful to God’s Word. While blatant hate and racism certainly motivated plenty of our country’s past oppressors, blatant hate and racism aren’t nearly as effective at sustaining oppressive systems as uncritical acceptance of the way things are.’
From The Slaveowners and Me: On Nurturing Empathy for Oppressors
Rachel Held Evans (underlining is my own)
A powerful, thought-provoking post on Rachel Held Evans’ blog today. I don’t always agree with Rachel’s conclusions, but I am so thankful for someone who has the both the intellect and the guts to question the status quo, who is not afraid to look at herself, and those around her, with honesty and an earnest, unquenchable desire for Truth. Click here to read more; it will open in a new tab.
Also, before anyone points out that as a Briton it’s easy for me to point the finger at those across the Pond, I’d like to ask my fellow British readers if they are aware of our country’s complicit past in the slave trade? Did you know that the transatlantic slave trade was responsible for the deaths of millions of Africans – let alone the horrors of slavery for those who survived – and that our own great Industrial Revolution was funded by cash directly linked to slavery in the Caribbean? Also, fellow Britishers, are you aware of the level of exploitation and plundering of entire nations that existed under the British Empire? I’m not accusing anyone with these words – just pointing out that we cannot look upon the here and now without reference to the past, especially to past injustices perpetrated by our ancestors and especially where we have ourselves benefited, however unwittingly, from them.