Throughout the history of America and even today, people have varying opinions concerning some issues. In the first half of the 19th Century, the topic of contention was slavery. In bringing Africans into America a question was asked on whether it morally right to use and abuse other human beings owing their different skin color (Duncan and Dixon, 1). The period of anti-slavery can be categorized into a period of anti-slavery movements before 1830 and the time of abolitionist movements from the 1830s to the time the civil war ended. Religion was critical in social reforms. Religion through various people such as Stephen Symonds Foster expressed the belief that human beings are equal in the eyes of God and pointed that slavery violated God's Commandments. This paper evaluates the role of religion and morality in the slavery debate and whether these arguments influence racial discussions at the present.
First, it is important to assess "The Brotherhood of Thieves (1843) by Stephen Symonds Foster." Foster had been against slavery since the late 1830s and was outspoken in his critique of churches since most of them were pro-slavery. He would burst into churches and openly speak against slavery. Foster explains the corruption that was in churches and ministers from the south were known for promoting slavery and using it to get concubines. Slavery was and still involves the commission of all the crimes which include theft, piracy, man-stealing, and murder (Foster, 1843). All these go against God's commands as presented in the Bible. The church committed violence and outrage which was claimed to be for the glory of God and honoring religion. The violence that was directed towards the slavers was morally wrong and proves why slavery at the time should have been abolished. Slaveholding which was supported by the church was a commission of theft, adultery, man-stealing, piracy, and murder. These crimes can be evaluated in preceding paragraphs.
First, there is theft which entails taking others belongs without consent. Theft and robbery both are considered morally wrong and go against the God's command. It is outlined that whoever tills the land has the right to its ownership and depriving them would be an act of felony. If this should have been the case, there would have been no slavery. It is so since the slaveholder possesses the entire industry of their slaves from when they are young to their old age. They work in deplorable conditions and the slaveholder receives all the products. Irrespective of the human nature of the master, they do not justice to the slaves and break the commands (Foster, 1843). Second, there is adultery which entails the disregard of marriage. Christ sanctioned this institution and explained that whoever violates it has committed adultery. Looking at the case of slaveholding, it is important to note that the master does not respect this sacred relation and his position makes him a minister of unbridled lust. Slaveholding entails the conversion of women into commodities for sale and the women are made into "Breeders," and the children are referred as "stock." There is the conversion of the status of the woman and needs are beyond her control. Third, slaveholding involves man-stealing which entails claiming someone as property. This breaks God's command since every man has rights to himself which cannot be broken under any circumstance. Slaveholding entailed purchasing or inheriting others which broke the rights to self. Forth, there is murder which is an act of the mind. This act involves hating since murder can happen without actually killing. It is pointed that by forcefully demand others possession is murder which is a crime every slaveholder is charged. His power is felt by the slaves in which he extort unrequited labor and this is done through threats. Looking at these crimes, we can say that slavery should have abolished and that the church was wrong in supporting slavery.
Additionally and without a doubt, slaveholding is morally wrong. This is supported by principles described in the Bible. The Bible sets the standards for moral and religious grounds. Looking at the Bible, the conclusion can that slavery is not right. Most importantly, every man has the right to himself and this should not be breached under any circumstance. There is an argument that the Bible does not directly argue against slavery (Slavery and the Bible, 1850). So many points the cases in the Bible such as Abraham and Jacob who had slaves for themselves. Despite this, I think it is imperative to say that slaveholding denies a human being the rights of themselves and thus should have been abolished.
Lastly, we can assess if these religious and moral arguments affect racial discussions as the present. Racism can be described as the inertia of slave practices in America. Racism emerges from the perception some races are superior to other. There is overt and covert racism in current American society. It would be right to say that looking down on others due to the color of their skin is religiously and morally wrong. The churches do teach us that we are equal in the eyes of the Lord, so racism is wrong from the religious standpoint.
Duncan, Troy, and Chris Dixon. "Denouncing The Brotherhood Of Thieves: Stephen Symonds Foster'S Critique of the Anti-Abolitionist Clergy." Project Muse. N.p., 2001. Web. 29 Apr. 2018.
Foster, Stephen Symonds. The Brotherhood of Thieves. Arno Press, 1843. Print.
"Slavery And The Bible.." Fair Use Repository. N.p., 1850. Web. 29 Apr. 2018.
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