<a href="http://www.atheistexile.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/apologia.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2219" title="Christian Apologia" src="http://www.atheistexile.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/apologia.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="480" /></a>
Many Christian apologists try to give the impression that slavery was only upheld in the Old Testament. The fact is, it was also upheld – by none other than Jesus himself – in the New Testament. It's gospel! Here's the verse (Luke 12:47) . . .
"Beat slaves who did wrong with many stripes, unless they knew not their wrong, then few stripes."
. . . Paul also upheld slavery in the New Testament. Come to think of it, there's not a single word against slavery in the entire Bible.
There's all kinds of immoral acts condoned, upheld or even encouraged in the Bible. But, as far as I know, human subjugation (slavery and male dominance over women) is the only one endorsed by BOTH the Old and New Testaments. This fact is important because it preempts the old apologist cop out: "That was the old covenant of the Old Testament but Jesus changed things with his new covenant of the New Testament". They can discount the Old Testament all they want but slavery is also upheld in the New Testament by the ultimate authority: Jesus himself . . . God in the flesh.
Once you slam that door on the apologist, he’ll attempt to claim that slavery was kinder and gentler back in the Biblical era. The other day, one such apologist claimed that slaves were better treated because their masters knew that, by law, they had to manumit their slaves after 7 years . . . and that kind of foreknowledge will temper one’s temper. However, that was a conscious, calculated, misrepresentation. The fact is: only indentured Jewish slaves – those who sold themselves into bondage because of extreme poverty or debt – had to be manumitted. But non-Jewish slaves (mostly Canaanites) were chattel for life and could be passed from generation to generation through inheritance.
The bottom line is that real slaves (not the indentured, Jewish, slaves) were property for life and could be whipped or raped at the discretion of his/her master. Chattel slavery is chattel slavery: human subjugation is not kind or gentle. Or moral.
The final, desperate, maneuver of the Christian apologist is to claim that the "culture" or "prevailing attitudes" were different in the Biblical era. And that is the final nail in the coffin of the hapless apologist. By suggesting that slavery is morally relative – justified by prevailing attitudes – one is admitting that the immutable word of God is subjective, not objective, and not immutable or perfect or moral after all. Besides, God had always upheld the legal institution of slavery . . . nobody needed “prevailing attitudes” to make it okay.
Apologists can't have it both ways. Either God’s word is immutable or it’s not. Either God is good and perfect, or he's not. Either God is the source and final arbiter of morality or he's not. Either the Bible is true and divinely inspired or it's not.
And if God and the Bible are moral, true and perfect, then so is the slavery they uphold. But we know better. Don't we? Slavery can no longer be upheld. We've grown beyond that. There's no way in hell that we will ever renormalize slavery in order to align mankind's morality with God's morality. That ship has sailed. It's over.
This fact puts slavery out of reach of Christian apologetics. Anybody can see – unless they refuse to – that if God's morality grows outdated, it was never true or perfect to begin with. God's word is not the objective truth. In fact, God stands corrected by us ALL: believers and nonbelievers alike. Clearly, if we can overrule God, he has no power over us. We don't need him. We never did.
The single issue of slavery is all it takes to prove that God is not moral, timeless, omniscient, omnipotent or perfect. And neither is his split-personality scripture. If God or his scripture can't stand the test of time, they're frauds.
Of course, all this presumes the Biblical God exists in the first place.
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