The Oppressive Biblical Mentality America Can't Shake

Buzzword

New member
Posting this in Politics because it deals with how political demonstrations of racism and sexism get in under the radar via a religious umbrella, among other things.

The idea that women and minorities (along with children and members of other species) at some level belong to men of the dominant tribe can be traced all the way back to the culture and laws of the Iron Age and the concept of chattel. The term chattel is related to the term cattle, and human chattel, like cows, exist to serve their owners and must stay where they belong. In this view, dominant men have a right or even responsibility to enforce social hierarchy. If women or slaves or children or ethnic and religious minorities or livestock step out of line, they must be punished to keep society in its proper order.

To stop the harm, one of the first things that we have to understand is the complexity of violence. We have to understand that this Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism is inherently violent because it is unjust particularly as it suggests that certain people deserve the benefits of being treated with decency and dignity while others do not. Systems of injustice—racism, sexism, heterosexism—the ways that these systems manifest themselves systemically and structurally is violent.

Inasmuch as we don’t begin to dismantle unjust discriminatory systems then we will consistently have violent eruptions that people respond to with more violence. Systemic and structural violence perpetuates a cycle of violence on all levels of society.

Natural law theology is a way of sanctifying this hierarchy of exploitation. It suggests that this wasn’t just a human creation, but divine law. This was the way God designed things to be. For example, the whole idea was that God created black people as slaves not as full human beings. Slavery was legitimated specifically through Christianity.

Today most people don’t argue that in polite conversation, but we see it all the time when we place this religious canopy over discrimination. We sanctify discriminatory patterns. If God wanted men and women to be equal, God would have created women to be different –not to be the bearers of children. Or, God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. Those are remnants of natural law. It functions in those places where people attempt to elevate social constructs and human laws so that they seem as if they are divine laws.

One thing that you’ll notice is that marginalized oppressed people often are sexualized by the dominant narrative. You see that with LGBT people—the rhetoric is that they are indiscriminately promiscuous—as with black people and women. A couple of traditional cultural narratives come together here. In the conservative religious mindset, the only good sex is procreative sex. If you suggest that people are engaging in sexual activity for non-procreative reasons that’s sinful and lustful—that’s the Apostle Paul.

Why are black murder victims put on trial?
Black people don’t have the presumption of innocence. The concept of black people as chattel, that black people are not meant to occupy a free space and are dangerous when doing so, has been transformed into a notion of black people as criminal. If a black person has been accused of something then people assume that he or she is probably guilty, and our media representations of black people continue to reinforce this in the collective unconscious.

In the Black Christian tradition, the first time that Black people encountered God was not through their slaveholders. They knew God in freedom, as they encountered God through their African traditional religions. As black Christianity emerged during slavery, it emerged from an entirely different place than white Christianity. Black people understood that they were meant to be free, so God stood for freedom. Throughout history you see a black critique of White Christianity. The sum of the critique is this: If Christianity is used to oppress another that’s not Christianity.

When Slavery Won't Die: The Oppressive Biblical Mentality America Can't Shake
 
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Selaphiel

New member
I can agree with some of the sentiments of this article, but there are some rather preposterous errors in it.

"Slavery legitimated through Christianity"

That seems to be a rather absurd idea. Slavery was pretty much universal in the ancient world. If anything, Christianity did a lot for slaves in antiquity by insisting on fair treatment. Sadly it failed to abolish it, but that had more to do with them having a hard time imagining how society would work without it (Gregory of Nyssa for example was in principle opposed to slavery). Abolishing slavery was ultimately rooted in Christian thought. Sadly it took way too long.

Natural law is also not an originally Christian concept, it is Aristotelian.

"If you suggest that people are engaging in sexual activity for non-procreative reasons that’s sinful and lustful—that’s the Apostle Paul."

That is not correct, that is a view that is rooted in Aristotelian/Thomistic metaphysics and natural law, not in Paul. Paul just says that a believer should marry if he wants to release his or her desires, he does not insist on sexuality being just for procreation.

The problem with much of Christianity today, especially the conservative evangelical sort, is that it has abandoned the enterprise of theology completely. It has ceased to be a faith that reflects rationally on the world and their scriptures and tradition. For many, the education and reflection in the faith ends at sunday school level. And this is not an elitist attitude, they have the capacity to go deeper, they simply don't do it.
 

bybee

New member
I can agree with some of the sentiments of this article, but there are some rather preposterous errors in it.

"Slavery legitimated through Christianity"

That seems to be a rather absurd idea. Slavery was pretty much universal in the ancient world. If anything, Christianity did a lot for slaves in antiquity by insisting on fair treatment. Sadly it failed to abolish it, but that had more to do with them having a hard time imagining how society would work without it (Gregory of Nyssa for example was in principle opposed to slavery). Abolishing slavery was ultimately rooted in Christian thought. Sadly it took way too long.

Natural law is also not an originally Christian concept, it is Aristotelian.

"If you suggest that people are engaging in sexual activity for non-procreative reasons that’s sinful and lustful—that’s the Apostle Paul."

That is not correct, that is a view that is rooted in Aristotelian/Thomistic metaphysics and natural law, not in Paul. Paul just says that a believer should marry if he wants to release his or her desires, he does not insist on sexuality being just for procreation.

The problem with much of Christianity today, especially the conservative evangelical sort, is that it has abandoned the enterprise of theology completely. It has ceased to be a faith that reflects rationally on the world and their scriptures and tradition. For many, the education and reflection in the faith ends at sunday school level. And this is not an elitist attitude, they have the capacity to go deeper, they simply don't do it.

This is food for thought by rational people.
 

oatmeal

Well-known member
Posting this in Politics because it deals with how political demonstrations of racism and sexism get in under the radar via a religious umbrella, among other things



When Slavery Won't Die: The Oppressive Biblical Mentality America Can't Shake

Christianity, in the first century, was met with a great deal of opposition and persecution.

Yet, Christianity teaches love in in greatest and purist form.

Too bad some Christians and the world at large does not get it.
 

Buzzword

New member
I can agree with some of the sentiments of this article, but there are some rather preposterous errors in it.

"Slavery legitimated through Christianity"

That seems to be a rather absurd idea. Slavery was pretty much universal in the ancient world. If anything, Christianity did a lot for slaves in antiquity by insisting on fair treatment. Sadly it failed to abolish it, but that had more to do with them having a hard time imagining how society would work without it (Gregory of Nyssa for example was in principle opposed to slavery). Abolishing slavery was ultimately rooted in Christian thought. Sadly it took way too long.

She didn't say slavery ORIGINATED with Christianity, but Paul's admonishment that slaves obey their masters (as well as many instances in Levitican law) has been quoted by church leaders all over the world in an attempt to divinely legitimize the practice, especially in the American south.

Natural law is also not an originally Christian concept, it is Aristotelian.

My interpretation of her statements regarding "natural law theology" is that she is only referring to the theological implications and implementations of natural law, not natural law itself.
Especially regarding religious authorities' using it to justify the continuing dehumanization of anyone not white and male via turning a social construct into divine mandate.

"If you suggest that people are engaging in sexual activity for non-procreative reasons that’s sinful and lustful—that’s the Apostle Paul."

That is not correct, that is a view that is rooted in Aristotelian/Thomistic metaphysics and natural law, not in Paul. Paul just says that a believer should marry if he wants to release his or her desires, he does not insist on sexuality being just for procreation.

She is saying that Paul's words are used to justify sexual repression, and I've personally seen hundreds of instances on TOL in which Paul's command that people marry rather than "burn with passion" is used in that very fashion.
Especially the "sexuality should only be for procreation" crowd.

The problem with much of Christianity today, especially the conservative evangelical sort, is that it has abandoned the enterprise of theology completely. It has ceased to be a faith that reflects rationally on the world and their scriptures and tradition. For many, the education and reflection in the faith ends at sunday school level. And this is not an elitist attitude, they have the capacity to go deeper, they simply don't do it.

Agreed.
 

Interplanner

New member
If the author knew the NT, he'd know that there was a basis for releasing slaves. But there were other considerations. For ex., if there was theft and the person had no other way of restitution, the person was 'enslaved' to pay off the debt. It may dignify the practice to note that native Americans did this a lot, though usually for gambling debts. That was done way before Euros showed up in America.

The ability to provide a basis for equal freedoms comes in the declarations about being in Christ, but there is no indication that there is an actual end of genders, ethnos, various tribes etc. It's just that in Christ (in fellowship and thought), all these are equal. The Marxist likes to villify Christianity for not externalizing all this to cover up for its miserable kill-counts unders Stalin, etc. Liquidation is sooooo much better than enslaving.

There were times when it was better to be 'enslaved' and sometimes this meant as little as being employed but not owning any tools or property. Ie, you were partly paid by an 'oikonomia' (established household) by a barter for a room. That's much better than having nothing, not even food, for many people of the time.

The Rabbi D. Prager writes of torah slavery that "it was so complicated there aren't many cases that show over time in the incidents of the Bible." In addition there was the jubilee observance, in which debt service had a maximum span and was then canceled. Then we find that some of those people wanted to return to their owners because the net operating costs were too great outside the established household.

Looking for a moment at evangelical social effort in the 1800s in England, we find that slavers were specifically not Christian. That is, as you know, why "Amazing Grace" was written after Newton became a Christian not before. Check the conclusions of missionary Don Richardson on Islam, and you find no comparison between Christianity and Islam on slavery at the time. British merchant companies got their ideas and sometimes the people from Muslims. What many people missed by watching the movie AMAZING GRACE was that Wilberforce earlier wrote the booklet PERSONAL CHRISTIANITY which has far too much personal and inner change material for the modern audience.

There is current research now (by Heather MacDonald I think) that in the US the black family is now decimated during this 'golden age' of liberal social programs and continual decrying of the oppression, while from 1860 to 1940 over 90% of these families were intact. Some of them stayed and worked at the same farms as before emancipation. People make market-based decisions.
 

GFR7

New member
I can agree with some of the sentiments of this article, but there are some rather preposterous errors in it.

"Slavery legitimated through Christianity"

That seems to be a rather absurd idea. Slavery was pretty much universal in the ancient world. If anything, Christianity did a lot for slaves in antiquity by insisting on fair treatment. Sadly it failed to abolish it, but that had more to do with them having a hard time imagining how society would work without it (Gregory of Nyssa for example was in principle opposed to slavery). Abolishing slavery was ultimately rooted in Christian thought. Sadly it took way too long.

Natural law is also not an originally Christian concept, it is Aristotelian.

"If you suggest that people are engaging in sexual activity for non-procreative reasons that’s sinful and lustful—that’s the Apostle Paul."

That is not correct, that is a view that is rooted in Aristotelian/Thomistic metaphysics and natural law, not in Paul. Paul just says that a believer should marry if he wants to release his or her desires, he does not insist on sexuality being just for procreation.

The problem with much of Christianity today, especially the conservative evangelical sort, is that it has abandoned the enterprise of theology completely. It has ceased to be a faith that reflects rationally on the world and their scriptures and tradition. For many, the education and reflection in the faith ends at sunday school level. And this is not an elitist attitude, they have the capacity to go deeper, they simply don't do it.
Bless you for your sound scholarship, and your knowledge of history - they are much needed!! :BRAVO:
 

Nazaroo

New member
Inasmuch as we don’t begin to dismantle unjust discriminatory systems then we will consistently have violent eruptions ...

Natural law theology is a way of sanctifying this hierarchy of exploitation. It suggests that this wasn’t just a human creation, but divine law. This was the way God designed things to be. ...

The whole premise of this argument is faulty.

The idea is that "equality" is the real 'natural order',
and that it is also a realistic goal to strive for.

Real differences, such as natural ability, the will to excel, uneven distribution of resources, societal specialization are supposed to be ignored, in the drive to make everyone "equal".

But this naive over-literal caricaturization of Christian dogma is not only worthless and destructive, it completely undermines all scientific and logical, fair systems based on merit and human achievement.

Thus in sports, transgender men were allowed to compete directly with women, and beat them senseless, instead of preserving natural categories.
This was also tried in the early UFC fights, where weight and size categories were ignored in favour of a mythical "level playing field", when in reality,
size, weight etc. DO matter and contribute to athletic ability.
Thus, 300 lb wrestlers clobber 100 lb wrestlers with equal skill sets,
and 6'6" basketball players have an advantage over 5'4" players with the same training. Weightlifters with more muscle obviously lift more.
The lesson for the UFC was that weight categories had to be restored,
and rules previously thought unnecessary were found mandatory for
fair competition.

Weight, age and gender categories are known to be necessary and provide both fair competition and meet safety requirements for organized sport.

In hard science fields, there are significant differences in preferences
between men and women, and in spite of funding, advertizing, equal opportunity and non-discrimination legislation, and forced enrollment and hiring practices, women aren't very interested in engineering, physics and math compared to men.

Thus Gender categories and funding allocation make good economic sense
and provide realistic programs that result in graduation proportions that
people actually want.

Humankind as a social animal has always engaged in functional specialization and assignment of tasks required for survival, protection, and advance.

Its as natural for children to stay home and prepare meals as it is for
pregnant and nursing women to stay home alongside the elderly,
while younger stronger males engaged in hunting, hard labour,
construction and defence.

The function of a complex society with deep specialization must inevitably
lead to practical inequality in both the quality and distribution of labour and
resources.

Its in fact impossible to create or sustain a modern complex specialized
society without severe inequalities.

But the answer isn't to artificially 'force-flatten' real or imagined "inequality"
with mandatory redistribution of "wealth" or abolish ownership or
any other hairbrained and naive ideas.

The scientific answer is to create systems that work as closely and
as efficiently as possible which are based on MERIT, rewarding those
who strive and compete using better quality or performance,
rewarding those who have higher intelligence and skills,
and encouraging all to achieve their personal best.

In a merit-based system, specialization, which is necessary, is possible,
and at least reward and punishment can be logically comprehensible and
perceived to be the 'fairest possible system' in spite of inevitable inequalities.

The garbage-man and tax-collector may perceive that the doctor or
engineer is paid more, but they can also self-evaluate their own
importance realistically, and strive to improve their position in a complex
specialized society and a competing marketplace of labour and talent.

There can be no equality, but there can be a practical level of fairness.

What Christianity provides, when properly interpreted and applied,
is a recognition of the mobility of individual status, and the reward
for merit, merits such as honesty, hard work, and care about others.

What Christianity protects against, when properly interpreted and applied,
is the over-exploitation of the vulnerable, such as children, elderly,
weak and sick, handicapped, etc.

Thus Christianity prescribes 'mercy', and reallocation of some percentage
of resources to care for marginalized and vulnerable categories of people,
and it does this in a sensible way, by allowing people themselves to
recognize distress and pain, danger and exploitation, and compensate
for it by adjustment of resources.

Christianity does this by enshrining the VALUE of the marginalized,
the vulnerable, the sick, the old, the abandoned, the orphan.
In doing so, it provides the reason for preferring more humane
treatment of people than a strictly "scientific" or "efficient" utility principle
would allow.

Thus Christianity acts as a 'valve' and a means for the avoidance
of extremist error such as the devaluing of persons based on their
apparent or immediate "utility" to others or society.

People are granted under the Christian system with an intrinsic minimum value,
and a respect which is defined by access to resources and
the meeting of personal needs.

Equality is impossible, but love and mercy are easily manageable
conduits which allow a society to have flexibility, adaptibility, and
a power and quality of life for individuals not possible under any other
regime or ideology.

Especially faulty are materialist and communistic concepts based
on an individual's 'utility' to a society, but which don't allow the reciprocal
and reverse flow of the society and community's 'utility' to the individual.
 

Totton Linnet

New member
Silver Subscriber
So much of America's problems in fundamentalism come from the work of Charles Grandison Finney.....

...and a lot comes from Jonathan Edwards

Both won souls but both were off base with their theology
 

Ktoyou

New member
Hall of Fame
Posting this in Politics because it deals with how political demonstrations of racism and sexism get in under the radar via a religious umbrella, among other things.

It is very simple; you worship words like racism and sexism, over God, who you accuse. I understand, you were taught to value obscure concepts over what you think of as oppressive myth.

There is one main difference, I choose to believe what I believe, while you cannot choose. Only God can judge those who lost the ability to think!
 

Buzzword

New member
What is your solution?

We force the abandonment of archaic racism and sexism by revamping and fully funding (meaning, among other things: we start paying our teachers like we pay our doctors) our national education system so that the next and future generations will be exposed to more than just the bigoted ramblings of Ma' and Pa' and Pastor.

We punish/fire/arrest police officers who demonstrate a double standard regarding race and sex and gender in their treatment of suspects and/or victims.

We break up the corporations who continue to enforce the "whiter is always better" status quo via their hiring and wage discrimination and by buying politicians who will do so in Congress and statehouses and courthouses across the country. We have anti-monopoly laws on the books, we just need to give them teeth; we do that by fining, restricting, and/or jailing any upper management who outsource and/or discriminate.

We institute publicly funded elections at all levels of government, so that an individual's qualifications to lead determine his/her electability, allowing everyone the same chance to lead regardless of age or race or ethnicity or sex or income bracket.

We institute and vigorously enforce anticorruption laws, up to and including arresting members of Congress and their staffs for taking bribes. This would likely require the reporting of any and all monies taken in by each member and by each member of his/her staff for any reason.

We eliminate lobbyist groups. Full stop.

Seems like a good start.


It is very simple; you worship words like racism and sexism, over God, who you accuse. I understand, you were taught to value obscure concepts over what you think of as oppressive myth.

There is one main difference, I choose to believe what I believe, while you cannot choose. Only God can judge those who lost the ability to think!

You seem to worship "oversimplification".

Never once did I or either of the authors of the article accuse God of anything.

Had you actually read any of it with anything resembling a clear and rational mind, you would have seen that all of the blame falls squarely upon the shoulders of MEN who deemed their opinions worthy of divine signature.

Which is, yet again, why I posted this in Politics instead of Religion.

You seem to choose to believe what you believe regardless of the evidence before you, regardless of how others use those same beliefs to (in some cases literally) cudgel others into submission, and regardless of plain reason.
 

Daniel1611

New member
The Bible is an anti racist book. It says the whole world is of one blood. It accepts interracial marriage. It was written by brown people with books in it addressed specifically to white people. Racists are ignoring biblical teaching. There is no difference between Jew and Greek.

The whole world is of one blood.
 

Ktoyou

New member
Hall of Fame
I did read it and saw it loaded with the same old nonsense. Words like Anglo Saxon (made out to look like the bad guys) and racism, sexism, heterosexism... and structurally is violent...dismantle unjust discriminatory systems ... marginalized oppressed people often are sexualized by the dominant narrative...concept of black people as chattel..If Christianity is used to oppress another that’s not Christianity.

Same old tired 60s rhetoric, and maybe it was fashionable then, when most grown-ups saw it for what it is, rebellious nonsense! Now it has gone too far and doing so, it does not compete as an ideology, but attempts to supersede all opposed ideology, and to an absurd degree!

It is hippie thought gone crazy, and the frightening part is those who saw it in context are no longer with us. This leaves it without proper understanding, and it becomes more than merely a different point of view, as it insists it is the only view, one where anyone who disagrees is subject to ostracism, unless one, like me, old enough to not suffer any fallout by saying it is all baloney!

This is what it is, secular religion, the worship if idols, such as black mother goddess, and deconstructed themes of sexuality, non which once had to lean on Christianity for support, as the ideology itself was counter to common sense!

Today, it IS the secular view and only some Christians object because it destroys the Christian foundation. Yet there was once much more; it was seen as extreme, left-wing rhetoric for wacky kids who rebelled against the common morals of their parents, morals more secular, such as dressing proper, acting like a lady, or gentleman, calling one Sir, or Ma'am, being neat in appearance and demonstrating class distinctions as the natural civil order.

This strange ideology does not so much address the issue of black disadvantage, for if so, there would no longer be violent ghettos, as it is, this prevails only to hold up, that is make valid the concept of words used to control behaviour.

What we have today is an elite class were the common mind is mitigated by undue influence, only to create an artificial order, which fails to serve it's original; intentions, unless one looks deeper, and there some of us see the same dissatisfied and insecure spoiled children who blamed their parents for everything!

Now they are older and still determined to make the words in their own image, while the concept of God stands as the last bastion of the world they detest and wish to destroy. It really is not much different than what was the utopian society in the book 1984.
 

aCultureWarrior

LIFETIME MEMBER
LIFETIME MEMBER
While it would be so easy to dismantle this fraudulent article piece by piece, I'll start off with this hilarious lie:

In the Black Christian tradition, the first time that Black people encountered God was not through their slaveholders. They knew God in freedom, as they encountered God through their African traditional religions...

So Christianity comes from the religions of various African tribes?
 

kmoney

New member
Hall of Fame
We force the abandonment of archaic racism and sexism by revamping and fully funding (meaning, among other things: we start paying our teachers like we pay our doctors) our national education system so that the next and future generations will be exposed to more than just the bigoted ramblings of Ma' and Pa' and Pastor.
Unless you outlaw home-schooling and private schooling then I'm not sure what this would change?

We punish/fire/arrest police officers who demonstrate a double standard regarding race and sex and gender in their treatment of suspects and/or victims.
ok

We break up the corporations who continue to enforce the "whiter is always better" status quo via their hiring and wage discrimination and by buying politicians who will do so in Congress and statehouses and courthouses across the country.
Companies can already get in trouble for discriminating. Some companies are watched pretty closely, I believe. Would you institute racial quotas?

We have anti-monopoly laws on the books, we just need to give them teeth; we do that by fining, restricting, and/or jailing any upper management who outsource and/or discriminate.
I don't like outsourcing but I don't think I would penalize it like that. Perhaps incentivize keeping jobs local.

We institute publicly funded elections at all levels of government, so that an individual's qualifications to lead determine his/her electability, allowing everyone the same chance to lead regardless of age or race or ethnicity or sex or income bracket.
I like it.

We institute and vigorously enforce anticorruption laws, up to and including arresting members of Congress and their staffs for taking bribes. This would likely require the reporting of any and all monies taken in by each member and by each member of his/her staff for any reason.

We eliminate lobbyist groups. Full stop.
I like it. Though I think it's impossible to stop lobbying full stop.

Seems like a good start.
I like some of it. But if you think this is coming from a biblical worldview, would you do anything from that side of it?
 

aikido7

BANNED
Banned
Posting this in Politics because it deals with how political demonstrations of racism and sexism get in under the radar via a religious umbrella, among other things.



When Slavery Won't Die: The Oppressive Biblical Mentality America Can't Shake
Folks throughout the world are looking much closely to Christianity and Islam.

Both faiths seem mirror images of each other. The fear of Shari'a Law on the part of Christians is equally matched by the "Christian version" of the same moral code with deep roots in the theology of Christian Dominuism.

Traditional believers on both sides are being marginalized out of existence.

I advocate a new theology that is more "action based" than "belief-based." We need to take Jesus' Kingdom of God theology more seriously. The old philosophical and theological beliefs like Messiah, born of a virgin, Son of God, etc. are unfortunately no longer compelling or persuadable to residents of our new global culture.

Being a Christian has become--for me at least--much more than just giving one's assent to a list of ancient theologies. It has to do with a real honest and productive relationship with Jesus.
 
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