June 15, 2018

Sessions uses biblical passage to defend abuse of children than was also used to defend slaverey

BBC- US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been criticised for citing Bible scripture to back up the Trump administration's immigration policy.

At an event in Indiana, Mr Sessions was defending the practice of separating undocumented immigrant families apprehended at the border.

He quoted the New Testament and said having children does not shield border-crossing migrants from prosecution.

The Bible verse was once used to justify US slavery, said critics.

... In 1855, the Richmond Daily Dispatch newspaper wrote that hundreds of passages proved "slavery has the divine sanction", citing Romans 13 as one.

The debate around Romans 13 dates back even further. During the American Revolution, both patriots and those loyal to England invoked Romans 13.

At that time, the arguments centered around whether the verse meant only just rulers were to be obeyed versus upholding existing law and order.

1 comment:

Tom Puckett said...

Lots of ideas and passages have been used to justify slavery, for example, that if treated as property slaves would be better looked after, since they were "investments."

Defenders of slavery argued that slavery had existed throughout history and was the natural state of mankind. The Greeks had slaves, the Romans had slaves, and the English had slavery until very recently.

Defenders of slavery argued that the institution was divine, and that it brought Christianity to the heathen from across the ocean. Slavery was, according to this argument, a good thing for the enslaved. John C. Calhoun said, "Never before has the black race of Central Africa, from the dawn of history to the present day, attained a condition so civilized and so improved, not only physically, but morally and intellectually."

However, here is a lesson on slavery for white America:

Possibly the most astounding thing in this article is the idea that the first American civil war - against England in the late 1700s - was over slavery:

The road to independence, Horne shows, was critically paved by two key British actions. In the 1772 Somerset case (Somerset v. Stewart), the British high court ruled that chattel slavery violated English common law. The application of Somerset to the 13 British colonies would have meant an end to the slave machine that fed the coffers of the Yankee mercantile elite and fueled the wealth of New England while it created an opulent landed aristocracy in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. The British judge responsible for the decision—William Murray Mansfield—would become a special target of white colonists’ denunciation over the next four years.

A second great British provocation to North American slavery came in 1775, when Lord Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, offered to liberate and arm North American slaves to squash the New England- and New York-based colonial rebellion that had been underway since the Tea Act of 1773. With this action, Dunmore “entered a pre-existing maelstrom of [colonial] insecurity about slavery and London’s intentions,” wrote Horne in “The Counter-Revolution.”

Across the future U.S. South in the spring of 1775, elite colonists were consumed with fears of a slave insurrection allied with the British, Spanish and/or Native Americans. “Lord Dunmore’s proclamation effectively barred any possibility of rebel reconciliation with London,” as the colonists “now confronted Africans armed by London,” explained Horne.

Dunmore’s edict irrevocably joined London with abolition in the minds of the white colonists. It provided a key rallying point for what historian Thelma Wills Foote called “a white settler revolt” and “the white American War for Independence”—fought in no small measure to preserve and expand black chattel slavery. Independence emerged from “the state of the mind of the rebels,” who were already by early 1775 “coming to believe that a London-African combine was mounting against them, leaving secession—a unilateral declaration of independence—as the only way out,” Horne wrote. When Dunmore issued his decree, there was no turning back from white independence, leading Horne to ironically but properly call Lord Dunmore a leading U.S. “Founding Father.”

How about that? Cheers, Tom