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I’m reading Frederick Douglass’ first “Narrative…”… his journey from slavery to freedom.

It’s such a powerful read with so much insight.

One of the things he observes is that religion, specifically Christianity, was used as an excuse for slavery.

Let me explain.

His master went to a Methodist service and came to faith. Douglass hoped that this might lead to his emancipation or at least better treatment at the hands of this cruel slave-owner.

The opposite was the case.

The master became even more cruel.

Before faith, he only had his depravity as a human being to rely upon. His cruelty was because he was cruel. That somehow limited how severe he would be.

But once he had faith, he could use scripture to justify his cruelty towards his slaves. He would whip them while quoting scripture about punishing slaves because they do not fulfill the will of the master. They could pray for provision while allowing their slaves to starve. They could treat them like animals, or worse, because the bible sanctioned such behavior.

The master’s faith became a thin cloak attempting to veil his cruelty.

I completely understand what he is talking about. It’s true: believers can be the worst all the while thinking they’re the best.

Do you concur?