I hear much about slavery. Most of the time it is a person of color that is doing the talking and they seem to make it a black (Good) and white (Bad) institution.
I believe this attitude is detrimental to relations between the two races. When I hear such an attitude I think to myself, “They have never been a slave and I have never been a slave master” and I for one do not appreciate the inference that, because I am white I am any more evil than anyone else. What happened to either my great grandfather or theirs has no more relevant with either of our situations today than what the weather was 100 years ago.
This attitude also completely discounts the white people that helped the slaves escape, those masters that were not cruel to their slaves, and all of the Union soldiers that died to liberate the slaves.
Then because I question everything I wondered just what the Bible said about slavery. I was surprised that it does not condemn it! Even more so when I realized that if one applies the second Royal Law to slavery it does not pass the test.
The second Royal Law is “Do to others as you would have them do to you” If I were a slave owner and I applied the second Royal Law to my position I would have to free my slave.
The shortest book in the Bible (Philemon) is an account of Paul sending Onesimus a slave back to his owner. It is an example of our salvation and that I believe is why it is included. It is an allegory where we are the slave and are sent back to our Master (God) by our savior (Jesus) who paid the price for our freedom: just as Onesimus is sent back to his master by Paul, who offers payment for him.
I think I understand the dichotomy of why the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery and yet it is wrong.
God owns everyone, just as you would own a robot if you designed it and made it from your own materials. So God cannot declare slavery wrong without declaring Himself a sinner. God is love therefore He is the perfect Master and no one would be slighted by being the slave of God. But men are not so full of love and men should not own men.
What prompted me to write about slavery is that I was passing the home of John P. Parker the other day and since it was on a weekend it was open. Mr. Parker was a slave that managed to buy his own freedom and I have wondered how that was possible. So I stopped and asked. The lady suggested that I buy Mr. Parkers Autobiography “HIS PROMISED LAND” and I did.
Now, I usually only read the Bible, but I really wanted the answer and when I started to read it I couldn’t put it down. It has more action in it than “The Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
I believe it is just waiting for someone in the entertainment business to discover.
I also believe that the story of Mr. Parker, if handled right, could do as much to restore relations between people of color and white people as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” did to push us apart. I don’t mean to malign Tom’s Cabin” as it was necessary to unite people against slavery.
Mr. Parker was both white and black. His father was white and mother black. Also he was both slave and free man. He hated slavery, but he did not hate white men. Most of those who risked losing everything and serving time in jail to be conductors in the Underground Railroad were white men.
There was only one sentence in the whole book that turned me off. I almost put it down when I read it, but I didn’t have my answer yet so I continued to read it and I am glad I did. I can’t say enough about the book, or about Mr. Parker.
“O”, if you also wonder how Mr. Parker bought himself, then buy the book! I had to!