The Slavery Post

I’ve had this post in my drafts for a couple of years.  It just so happens to be the topic that inspired this blog in the first place, which is why I’ve felt the pressure to make my thoughts clear and hard-hitting.  But, I’ve waited long enough…

Slavery.

If humans are so advanced, why does it still exist–even in supposedly more-developed countries?  And why didn’t God tell the ancient Jews that slavery is bad–always bad–when he had the chance?  (The Eleventh Commandment ought to have been “Let all the slaves go free now,” right?)

I’ve been dragging my feet on publishing mostly because I don’t have many concrete conclusions to offer.

I just have a series of evolving questions, and  I’ve been accused of slipping away from difficult discussions when I don’t take a firm stand on either black or white.

But, isn’t it possible to answer questions with more questions? Didn’t Socrates use that method?  Wouldn’t you rather wrestle with these things along with me, than read my declarative statements on the subject?

With that, here’s the Slavery Post:

______________

Anyone who REALLY wants to know what the Bible says about slavery will Google “Evil Bible dot com,” for the scoop.

*snort*

Just kidding.

A few basic explanations about how slavery in the Bible was different from what we know today can be found on gotquestions.org.

“The Bible does not specifically condemn the practice of slavery. It gives instructions on how slaves should be treated (Deuteronomy 15:12-15; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1), but does not outlaw slavery altogether. Many see this as the Bible condoning all forms of slavery.”

But, a critical thinker has to ask themselves: what did slavery look like in the Old Testament?  Are we talking about kidnapping, beating, and breeding people based on race hatred?  No, no, no, and no.

Moving on.

Another helpful resource is Godandscience.org. The site looks terrible. But the content is good:

“…although there are rules about slavery in the Bible, those rules exist to protect the slave. Injuring or killing slaves was punishable – up to death of the offending party.1 Hebrews were commanded not to make their slave work on the Sabbath,2 slander a slave,3 have sex with another man’s slave,4 or return an escaped slave.5 A Hebrew was not to enslave his fellow countryman, even if he owed him money, but was to have him work as a hired worker, and he was to be released in 7 years…”

So, if the topic of slavery has been covered well by others, what else do I have to contribute?

Well, I still need to put my signature spin on it. I still need to do something surprising and a maybe a little half-baked–like suggesting that the biblical version of slavery is a lot like parenthood. 

——————————-

“YOU THINK OF YOUR KIDS AS SLAVES, AMANDA?!?!”

Well, no. I’d never even considered the connection until this week.  And even then, I didn’t think in terms of my own children for very long.

You see, I’m young enough that the topic of “parenthood” still makes me picture MYSELF as the child and MY PARENTS as the authority figures… So, when someone said to me this week “I wouldn’t want to be a slave,” I immediately thought, “I knew lots of kids in high school who couldn’t wait to escape from their parents house, too…”

But wouldn’t your preference depend entirely on the master/parent?

I mean, can I think of a situation in which being forced to obey could work out for my benefit…like, if I’m being fed and clothed and loved in exchange for my obedience?

Yes.  I can think of my own childhood.

—————————–

I’ve written before that the culture of parenthood is changing. A growing number of people in the proverbial village paint a picture of the Parent-Child relationship as cruel and authoritarian. (Presumably, authoritarianism is always bad.)  While religious Fundamentalists are criticized for their belief that children belong to God, the secular Fundamentalists insist that children belong to “society.”

Thus, the “old way” of viewing families as a unit, with different functioning parts, is going out of style–while some choose to think of family members as struggling competitors, each fighting for their share of power and control.

Of course, that’s a true picture of some families.

However, to tear apart the entire institution and attempt to re-write the parent-child roles only throws out the baby with the bathwater.  While it’s understandable that someone who grew up in an abusive home would be tempted to argue, “I’d never want to be someone’s child!” they must ignore all the children who have had loving experiences inside families that function well.

The difference between an authoritarian relationship that works and an authoritarian relationship that doesn’t is a matter of religious doctrine:

We need to realize we are selfish creatures with selfish motives for things, and we need to check ourselves constantly.  If we’re in a position of authority, we need to treat those in our care with gentleness. If we’re in a position of subservience, we need to treat our masters with respect and grace.  And everyone must treat others as they want to be treated, regardless of the role fate has assigned to them.

That’s the kind of village everyone wants to live in.

———

Now, I hate to be the one who ruins a good analogy by over-explaining it. So I have a few questions to ask instead:

Can you imagine a time period or culture where people sold themselves as bond servants?(Leviticus 25:39-42)  What about a time period or culture where some slaves asked to stay, even after their contract was up?  (Deuteronomy 15:16)  What are some reasons they’d do that?

In what ways are Old Testament “slavery” and New Testament “slavery” different?  In what ways is the slavery of the Bible similar to contract work? Are there any ways that biblical slavery can be compared with adoption/parenthood?

What do you imagine would/will happen if our culture decides we must emancipate all children the way we’ve emancipated all slaves.   (And, for reference, the historian Jim Downs argues that thousands of black former-slaves starved or died of diseases in the United States, after being freed.)

And, finally, how should I answer the question “Are you against slavery–yes or no?” In other words, would you conclude from this blog post that I’m pro-slavery?

What are your thoughts? (Leave them in the comments.)

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300 thoughts on “The Slavery Post

  1. Wally Fry

    You are SO getting in trouble over this one. Obviously, you are not in favor of slavery as the question is commonly asked; that is just stupid that somebody would try to say that. Duh and double duh.

    Was some of the slavery described in the Bible much different than say, the slavery practiced in our own country? Well of course it was. The entire economy was different. It’s just not the same. Here, one can get a job at McDonalds if they have to. No such option then. Personally, in that economy, I would gladly sell myself into servitude in return for a secure future. Oabout it….we do that now don’t we? We just call it a salary now. What’s the big deal really?

    Is some of the slavery described in the Bible the sort we would abhor today? Sure it was. We can’t really sugarcoat that some of the thing described in the Bible are extremely distasteful seeming. On the other hand, sometimes the Bible just tells a story, what was happening, and what those people were doing. Description in a story does not constitute something being condoned. The Bible tells the tale of many wrong things, and many of those things were done by heroes of the Bible. David, Abraham, Sampson…on it goes. Real people, in real life. They sucked sometimes. That certainly does not mean God is ok with it.

    We caused the depravity we see, and have always seen, by our own sin and rebellion. God certainly is not mandated to stop it, as He seems willing to let us suffer the consequences of our own actions. Thankfully, He has offered us a way to escape any eternal penalty for our sins.

    Just my two cents, Amanda..or do you go by Mandy? Maybe peaches, or sweet cheeks…depending on who is berating you? LOL. You have quite a collection of nicknames. I’d like to know the one you prefer if that would be ok!

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Usually I introduce myself as Amanda–but my whole family calls me Mandy. Dad is pretty much the only one who calls me Peaches. Lol. But others adopt it sometimes. And “Sweet Cheeks” made me laugh, so I encouraged that one, too!

      Take your pick; I’ll know who you mean. 😉

      And thanks for reading!

      Timothy wrote that the Law is good if we use it properly. But, the only reason we need a law is because we’re rebels. We’re selfish–every one of us. So, laws exist to try and stem the tide and control the damage…but there will always be abuses of it.

      I keep that in mind whenever I read the Old Testament. I ask myself, “Can I even IMAGINE a set of laws which does a better job curbing evil and allowing goodness to thrive than what’s written there?”

      Sure, cultures and economies have changed. So our laws have changed, too. But not that much. (Not really.) We’re still trying to keep innocent people free while stopping bad guys. And we seem to be failing at both an awful lot. :/

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      1. Wally Fry

        You said something there that is really important, Amanda.” laws exist to try and stem the tide and control the damage”

        I think we forget that many of the items in The Law were just that, a method to establish order and good sensed in a rather large society Be nice, don’t steal your neighbors cow, don’t steal his wife, that sort of thing. Some of The Law was for good health of course, dietary things, how to deal with leprosy and other infectious stuff.

        Of course, in the end, it was all just to point out to us how incapable we are of meeting the requirements of it, and to either turn to Jesus for us, or turn to the promise of Jesus to them. As you said, many abused it and built it into a religion which saves no one. Not much has changed to day I suppose.

        And yes, selfish rebels is exactly what and who we are. Oh, and what’s really wrong with being a slave? Our Lord’s own brother, James, referred to himself as a bondservant. of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Works for me to tell the truth.

        Speaking of selfish rebels, where are all of your friends?

        Last note. I have been scarce around blog land due to work lately But I really appreciate you you and your Dad do over at his place, and I like to come around some. I guess it’s selfish on my part, because I get to say some things I like to say, that I really don’t necessarily like to clog up my own place with. Thanks to you both for that.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      You mean it’s up for a few weeks?

      Sorry, Pastor. If it’s not important enough to let it stay public, I’m not interested.

      Feel free to leave your comments here, though. Then they won’t disappear.

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      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Maybe I wasn’t clear:
        If you’re still “purging” posts regularly–which means sending them back to drafts where you still have completely access to everything you want, but the public doesn’t–then I’m not interested in whatever you had to say.
        I don’t have time to take a bunch of pictures so I have a record of our conversation.
        So, if you want to tell me what you think of my post, you can do so here.

        Otherwise (again) I’m not interested. Thanks! 🙂

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  2. KIA

    Questions from my post for consideration:

    “Why regulate and allow for the ‘owning of other persons’ when you could just denounce it and ‘thou shalt not’ it as what everyone with a conscience knows it to be… Morally Evil and repugnant?

    Question for the crowd:

    So if we all know that Slavery of ANY type is inherently Evil… Why doesn’t the God of the Bible know?”

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    1. Wally Fry

      Here’s one for you, preacher.

      Since you are so darn educated in the Bible and the rest of us are morons……show the rest of us where the Bible actually commands or specifically condones it…as stated over and over by you and your band of militant atheists.

      And quit trying to drag people over to your place just so you and the hyena crew and mock and laugh. Engage a post like a…..man.

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      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I wondered whether he had linked back to this thread anywhere, since I didn’t get a pingback. (And my views haven’t gone up at all.) 🙂
        But, it’s not a big deal.

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      2. mrsmcmommy Post author

        What’s REALLY funny is that the questions that KIA shared “for consideration,” were two versions of the same question(s) I’d already asked in the op-ed above…

        (I said: Why didn’t God tell the ancient Jews that slavery is bad–always bad–when he had the chance? (The Eleventh Commandment ought to have been “Let all the slaves go free now,” right?)

        But, what do I know? I’m always asking the wrong questions. lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wally Fry

        Cracks me up….folks thinking God sucks because He doesn’t do things the way they would.

        Still wondering about something you have asked a few times, and your Dad too.

        What is the standard that even determined slavery is absolutely wrong in the first place?

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      4. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Yes–we’d all like to know what a better standard would be…

        But, mostly I’m trying to get readers to think outside of the box.

        I like to imagine what will happen over the next few decades as parenthood gets outlawed. (I wrote a post last year about the people who argue that children should be “owners of themselves” rather than being “owned” by their parents. It’s here if you’re interested…)
        To summarize, there are people who compare today’s version of parenthood to the slavery found in the Bible, and they want to “liberate” the children.

        But, will that really be good for children? Who will take care of them? Wouldn’t it be better if we just taught people to be good care-givers of their children, instead of trying to change the entire dynamic of the culture? What will the culture look like, if/when children are “freed” from the ancient, barbaric practice of giving all of their rights to their mom and dad?

        Anyway, I like to imagine what people will say someday, if/when they start to believe that children shouldn’t belong to their parents because it’s cruel and barbaric. Even the Christians may come to see Parenthood as absolutely wrong, because they will have heard stories about the parents who beat their kids or starved them, or emotionally abused them. If that’s how they pictured Parenthood, then how would we explain all the Bible’s references to fathers and mothers and family? How would you answer the question, if someone came back from that future and asked, “Wally–how can you support the Bible, when God never condemned child-ownership???”

        They’re not able to understand, based on what they’ve been told about the Bible and about right/wrong.

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      5. Wally Fry

        Well…that is certainly out of the box, Amanda. I have been sort of mulling over what you have just said, and it really disturbs me. My first reaction was to say that is the craziest thing I have ever heard. But, it’s not crazy at all. In fact, it makes perfect sense. I mean, outlawing parenting would simply be another nail in the coffin of the family as God designed it.

        What else is left to assault besides that? We have watched it get picked apart for years now I suppose.

        Fathers are minimized and we are told we don’t matter and are not needed in the modern model.

        Divorce is pandemic, even among Christians.

        Pornography and other sexual sin is rampant.

        Marriage now is whoever wants to get married, no matter what they are, if they even KNOW what they are.

        Why would outlawing parenting not be on the list?

        I want to get back in the box now.

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      6. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Yeah, it’s terrifying. But when you think of the popular phrase “It Takes a Village” to raise a child, you can kind of see where we are going as a society. I butted heads with “the Village” awhile ago, when someone online threatened to call CPS (from a continent away!) after I shared what I’d do if my kids forgot their school lunch.
        (When I wrote about it, the post ended up being one of my most popular posts ever: https://culturesatwar.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/when-the-village-wants-to-take-your-child/)

        Liked by 1 person

      7. mrsmcmommy Post author

        If someone came to your place and started telling your readers they had “issues,” what would you say?

        Just wondering what the good, Christian thing to do is here.

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      8. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I don’t know whether you saw my post to Wally, or if you’re just replying to him in your toolbar.

        So I’m going to repost, to try and bring this train back on track:

        “What’s REALLY funny is that the questions that KIA shared ‘for consideration,’ were two versions of the same question(s) I’d already asked in the op-ed above…

        (I said: Why didn’t God tell the ancient Jews that slavery is bad–always bad–when he had the chance? (The Eleventh Commandment ought to have been “Let all the slaves go free now,” right?)

        But, what do I know? I’m always asking the wrong questions. lol.”

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      9. Wally Fry

        Look, Mike. You are constantly accusing people of not wanting to engage you. So, engage. You have commented here with nothing but pointing out how bad I suck.

        I concede. I am not only the worst Christian who ever lived, buy am generally a bad person all around. You are leaps and bounds ahead of me and anyone who has ever lived in knowledge and wisdom, especially when it comes to The Bible which you reject out of hand.

        I get it. Me bad, you good.

        But, I am stil waiting on you to show:

        Where God commanded slavery

        And why it’s inherently wrong anyway.

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  3. Arkenaten

    Do you think that one of the reasons Yahweh never openly condemned slavery is because he was a made-up Canaanite deity?

    As you don’t believe in this genocidal maniac of a deity why do care about slavery in the bible in any case?

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      People debate about Severus Snape and Batman and Mr. Dawkins (of Pride and Prejudice fame) all the time. We talk about what they should or shouldn’t do all the time, because morality is a subject important to all humans. As I’ve told you, the “character” of God I’ve found in the Bible is closest to the one I believe is true…

      But, honestly, it’s frustrating that I so rarely get to have conversations with people who are actually interested in Truth.

      I might as well talk to myself with the way you and Pastor Mike show up and change the subject entirely.

      Are you going to imagine with me, or am I wasting my time?

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      1. Arkenaten

        I believe slavery is wrong for a number of reasons; in its simplest form it is the abuse and denigration of another human being.
        Do you need an explanation why such action is wrong?

        Is this the topic of the post, Wally,or are you fishing once again?

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      2. Wally Fry

        Yes, slavery is the topic of the post.

        Amanda, if I go out of bounds, just let me know.

        Yes, I would like your explanation of why that is wrong. Hate to shock you, but some might disagree, What makes you right in your view that slavery is wrong?

        So, yes, I am looking for an explanation.

        Why is slavery universally, always wrong in ever place at every time?

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      3. Arkenaten

        Why is slavery universally, always wrong in ever place at every time?

        Except in the bible, of course.

        And I offered you a reason. Did you not understand it?

        Why do you believe it is condoned in the bible and Christians, while at the forefront of getting slavery outlawed, were also at the forefront of using the bible to justify it?
        As they have with segregation throughout much of history.

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      4. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Your answer to “Why is it wrong” was just “because it’s abusive.” First of all–the slavery of biblical times was specifically commanded NOT to be “abusive.” (Did you even read my article? Or any of the articles I linked to? Here’s one of them again: http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/slavery_bible.html )

        Second, who says “abusive” is wrong?

        I’ve asked this question before, and it made you angry because you thought I was trolling you. But I’m actually asking you to explain it. Why do you think abusive is wrong? Because your parents and teachers said so? Or because it just FEELS wrong?

        I know abuse is wrong because it feels wrong in my conscience. But I believe my conscience comes from God. Where does your conscience come from?

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      5. Arkenaten

        You have admitted you don’t believe in Yahweh so you are either lying that ”your conscience” comes from Yahweh or you worship another god that you have not revealed? Which is it?

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      6. mrsmcmommy Post author

        *Bangs head on keyboard*
        Every time we talk, I try to give you the shortest, most vague answer I possibly can, because I’m trying to keep you from getting sidetracked. But it never works.
        I said I don’t believe in “Yahweh–the genocidal maniac,” because I don’t.

        No lie.

        I’ve said it doesn’t matter whether the Pentateuch is historical fiction.

        No lie.

        I’ve said you can call God whatever name you want, and that I’ll call him Frank for our discussions.

        No lie.

        I honestly don’t know why you can’t understand this, unless you’ve been diagnosed with autism or some other disorder that forces you to think concretely and literally. I’ve worked with autistic people before, so that’s fine. I’m not saying you should be ashamed. I’m just trying to figure out why you can’t stay on topic, even if your life depends on it.

        There is a God, and the Bible is the best spiritual book I’ve ever found that helps describe him. Are you STILL not following?

        We’re talking about biblical slavery. Do you think you can handle that?

        The question is: are there forms of slavery which are NOT abusive, and which could actually benefit both the slave and the master? Is that possible? Ever? That’s what we’re talking about. Can you try–just TRY–to think with me, instead of trying to figure out all 25+ years of my journey with God and what I believe in just a couple of questions?

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      7. Arkenaten

        Ah, so in actual fact what we have here is a prime example of Cherry Picking.

        Well, I am very sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.
        You can’t start claiming belief in Yahweh and then say (Paraphrase) ”To hell with the Pentateuch”.
        ”That Yahweh is the one the atheists say is god, but he’s not my god even through he is in the god-inspired bible”

        THertefore you can’t divorce biblical slavery without acknowledging the genocidal maniac deity of the Pentateuch. His name is Yahweh.
        He is your god.
        He became Jesus of Nazareth in the New Testament.
        Now, explain why your god, the god of the bible, Yahweh, did not condemn slavery and in fact embraced it and even laid out rules for it?

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      8. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I understand why you’re confused. This is not black-and-white, so it seems complicated. It even seems like I might be playing a trick on you or trying to dodge. But I promise you, I’ve tried to answer your questions the best way I can, and as thoroughly as I can. But, the issue is not black and white.

        The Bible might be wrong about God. But parts of it might be right. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. Which is wrong and which is right. Even if it’s fictional, it could still have truth in it. Do you understand that?

        You keep telling me to “explain why your god” did this, or “explain why your god” did that. What if someone told you to “explain why your kids did _______” or “tell me why your kids did _______.” I’m not going to speak for God. All I can do is ask questions. Are you SURE that’s what really happened? Can we think of something today that is similar to the slavery in the Bible? That’s how I will explain to you: by asking you questions. Will you think about this stuff?

        If aliens who had never heard of “parenthood” asked you why children can’t own property or vote in elections, what would you tell the aliens? How would you explain parenthood?

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      9. Arkenaten

        The Bible might be wrong about God. But parts of it might be right.

        Exactly! It is called geopolitical myth, something a number of people have been trying to tell you for some time now.

        Even if it’s fictional, it could still have truth in it. Do you understand that?

        Yes, dear I understand that. Please don’t patronize me.
        Nursery Rhymes are not true but there maybe truth in the rhyme. Ring a ring a roses, for example is about the plague.
        Thus, there may well be a message in the largely fictional biblical stories.
        Such as ”Don’t eat your granny”.
        Or try to not screw your sister as this might produce some weird family members down the line.”
        Mark for example is now being considered as simply fable.
        Were you aware of this?
        Jesus of Nazareth didnlt really curse a fig tree. ( it was simply out of season, something a god(sic) would know, of course, and only a fucking moron, like Wally, would consider such a tale as literally true.

        Do you understand that?

        I’m not going to speak for God.

        Once again, this is where the cognitive dissonance kicks in.
        If you do not believe in the god of the old testament, Yahweh, then,
        WHICH GOD ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
        Do you understand that?

        Now if you cannot explain what you believe or why you believe it or provide any sort of evidence for the above then all you have is cherry- picked faith.

        Do you understand that?

        The god of the bible, Yahweh, is the christian god.
        Based on the bible he is a genocidal maniac.

        Do you understand that?

        And this god, Yahweh, accepted slavery and even drew up terms and conditions fr the taking of and keeping of slaves.for slaves.
        Do you understand that?
        It is right there ion the bible.
        The bible you consider is somehow the inspired word of your god.

        Do you understand that?

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      10. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Things were going so well, right up until “If you don’t believe of the god of the Old Testament.” Why do you keep asking that question? I DO believe Yahweh is one of God’s names. I DO believe there are truths about God in the Old Testament. I believe in the God who revealed pieces of himself in the Bible AND to every other culture in the world. I believe He wears different costumes and goes by different names, depending on which time period it is. I believe God revealed more about himself to the ancient Jews than He revealed to any other culture. But that doesn’t mean they got it all right…

        You keep using the word “cherry-picked,” but that’s what everybody HAS to do when discovering the truth. You cherry-pick the truth out of the lies all the time. The only other option is to blindly accept EVERY WORD someone writes, without question. That seems pretty unwise. I can say I love a certain author. But that doesn’t mean I agree with every, single word he or she has ever written. You see? We’d need to have a conversation to figure out which books or paragraphs or sentences are good ones.

        You’re frustrated with my descriptions of God and with my understanding of God for the same reason most Fundamentalist Christians are frustrated. They want God to be a certain way. They want to understand him completely. They want to know every word of the Bible is 100%, literally true. (If it were written like a set of driving directions, that would make things a whole lot easier.) But I have never, ever, ever, ever, ever said I believed that. I’ve said the Bible is more like a compass than like a personal tour-guide robot. 🙂 It’s a helpful tool, but you can’t just put the Bible on the ground and let it walk and talk and lead for you. Compasses only show you the way when you already know how to use them.

        I believe in the all-powerful, good, creator God who exists outside of time and space, as described in the Bible. But I won’t let you tell me what else I “HAVE” to believe.

        Go ahead and call it cherry-picked. I pick cherries so I don’t accidentally end up chewing on sticks and branches.

        Now, to the topic: This is the last time I’m going to ask. YES–I understand that God drew up terms/conditions for taking and keeping slaves. Obviously. That was the point of this post. But do YOU understand that children in Western cultures TODAY are legally “owned” by their parents? We don’t even think about it because it’s such a deep part of our cultures. But children don’t have the full rights of adults, so someone has to take ownership of them. Why do you think that is?

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      11. Arkenaten

        So you cherry pick based on your romantic notion of Justice and Fair Play and (puke) love and chuck out all the nasty bits?

        Yet you still hold on to such things as Moses being real. Riiiight!

        That there was an Exodus …. hilarious!
        That your Yahweh transmogrified into a human after raping a human woman and then, after being executed, came back to life and floated away to a place called Heaven to be with himself? Riiiight!
        You are a scream!

        Now, to the topic: This is the last time I’m going to ask. YES–I understand that God drew up terms/conditions for taking and keeping slaves.

        \

        Is this the really spiteful mean and nasty fucker that you don’t believe in or the nice, just, outside time and space candy floss living in heaven god you pray to?

        But do YOU understand that children in Western cultures TODAY are legally “owned” by their parents?

        Wrong. They are not legally owned as they are not regarded as property.
        You understand child abuse and basic human rights, such as are extended to kids?

        Go learn some correct legal terms then come back and try your fucking christian spin on me.

        Do you understand that?

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      12. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Yes, I cherry-pick based on justice and fair-play.

        But most people call that their “conscience.”

        That’s what you do, right? You use your conscience to determine right from wrong? Where did that conscience come from?…
        ———–

        Yes…children ARE owned, which makes them (technically) property. But nobody calls kids property, because we know there is a right and a wrong way to take care of them. You can make parenthood sound nice, or you can make it sound awful…just like you can make biblical slavery sound awful. Or you can try to understand it the way the people at the time understood it. Some children and slaves were abused. But the laws of the Old Testament were designed to keep people from being jerks to the other people in their households.

        The fact that you’re starting to get profane suggests you’re uncomfortable with this topic. Try to stay with it. Why don’t children have the same rights as adults?

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      13. Arkenaten

        Yes, I cherry-pick based on justice and fair-play.
        But most people call that their “conscience.”
        That’s what you do, right? You use your conscience to determine right from wrong? Where did that conscience come from?…

        Best guess so far … evolution.

        Yes…children ARE owned

        Now you are beginning to sound like that imbecile Wally.
        I told you to go look up the legal definition so stop being a bloody idiot and do so.

        Do you understand that?

        Once you have done the research then maybe you will understand.

        Or would you like me to call one of my atheist blog pals who is a lawyer to set you straight?

        Like

      14. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I didn’t say children are regarded as property. I said we DON’T call them property, even though kids don’t have full rights. We DON’T regard them as property, because we know it’s more complicated than that. But children do not have the same legal rights as adults. Someone has authority over them. They don’t get to make their own decisions–so someone always has authority over them. Why?

        Like

      15. Arkenaten

        Here is what you wrote

        Yes…children ARE owned

        No they are not.
        Do you understand that or would you like me to get a lawyer to explain the difference between parenthood, guardianship and ownership?

        That you have to ask such a bloody stupid question justifies no reasonable answer.

        Your god, sanctioned slavery. It’s in the bible. He is, therefore an immoral monster. Period.

        Do you understand that?

        Like

      16. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I wrote my final response at the bottom of the page.
        I’m not interested in having a discussion with someone who doesn’t understand concepts. For all practical purposes, children are owned by their parents… OR, if the parents do something awful and abusive, the children then become “owned” by the state.
        I know we don’t use the word owned because guardianship sounds nicer. But it’s the same concept.

        That’s why many Atheists are now marching against parent-authority. THEY said there’s a connection between parenthood and slavery, too.
        I wrote about it here:
        https://culturesatwar.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/when-the-village-wants-to-take-your-child/

        Like

      17. Arkenaten

        I’m not interested in having a discussion with someone who doesn’t understand concepts. For all practical purposes, children are owned by their parents…

        No. They. Are.Not . Not for any practical purposes at all
        This is one reason children they can and are removed by the state if abuse is reported.
        This is half your your problem and also one of the reason you are unable to think critically.

        So, why do you believe we must be subject to an immoral monster, Yahweh, who sanctioned slavery?

        Like

      18. Arkenaten

        That’s because you have been caught in a web of deceit, and ignorance. and disingenuous Christian spiel.
        Same old, same old.
        You haven’t even the integrity to admit you are wrong and simply apologize and say you have made a mistake.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Arkenaten

        And once more, you never answer a question … because indoctrination or lack of intellect prevents you from being honest.

        Which one is it do you think?

        Your god Yahweh, sanctioned slavery, thus he is an immoral monster.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Arkenaten

        You do seem to acting somewhat hysterical.
        So, tell me, why do you worship an immoral monster who promulgated laws for slavery?
        Was he your parenting role model, perhaps?
        Is this why you struggle to recognise the difference between ownership and guardianship?

        Liked by 1 person

      21. Arkenaten

        That you have to ask such a bloody stupid question justifies no reasonable answer.

        Your god, sanctioned slavery. It’s in the bible. He is, therefore an immoral monster. Period.

        Do you understand that?

        Like

      22. Arkenaten

        No, I don’t understand the “immoral monster”

        If you don’t understand that your god is an immoral monster why do you believe we are subject to your god’s laws?

        I have answered the question.Children are not regarded as property.

        You are unable to make the connection between guardianship and slave owner.

        Do you understand that?

        Like

      23. Wally Fry

        LOL….the power of your coherent and logical arguments are compelling

        How ever shall I counter such towering intellect as you telling me that?

        I am crushed

        Defeated

        I renounce my faith immediately

        Bahahahahahah!!

        Like

      24. Arkenaten

        Sorry, I truly thought that one moronic comment deserved another, which I why I try to make my replies to you as succinct and vernacular as possible.
        Should I have said,”Please, fuck off”?

        Like

      25. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I find it baffling that you have been reading my posts and comments for this long and still don’t understand.

        The only way I can (maybe, possibly) help you understand is if you answer my questions. But none of you Atheists will answer any questions. Ever.

        Do you understand the connection I was making between parenthood and slavery?

        Like

      26. Arkenaten

        I understand you were trying to make a connection, yes. But you failed miserably as such an attempt to put a Christian spin on indentured labour is disingenuous.

        It is not me that does not understand your position. I dont think you know how to formulate a genuine Christian belief that you are perfectly happy with, as it means dropping large chunks of what is generally regarded as the foundational tenets of the Christian faith and it is causing huge amounts of cognitive dissonance.
        The bible contains slavery.
        Yahweh did not condemn it.
        What more is there to say?

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      27. mrsmcmommy Post author

        “The Bible contains slavery. Yahweh did not condemn it.”

        I actually said that in my post. And then I went on to ask about a dozen questions after that.

        Questions are designed to make the other person think. Clearly I’ve thought about this more than you, since I’ve already asked MYSELF all of the questions you keep trying to put in front of me… but you haven’t even attempted to tackle the other ones I’ve listed.

        Like

      28. Arkenaten

        I know you said it. It should have been the 11th commandment, right?

        What you are struggling with is the fact that while you deny Yahweh you can’t seem to be able to find a place where you can have a nice (old Testament) god and still worship the Lake Tiberius Pedestrian.
        That’s a really tough one.
        Marcion had the same problem and the church made him a heretic.
        But while Yahweh is Jesus is Frank you just have to suck it up I’m afraid.
        Yahweh was as big a shit as you will ever find. He supported genocide, slavery, abortion incest and a whole host of nasties. And for the foreseeable future, Yahweh IS Jesus IS Yahweh.

        Non believers don’t have these moral dilemmas.
        It must be hell in your world.

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      29. mrsmcmommy Post author

        (*sigh*)
        Ark, for once stop trying to psycho-analyze other people, and try to answer a question for YOU…
        Do you see the connections between the slavery of the Old Testament and the parenthood of today?
        You realize that children in most Western countries legally “belong” to their parents, right?
        And some of them get abused!

        Do you see how they’re similar? Why or why not?

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      30. Arkenaten

        Do you see the connections between the slavery of the Old Testament and the parenthood of today?

        There is no connection. I already said so.

        So why do worry about biblical slavery when you do not believe in Yahweh?

        Like

      31. mrsmcmommy Post author

        So, no, you don’t see the connection.

        Ark–if we were in the same room, I’d grab your face so you can watch my mouth move: I never said I don’t believe in Yahweh. I’ve said I don’t believe in Yahweh AS YOU ATHEISTS DESCRIBE HIM. And part of the reason you describe the God of the Bible as a genocidal monster is because that’s what you want him to be. You can’t think outside of your tiny boxes. You can’t handle nuanced thinking.

        I’m interested in what the Bible has to say about slavery, because I want to know if it REALLY says what all the Atheists claim. And–lo and behold–the Atheists don’t know what they’re talking about.

        Children legally belong to their parents. That’s the connection.

        Like

      32. Arkenaten

        Yes you did say you did not believe in Yahweh.
        It is not how atheists describe him but the bible describes him.
        This is where I and every other atheist sources our description of Yahweh.

        Shall we call John Zande?

        You have yet to provide a moral answer for Yahweh issuing rules about slavery.
        Which would have involved the rape of virgin girls/women.

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      33. mrsmcmommy Post author

        “It is not how Atheists describe him, but how the Bible describes him.”

        See, THAT’S what we’re trying to figure out. We’re trying to figure out if the Bible describes a genocidal maniac, or if that’s just the Atheist interpretation, because they’re not very good thinkers…

        I can’t explain it to you. The only thing I can do is ask you questions and hope it will help you find the explanation for yourself. I’m asking you if you’re aware that parents legally OWN their children?

        If aliens came from outerspace and asked why children can’t drive cars or vote in elections or own property of their own, what would you say?

        Like

      34. Wally Fry

        And you have yet to provide and answer why it’s even wrong in the first place.

        Now that you have shown you can’t answer Amanda’s question, try this one again.

        Why is slavery universally wrong in every time and every place.

        Like

      35. Arkenaten

        I believe its wrong and have offered you a cogent explanation. Your god, Yahweh, does not consider it’s wrong.
        I prefer to trust my own moral judgment in such matters rather than a man made meglomaniacal despot found in a stupid fucking book called the bible.

        You being an absolute imbecilic moron in such matters obviously require step by step instructions regarding slavery.

        As your god allowed it and had rules for it, the question is, why do you not follow in your god’s footsteps and keep slaves?

        Like

      36. Wally Fry

        “I prefer to trust my own moral judgment in such matters”

        Great

        Now, what if they guy next door to you uses “his own moral judgments” and says it is all perfectly okay..how exactly do we arbitrate this discrepancy?

        Like

      37. Arkenaten

        ” … how exactly do we arbitrate this discrepancy?”

        Well, certainly not by allowing the biblical meglomaniacal genocidal monster, Yahweh to lay down the rules.
        You want to toe the line for this bastard?
        Really?
        Then your values are as disgusting and perverted as your god’s.

        Like

      38. Wally Fry

        And here we go again. Sigh

        Example given

        Question asked

        Ark has no answer.

        Look, go find one of your atheist buddies to give you and answer.

        I shall return to beating on my toes with a hammer, as it is much more productive than wasting my time actually expecting you to support your view of things..

        Peace

        Like

      39. Arkenaten

        Now, what if they guy next door to you uses “his own moral judgments” and says it is all perfectly okay..how exactly do we arbitrate this discrepancy?

        What is okay you Dipshit! What!!!

        Like

      40. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Ark, knock it off.
        There’s no reason to scream and swear, just because you don’t understand what Wally is saying. (Or, maybe because you DO understand, but it makes you uncomfortable.)

        I’ve tried to help you understand this before, and I really don’t know whether it’s over your head or just just don’t WANT to understand:

        There is no such thing as right and wrong. Period.

        With a Naturalist worldview, there is only opinion.

        Some people evolve to believe that rape and abuse and slavery are wrong. But other people evolve to believe anything goes. There is no standard, except majority rules. Right and wrong are illusions of our minds. We evolved to think stuff matters when it doesn’t. That YOUR worldview. Wally is trying to ask questions to help you realize that you have no way to “prove” that slavery is bad.

        If your neighbor says slavery is totally fine, the only thing you can do is make fun of him. Or, you and the other neighbors can decide to have him arrested. But that’s just majority rules. There is no such thing as REALLY right and REALLY wrong.

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      41. Arkenaten

        Lets’stick to slavery shall we?

        If this is what Wally is asking then let him write the question.

        If my neighbour says slavery is fine then the law will deal with him as the law says it is not fine.
        Do you understand that?

        If you are saying that we are held by your god’s law, then I say, Fuck That as your god is an immoral monster. This is made perfectly clear in the biblical text.
        Do you understand that?

        Like

      42. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Nope. Let’s try again. I’m not saying we need to go back to the Old Testament laws. So you can forget about that.

        I’m saying: laws are arbitrary without God.

        In other words, laws are just majority rules. They don’t mean anything. Laws are just the human way of controlling other people and justifying it. Most of us really believe that right and wrong exist. But Naturalism says they don’t. So laws are just our way of FORCING other people to act like right and wrong exist, even if they just happened to evolve differently.

        Like

      43. mrsmcmommy Post author

        There is no single place where all of God’s laws are recorded. We have to use our minds to figure this stuff out.

        Remember?

        There’s no single name. There’s no single culture that has figured Him out. There is no single book that you can read and then tear apart for being stupid. I’m sorry it’s not that easy.

        Like

  4. mrsmcmommy Post author

    I understand that our current laws don’t call parenthood “ownership.” But the laws are very, very similar to the laws for slaves in the Old Testament. They don’t use the same words–but the practice was similar.

    Parents are allowed to “spank” their children. (Though some parents take it too far and BEAT their kids, which is wrong.) (Exodus 21:20)
    Parents are allowed to “acquire” new children, through adoption. (But if parents are caught SELLING their kids, it’s horrible and wrong.) (Exodus 21:16)
    Parents are allowed to be the authority over their children for a period of time, but they must “go free” at a certain point. (Deut. 15:12-15)
    Parents are allowed to tell their children what to do, WITHIN REASON.

    And that’s what the Old Testament laws were about: teaching ancient humans that there are right and wrong ways to behave in a social system. There are people in authority and there are people who must follow that authority. BUT, there are still right and wrong ways to treat someone in your household. So that, slowly, slowly, slowly, humans would evolve to understand that there are right ways and wrong ways to fill your roll in society.

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    Reply
  5. Arkenaten

    I understand that our current laws don’t call parenthood “ownership.” But the laws are very, very similar to the laws for slaves in the Old Testament.

    Wrong. And until you research the legalities you will always post incorrect answers and maintain your false idea of guardianship/parenthood.

    However, none of this justifies that your god, Yahweh, sanctioned slavery and dished out rules for slave owners and this makes him an immoral monster.

    There is no getting away from this fact.

    Like

    Reply
      1. Arkenaten

        Really?

        And now you try to make light of the fact you have been caught with your pants around your ankles.
        You really are disgusting at times Amanda. Truly.
        That you would biblical slavery with parenthood is beyond the pale. Even for you.
        But then, Yahweh is your god, so perhaps it is to be expected.

        I reiterate. Would you like me to ask one of my blog pals who is a lawyer to explain what ownership and guardianship re children is all about from a legal perspective?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. KIA

    Children are ‘owned’ by their parents? Really? I thought parents were ‘stewards of God’s gift of children’, responsible to God for how they are raised… must have missed the ‘chattle’ part of Christian parenting 101.
    Although, the ot does support what you say in terms of girls and young women being sold, traded and given away to random hoards of violent marauding ‘angel rapists’ to protect guests in Ines home (think lot and his two daughters)

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      What are you rambling about?

      I believe I’ve spelled out the connection between GOOD parenting and GOOD masters several times.

      Are you going to try answering some of the questions I included at the bottom of my post, or are you just pot -stirring?

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      Reply
      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I appreciate the way all of you think it’s your job to provide me with reading material and encourage me to “research.”

        But… I don’t have time to read every anti-Christian thing in the internet right now. Feel free to tackle my questions whenever it occurs to you what I’m asking…

        Like

      2. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Yeah, quaking… Terrified.

        Also, I’ve already explained my position to Ark a dozen times and I’m waiting for SOMEONE to explain to me what theirs is.

        Anyone?

        Anyone?

        ….anyone?

        Like

      3. KIA

        On parenthood, I think you are wrong. Parents do not own their children for the reasons I stated in agreement with Christian teaching, but without the reference to stewardship responsibility to the god of the Bible. It’s more of a responsibility to the children and society at large to raise healthy, well educated and Fully prepared adults… ready to take their place in society

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      4. mrsmcmommy Post author

        That’s a great opinion.
        But “society” is just a bunch of people… So–when people disagree how to raise a child and what to teach them, how do we decide?

        Like

      5. KIA

        The key is… when people disagree, the society comes to a consensus agreement. That’s what it means to live in a civilized society.
        Do you think it’s right for parents of a cancer stricken child to say no to medical treatment for their child and just let him die?

        Like

      6. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I’m asking from a practical perspective. How does society come to a consensus?
        Do we put this stuff up for a vote?

        Cancer is a great example. Would I want somebody who doesn’t know me, my child, or my family to tell me how and when to medicate them? Uh, no. If you’re talking about turning down all treatment because you’re praying for God to miraculously cure them, I think those parents are wrong. But it’s not usually that simple. Nosey Nelly from next door isn’t the one driving my child to doctor appointments and holding his or her hair while they puke from all the chemo. Sometimes complicated decisions have to be made.

        To think that you–or any other stranger–cares more about that child than their parents does is usually dead wrong.

        So, when there’s a disagreement, how in the world do you think society can come to a consensus?

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      7. KIA

        Society steps in to protect the child from the harmful and dangerous stewardship of their own child. If they didn’t, more children would die.
        As a tangential question… do you agree with society’s need for child protective services?

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      8. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Of course I agree that children need to be taken at times. But I’m reminding you that it’s not that simple.

        Just as–in the Bible–there were laws saying that abusive masters would be punished for mistreating the slaves.

        Like

      9. KIA

        By the way… Which laws punished owners of slaves for killing their slaves?
        How about owning other people… Why not punish people for owning other people?
        Slavery is evil. We all know it. Why didn’t the God of the bible know it?

        Like

      10. mrsmcmommy Post author

        You’re doing what Ark was doing: asking the same question over and over instead of bothering to answer my questions, which will help you arrive at some new insights for yourself. You’re asking questions like an alien from outerspace might, if he came from a place where they have “abolished” parenthood… (Have you read Brave New World, about a future where everyone belongs to each other, and “Mother” is a dirty word?)

        If an alien came from a world where all children belonged to eachother instead of their parents, and they said, “Guardianship is evil. We all know it. Why don’t you guys abolish parenthood so that kids don’t keep getting abused?” How would you answer the alien?

        Like

      11. KIA

        So… your statement was that there were laws that protected slaves from mistreatment by their owners. I asked you two questions on topic. Try not to spin. Just please answer them so I don’t have to repeat my questions

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      12. KIA

        What laws in the OT punish slave owners for killing their slaves, and why are there no laws punishing slave ownership in the first place? Answer please

        Like

      13. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Yes, there are laws which punish owners for killing slaves.
        And you can Google it.
        I ask the questions here, and the questions lead to my own answers.

        You can follow that trail patiently, without trying to stick me in the witness chair while you take the judge podium. OR, we can end the discussion.

        Like

      14. KIA

        No… I mean in the Bible. The same place you claimed there were laws protecting slaves from mistreatment. You understood my question. You just dodged it. Try again

        Like

      15. KIA

        I already know that there are not any laws or regulations in the Bible that punish slave owners for killing their slaves, and none that prohibit or punish slave owners for owning slaves. They key was to get you to understand that. It was an exercise in education on something that you think you have knowledge of, but really don’t.
        It was also an opportunity for you to be Humble and honest enough to admit you didn’t know. Failed again. Honesty and Humility are part of a well balanced maturity. Adulthood doesn’t seem to be going well for you either

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      16. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I honestly don’t know how you can go 25 years in the ministry without knowing that ALL of the laws of slavery were meant to limit abuses of slaves….

        If you’re just taunting me to try and get me to do your research for you, I’ll admit I’m tempted. I really love showing people when they’re wrong. But I stick to my word, and I said I won’t look this up for you. Go back to my original post, where I already covered these things, and feel free to look at one or two of the other articles I linked to.

        And–for once in your cowardly life–ANSWER A QUESTION.

        Like

      17. KIA

        Your questions leading to your answers… doesn’t sound very honest or truth seeking. Especially when you refuse to honestly answer my questions.
        Have a nice day mandy. Limiting discussion and answers is not the way to learn. And it’s not particularly mature. I hope you grow up one day.

        Like

      18. mrsmcmommy Post author

        It’s called the “Socratic Method.”
        You ask questions to help other people arrive at the truth.

        But, if you believe that not answering questions is no way to learn, then you probably better take your own advice.

        If an alien said, “Everybody knows parenthood is evil. Just look at all the abuse! Why don’t Americans understand and abolish parenthood?” What would you tell the alien?

        Like

      19. KIA

        I would tell the alien… no, not everyone says parenthood is evil. Parenthood is a stewardship of a new life, a responsibility to raise a child to be a fully functioning and capable human to enter and function within a society

        Like

      20. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Excellent! Releasing them to enter and function within society sounds a lot like the practice of keeping a slave until the Year of Jubilee! (Unless, of course, the slave decided he didn’t WANT to go free…Apparently, that happened some times, because people sold themselves into slavery and said things like “I love my master” enough that Ex. 21:5-6 exists as a law.)
        But the alien would still be confused. He would keep asking, “WHAT ABOUT THE ABUSE?!?!”

        Like

      21. KIA

        Your premise is flawed. Parenthood is not the same as slavery. Have a great day and please, please… do study and learn the Bible before attempting to teach it. It’s dangerous enough for those who know what they’re talking about without people like you who don’t know it well, teaching it anyway

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      22. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Lol. Repeating “your premise is flawed” without describing HOW doesn’t convince me, Pastor. Also, How many times are you going to tell me to have a nice day and study the Bible?

        I know it’s tough running into someone who isn’t a fundamentalist nut-job, as you apparently were before you walked away from Christianity. But I read the Bible just fine, thank you. And I will continue to make comparisons between the way poor,uneducated people were put to work in ancient civilization (slavery)–and the way poor, uneducated children are put to work in their households, until they’re able to be “released.”

        It DOES compare. But feel free to go back to the echo chamber of your blog where you don’t have to confront my uncomfortable questions. Whatever. 🙂

        Like

      23. KIA

        Problem is, while you’re trying to equate parenthood with slavery you are also trying to equate slavery with simple parenthood. That is just plain wrong and dangerous. You really don’t know what you’re talking about

        Like

      24. mrsmcmommy Post author

        If you’re just going to dive-bomb the discussion without actually contributing to answering my questions, don’t bother.

        Answer questions, or I have no use for you.

        Like

      25. KIA

        How childish of you. I should start calling you Antebellum Amanda. Some of the same arguments were used to justify slavery of Africans here in America in the early history of our country. Dangerous route you are taking to justify biblical slavery. Just sayin’

        Like

      26. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I mentioned American slavery in my original post.
        But you’ve already proven you’re not interested in reading to understand. You’re interested in reading to respond.

        Just saying.

        Like

      27. KIA

        I understand perfectly. You are attempting to defend the indefensible by changing both the definition of biblical slavery and the definition of parenthood. But still failing.

        Like

      28. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Uh-huh.

        And the Homeschoolers Anonymous bloggers I linked to (who linked to Holt’s book Escaping Childhood)– are they changing definitions, too?

        Because I first got the comparison from THEM…

        It is predominately godless liberals who want society to keep “evolving” away from parenthood because of all the child abuse.

        Am I confusing you because you’re going to disagree with whatever I say, no matter what?

        Like

      29. KIA

        Doesn’t matter where you got the idea to do so… it’s just plain wrong and the reasons for you doing so are so transparent and dishonest

        Like

      30. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I couldn’t own property of my own. I couldn’t vote. I couldn’t make my own medical decisions. I was given food and shelter and education in exchange for the understanding that I didn’t know everything. And, once I was ready, I was turned loose. 🙂

        I was treated the way slaves in ancient cultures would love to be treated.

        And, I’m getting tired of explaining this to people who aren’t actually interested in a conversation. You’ve not answered my questions STILL. You only stomp your foot and yell “That’s not right! That’s horrible! Lalalalala!”

        God help us.

        If you don’t know how to think for yourself, I don’t know what else to do.

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      31. KIA

        Wrong again, antebellum.
        I think for myself, I just know you are wrong. From my more knowledge of biblical doctrine and teaching, from my more years of Christian experience than you and my more years of life experience than you. You are just wrong, and your refusal to be corrected by someone who knows a lot more about the Bible, christian life and real life does not equate to me not being able to think for myself if I don’t come to the same conclusions as you. It just means you have no Humility or honesty in dealing with others.

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      32. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Yeah, you just know….

        you just know…

        Others are just wrong…
        blah, blah, blah.

        And Homeschoolers Anonymous is just wrong. (Although, Carmen linked to them in YOUR comment thread, and everybody seemed to agree with them then. Weird.)

        Like

      33. mrsmcmommy Post author

        HAHAHAHAHA!

        If you say so.

        That’s the only answer I have for you super moral, nice, respectful, and clear-thinking Atheists. Just tell me what’s right, Pastor Mike! Don’t answer my honest questions. Just tell me when I’m out of line…when I’m digging a hole…when I’m not asking the “right” questions… when I need to act more like Jesus….

        Whatever you say.

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      34. KIA

        Laugh all you want. You can’t laugh off through truth of what you are attempting to do with the definitions, in order to justify biblical slavery

        Like

      35. mrsmcmommy Post author

        More, Pastor! Tell me more truth!

        That’s what you want, right?

        You can’t handle me asking you to think outside your box…you want me to just look up to you, like the kids in your old youth group, and assume you know what you’re talking about.

        Well–tell me more about what I’m doing! I can’t think. I’m brainwashed. I’m rationalizing…. What else?

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      36. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Take your time… I know you probably need some time to talk about me on your blog. Everybody needs some friends to tell them they’re smart and better than Christians, before they can pick up and talk to Christians again.

        But I’ll be waiting here for you to fill my mind with all your wonderful knowledge, whenever you’re done enlightening your readers!

        Like

    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      You know what I was just thinking…. I was just thinking “I hope Ark shows up with more things for ME to read, and continues to avoid all questions posed to HIM.”

      That’s what I was thinking…

      No, wait. I wasn’t thinking that. So, unless you want to pick up where Pastor Mike left off and explain to the alien why Parenthood isn’t evil, I’m not interested in anything else you have to say. 🙂

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      1. Arkenaten

        Why would an alien consider Parenthood evil?
        Why do you consider Parenthood evil?
        Why are you so fucked up in your thinking that you would even consider to posture such a question?

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Arkenaten

    The biological concept/primary reason of parenthood is to ensure the continuation of the species.
    For the offspring to flourish, it should be raised in a loving, secure environment to the point it is able to fend for itself using all the tools is has learned from its parents, including critical thought.

    How’s that, my little Alien?

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      I appreciate the honest answer (without needless profanity). And I agree completely.

      The problem is: sometimes people don’t get the tools they need from their parents. Sometimes they make it to adulthood, and they still can’t function in society. What should we do with those people?

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      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        What should society do with people who can’t function on their own?
        How should we handle the people who are too poor or too uneducated or too disabled or too [whatever] to take care of themselves?

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      2. mrsmcmommy Post author

        HOW, I asked?

        (And name one society that takes care of those who can’t contribute, without cases of abuse… Either caregivers abuse those in their care, or people commit fraud and claim to need help when they don’t. Good systems have corruption in them, every time.)

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      3. Arkenaten

        No system is perfect.
        Not all caregivers abuse. Not all doctors and nurses are incompetent.

        I am not a psychologist or sociologist or qualified to give a medical(?) answer, if this is what you are looking for.

        Practically every post you write and every question you ask is preceded by an ulterior motive so why the fuck don’t you just state exactly what it is that you are grinding on and then we can discuss the point?

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      4. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Tut, Tut. Back to angry swearing again. Get a hold of yourself, Ark.

        Not all slave masters were abusive either. In both biblical times and before the American Civil War, there were slaves who asked to stay with their masters because the relationship was mutually beneficial. The master provided the resources and the slave provided the labor.

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      5. Arkenaten

        You have gone from, parental ”child ownership”, explaining to aliens why parenthood is not evil to caring for the ”misfits” of society.
        Can you make a point and stay on topic? Just for once?

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      6. mrsmcmommy Post author

        No, I’m asking the questions to help YOU get there.

        By “make a point” you mean “tell me what to think,” and that’s not helpful. I don’t want people to think exactly like me. I want people to think for themselves.

        There are plenty of people who argue that our CURRENT systems for taking care of the poor and disadvantaged is modern slavery. Just as there are people who argue that authoritarian parenthood is wrong.

        How do you respond to that?

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      7. Arkenaten

        I do not know enough about the CURRENT systems to comment.
        You sound as if you DO know so therefore explain what’s wrong and what you would do to fix them.

        Define authoritarian parenthood.

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      8. mrsmcmommy Post author

        No–I’m not answering, defining, or explaining anything to you.

        I’m tired of you leeching off MY thought process. Learn to think for yourself.

        🙂

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      9. Arkenaten

        I do think for myself, thank you very much. I certainly don’t need a god to write the script for my life.

        You make a comment about authoritarian parenting.
        Fair enough.
        I’ll give you an example of authoritarian parenting.
        Read the link to the fucking religious maniacs that poor woman had to grow up with.

        Get rid of your fucking religion – all religion – and that will be one area of child abuse we will not have to tolerate any longer.

        Satisfied?

        Maybe you will be able to exercise some independent thought?
        It’s a long shot, but who knows?

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      10. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Oh, brother… (*rolls eyes*)

        Do you think I’m going to be shocked that people are abused by their parents?

        Really?

        Do you think I’m going to be “fucking” surprised by the “fucking” religious maniacs that exist in society?
        No.

        But don’t look now, Ark. You’re part of a religious movement, too. An anti-religion religious movement, which is every bit as psycho as any other cult in the world.

        And if you can’t give me an example of a social system that actually works–one that works better than any other social system we’ve ever had–then you haven’t thought about it long enough.

        Scroll back up to find all the questions of mine you haven’t answered.

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      11. Arkenaten

        But don’t look now, Ark. You’re part of a religious movement, too. An anti-religion religious movement,

        Yes, and considering how long the religious movements have held sway it has been a long time coming.
        Can you think of a single de -convertee that you have encountered that has thoroughly regretted their decision to ditch religion?
        I can’t. Not a damn one.
        You are batting for a losing team; you just don’t know it.

        No system is perfect, but democracy is the best of a bad job.
        It would better without religion and we will get there, eventually.

        Repeat the question. I’m busy with documents here.

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      12. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I can’t think of a single abused child who wants to return to their abuser, either…

        You see the connection, I assume.

        Come up with a system that doesn’t unintentionally hurt MORE people while trying to fix injustice, and we’ll talk…

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      13. Arkenaten

        I can’t think of a single abused child who wants to return to their abuser, either…

        The point you are so conveniently overlooking is this woman was abused as a child by parents who invoked your fucking god as the reason for the violence.
        That she brought shame on them and on your god, thus justifying the abuse.
        Do you understand that?

        Yes, there are abusive parents across the board but no child was ever abused because of the ”god of atheism”.
        Do you understand that?

        Only children of religious parents or in religious establishments are threatened with violence, or retraction of love, hell or threatened with eviction because of sin, or homosexuality because it is against your god’s will.
        Atheists do not invoke superstitious fucking claptrap from a heinous god in a disgusting book.

        Do you understand that?

        No religion. More empathy. Better society.
        Religion poisons pretty much everything.

        Do you understand that, Amanda?

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      14. Arkenaten

        Always the same eh, Amanda?

        When faced with the Truth it kind of gets impossible for you to come up with any more Smart- Alec replies.

        Oh, and there is an anti-dote to religion …
        I can share it with you if you like?

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      15. mrsmcmommy Post author

        What truth have you offered that I haven’t already considered? You’re just rambling like a crazy guy again.

        Whenever you stop answering my questions and start preaching your inane anti-religion sermons, I quit with you. I’ll just click like on all of your nonsense to let you know I read it.

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      16. Arkenaten

        Me, a crazy person? Smile. That’s a bit mean isn’t it, Amanda?

        After all, only one of us is a fundamentalist christian and only one of us has contemplated topping themselves.

        Here is your answer for your slavery dilemma.

        The Bible contains several references to slavery, which was a common practice in antiquity. The Bible stipulates the treatment of slaves, especially in the Old Testament.[1][2][3] There are also references to slavery in the New Testament.[4][5] Male Israelite slaves were to be offered release after six to seven years of service, with some conditions.[6][7][8] Foreign slaves and their posterity became the perpetual property of the owner’s family,[9] except in the case of certain injuries.[10]

        Do you understand that?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Arkenaten

    Now, just imagine if your god, Yahweh, had expressly stated outright that all forms of human bondage were a sin. And just imagine as well if Yahweh in his human form, the character, Jesus of Nazareth, had said, something along the lines of ”Lo, all forms of human slavery are an abomination unto Yahweh,”
    I wonder how your religion would have handled that. Amanda?
    Any thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Let me know when you imagine that, Ark. That’s what I’ve been trying to help you imagine all along. 🙂

      If you’re not interested in guessing how things were 3500 years ago and what would have happened if all women and children were just “free” to take care of themselves, then kindly go away. 🙂

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      1. Arkenaten

        Who said they would have had to take care of themselves?
        Now what are you rambling on about?
        I am referring to your ridiculous bible.
        If your fictitious god Yahweh, could have at least ordered fictitious Moses etc to have written something positive then maybe your stupid religion would have turned out a lot differently.
        Certainly there is a very good chance there would not have been slavery as your religion/god sanctioned and exploited to the full.

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      2. mrsmcmommy Post author

        You really don’t get it?
        Or you’re pretending you don’t?

        Slaves can’t just suddenly become functioning members of society. What do you suggest a better system would be–other than getting food and shelter in exchange for manual labor?

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      3. Arkenaten

        No, dear. You are not getting it, because you are indoctrinated.
        Now stop bleating, think, consider and read slowly.

        Your god, Yahweh,was apparently around since the Year Dot ( see the Genesis quote) therefore if the bible had contained specific rules forbidding slavery and all forms of human bondage then Judaism would have been completely different and thus , your religion also.

        Even after Rome adopted Christianity, their reaction to slavery would have been totally different.

        And certainly, had a non-slavery mandate endured there would not likely have been the Negro Slave Trade.

        The idea of empathy toward each other would have had a completely different face.
        Consider how Columbus would have behaved on encountering Native Americans if the church had a strict policy of empathy toward fellow humans.

        It isn’t me that isn’t getting it, it’s you, Amanda, because you are blinded by ignorance and hate.
        You are so indoctrinated by your utterly warped ideas regarding morality and human interaction you cannot see past the end of your christian nose.

        Do you understand that?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. mrsmcmommy Post author

        You’re still talking like an alien who comes from a place where parenthood is outlawed. The alien has heard that ALL parenthood was evil. He has heard stories of parents hurting children and selling children and locking them in closets and a thousand other things. So the alien believes (as he has been taught to believe) that the problem is “parenthood.” He believes that, if people just empathized with kids, they would realize that NO ONE wants a mom/dad to be their authority. Kids want to be free!

        That’s why the alien keeps asking, “WHY DIDN’T GOD OUTLAW PARENTHOOD? Then everyone would have known it’s evil!!!! It would have changed the world if God just said, Lo, you shall not let parents be authorities over their children.”

        That would be great…except children can’t take care of themselves, and neither could the poor, uneducated slave class of the ancient world. Slaves couldn’t care for themselves. That’s why some of them said “No, I don’t want to go free,” when they were given the option. (Exodus 21:5-6) That’s why people often sold THEMSELVES into slavery. Read Deuteronomy 28:68. God WARNED the Jews that they would try to sell themselves as slaves, but no one would buy them. Why would he warn them about that? Why would someone WANT another person to buy them?

        Hm?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Arkenaten

    Not only did you not even try to understand my previous reply you simply came back mumbling the same garbled tripe you have always done.

    If Yahweh had outlawed slavery from the beginning and it was part of human/Israelite tradition and later written down and recorded, then the Israelites would not have kept slaves.

    Later, when your dipshit farking religion, Christianity, came along, Yahweh’s Laws would have already been well and truly entrenched and your smelly little 1st century Lake Tiberius Pedestrian wouldn’t have needed to say Jack Shit.
    Still following?

    Much later, when all your fucking priests and christian explorers encountered indigenous populations they would have had religious injunctions firmly in place from over 1500 years of doctrine that forbade slavery on direct orders from your god, Yahweh, as recorded in the Torah and later in the bible.

    Now, read that a couple of times until the import really sinks in.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      “Now, read that a couple of times…”

      If by that last sentence you meant, “Skim to the bottom and don’t bother reading the comment at all,” then you got it.

      I have more patience than my dad (obviously). But there’s only so much I can take.

      It’s not me, Ark.

      it’s you, buddy.

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      Reply
  10. sklyjd

    My understanding is that slaves 2000 years ago in the Middle East would more than likely have been treated as they were anywhere else in the world and worse than most American Negro slaves. The life of any human in those times was worth little with punishments much like many of the extreme Islamic Sharia laws with death by stoning, cutting off of body parts, flogging and crucifixion for breaking laws and often for maintaining the families honour.

    Would slaves, especially female slaves have ever had a fair go in such a brutal regime, it is doubtful with the male dominance and the uncertainty of justice due to other corrupted manipulations.

    The chances of a slave having a master of some compassion would have been the exception and this is highlighted with the fact that instructions on how to treat slaves were required to be inserted into the bible.

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  11. Pingback: The Slavery Post (Part 2) | Cultures at War

  12. Swarn Gill

    You seem to be very focused on your commenters staying on topic, even though the broader question on the morality of slavery is key to this discussion when others have tried to point at the slavery is abusive, this doesn’t seem to phase you. Abusive by the way doesn’t only refer to physical abuse. But I will stick to the questions you pose.

    Can you imagine a time period or culture where people sold themselves as bond servants?(Leviticus 25:39-42)

    In the Korean war many adolescent girls sold themselves into slavery to bring money to their family. Times were desperate for many and women are generally a drain on resources for a family based on patriarchal dowry systems for marriage. This is no way makes slavery moral. If times are so desperate that selling yourself into slave labor is the only choice you have then there is a greater immorality going on.

    What about a time period or culture where some slaves asked to stay, even after their contract was up? (Deuteronomy 15:16) What are some reasons they’d do that?

    I am sure you are familiar with Stockholm Syndrome. At some point a kidnapped person may actually begin to feel sympathy for their kidnapper and emotionally be on their side. That doesn’t mean kidnapping is morally okay. I am not saying that these biblical slaves were kidnapped, although many at that time were people captured during war and turned into slaves, the bible condones this use of the enemy, (especially women, Deuteronomy 21:10-14), but simply saying the fact that slaves would be complicit with their slave owners does not make slavery justified because we know how this can happen. In fact when those are oppressed are complicit with their oppressors this is a greater cause for concern than to have less concern.

    In what ways are Old Testament “slavery” and New Testament “slavery” different? In what ways is the slavery of the Bible similar to contract work?

    Not sure where to begin with this one. Slavery however is slavery. The rules in the bible on how to treat one’s slave are actually very similar to laws we had during slavery in the U.S. Slavers were property, and the laws that governed that property were not done so to preserve human dignity, but for making sure that property was damaged and that each person maintained rights to their own property. It is not similar to contract work because the person under contract has rights. Again notice that the laws you quote treatment of slaves from the slave owner’s perspective. Where are the laws that talk about the slave’s rights? You sign me to do contract work, and I change my mind…I have to refund you the money you paid, but I am free to terminate my contract. You violate the terms of the contract and I have rights. At least in the Bible I cannot see anywhere promoting the rights from the slave’s point of view. In fact we know historically at the time that non-Israelite slaves had very little rights at all.

    Are there any ways that biblical slavery can be compared with adoption/parenthood?

    This is the most disturbing part of your post. I don’t think authoritarianism is bad. I do know more than my child, and my child is ignorant of a lot of things that I must teach him. But I certainly don’t give love, clothing, food, and shelter, with the expectation of obedience. And that respect for me is always one that I must continue to earn. If my child is obedient it is of their own choice to do so, not out of fear of punishment. And punishment for disobedience of slaves was harsh at any time period. And the truth is, that if my child could demonstrate at any time he could live on his own successfully I wouldn’t stop him. But this can be hard to do until you are at least strong enough to have a career. I also live in a society that supports giving children and education. Education is an answer out of oppression and I freely give my child that opportunity. I didn’t have him so that I could have an obedient worker. I had one because I loved my wife and wanted to grow a family with her. A very natural human instinct and how we propagate our species. Slavery is not the same propagation. It serves no purpose to our species. I work hard for my child, much harder than my child will work for me. This is much different than a class based system in which the slaves toiled while the landowner reaps the benefits. I really hope you can see the difference between slavery and having children, if you don’t that makes me very concerned for you and your children.

    There is no basis for saying that slavery in any form is moral. And if there is a God who is a moral authority than this should be God’s point of view, and it isn’t according to the Bible. The very same Bible that was used to justify slavery here in the U.S.

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Thanks for your perspective.

      Of course, it’s a 21st-Century perspective which has been heavily influenced by your knowledge of American slavery. But, I appreciate you taking the time you write out your thoughts.

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      1. Swarn Gill

        What perspective would you prefer? Just because at one time it was okay to sell your daughter doesn’t make it right…it only made it moral back then. The fact that morality progresses shouldn’t be looked down upon or not a valid way to argue about immoral actions in the past. If God is omniscient and a moral authority than morality should be constant and fixed. What we find is that Bible is more representative of politics and law in it’s own time period, and thus God’s views also represent that. A religion born today, God would be characterized differently. I am not condemning people of the past for things being the way they were, I am condemning Yahweh who is again supposed to be all knowing and all powerful for not only allowing practices we know today to be immoral but actually supporting them. I don’t question why humanity took so long to figure it all out, I question this supposed divine moral authority.

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      2. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I believe God has helped us make baby steps toward becoming more like Him. Humans don’t/can’t make big changes all at once. We grow and learn slowly. We evolve.

        The problem you’re running into is that you don’t like the methods God has used to help us arrive where we are today.

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      3. Swarn Gill

        Actually that’s not it all. In fact we have evidence of very just early civilizations and we have evidence that hunter-gatherer tribes were far more egalitarian than early civilizations. Our brains haven’t change much evolutionarily speaking, so there is no reason why God’s law could help us conform to a more just and moral society if He supposedly has an entire book dedicated to the subject. And if it’s all some slow lesson by God, shouldn’t we have some Holy Book updates every century or so…why still stick to a book created 1500 years or more ago when most of it has no relevancy. It’s nothing more than a poor historical guide at this point. Why not update it to God’s more current lessons for us? And here’s the thing, children are naturally compassionate. We are a social species who has come as far as we have because of cooperation and getting along. There is no reason we wouldn’t respond to a Holy Book that preaches gender and racial equality and yet we find a lot of violence and violation of human rights throughout the Bible.

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      4. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I think you’re misunderstanding. I’m not saying that the Old Testament is what has made people “just.” I’m saying that your sense of right and wrong itself comes from God. Your conscience–the thing that makes you feel that all your ideas about justice and egalitarianism are correct–had to come from somewhere.

        Where did you get the idea that cooperation and getting along are good?

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      5. Swarn Gill

        I can explain all that quite easily scientifically. It would take a long discussion about the process of evolution and how we can observe empirically what happens in society and what is destructive and develop laws to counter that destructive behavior.

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      6. mrsmcmommy Post author

        You’re right. It would take a long discussion because I can tell you don’t understand my question.

        Science just observes (as you suggested). Science can’t tell us which observations are “right” and which ones are “wrong.” Judging right and wrong is something that only humans do. Morality is an idea that is built into all of us. We say things like, “I’m not perfect! But I’m learning and growing every day!”

        That demonstrates that we have a sense of right and wrong built into us.

        You have to use rules of some kind to tell people what they should and shouldn’t do. Who gets to write those rules?

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      7. Swarn Gill

        The rules are different for every species. Animals have morality too, and depending on how they have evolved socially govern their behaviors towards themselves and other species. The fact that we have on average quite a lot of empathy as humans is indicative of a social species that survives through cooperation, other species don’t require as much cooperation and thus have different senses of what is right and what is wrong.

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      8. Swarn Gill

        And you say I don’t understand and you willfully ignore evidence that is contrary to your point of view. Why because you may come to realize it is you who don’t understand. Because I can tell you don’t understand how science or evolution works.

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      9. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Declining to watch a 45-minute YouTube video isn’t the same as ignoring evidence.

        I agreed that evolution is a thing that really happens.

        But evolution doesn’t explain EVERYTHING.

        I’ve found that most internet Atheists haven’t really thought about what the “No God” scenario means for morality.
        Right/wrong aren’t scientific.
        Ultimately, they’re just opinions.

        President of the American Atheists David Silverman: “There is no objective moral standard. We are responsible for our own actions….” “The hard answer is it [moral decisions] is a matter of opinion.”

        Atheist Philosopher Julian Baggini:
        “If there is no single moral authority [i.e. if there is no God, then] we have to in some sense ‘create’ values for ourselves… that means that moral claims are not true or false in the same way as factual claims are… moral claims are judgments [that] it is always possible for someone to disagree with… without saying something that is factually false… you may disagree with me but you cannot say I have made a factual error.”

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      10. Swarn Gill

        I wasn’t saying for you to watch it now…only that you could watch it. And what you say is true…moral truths are not facts in the same way that Force = massxacceleration. That being said we do have some grounds for judging what is moral and what is not and this is based on the harm that it does. I can say your moral point of view causes more harm and can demonstrate it using facts. I have actually thought a lot about this. We can use facts quite a bit as a guide to how to help all humans live better and have less suffering. Those absolutely depend on facts.

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      11. mrsmcmommy Post author

        “We do have some grounds for judging, based on the harm that it does.”

        Exactly.

        We’ve been given the sense that causing harm is bad and helping people live “better” lives is good. And we all know what is meant by “better” lives, even though we sometimes disagree about how to achieve “better.”

        I’m glad we’re on the same page.

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      12. Swarn Gill

        There are also disagreements about what better is, not just how to achieve it. Which is, to me, is much more evidence of the fact that we are the ones trying to evaluate this and figure it out, not some deity. And we can figure it out using investigative techniques associated with the scientific method. I mean we can use our own observations, but those tend to be a bit flawed given our own limitations to sense what is right and wrong which is highly dependent on the environment we are nurtured in. This is why science is important because it explains why one moral system is better than another. Divine moral systems say “Hey this is what God said…you better obey”. But why? No rationale is given, and many times either we have interpreted it wrong or things that authority figures says has been repressive and harmful.

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      13. mrsmcmommy Post author

        No one on this blog has said “God said…so you better obey!” That’s just a simplification that Atheists like to accuse people like me of believing, so it’s easier to argue against.

        In other words, it’s a straw man.

        I agree…we can use the scientific method as one way to figure out how to become more perfect. In fact, the Scientific Method was developed by Theists who were trying to learn more about the Creator. Science is a great way to learn about the world…including the soft sciences which study human behavior.

        Thanks to studying humans, I’ve learned that even Atheists believe that Perfect Goodness is a real thing that we’re trying to move toward. https://branyancomedy.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/bad-people-can-do-good/

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      14. Swarn Gill

        Actually that’s the very definition of paternal religions like Christianity. You are supposed to obey God’s word. You used Christianity as an example in your argument. Why do we then even need religions if science can tell us how to live better. I can never prove nor disprove that there isn’t a God, but I can prove or disprove something about the nature of God. I agree that we could be discovering more about God through understanding the universe. That’s a possibility. But it’s also possible that there is no God at all. The universe could be unintentional and indifferent. There is nothing that disproves that either. Personally I don’t think we can have perfect goodness…we can only keep marching, and even then since our understanding of the universe I believe will always be incomplete our ignorance will always cause us to make mistakes.

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      15. mrsmcmommy Post author

        It’s philosophy, Swarn.

        Philosophers have reasoned their way to God for centuries. Plato wasn’t a Christian, but he still understood that words like “good” and “better” only exist if there is some PERFECT goal we’re trying to reach.

        That perfect goal is God.

        If there’s no Goal, then there’s no good/bad, right/wrong. God is Meaning. He is Goodness. He is the Ultimate goal. To talk about slavery being wrong from a purely natural perspective doesn’t make sense. It’s just a majority-rules style opinion.

        Atheist, William Provine: “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either”…“No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there any absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life.”

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      16. Swarn Gill

        There is good and bad philosophy though. Not all philosopher were operating on complete knowledge. You can build an entire foundation of logic on one faulty premise. For the longest time we thought the sun revolved around the earth based on a faulty premise that came from incomplete knowledge. Plato and Aristotle were wrong about many things. Most intelligent historical figures have as many things they were wrong about as they were right about. The revision of history tends to only hold on to the accomplishments. But there are is plenty of evidence to show that some very intelligent people got some pretty big things wrong.

        I have quite a lot of meaning in my life despite not believing in God. How is that possible? The fact that the universe is indifferent has actually made me appreciate life even more. It means nobody is stepping into preserve us, it means that we have to take care of each other. The fact that I have no evidence of life after death means that I don’t have to live my life for some other imagined plane of existence but that I need to appreciate this one, because it MAY be the only one I have. If the atheist you quoted is as bleak as he seems to be than I feel sorry for him. I suspect that he would even be a sad Christian. Depression is a real thing that many people regardless of their beliefs go through. Personally I don’t see it that way. But even so it is possible that the “good” we march towards is only in our heads…it is only a construct of the type of species we are. Had we evolved from an ant, maybe we would have a different sense of what this good is that we are marching towards. The whole idea of God is very human oriented. That should tell us that we might be making it all up, because there is no reason to believe that we are the only life that matters in the universe, since we aren’t even the only bit of life on this planet. It could be that we are wasting our time and it’s really starfish that God cares about. It could be that there really is no meaning to at all, and this is what the evidence points to. That meaning is something that we have given to life. Just because an indifferent universe is one that we don’t like doesn’t mean that isn’t the universe we have. Go forth and multiply that’s what we and every other bit of life is doing, the fact that we have the capacity to appreciate a much wider scope in the universe is wonderful and I am thankful for it, but there is no logic that isn’t built on an untestable or false premise that God exists. To me, I really don’t need a God to appreciate existence and as I said, I actually appreciate it more now than I ever did as a theist.

        To suggest that a larger order is important to give a smaller subset meaning is a strange concept to me. If there was a revolution in this country, chaos in the streets, would you not still try to keep some semblance of order in your family? Your community? Or would you just say…well we’re all going to die so do whatever you want? We can still have a productive and happy life in a way that makes sense to our species and we can live sustainable so that the resources we have continue to support us. I still get to feel happiness seeing the people I love, the taste of fruit is still sweet, and I love watching the lightning. Why should I be made happy by the possibility of some afterlife or an intentional universe when I can have happiness anyway?

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      17. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Sorry, not sure how I missed this comment.

        But I just want to let you know I read it… And, in answer to your final question, if there was a revolution in the country, would I not still try to keep order? My answer is: yes, because I believe my desire for order was given to me for a purpose. It’s not just chemicals in my head. But, if I really believed that all of reality was just chemicals, then I wouldn’t be able to tell myself it was really important. I wouldn’t be able to pretend that the “smaller subsets” had meaning if I knew that everything I thought I “loved” was just my body trying to get me to reproduce DNA.

        I’m just being honest.

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  13. Arkenaten

    Amazing! Swarn takes an inordinate amount of time to explain to you exactly why slavery is immoral, no matter how it manifests, and also takes the time to explain why Yahweh’s role was also immoral and all you do is diss him off?

    You are quite a piece of work.

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      1. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I’m a dreadful Christian…until I say something that makes you insist I’m not a Christian at all. hehe.
        Either way–Christian or not–you just can’t quit me. ❤

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      2. Arkenaten

        It’s probably a mixture of my occasional argumentative nature (depends on the subject matter) and empathy for certain types of mental illness.
        You and you father bring out both in me.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Arkenaten

        Your occasional strait jacket probably is riveted.
        I don’t honestly believe there is anything about you and your beliefs etc I need to know.
        I reckon most readers have you pegged already.
        However, if you feel the need to espouse some more wonderful Yahweh centred testimonial I am always up for a laugh listen/read.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Jamie Carter

    Frederick Douglass once wrote: “I have said my master found religious sanction for his cruelty. As an example, I will state one of many facts going to prove the charge. I have seen him tie up a lame young woman, and whip her with a heavy cowskin upon her naked shoulders, causing the warm red blood to drip; and, in justification of the bloody deed, he would quote this passage of Scripture –‘He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.’ Master would keep this lacerated young woman tied up in this horrid situation four or five hours at a time. … Master Thomas was one of the many pious slaveholders who hold slaves for the very charitable purpose of taking care of them.””

    One of the reasons why humanity hasn’t been able to break the yoke of slavery is because of the thinking that “those slaves can’t take care of themselves” but any good parent knows that there’s a day when you can’t make your kid breakfast, drive him/her to/from work, arrange a play-date for his/her future spouse – you have to let them grow up. Slavery is the lie that certain people are always “kids” they can’t take care of themselves or they would die of starvation or be wracked with disease. The difference is that parents spend their lifetime teaching their kids how to manage things on their own whereas slaves are little more than children forever. There are thirty million slaves today, give or take – you can choose to accept the lie and be okay with all the evil done in slavery’s name or right the wrongs by fighting that lie and challenging the thinking that let’s slavery do all that damage unchecked. Paul did have one final word – that all slaves should try to go free – they weren’t living in God’s version of slavery, but that of the Roman empire. I think his advice would stand for women being sold into sex trafficking or people being shanghaied onto fishing boats – or slaves of all kinds in all situations. It’s better to try to go free than to be taken care of by people who exist to exploit you.

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    1. mrsmcmommy Post author

      Thanks for trying, Jamie.

      But if you believe that children DO have to be taken care of for a time (before they’re totally grown up), and that parenthood is still necessary, even though some parents are viciously, inexcusably abusive–then we haven’t disagreed at all.

      I agree completely that it’s better for children to run away than to be exploited by their parents. But, in ancient Isreal, there WERE people who were not capable of taking care of themselves. I’m sorry you think that’s a lie. It’s not. There are adults today who can’t/don’t take care of themselves, too…

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      1. Arkenaten

        But, in ancient Isreal, there WERE people who were not capable of taking care of themselves

        There are people today who are incapable of caring for themselves. Do we enslave them?

        Re: Ancient Israelites. If this is true, why was slavery the only option and why did your god not only sanction it but issue directives for its continuation?

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      2. Jamie Carter

        Both of us could probably use a more full course on the history of slavery, I was trying to talk on your terms. I don’t really see how parenthood = slavery. Aristotle called slaves “living tools” – he believed that some people were natural slaves, who were born without the ability to think for themselves and so needed their masters to think for them and tell them what to do. That’s the culture in which the Bible was written – the same lie of “some can’t take care of themselves, if they could then they wouldn’t be slaves.” Pretty much every free country signed the universal declaration of human rights – and on that it says “no slavery”.
        There are some thirty million slaves today, too many of them are trafficked for sex, too many work for nothing – it’s wrong, if you see it as a parent who is taking care of kids, then it’s abuse, too.

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      3. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I didn’t say parenthood equals slavery. I said there are lots of comparisons, which everyone for the last 250+ comments seems reluctant to acknowledge.

        Are you really suggesting that EVERYONE can take care of him/herself? Because, I think it’s totally understandable why the culture of that day concluded that certain people were unable to survive without masters. They concluded this because: there were people among them who were completely unable to survive without masters.

        I’m not talking about today’s sex slaves. I’m talking about the indentured servanthood of 3000 years ago. What do you think SHOULD have been done with the uneducated, unskilled poor people who couldn’t take care of themselves three millenia ago?

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      4. Jamie Carter

        Something other than exploit them and lie to them. We’re talking about ancient biases about people – that same culture was the one that viewed women as second class people. We can’t just assume that because they lived in the past that they’re moral bastions that we are to emulate. They’re just as human as we are – prone to error. Why is it that the free world thrives without slavery? Is it because even the least of these are free to make their own choices? Slavery was – and still is – wrong. How many lives will it cost before you realize that it’s so? How many do you think have died as a result of being enslaved?
        Do you know whether or not your ancestors were slave-holders? Do you think they regret their actions?

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      5. mrsmcmommy Post author

        No one has said that ancient people should be “emulated.” I’ve not suggested that biblical slavery should be re-instituted. But, if you believe the free world is thriving without slavery, then I’m not sure you’re really understanding my perspective.

        We haven’t abolished slavery.

        We just call it something different. We allow people to think they are free just because they don’t have a single, named master. But we have MILLONS of people in the U.S. who are slaves to the government plantation because they can’t care for themselves. (Star Parker’s metaphor. Not mine. https://www.amazon.com/Uncle-Sams-Plantation-Government-Enslaves/dp/1595552235 )

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      6. Jamie Carter

        Perhaps the better question is: “What is being able to take care of oneself?”
        When I was watching a documentary about Hamilton (the play) it talked about the plan for the government to assume the state’s debt – this particular problem goes back to the founding of our country, not to the Biblical slavery that you talked about. Perhaps you should separate the idea into it’s own post instead of grafting it onto this one as it seems hopelessly lost.

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      7. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I appreciate the suggestion for future posts!

        Honestly, though, it gets exhausting when my goal is to share the difficult questions I’m wrestling with, and the comment thread still, inevitably, becomes some type of interrogation. I’m not trying to supply pre-packaged answers for others to either accept our reject… I’m inviting readers to travel WITH ME, and I feel that 300 comments is probably enough to explain which direction I’m coming from…
        (Anyone who is super interested in other details can read old posts and conversations for days.)

        Drop in any time, Jamie! Or just get updates from Ark and Pastor Mike now and then. I’m sure they’re being fair and accurate when they characterize me, as always. 😉

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      8. Jamie Carter

        After 300 comments, the conversation has gone on so many tangents that it’s almost impossible to make any sense of what’s really going on.
        I tend to haunt some of the same pages that others do, so I have a passing familiarity with some users more than others. I grant each and everyone their own opinions about others. Just as I let others think whatever they want of me. Sometimes I like having someone outside of my usual circles holding up the mirror and keeping me honest because it’s all too easy to exist in a vacuum where everyone agrees with you and you’re never wrong. That can lead to all sorts of danger.
        I just don’t know where you’re at at this point – after having written the original post and dealt with three hundred comments, has anybody changed your mind? helped you to realize a weakness in your conclusions? has anyone offered an insight that just jumps out at you? Where are you at now? Once that’s sorted, then I’ll know how best to move the conversation forward.

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      9. mrsmcmommy Post author

        You shared this quote: “And what is the measure of a god? Is it the scope of their power, or how they choose to wield that power? Would a god, who is prepared to lead us on the path to enlightenment, so contradict this divine benevolence by destroying all those who refuse to believe in him?…”

        The response that Gerak gives to that question is a classic, close-minded Fundamentalist. I don’t agree with Gerak at all. I am much more like Teal’c, and always have been. If someone says, “This is the way it has to be.” Then I always ask, “WHY?!” And answering, “because that is how it has always been” (or something similar) isn’t good enough.

        I’ve been asking questions, and no one has demonstrated they even understand what I’m asking well enough to track with me. So–no–I haven’t been challenged and I certainly haven’t had my mind changed. I’m tempted to sugar-coat it, but maybe honesty is the best policy: I believe too many Atheists are on missions to “educate” me, to be my guide to truth, but (when pressed) it turns out they don’t even carry a flashlight.

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      10. Jamie Carter

        Alright, I’ll stick with your original questions.
        Can you imagine a time period/culture where people sold themselves into slavery?
        Yes – my ancestors were indentured servants in the very same households that had African slaves. The deal was that after several years of service, and in exchange for transportation to America, they could go free – which they always did. African slaves, on the other hand, had a raw deal – they didn’t get the same opportunity to go free. I know of no culture outside of the OT Bible where slaves that could go free opted to remain as slaves. I couldn’t tell you the name or story of one such slave who was famous for remaining in servitude. That’s not to say that there weren’t slaves who liked slavery, household slaves were said to be glad of their position because they had it better than the slaves in the fields. Some were likely reluctant to leave behind everything they had worked so hard to attain.
        OT Slavery isn’t just one kind. There’s the story of Joseph being sold into Egyptian slavery, Joshua 9 talks about the Gibeonites who were made into water carriers and woodcutters – which seems to me to be a form of slavery and second-class status in that those people weren’t given the right to live as the choose and do what suited them. Then there’s the instruction set down regarding the religious and legal use of slaves. This is probably the one you’re thinking of most. NT Slavery is under the jurisdiction of the Roman Empire, the laws that applied in the OT no longer applied in the NT as the Romans didn’t obey the Law of Moses and had their own rules about slaves. They didn’t have to set them free – once a slave, always a slave.
        Indentured servitude is more similar to contract work than slavery is in terms of having two sides agree to an arrangement. Intentured service is a short-term deal, slavery is for life. Indentured servants had to be set free. Slaves could be treated as property and inherited from one generation to the next to continue living their lives as slaves. I think you’ve confused the two.
        Perhaps you’re drawing on Galatians 4, “What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.” … which ends with ” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” This verse seems to be saying that parenthood and slavery are different.
        What do I imagine will happen when children ought to be emancipated as slaves were … this is the flaw I see here, slaves were men and women of all ages – sure, many died. But many more lived. They lived in a world just beginning to recover from war, starvation and disease were also factors that could have contributed to people dying – and not just because they were former slaves. Plenty of former masters likely died as well because of those same factors. Slaves are not children, they’re not incapable of thinking, incapable of growing food, incapable of building shelters, incapable of doing business, incapable of going to court. What slaves were was an entire class of people who were denied the right to decide for themselves how they were going to live, what they were going to do, and their masters tore away from them their own children and sold them because these kids weren’t theirs to keep. Slavery has always been abuse of the power of those who give themselves power over others and the usurping of the power that the slaves should have rightfully had for themselves. Slaves are just as human as their masters, and their masters as human as their slaves. Now “children” can mean just about anything, from a helpless infant to a toddler, all the way up to an almost but not quite adult teenager a day from being eighteen. The older ones would likely manage quite well because they had been taught how to cook for themselves, manage their money, drive about town, etc. The younger ones not so much. Which sort do you imagine slaves to be? Were slaves helpless without masters to take of them as parents do infants and toddlers? Or were slaves like the older teenagers almost of age to be cut loose? Remember – the lie of slavery is that slaves can’t take care of themselves, they’ll die if masters didn’t tell them what to do. Even if that slave is a sixty year old grandmother, she would die of freedom if her master didn’t tell her to clean the kitchen.
        Am I against slavery, always. It’s morally wrong for one person to own another. Are you pro-slavery? I’d say your answer would be: “Insofar as a parent taking care of her baby is a good thing, so is a master taking care of her slave.” You’d probably be just as appaled at child abuse and abuse of slaves, but you see the bargain of having shelter, provision, warmth, and the needs taken care of as the same in the parent/child and in the master/slave relationship which existed before things like Medicaid/Medicare and other public welfare safety nets -aside from slavery, charity was the only real form of providing for those who had not and it always depended on the charity of those who had it to give it. The problem is that the equation of the two creates a lot of issues because of how you read the scriptures. What you need to understand is that the Bible talks about families in the context of Roman household codes – they viewed families as the smallest unit of the state and as such, they had laws. These families weren’t just father, mother, brother, sister – but included extended relatives, freedmen, clients, servants and their families as well. These households easily numbered as several dozen people. What we see is Paul undermining the Roman rules that were already in place about slaves by telling masters not to lord it over their slaves, but rather to see themselves as on the same level. Equality is the goal of scriptures, not authority/submission. In every form of authority/submission relationships there has been abuse – parents and children, husbands and wives, masters and slaves, pastors and congregations – humanity lacks the ability to not abuse having authority over others. We justify that with the logic we have when we approach scripture – when we view parenthood and slavery as the same thing or somehow similar, then we create the lie that slaves are always children and are never going to be adults or parents enough to live free lives. That’s what the ancient world believed – Aristotle wrote that some people were born to be slaves. Oddly enough, nobody says: “I think I was born to be somebody else’s slave.” It’s always: “Poor so-and-so, he was born to be my slave. Lucky me, I was born to be his master and take care of him. Without me, he’s probably die of starvation.” That’s how we know we always abuse having authority over others. It’s in our DNA.

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      11. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I appreciate the thoughtful reply.

        I can’t see anything I majorly disagree with. And, no, I’m not “pro-slavery” just as I’m not “pro-Communism” or “pro-Welfare,” for example. Actually, my thought process is this: there are precisely ZERO programs, systems, or institutions that will result in Heaven-on-earth.

        That’s important, so I’ll try to say it again in a slightly different way:

        It doesn’t matter what type of government we have, or what type of programs or institutions we put in place, they will always be groups who are in authority over others…and (as you said) those authorities will eventually result in abuse.

        It can’t be helped.

        So, do I want America to become a Communist State?

        No.

        Do I want us to return to the indentured servitude of the New Testament or the slavery of the Old Testament?

        No.

        I can’t see any reason to do that, because society wasn’t better then than it is now. But what I DO have a problem with is people using the slave code found in the Old Testament as some type of argument that God is unjust. There are way too many assumptions made about morality and human nature made in that statement. Do I believe that slave-ownership in the Old Testament means God is immoral? No.

        The only thing that raised my eyebrows a little was your statement that the goal of the Scriptures is equality. Maybe I’m reading too much into that sentence, but I think that’s a pretty narrow view of Scripture. I believe God’s goal has less to do with earthly status and more to do with drawing people to Himself, regardless of what that takes. God wants a personal relationship with everyone–slave or free, Jew or Greek, Husband or Wife. I’m not convinced that having equal value in God’s eyes means that God’s primary concern is to make sure everybody on earth experiences the American definition of liberty before they die. Maybe that’s not what you meant?

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      12. Jamie Carter

        Ephesians 6:9 “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.”
        Colossians 4:1 “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.”
        You have to understand that Aristotle had called slaves “living tools” and that idea had been around for a long, long time. They had dehumanized their slaves. What Paul was saying to the masters was that they too had a master over them – they too, were slaves. When they saw themselves as slaves, they had to think about how they were treating their own slaves. Were these slaves tools, that could be used and discarded? Or were they people just as they were who were worthy of being treated as equally human? Paul undermined the Roman household codes by tearing down the assumption of authority by taking away that authority of the master and telling them they were slaves. I was once taught that the foot of the cross is level ground, nobody stands above anyone else.
        But I’m pretty sure that when Jesus said: “take care of the poor” enslaving them wasn’t the means he was suggesting we should use to do it.

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      13. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I DO understand that Artistotle dehumanized slaves.

        I understand that all people have the tendency to dehumanize each other.

        Even today, there will be some 3,000 humans in the U.S. alone, who are deprived of the basic human right to life, because our fellow countrymen have convinced themselves those babies aren’t really living humans. I’m right there with you in the desire to fix the unjust things happening here on earth.

        But, I believe that earthly injustice is how God points us to Himself. It’s what helps us recognize the law that He has written on our hearts and pursue Him as the source. I believe that–without darkness–you don’t appreciate the light. So, I take all of that into consideration before I presume to make a claim like, “A really Good God would definitely write THIS type of law and set up THIS type of government.”

        http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/why-would-god-have-permitted-any-form-of-servitude-or-slavery/

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      14. Jamie Carter

        That last thought is an interesting point – the original government and laws that God made reflect the patriarchal beliefs of the ancient world, not just two millenia ago, but several millenia before that. Were the whole story being played out today, written for today – would God install a patriarchal pro-slavery government as the ideal – or would he create an egalitarian anti-slavery government to reflect the societies that are already here and what we already believe? Was it coincidence that God just so happened to choose a patriarchal pro-slavery government in a world of patriarchal pro-slavery governments, or was it by design so as to not make the Israelites seem out of place? Do you know of the Amazonian myths – we’re told of an ancient society – a matriarchy that’s fascinated even the Romans, but they are a myth – any truth to the story is long forgotten. I think that God choose slavery in a pro-slavery world, not because it’s his ideal but because every other society believed in slavery and there needed to be rules about what could and couldn’t be done. Just as there are rules about rapists in those same passages, he doesn’t want it to happen, but he recognizes evil when he sees it and wants some laws in place so that justice can be carried out – even if it’s justice in a millenia old context. These aren’t the rules that he wants forever, until the end of time. Were God writing the story today, there wouldn’t be any slavery as we’re an anti-slavery society. Sure, God could have created a perfect government that would fit our society today, but it would become like the Amazonians of the past, a myth of people who were backwards and unlike the strong nations that wrote them out of history altogether.

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      15. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Exactly!

        “I think that God chose slavery in a pro-slavery world, not because it’s his ideal but because every other society believed in slavery and there needed to be rules about what could and couldn’t be done…These aren’t the rules that he wants forever, until the end of time. Were God writing the story today, there wouldn’t be any slavery, as we’re an anti-slavery society.”

        I think we’re on the same page completely.

        The only thing I would want to explore further is the question regarding what a “perfect government” would even look like? Can a perfect government exist, so long as humans still have free will? I believe, if we have the option to choose evil, we will. And, therefore, there is no such thing as a “perfect government.”

        I mean, technically, Communism would be a perfect government, as long as God was the dictator and no one ever strayed from his perfect goodness. And Monarchy is a perfect government, as long as God is the King. And slavery is a perfect institution, so long as we are loyally obedient slaves to the only perfectly-loving Master. (The New Testament talks about that a lot.) But–short of taking away our free choices–all forms of government/law will fall short.

        When I start thinking along these lines, it totally changes the way I read the first chapter of Timothy and the seventh chapter of Romans. Really–everything that Paul said about the Law vs. the Spirit takes on a new light when I realize that America’s idea of democracy/liberty isn’t any more of a perfect government than what the Isrealites had millenia ago.

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      16. Jamie Carter

        I think back to two cartoons I remember as a kid – both featured “light” governments, they embodied goodness – but it was also a tyranny. Breaking a law was the equivalent of sinning, and with a theocracy, they are one and the same with the same punishment. They were all about control and order and obedience – and so long as everything is good, then all is well. The problem is that the human tendency makes that impossible. A theocracy could very well be the worst form of government for humans as we’d all constantly be breaking the laws and being put to death because of it. A good government, therefore, isn’t one that’s pure light – pure goodness, perfect – but one that sees how messy humanity is and still challenges us to rise to the occasion. That doesn’t prevent us from making ourselves rich, but doesn’t punish us for being charitable either. Ultimately though, Galatians talks about being born of the slave woman and being born of the free woman – in every which way, freedom is preferred. Slavery was the language of the ancient world, but it’s a dying one to us.

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      17. mrsmcmommy Post author

        “A theocracy could very well be the worst form of government for humans as we’d all constantly be breaking the laws and being put to death because of it.”

        A Theocracy could be the worst form of government in one sense. (From a physical sense.) But, when Paul wrestled with these concepts, he came to a different conclusion. Remember Romans 7:11-14:
        “Sin took advantage of [the Law’s] commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good. But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes. So, the trouble is not with the law. The trouble is with me…”

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      18. Jamie Carter

        Not everyone believes the same things the same way – there’s more than one interpretation of any given verse – even those of Romans. I’ve always viewed the book as the cars of a train, connected to the chapters before it and to the ones that follow it – highlighting just one part is much the same as slicing a portion of the car out of a train and expecting it to work without the rest of the train to move it forward. Paul is looking at the Bible with his background – a former student of the law under Rabbi Gamaliel who turned his back on everything to follow a popular but unorthodox Rabbi called Jesus. I think that being a product of his time and culture blinds him. He says the trouble isn’t with the law – the very law that governs him has some really tough chapters, the chapter on captured wives – things that we find immoral today – yeah – the problem is still that the law is trapped in an ancient context. That there are parts of it – (say, stoning your kid at the city gate for being rebellious) that are indeed unjust. The law isn’t innocent of it’s evils.

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      19. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Paul being a product of his time and culture blinds him?

        My point with this blog is a thought-experiment to imagine how much being a product of our CURRENT culture has blinded us

        What law are you using to judge the Law of Moses?

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      20. Jamie Carter

        Even the church fathers recognized that it was ludicrous to expect the Gentiles to circumcise themselves, eat kosher food, and obey the Law of Moses, the Council of Jerusalem only advised the Gentiles of their day to avoid four things – idols, blood, meat from strangled animals, and sexual immorality. They judged that the Law of Moses doesn’t apply to non-Israelites, it doesn’t apply to you or me.
        Do you remember the story of the woman caught in adultery? Every guy there that had picked up a stone had been born and raised believing that adulterers must be stoned. None of them asked themselves: “Is it okay to take a life?” Why? Because that’s what the Law of Moses told them and they didn’t question it. Before that day, every single man and woman caught in adultery had been stoned, it had been that way for hundreds and even thousands of years. They believed it was okay to murder adulterers because God said so. That’s the problem with being blinded by being a product of a time and culture were things like that o.k. you do horrible things to people.

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      21. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I feel like we’ve jumped tracks a little.
        Let’s go back to the place where you were imagining what sort of law God would hand down TODAY. I agree that it would be different. The New Written Law would reflect more of our current traditions and mores, so it wouldn’t include circumcision or stoning adulterers. The specifics of laws have changed over time, but the overarching purpose has always been the same: to place restrictions on evil as much as possible and to reveal to humans that they fall short of perfection.

        Can we agree to this point?

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      22. Jamie Carter

        Not always – you have to remember that there are social theories as to why we create laws and regulations apart from a divine influence. I seem to remember reading that people often do what’s in their best interest. So some people might agree not to kill each other (create a law) if it benefits both of them to do so. That law wouldn’t exist to restrict evil or to reveal that people fall short of perfection. Imagine it’s similar to rules for belonging in a home-owner association, if you live in their jurisdiction, their law might be to mow your lawn frequently or else they’ll mow it for you and charge you double and take you to court if you don’t pay up. People are social and are willing create and abide by laws that are beneficial – up to a point. When a law becomes tyrannical then people often rise up to challenge that law. I’m not even sure that God would write a New Written Law, as it should be readily apparent that given any code of rules, humanity will always break them in spectacular fashion. That’s why Jesus’ teachings weren’t so much a “that’s the old code, here’s the new one” but teachings like: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” “God desires mercy, not sacrifice (i.e.) rule-following.” Grace defeats laws – which was Paul’s point in the entire book of Romans, bit by bit.

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      23. mrsmcmommy Post author

        “I’m not even sure that God would write a New Written Law, as it should be readily apparent that given any code of rules, humanity will always break them in spectacular fashion.”

        Well, it’s impossible to know for sure, of course. But humans need laws. We are bent toward writing them anyway. And we have a way of even turning the concepts of freedom and grace into their own laws… we’re funny that way. 🙂

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      24. Jamie Carter

        Not really, as I said, power and control are the foundation – authority and submission are it’s pillars. It builds a structure in which we like having power over others and are sometimes okay with others having power over us so long as we are absolved of any wrongdoing and just as long as we aren’t the one at the very bottom holding it all up with our life’s back-breaking toil. The institution of slavery was just that – the same building, same foundation, same pillars – people don’t mind being masters, but nobody says: “Sign me and my children and my children’s children up to be slaves in perpetuity!” Once you understand that power and authority are in common, you have to question which designs are set up by people lusting for power and angling for authority and if it’s really godly. Too often it isn’t. Look at the very first law: “ou are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” When it was repeated it looked like this: “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” It’s different – is it because the man said it wrong, the woman heard it wrong, or after centuries of the story being passed down before it was written down the details got fuzzy? Perhaps it’s the human tendency to add to laws, something the New Testament warns us about. We like to make more laws than necessary because we like having control over others.

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      25. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Yes, Jamie. “We like to make more laws than necessary.” And now–we as American Christians are turning our own, personal concept of grace and freedom into laws. We are shackling people with OUR understanding of what’s right/wrong and what’s moral and what isn’t…

        It’s easy to look through history and point at the places they have gone wrong. It’s not so easy to recognize all the ways we are exactly the same.

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      26. Jamie Carter

        What gives an American Christian the right to write the laws to be advantageous to his/her religion without regard for others? You have to remember that when American were slave-holders, we used the Bible on both sides – pro-slavery and anti-slavery groups used Bible verses to prove that God was on their side and not the other side.

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      27. mrsmcmommy Post author

        “What gives an American Christian the right to write laws to be advantageous to his/her religion without regard for others?”

        Uh… I didn’t say they had that right. And I’m also aware that people often use the Bible to say pretty much whatever they want it to say–in order to justify their personal, political goals. Conservatives have made a god out of Tradition…and Liberals have made a god out of “Liberty” or “Choice.” We all do it.

        But we’re stuck with the task of coming up with laws that work for all of us. So my only question has been, “What kind of system works BETTER?”
        Are the Matriarchal societies better than the Patriarchal ones?
        Are the Democracies better than the Dictatorships?
        Or are they just trading one set of problems for another?

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      28. Jamie Carter

        I think that we have to stop thinking that there is such a thing as a one size fits all – look at how many different types of governments there are: http://www.livescience.com/33027-what-are-the-different-types-of-governments.html
        different groups of people seem to thrive best under different forms of government. All of them have their problems and all of them have some people who would be happier with another form of government, but for the most part each government somehow manages to work for it’s population. That’s one of interesting things about being human, we love to tweak this, try that in order to keep on finding better variations – that’s how democracy rose out of a world of monarchies.

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      29. mrsmcmommy Post author

        Sure, that’s one way to look at it.

        Or–to explain where the “alien” analogy came from earlier in the thread, we can take the more pessimistic view that things aren’t really working at all. What if an alien came from another planet and kept INSISTING that they had evolved to a better system of government by doing away with parenthood to prevent child abuse? You and I would argue that they haven’t actually prevented child abuse. But it would be impossible to help the Alien think outside of his box. In his mind, his species is way more evolved and compassionate and doing everything the RIGHT way, purely because of the things he has been taught about history and parenthood.

        So…anyway, I like to try and bring conversations full-circle before I sign off. 🙂 I may have failed this time, but I gave it a good try. lol. Thanks again for reading, and feel free to check out my archives. This wasn’t the first thing I’ve written that got me into trouble. 😉

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      30. Jamie Carter

        I’m not really sure what to make of that. It just reminds me of the time that a kid I knew from school was murdered by his abusive parents. The state didn’t say: “Gee, shucks, that’s awful sad, but it’s important for his brothers and sisters to grow up with a mom and a dad.” Rather, the power of the government decided that those adults were a sad excuse for parents and abolished their right to their living children. The government has the right to abolish the parenthood of those who would abuse it. What the hypothetical alien thinks is immaterial.

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      31. mrsmcmommy Post author

        I’m not talking about revoking the rights of certain parents.
        I’m talking about throwing out the baby with the bathwater and concluding that NOBODY can be a good parent…

        There are already groups fighting for child rights using the exact same terminology and the exact same appeals to emotion that are being used to abolish the Patriarchy that you’ve already mentioned. It’s not difficult at all for me to imagine some time in the future when people are appalled to hear you reason that the ancient slaves deserved their freedom–but children can’t think for themselves.

        (Of course, I know what you mean, and I agree with you. But it would be very difficult to defend “guardianship” to a person who is utterly convinced that children-belonging-to-their-parents is a violation of human rights.)

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      32. Jamie Carter

        Looking at various countries, none of them permit anyone under the age of 14 to go it on their own. Some do at 15, America does at 18 – 21 (depending on what state you live in). Anyone angling to get children under 14 to live on their own is breaking the law. No matter how many people like the idea, it just isn’t going to happen. In order to go it alone, they have to be married (if of age in their state/country), being economically self-sufficient, obtaining an educational degree or diploma, and/or participate in the military. Every single state in America has laws/rules in place about what a young person has to do before they can go it on their own. This is done for various reasons, to prevent parents from saying: “so-and-so is helpless, I’ll be their guardian” and taking advantage of them – which happens all the time. I’m watching a show where a foster mother adopts various kids and collects welfare checks and decides to keep them rather than use them for the well-being of the kids. Odds are it’s not isolated and having the ability to let youth leave a situation is better than being exploited by people who fail to take care of them. And who knows, perhaps your kid will be one of those high IQ, graduates early, gets a job quick types who are more adult than 18 year olds – wouldn’t you want your kid to be all grown up rather than not?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jamie Carter

      Semi-unrelated, but have you ever watched Stargate Sg-1? Watching Teal’c struggle with slavery and religion made me ask some of the same questions he did – “What kind of God …?” This conversation makes me want to watch some of the episodes where he was at his best.

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      Reply
      1. Arkenaten

        I watched the Movie years ago.

        Amanda has been known to utterly reject Yahweh, but loves to invoke her favorite Canaanite deity from their Pantheon when she wants to try to push her Morality issues – such as this one.
        There is an odious quality to her rationale that has the underlying stink of Divine Command Theory.

        I think she is quite unwell.

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      2. Jamie Carter

        Teal’c was at his best throughout the series – he was always questioning what kind of god was worthy of his devotion, was worth dying and killing for, was worth obeying – in the Stargate Universe, the gods had power and knowledge his people didn’t – but his entire race was enslaved and dependent upon the gods to keep on living. This talk about slavery brings me back to this exchange from an episode called The Fourth Horseman:
        Gerak: Why have you lead me here?
        Tea’lc: I thought it fitting, that on this day when we must sacrifice our short-lived freedom, that we do so here, at the site of the battle of tasuk’sur, where your father gave his life for this very cause. You began to doubt the Goa’uld long before this rebellion took shape Gerak. It was your fathers death at their hands that lead you to question ‘what “god” is so deserving of my worship?’
        Gerak: You were not the one who was chosen. You did not witness the wonders I beheld.
        Tea’lc: Did they raise the dead? Heal the sick and wounded? Destroy their enemy, with but a wave of their hand?
        Gerak: The Goa’uld deceived us. The Ori’s powers are pure.
        Teal’c: And what is the measure of a god? Is it the scope of their power, or how they choose to wield that power? Would a god, who is prepared to lead us on the path to enlightenment, so contradict this divine benevolence by destroying all those who refuse to believe in him?
        Gerak: Those who refuse to believe must die.
        Teal’c: I understand how difficult this must be for you Gerak, nearing your final years you so desperately long for the enlightenment that we all seek. This is not the way to save yourself.
        Gerak: I only wanted to avoid bloodshed.
        Teal’c: Stay this course and you will have no choice but to spill the blood of your brothers. And you may start with me. For if I have a choice between resistance or returning to a life of slavery… Then I choose to die free.

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  15. Pingback: A STRANGE DEBATE – Citizen Tom

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