An open letter to Barack Obama, the United States Congress and the millions of anti-gay rights African Americans who have financed and voted for bans denying equality to gay Americans.
First let me quote the experts:
- "[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.
- "There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral." Rev. Alexander Campbell.
- "The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina.
- "The hope of civilization itself hangs on the defeat of Negro suffrage." A statement by a prominent 19th-century southern Presbyterian pastor, cited by Rev. Jack Rogers, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
- "The doom of Ham has been branded on the form and features of his African descendants. The hand of fate has united his color and destiny. Man cannot separate what God hath joined." United States Senator James Henry Hammond.
- "If we apply sola scriptura to slavery, I'm afraid the abolitionists are on relatively weak ground. Nowhere is slavery in the Bible lambasted as an oppressive and evil institution." Vaughn Roste, United Church of Canada staff.
The Bible permitted owners to beat their slaves severely, even to the point of killing them. However, as long as the slave lingered longer than 24 hours before dying of the abuse, the owner was not regarded as having committed a crime, because--after all--the slave was his property.
Neither Jesus nor the apostles ever condemned slavery but they did occasionally suggest that slaves be treated with some degree of compassion--about the same a farmer would accord to his donkey.
Slavery in America was eventually recognized as an extreme evil. But this paradigm shift in understanding came at a cost. Christians wondered why the Bible was so supportive of such an immoral practice. They questioned whether the Bible was entirely reliable. Perhaps there were other practices mandated by scripture that needed to be questioned--like genocide, torturing prisoners, raping female prisoners of war, forcing rape victims to marry their rapists, executing religious minorities and burning whores alive. And perhaps there were some behaviors in the Bible that did not truly merit the death sentence--like eating shellfish and wearing blended fabrics.
All of that aside, this old fag is leaving homosexuality, hooking up with Miss Beverly Hills and going shopping for some nice mocha-colored slaves. The Bible tells me so.
Burdened by knowledge and history, one can only look an African American homophobe in the face and wonder if they even have the skills to tie their own shoelaces.