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  #1  
Old 20th February 2007, 02:04 AM
St. Thomas More St. Thomas More is offline
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Default Slavery

Ron:

In both the Old and New Testament, masters owned slaves. God never rebuked this practice, nor did He directly require that slaves be freed. Consequently, a large swath of humanity endured lives of slavery and oppression.

Granted, Christians were central to the abolition movement in the US. But why didn't the moral code of the Old or New Testament explicitly outlaw this abhorrent practice? Did God condone slavery? What are your thoughts on this topic?

Thanks.

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  #2  
Old 20th February 2007, 03:27 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Thomas More View Post
In both the Old and New Testament, masters owned slaves. God never rebuked this practice, nor did He directly require that slaves be freed. Consequently, a large swath of humanity endured lives of slavery and oppression.

Granted, Christians were central to the abolition movement in the US. But why didn't the moral code of the Old or New Testament explicitly outlaw this abhorrent practice? Did God condone slavery? What are your thoughts on this topic?
Perhaps you are thinking of slavery such as it was in the U.S. many years ago. The Patriarchs did not have that kind of slavery.

The Patriarchs had something more like indentured servitude. In ancient times, it was difficult to live. If you could find a wealthy family, which owned cattle and land, and could obtain work with them, you would consider yourself fortunate. They gave you what you needed to survive, and you gave them work. Otherwise, with no hospitals, no police, no financial safety net (welfare, unemployment, etc.), you could easily die if you did not have work. So agreeing to work for a certain number of years was not slavery. Even Jacob agreed to work for his uncle Laban for 14 years (in exchange for two wives!).

Now, other than among the holy men and women of ancient times, in ancient society in general, there was slavery itself, something much worse than indentured servitude. It is clear from the OT that God did not approve of this type of slavery.

Once, when Jerusalem was surrounded by an enemy army, the prophet Jeremiah told the king at Jerusalem to open the gates and let the enemy in, because it was God's will. He refused to obey, but being crafty and knowing (despite his lack of holiness) that God hates slavery, he decided to free all the slaves instead of obeying the will of God through the prophet. God was so pleased by this act, that He caused the army to withdraw. (This shows that God hates slavery.) Then, after the enemy had departed, the king ordered all the slaves to be rounded up. So God brought back the army and leveled the city. (This shows again that God hates slavery.)

In the NT, the type of servitude that is tolerated among Christians was more of an indentured servitude. This was tolerated because the early Christians were a very small minority and could not yet hope to influence society to such an extent as to make new laws or change customs. This is not approved of by God, but rather, God asks us to accept the difficulties and outright injustices in our lives, to some extent, as crosses to bear.

The Bible doesn't have a thou shalt not for slavery, what it has is a set of higher principles which plainly are incompatible with slavery. Even very worldly persons realize, from principles like love thy neighbor, that slavery is wrong. So a separate commandment is not needed for every sin and every crime.



Ron Conte
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  #3  
Old 20th February 2007, 12:58 PM
Joan
 
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Default The Catholic Church and Slavery

In honor of Antislavery Day, Feb. 28th, here is a website about the modern face of slavery:

http://www.freetheslaves.net

You can view excellent documentaries online about the modern day face of slavery. It is much, much worse than even the chattel slavery of the U.S. plantation system. Because instead of being a chattel of some value for future labors, the people are cheaper to replace than to care for, creating a class of "Disposable People" as the antislavery website explains. The book, "Disposable People" outlines this phenomenon in clear, simple terms.

I am looking for documents, from the historical records of the Catholic Church, to refute the growing power of a terrible lie: that the Church condoned slavery. I can see this lie growing in potency, it will be the "slander of the day" to continue chiseling away at hope, respect, values upheld by the Faith.
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  #4  
Old 15th October 2008, 05:59 PM
Ken
 
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In case you haven't found your answer yet...
http://catholicplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2674
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  #5  
Old 16th October 2008, 04:42 PM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default The many faces of slavery

There are many kinds of slavery, such as slavery to material things, sex, power, influence etc.

To me, sin is all about slavery because the sinner is enslaved in many ways.

The Ten Commandments and Christ's teaching are all about rejecting such slavery, and hence the more traditional meanin of slavery.
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  #6  
Old 16th October 2008, 05:12 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Slavery, narrowly-defined as the more severe form, is always wrong, but not intrinsically evil, because the definition includes intention and circumstances (the first and third fonts), whereas intrinsically evil acts are immoral under the second font.

St. Paul in the NT uses slavery as a metaphor for obedience to Christ. So as a figure, slavery can be used to represent something good, obedience to God, or something evil, such as slavery to sin.
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  #7  
Old 16th October 2008, 09:51 PM
Shane Shane is offline
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In his book 'True Devotion to Mary', St Louis de Montfort encourages us Catholics to become slaves of love to Jesus and Mary.
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  #8  
Old 24th October 2008, 01:20 AM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default I agree

slavery to Christ in that sense seems to me to be the only good form of slavery, for all slavery to doing good is, in a sense, slavery to Christ, is it not?
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  #9  
Old 24th October 2008, 02:02 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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When we talk about the morality of slavery, we are only referring to literal slavery, not to slavery used as a figure.
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  #10  
Old 25th October 2008, 06:19 PM
js1975 js1975 is offline
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Ron,

My line of thinking can be completely off.

I have always believed that there are two forms of literal slavery. Physical, and spiritual/emotional (not sure what to call it?). I thought to have read that we are all slaves (not physical), and to be slaves of Christ is the only chance to not be a slave at all. I thought to have read this from a combination of St. Paul and St. John of the Cross.

From what I am trying to explain, this non-physical type of slavery is of desires, but may not be encapsulating this topic nor explaining myself very well. I seem to have an addictive personality of sorts and this is the most evident issue I deal with hourly.

thanks!!
jay
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