Update: I must live rent free in Kevin Levin's brain. As usual, he distorts what I write. My post must have struck a nerve with Levin.
I want to send this one out to my fellow blogger in “Old Virginia,” who has found a not so clever way of making the point that American slavery wasn’t so bad. Yes, slavery apologists are alive and well. This is the same individual who maintains that Stonewall Jackson was the “black man’s friend.” ~ Kevin LevinCan someone explain to me how quoting a Wall Street Journal piece about modern slavery makes one a "slavery apologist" or is "making the point that American slavery wasn't so bad?" Would that make Levin a "modern slavery apologist"? Wow, what a painful stretch that must have been. I suppose one might interpret Levin's remarks as "a not so clever way of making the point that modern slavery isn't so bad." Is Levin in denial about the reality of modern slavery? I think Levin's beef is actually with the WSJ (or perhaps his own inner struggle), not me.
This is typical for those who don't have a rebuttal or a coherent argument (or maybe feeling guilty?) - they launch ad hominem attacks which can't be supported by facts. Read my original post below and see if you can squeeze Levin's twisted analysis out of what I wrote. And, in regards to what I actually have written about American slavery specifically:
While many nineteenth-century Southern theologians went to great lengths to propound a biblical basis for slavery, and though neither Christ nor Paul ever directly condemned slavery, one cannot reconcile the broader themes of the gospel— liberty, peace, freedom from bondage, reconciliation, and brotherly love—with the institution of slavery. . . . To argue that slavery and Christianity could peacefully coexist denies the obvious. Since man-stealing and slave-trading was specifically condemned and punishable by death in the Old Testament (see Exodus 21:16: “He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death”), American slavery was destined for God’s judgment from the beginning. Slavery is inherently accompanied by evils and mistrust. And race-based slavery is particularly evil and sinful. Man-stealing, coupled with the haughty, prideful spirit of superiority by nineteenth-century white Americans—North as well as South— invited the judgment of God. God visited the nation with a war that took more lives than all other American wars combined—decimating a generation of white Americans within four terrible years.And . . .
The emotional pain, sense of loss and fear, and physical abuse experienced by the African slaves cannot be comprehended by anyone outside the experience. As English surgeon Alexander Falconbridge noted in a 1788 account of his experience aboard a slave ship: "It is not in the power of the human imagination to picture a situation more dreadful or disgusting." Torn from their homeland, families, and separated from all that was familiar and loved, these forlorn human beings were transported to a land unknown to them to be sold at an auction to the highest bidder, with potential purchasers poking and prodding them like livestock, checking their teeth, and examining muscle tone. The Africans were then carted off by their new owners to a plantation in the South, a mill on a river in the North, or a fine house where they were assigned to wait on white families or nurse white infants.Once again, Levin proves he has no idea what he's talking about and, in this specific case, seems to be more interested in personal, ad hominem attacks and his agenda than he is in the actual facts.
End of update.
Many of the moral reformer modern day historians are obsessed with the slave South of the 19th century. Their obsession goes beyond any serious discussion about history. They often use their platform for a morality play.
These historians see themselves as moral critics obligated to denounce the values of the past in order to somehow reform our present. ~ Professor Gordon S. WoodYet these same historians mostly ignore present reality. Consider an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal:
Slaves in the American South numbered four million in 1860, the last time the U.S. Census Bureau counted the victims of the “peculiar institution” before it was abolished. Today there are 18.4 million slaves in India alone and 45.8 million world-wide. The modern slave trade is as cruel as its 19th-century forerunner—and much larger than previously thought. . . . Elsewhere, ancient institutions of bondage—such as debt-slavery in India and across much of Asia and Mauritania’s slave caste—persist due to weak rule of law. Civil wars and jihadist violence across Africa and the Middle East have been a boon to the trade, displacing millions and pushing new victims into the arms of ruthless human traffickers.Why aren't more of the moral reformers interested in modern slavery?