President Obama took to the podium of the National Prayer Breakfast to criticize the “terrible deeds” . . . committed “in the name of Christ” throughout the pass two thousand years or so.
“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” he said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
While the president is right that slavery supporters often sought out validation in Christian theology, it’s also true (but sadly unremarked on by the president) that Christianity was the mobilizing force that stopped slavery throughout the world.
In England, it was the efforts of William Wilberforce, a Christian, that made illegalized the slave trade.
“Let true Christians then, with becoming earnestness, strive in all things to recommend their profession, and to put to silence the vain scoffs of ignorant objectors. Let them boldly assert the cause of Christ in an age when so many, who bear the name of Christians, are ashamed of Him: and let them consider as devolved on Them the important duty of suspending for a while the fall of their country, and, perhaps, of performing a still more extensive service to society at large; not by busy interference in politics, in which it cannot but be confessed there is much uncertainty; but rather by that sure and radical benefit of restoring the influence of Religion, and of raising the standard of morality.”
Here too, the abolitionist movement was largely a Christian one.
Benjamin Franklin, President of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society said:
That mankind are all formed by the same Almighty Being, alike objects of his care, and equally designed for the enjoyment of happiness, the Christian religion teaches us to believe, and the political creed of Americans fully coincides with the position. . . . [We] earnestly entreat your serious attention to the subject of slavery – that you will be pleased to countenance the restoration of liberty to those unhappy men who alone in this land of freedom are degraded into perpetual bondage and who . . . are groaning in servile subjection.
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, said:
Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity. . . . It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men.
But sadly, that goes unremarked on by the president. This is the same president who left out “under God” while reciting the Gettysburg Address. It’s almost like he has an agenda or something.