Arkansas : Why?

Who knew the morality of slavery was still being debated by civilized peoples? Arkansas, despite being one of the prettiest states in the Union, is also unfortunately one of the nuttiest. The Arkansas News brings us tales of just two of these nutballs, John Hubbard and Loy Mauch, both of who currently serve as legislators for the Razorback State. It seems Msrs Hubbard and Mauch share a belief that the morality of slavery is still in question (Shocked? Not me, sadly. Cynicism will destroy my youthful good looks before long, I just know it):

… Hubbard argues that slavery was not such a bad thing: “… the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.”

In a 2003 letter Mauch wrote: “Nowhere in the Holy Bible have I found a word of condemnation for the operation of slavery, Old or New Testament. If slavery was so bad, why didn’t Jesus, Paul or the prophets say something?”

Now, I’m no biblical scholar. As a matter of fact I’ve never gotten much past the “begats” before my eyes glazed over and I put it aside in favor of staring at my fingernails. But I know folks who’ve read it,  some several times, and they tell me that not only does the Bible not condemn slavery, it specifically lays out rules for the ownership and treatment of slaves.

If the book you lean on for your moral framework doesn’t condemn the ownership of human beings by other human beings, your moral code is flawed. Period. Same goes for rape, child abuse, war for profit and fame, child sex (how old was Mary again?) or any of the rest of that hot mess you call a “Bible”.

As for Mr. Hubbard’s claim that slavery was a “blessing in disguise” for those “blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances” and eventually got to become Americans (lucky devils, getting around immigration and customs by disguising themselves as cargo, how clever!), I could point out that several generations of slaves never got that chance because, you know, mortality and stuff.

I could also point out that this theory hasn’t moved Mr. Hubbard to import his own property in the hopes sometime, down the road, if they are hale and hearty enough, they may too get to become an awesome American (yay us!).

Instead I think I’ll just be content in the thought that all those Jews liberated from Nazi death camps were actually quite lucky! Those that survived got an entire country out of it for themselves, not just citizenship in some other country, how fortunate is that? Some might even call it a “blessing”.


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