The President and the Pope
JMHACLJ at aol.com
JMHACLJ at aol.com
Tue Jun 15 12:59:44 PDT 2004
In a message dated 6/15/2004 3:43:22 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
obrien at wvwc.edu writes:
Since Christian ministers differed on each of these issues (in the old South
Christian ministers maintained Bibilical support for slavery; in the South
of 1963 Chritian ministers continued to maintain Bibilical support for
segregation), it seems to me that for the President to opine about the beliefs or
actions of "good Christians" constitutes endorsement of one set of varieties of
Christianity. However, for the President to call upon all like-minded
Christians to come to his support is another matter.
For sake of historical accuracy, I would have preferred that specific
ministers be identified, or that the word "some" appear just before "Christian
ministers" in the quotation above. For the rich sense of irony it would have
provided, I would also like to have had it noted that Christian ministers who
preached a slavery gospel had no enduring name in our country, while Charles
Finney, who barred a slave-owner from coming to the altar until he had
manumitted his slaves, is remembered. And, in the double- to triple- irony
department, it could be noted that Christian ministers who supported slavery did not
control the legislatures or the courts of the South, and that the published
reports of the southern courts (populated by finely trained legal minds) found
ample justification for slavery wherever they could, including in some, but
not all pulpits.
Remember, it was a Christian minister of the Gospel who preached an election
sermon against Thomas Jefferson's election to the presidency on the ground
that Jefferson's peculiar ethnobiology regarding "the African" meant that
Jefferson was an apostate blasphemer who rejected the single creation of all men
by one God.
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