The fight against slavery

piqKgqo7TWe have little information on who invented the fore-and-aft rig to sail against the wind. Some historians think the technique may have originated as early as the second century after Christ. What we do know, however, is that this invention eliminated the galley and slave labor. We also know that the Bible was the intellectual and moral force that made slavery abhorrent… [T]he Bible played the most important role in promoting technology that liberated slaves. We also know that, back then, secularism did not exist. And neither pagan philosophers or temples promoted or celebrated technology that emancipated slaves. The Bible, in contrast, began to be written because God heard the cries of Hebrew slaves. Rodney Stark explains that most of the ancient philosophers supported slavery because they had “no concept of sin to put teeth in their judgments and no revelation from which to begin” critiquing slavery, Stark continues:

dreamstime_m_32349546-1“Although it has been fashionable to deny it, anti-slavery doctrines began to appear in Christian theology soon after the decline of Rome and were accompanied by the eventual disappearance of slavery in all but the fringes of Christian Europe.”

. . . A culture will not invest in wheelbarrows or pumps if its decision makes feel that there is a surplus of time and woman-or manpower. Only a society with a theological climate that values human dignity begins using technology as a force for human emancipation and empowerment.

–Vishal Mangalwadi,
The Book that Made Your World:
How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization

One Civilization Rejected Slavery

Slavery-TodayIn fact, all known societies above the very primitive level have been slave societies—even many of the Northwest American Indian tribes had slaves long before Columbus’s voyage. Amid this universal slavery, only one civilization ever rejected human bondage: Christendom. And it did it twice!

― Rodney Stark,
The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion

Racism, rights and phobias

Ravi Zach[T]he defender of sexual freedom sees a parallel between what is seen as anti-gay prejudice today and racial prejudice as it was practiced at its lowest point decades ago. Here, a word game has entered the vocabulary. Relativist convictions are supposedly prejudice-free, while absolute convictions are branded as phobias. Any stigma can lick a good dogma, it is said. With that verbal deconstruction of a worldview, all questioning of sexual freedom is castigated as a phobia. Quite amazing that atheists are not called “theophobes” or that those against Christians are not called “christophobes.” Pejoratively, the counter positions have been appended with phobias till we may have a whole new polyphobic dictionary.

But that is the lesser problem. I contend that equating race with sexuality is actually a false premise and an unfortunate analogy.‎ In the matter of race it simply doesn’t matter how I feel about it; my ethnicity transcends my preferences or inclinations… Why is this analogy unfortunate? Because it moves the debate from what is right to what are one’s rights. Ironically, the political party now most aligned with arguing for rights was once the same party that argued against the emancipation of slaves because of the slave-owners’ “rights.” In that case, those rights were overruled by what was right. Interesting that a new word wasn’t coined then to describe those who made moral arguments against the slave-owners’ rights as “slaveophobes.” Thankfully, essential human worth and moral reason trumped existential and pragmatic preferences and by God’s grace, what was right was deemed to be right and the slave was freed.

–Ravi Zacharias,
How Wide the Divide: Sexuality at the Forefront,
Culture at the Crossroads

Who led the fight against slavery?

Thomas SowellWhile slavery was common to all civilizations, as well as to peoples considered uncivilized, only one civilization developed a moral revulsion against it, very late in hits history…not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all…. Moreover, within Western civilization, the principle impetus for the abolition of slavery came first from very conservative religious activists – people who would today be called ‘the religious right.’…this story is not ‘politically correct’ in today’s terms. Hence it is ignored, as if it never happened.

–Thomas Sowell 
Black Rednecks and White Liberals