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Peter Randolph, a slave in Prince George County, Virginia, until he was freed in 1847, described the secret prayer meetings he had attended as a slave. "Not being allowed to hold meetings on the plantation," he wrote, "the slaves assemble ...

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Displaying 1–14 of 14 comments.

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Vincent Chen

February 28, 2014  12:47pm

Thanks for the reminder, Mark.

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GeekMOMMA Rants

February 27, 2014  5:34pm

Slavery was the most lucrative business in US history. American Christianity was no more than tool of slavery. Slavery is supported by all religions. Today, it is this American Christianity that is dying of many reasons. Technology, Scientific discovery and Education in the black community. This trend will continue. The history of black America before 1970 is one of worst histories the world over. The movie "12 Years a Slave" being as International as it is. This knowledge of the Black American experience is now more global than ever. This is a very good thing.

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William Goldman

February 27, 2014  7:46am

So sorry if your scholarly pedantry was offended, Jonathan. I thought this article was excellent.

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H. D. Schmidt

February 26, 2014  11:57am

In 1956, my wife and little daughter of 2 years, arrived in the USA and landed in Miami airport as legal immigrants, and than boarded a Greyhound bus for California. We were shocked to discovered the still segregated USA, of which we had no idea, thinking that all was peace in the Christian Nation, it was then known by many from other countries! Eating places for whites versus negros or colored, the same for bathrooms. And of course our coal black bus driver had to make sure that blacks that boarded had sit in the far back, as much as possible. And sad to say, that we have to conclude that in the now 59 years of our sojourn in the USA, things have only further and further gone in complete contravention to all the Founding Fathers did and said. True, our only hope is the soon return of the Savior of the World, who paid in the price in Calvary some two thousand years ago!

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Bert Warden

February 25, 2014  9:07pm

Thanks Mark for reminding us that the truth and power of the Gospel can triumph even though the vessels that bear it do so impefectly, yes even unwittingly. "The Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword even to dividing of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart". To our shame the church of today in North America in general is as lacking in true witness as many slave owners of yesteryear. Oh Lord forgive us. May we confess our sins and repent of our coldness and selfishness. 2 Chronicles 7:14!

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Adam Shields

February 25, 2014  6:47am

Lots more that could be said. But I wish there was some more about the preachers. For instance, David George who was one of the founders of either the first or second Black Baptist church in the US went to the British side during the revolution because the British promised freedom to any slave that escaped. He was then taken to Novia Scotia, where he started the first Black church and then later moved to Sierra Leone with help of British where he was a colonial leader and against started the first baptist church there. The history is long, complicated and interesting for anyone that wants to look into it.

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Maryann Eidemiller

February 24, 2014  4:03pm

Jonathan Thompsen, I agree with your observation that the article is an insult to Christian history. It also neglects to cover several Papal condemnations of enslaving blacks and Indians, and that also called for emancipation.

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Bruce MASON

February 24, 2014  3:01pm

Isaac, one struggles to know where to begin to point out how far your attitudes seem to fall from the Christian gospel. Are you actually defending slave holders, and trying to do so from a Christian perspective? Please re-read the four gospels.

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Bruce MASON

February 24, 2014  2:57pm

Jonathan, not sure what your point is. The slaves brought to America came almost entirely from west Africa, which was not Christian in the slave era or any era before the modern era. The fact that Christianity was found for centuries in north Africa and northeast Africa, as you point out, is irrelevant to this article.

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Hope Ferguson

February 24, 2014  2:10pm

Isaac Taylor, no need for your apologia for southern plantation holders/slave owners. They have rec'd their recompense. I didn't find the article biased at all.

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Hope Ferguson

February 24, 2014  2:07pm

What is implied in the article, but not said directly, is that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired African Americans to convert. Obviously, if the Lord hadn't been involved, the hypocrisy observed would have been a stumbling block, but as it was, the Spirit's visitation drew the slaves to the Lord. I always say that God freed the slaves, b/c so many of his faithful, from white abolitionists to Christians like Harriet Tubman were inspired by their faith.

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Isaac Taylor

February 24, 2014  9:55am

This article contains an incredible amount of bias and historical inaccuracies. Why are Southern Plantation holders portrayed as godless monsters whose only sense of right and wrong is derived from 'Northern abolitionists?' The article seems to suggest that White southerners were trying to keep Blacks from Christianity... nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the resistance to their conversions, no doubt, wasn't related to their turn from paganism but from their turn to radical denominations like Methodism. On one page this article admits that one master required that his slaves attend Anglican service, but acts as though this same master was opposing Christian conversion of his slaves later on... what an absurdity. This article props up the myth of White guilt and tries to rob from American slavery one of its few virtues (i.e. that it brought many Africans to Christ). Revisionist history at best.

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Jonathan Thompsen

February 22, 2014  10:46pm

Christianity was in Africa centuries before Europeans even thought about slavery. Everybody do yourselves a favor and look up "Kingdom of Abyssinia" or just Abyssinia by itself. It was modern day Ethiopia about 1000 years ago or so. They had christians ever since shortly after Jesus. Northern Africa had christians before them, with the mammoth church of Egypt and the Copts. This article is a bit insulting for a history buff christian like myself. I dont like many of its statements.

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Francis Miniter

February 22, 2014  4:59pm

'It is not difficult to see why Frederick Douglass called slaveholding piety "a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action nor bowels of compassion." ' Nothing has changed except that we substitute "fundamentalist" for "slaveholding". Just the other day, I heard an interview with a Republican who was espousing "reform conservativism". Without flinching he stated that there is no room for compassion in conservativism. Nothing has changed except that we substitute "fundamentalist" for "slaveholding".

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Displaying 1–14 of 14 comments.

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