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Keble
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« Reply #90 on: June 16, 2005, 04:07:06 PM »

Finally, as I was challenged on this issue, if someone wishes to argue the Issue, I will defend the Particular Institution. Involuntary Servitude, while an unfortunate situation and less than ideal social institution, is not at all inherently immoral or unchristian. Nearly every Christian State from the time of the Empire, as well as Ancient Israel, maintained this instutution.

Which only goes to show that the behavior of supposedly Christian institutions is all too often a poor guide. This isn't an argument for morality; it's an argument for continuing to sin, because our ancestors did.

And while I'm at it, the harping about how bad the north was is morally bankrupt too. I expect that all the sins of the north were committed in the south too, along with chattel slavery. People here go on and on about abstract sinning, but when it comes to a particular, huge sin, I hear excuses that I see through when my kids use them. I only hope that formal Orthodox moral theology isn't this poorly executed.
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« Reply #91 on: June 16, 2005, 04:25:45 PM »

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the harping about how bad the north was is morally bankrupt too.  I expect that all the sins of the north were committed in the south too, along with chattel slavery.

so your argument now is "You are worse than we are. You are worse than we are.  Nanny nanny boo boo.  You are worse than we are."

So you just keep those folks outa your neighborhoods, at least you aren't a sinner like the pharisee . .. errrr ... I mean Southerners.
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« Reply #92 on: June 16, 2005, 05:02:13 PM »

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I think that you will find your description of slavery as "morally neutral" a tough sell.  While I can differentiate between slavery as practice in the Roman and Byzantine periods from that in the ante-bellum South, they were both repugnant- even if they differed in their practical application. 



Based on what are they repugnant? Certainly nothing scriptural and nothing found in either Church teaching or Tradition or the Fathers. You can talk about love, but that would simply dictate how you should treat a slave, not whether slavery itself, either in the ante-bellum South or in Roman/Byzantine times.

Quote
And while I'm at it, the harping about how bad the north was is morally bankrupt too. I expect that all the sins of the north were committed in the south too, along with chattel slavery. People here go on and on about abstract sinning, but when it comes to a particular, huge sin, I hear excuses that I see through when my kids use them. I only hope that formal Orthodox moral theology isn't this poorly executed.


So are you arguing that the North was morally superior to the South? You have been given many instances of Northern moral reprehensibility and they have been just as particular as your blanket “slavery” criticism of the South. I think it is disingenuous at best and hypocritical at worst to claim either side was morally superior to the other. People are all morally reprehensible.
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« Reply #93 on: June 16, 2005, 05:07:56 PM »

As  a PS:

I'm not justifying southern slavery, but I think it is only your modern presuppositions that declare slavery to be this great huge sin. If it were in fact such a great sin, why didn't Jesus or the apostles or any of the Fathers command that slave owners free all their slaves?
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« Reply #94 on: June 16, 2005, 05:14:18 PM »



Based on what are they repugnant? Certainly nothing scriptural and nothing found in either Church teaching or Tradition or the Fathers. You can talk about love, but that would simply dictate how you should treat a slave, not whether slavery itself, either in the ante-bellum South or in Roman/Byzantine times.

You're kidding, right?  It's not blazingly obvious that slavery is repugnant?  Perhaps you'd like to be owned?  Have any of your ancestors been owned? ÂÂ

I understand where you and GreekisChristian will go with the biblical and patristic arguments.  These are, however, tenable only on a theoretical level.  You give any human that much physical power over another, and corruption and abuse will arise- on a widespread level.  This has been proven time and again in every situation and age where slavery existed.  While (and this is on a purely theoretical level) I admit this type of relational dynamic -master to slave- provides a situation where one could truly show Christian virtues, it is far better for societies to outlaw and disdain this institution.  It should be eradicated from the earth.
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« Reply #95 on: June 16, 2005, 05:29:40 PM »

Union soldiers fired upon the Virginian Capital in Richmond quite a while before that little incident.

I asked my father, a born Virginian from Spotsylvania County and a Civil War scholar, self taught.  He has *never* seen or heard anything of such an incident.  He told me then about the "Star of the West" being fired on as the first incident.  What is your documentation for Union Troops firing on Richmond prior to Ft. Sumter?

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/major-anderson-ft-sumter_Dir/first-shot-civil-war.htm
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/major-anderson-ft-sumter_Dir/star-of-the-west.htm

As to the blackening of the White House that is from 1814 when the British burned it.  However the name "White House" is earlier then that

http://www.snopes.com/language/colors/whithous.htm
http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/presidents/site13.htm


Ebor
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« Reply #96 on: June 16, 2005, 05:40:02 PM »

Perhaps the wrongness of enslaving another Human Being can be coveredÂÂ  by Jesus saying

"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31 KJV

The Golden Rule.

Would any of us reading this here willingly be a slave?ÂÂ  or see our children or other family members owned  by others and dealt with as the owners saw fit?ÂÂ  Taken from us and sold to others and never seen again?ÂÂ  Used or abused because they were "property"?ÂÂ  

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« Reply #97 on: June 16, 2005, 06:59:22 PM »

You're kidding, right?  It's not blazingly obvious that slavery is repugnant?  Perhaps you'd like to be owned?  Have any of your ancestors been owned? ÂÂ

No, I do not want to be a slave, but neither do I wish to be poor; however, the fact that poverty is undesirable does not mean that it's existance is a Great Sin; poverty, like slavery, is an unfortunate but morally neutral element of society.

Perhaps the wrongness of enslaving another Human Being can be covered  by Jesus saying

"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31 KJV

The Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule is not unique to the New Testament but is first found in the Pentateuch, yet these very same books that first lay out the importance of Loving our Neighbours as ourselves also clearly regulate and condone the institution of Slavery. Furthermore, in the light of the Teachings of Christ the Apostles do nothing to overturn this supposed great Social evil of Servitude, rather they merely regulate it, and apply the 'Golden Rule' to this Institution by telling Masters to be kind and loving to their Slaves and to treat them fairly, and telling slaves to 'count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.' (I Tim. vi. 1). Finally, there is the time in the Gospels (Matthew viii. 5-13, Luke vii. 2-10) where Christ comes upon the situation of a Master, the Centurion of Capernaum, asking him to heal his slave. Christ makes no insistance that the slave be freed, but rather heals them, returning him to full and useful service of his master. Upon healing the slave, what was Christ's response to the Centurion. Did he admonish him for holding slaves? Did he even say, I have given back your beloved's servant's health, now give unto him what you can, his freedom? Nay, rather it is recorded that 'when Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.' So what did Christ do? He praised him and upheld him as a virtuous pillar of Society.

I think that you will find your description of slavery as "morally neutral" a tough sell.  While I can differentiate between slavery as practice in the Roman and Byzantine periods from that in the ante-bellum South, they were both repugnant- even if they differed in their practical application. 

They have differences, but far more similarities than differences, the starkest differences are from the time before the Code of Theodosius and either the Byzantine Period or the Ante-Bellum South, in which Masters had Absolute control over their slaves and their lives. In refering to which St. Justinian says that is how Slavery naturally should be, but for the common Good the state has found herself both able and needing to grant various protections to the lives of slaves.

Also, are you referring to Emperor Justinian I?  If so, he is certainly not a credible moral authority. He may have built one of the most magnificent churches ever, but he was also a coward who had his generals slaughter thousands of his own people during the Nike riots. 

That is Emperor Saint Justinian the First; the Greatest lawgiver in the History of the World, with his Codification of Roman Law surpassing in significance the Magna Carta or US Constitution. Though he was not as bold as his wife, Our Lady Empress St. Theodora most August (who Ruled with him as a co-Emperor, and not as a figurehead), in matters of war, I would not call him a Coward; he attempted to surpress the Insurrection once and Failed, only then did he consider fleeing the Imperial City and leaving it to the Pretender to the Imperial Throne. Fortunately, St. Theodora convinced him otherwise with her famous speech that has come down through the ages:

'Every man must sooner or later die; and how could and Emperor ever allow himself to be a fugitive? when you reach safety, will you not regret that you did not choose death in preference? I stand by the saying: the purple is the noblest winding-sheet.'

Here it should be noted that such a Magnificant Church was built by St. Justinian because the insurrectionists had destroyed by this time the Cathedral built by St. Constantine the Great, Equal-to-the-Apostles. And note, I do call them insurrectionists, they were not merely rioters, but with the support of a few senators had proclaimed Hypatius to be a new Emperor, they were a rebel army and were addressed with force appropriate to the Threat. The Rebel army was defeated by Generals Loyal to our Imperial Lord and Lady, and the fighting was exceptionally bloody, but Order and Peace was restored and the Lawful Emperors Maintained.

Though St. Theodora May have been the bolder and more daring of the Two St. Justinian was far from a coward, as both Sts. Theodora and Justinian were under the impression that they would die trying to defend their Thrones. Furthermore, he was unsurpassed as a Strategist, Lawgiver, Builder, and Administrator, which is why their Reign is often considered to have heralded in a Golden Era of the Empire.
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« Reply #98 on: June 16, 2005, 07:43:21 PM »

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give any human that much physical power over another, and corruption and abuse will arise- on a widespread level. 

That makes all police forces in the world inherently a great evil.


Quote
I understand where you and GreekisChristian will go with the biblical and patristic arguments.  These are, however, tenable only on a theoretical level.

So the Bible and fathers are only theoretically valid? Paul, a Father, says in Scripture itself, that all Scripture is useful for education and instruction. In what, if not how to live?

Quote
it is far better for societies to outlaw and disdain this institution

That isn’t in dispute, but that doesn’t make it a great evil or sin.


Quote
Would any of us reading this here willingly be a slave?  or see our children or other family members owned  by others and dealt with as the owners saw fit?  Taken from us and sold to others and never seen again?  Used or abused because they were "property"? 

Many people in the past have chosen to voluntarily become slaves, and have voluntarily sold their children into slavery. But GiC dealt with the “Do unto others” rather well, I think.
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« Reply #99 on: June 16, 2005, 08:05:48 PM »

Well, how about this then.

Slavery is stupid because it is economic suicide.  The Keynsian school knows it, the Austrian school knows it, heck, even the commies know it. 

Morality aside, slavery is bad economic and political policy.

And spare me the quotes from ancient Greek philosophers and theologians.  They weren't economists.
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« Reply #100 on: June 16, 2005, 08:15:19 PM »

Can't argue with that because I'm not an economist or a politician.  Cheesy
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« Reply #101 on: June 16, 2005, 10:59:15 PM »

Well, how about this then.

Slavery is stupid because it is economic suicide.ÂÂ  The Keynsian school knows it, the Austrian school knows it, heck, even the commies know it.ÂÂ  

Morality aside, slavery is bad economic and political policy.

And spare me the quotes from ancient Greek philosophers and theologians.ÂÂ  They weren't economists.

I'll wont argue with you on that one, at least in the Context of an Industrial/Post-Industrial Economy. It allowed for the Creation of an Upper Class in an Agricultural Economy, and an Upper Class allowed for the Development of Culture, Philosophy, Technology, et cetera, but with the Coming of the Industrial Revolution it had outlived its usefulness.
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« Reply #102 on: June 16, 2005, 11:02:06 PM »

What the heck? Are the southerners trying to defend the morality of slavery now? Please forgive me if I am mistaken.
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« Reply #103 on: June 17, 2005, 06:42:52 AM »

No, I do not want to be a slave, but neither do I wish to be poor; however, the fact that poverty is undesirable does not mean that it's existence is a Great Sin; poverty, like slavery, is an unfortunate but morally neutral element of society.

I said I wouldn't discuss the morality of slavery, but this particular bit of misdirection needs to be addressed.

Slavery is something that people do. The moral question is not whether it is moral for you to be a slave, but whether it is moral for you to have slaves-- or for that matter, whether it is moral for you to enslave others.
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« Reply #104 on: June 17, 2005, 06:47:24 AM »

Well, how about this then.

Slavery is stupid because it is economic suicide.  The Keynsian school knows it, the Austrian school knows it, heck, even the commies know it. 

Morality aside, slavery is bad economic and political policy.

Economics is heavily powered by stupidity. And anyway, slavery continues. Again, I'm wondering why Christians are having so much trouble accepting the idea that people act against their own interests.
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« Reply #105 on: June 17, 2005, 07:11:00 AM »

So you just keep those folks outa your neighborhoods, at least you aren't a sinner like the pharisee . .. errrr ... I mean Southerners.

I don't have anything to do with keeping people out of my (rather small) neighborhood. Maybe that explains the Cameroonian family at one end of the street, or the muslims further around the corner, or the American black family on yet another street.
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« Reply #106 on: June 17, 2005, 01:16:39 PM »

No, I do not want to be a slave, but neither do I wish to be poor; however, the fact that poverty is undesirable does not mean that it's existance is a Great Sin; poverty, like slavery, is an unfortunate but morally neutral element of society.

I don’t think that the two form a good parallel.   At the dawn of the 21st century, I believe the burden of proof falls upon you to make such an argument.  I find it amazing that you do not see that the institution of Slavery is not some neutral social-relational vessel that can then be filled with either good or bad behavior.  It is an untrue, coercive, social relationship that leads to sin.  What holds it together in practical application are generally sets of philosophical suppositions that are also suspect.  Does the accident of my birth make me inherently inferior to my neighbor?  Perhaps my culture and/or skin tone?  Perhaps the decision of the civil powers of my country leads to war and defeat.  Shall I now be chattel to the winner?  Is this good?  One doesn’t get to approve of some theoretical institution of ‘slavery’ and then get to pick or choose what they get to be.  One great dilemma, and the place where much sin occurs, is in the particulars of who gets enslaved, and for how long. 

One should not divorce the theoretical institution from its particular application- unless you have a lot of time to kill in coffee shops.  Right now, I’m typing on company time.

To illustrate my point, I'll throw this out for consideration.  Think about the issue of inferiority, and the criteria for slave selection for a second.   Who, and by what criteria, do we get to decide?  If it is according to the temporal power you have (which God would have to have permitted), us adherents of the Orthodox faith were historically-and continue at present- to be at a disadvantage.  My ancestors lived for 500 years under the Ottomans.  Freedom under liberal democracy has treated my kith and kin much better than monarchy, theocracy (remember, not all theocracies are Christian!) or Communism.   Should culture be considered?  What then constitutes the criteria for an ‘inferior’ and therefore enslavable culture?

The Golden Rule is not unique to the New Testament but is first found in the Pentateuch, yet these very same books that first lay out the importance of Loving our Neighbours as ourselves also clearly regulate and condone the institution of Slavery. Furthermore, in the light of the Teachings of Christ the Apostles do nothing to overturn this supposed great Social evil of Servitude, rather they merely regulate it, and apply the 'Golden Rule' to this Institution by telling Masters to be kind and loving to their Slaves and to treat them fairly, and telling slaves to 'count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.' (I Tim. vi. 1). Finally, there is the time in the Gospels (Matthew viii. 5-13, Luke vii. 2-10) where Christ comes upon the situation of a Master, the Centurion of Capernaum, asking him to heal his slave. Christ makes no insistance that the slave be freed, but rather heals them, returning him to full and useful service of his master. Upon healing the slave, what was Christ's response to the Centurion. Did he admonish him for holding slaves? Did he even say, I have given back your beloved's servant's health, now give unto him what you can, his freedom? Nay, rather it is recorded that 'when Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.' So what did Christ do? He praised him and upheld him as a virtuous pillar of Society.


Your argument here does not stand.  Christ’s response was to the Centurion’s expression of faith.  We know now, also, that the Golden Rule as applied rarely in such situations.  Our two millennia of intervening history tell us so. 

Again, Christ didn’t come to save the carnal man.  He didn’t come as a social revolutionary.  However, it seems that wherever civil (and Christian) society has spread, slavery has eventually been suppressed.  It is the practical outcome of the application of the Golden Rule that allows us such questioning and revision of our societal norms and social relationships.   

They have differences, but far more similarities than differences, the starkest differences are from the time before the Code of Theodosius and either the Byzantine Period or the Ante-Bellum South, in which Masters had Absolute control over their slaves and their lives. In refering to which St. Justinian says that is how Slavery naturally should be, but for the common Good the state has found herself both able and needing to grant various protections to the lives of slaves.

The institution as practiced in the Ante-Bellum south was upheld by a vile and sinful racial worldview.  This puts it into stark contrast to slavery in either the time of the High Empire or of the Late Antique.  As always, the Devil is in the details.

That is Emperor Saint Justinian the First; the Greatest lawgiver in the History of the World, with his Codification of Roman Law surpassing in significance the Magna Carta or US Constitution. Though he was not as bold as his wife, Our Lady Empress St. Theodora most August (who Ruled with him as a co-Emperor, and not as a figurehead), in matters of war, I would not call him a Coward; he attempted to surpress the Insurrection once and Failed, only then did he consider fleeing the Imperial City and leaving it to the Pretender to the Imperial Throne. …etc.

LOL, you should enter a contest for composing panegyrics!  You could give most Byzantine court flunkies a run for their money. Like all Panegyrics, you only succeed in expressing hyperbole.  Justinian stood on the shoulders of giants.  His codification was a monumental work, but was simply an organization and streamlining of the extant corpus of Roman law. (Now, an original, elegant and most superior law document is our Constitution!  Wink)  He wasn’t that original, nor did he compile it himself.  That would be like saying that Justinian built (in its literal sense) Hagia Sophia, when we know that its architects were Isidore of Miletus and Anthemios of Tralles.

I think, ultimately, that if you look at the balance of the historical record you will see that, while Justinian was a remarkable figure, he was no saint.  You also don’t directly address his actions in the Hippodrome that ended the Nike riots.  He ended that mess with a bloodbath. Thirty thousand killed? Many would also say Theodora was a conniving and manipulative tramp.  Have you read Procopius?  The balance of modern historians on Justinian and Theodora generally don’t extol their moral fibre.  He funded great buildings and churches, had a really good general, but he also bled and weakened the empire through his actions.


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« Reply #107 on: June 17, 2005, 01:24:35 PM »

I said I wouldn't discuss the morality of slavery, but this particular bit of misdirection needs to be addressed.

Slavery is something that people do. The moral question is not whether it is moral for you to be a slave, but whether it is moral for you to have slaves-- or for that matter, whether it is moral for you to enslave others.

And though I have just Scratched the Surface of arguments against the immorality of slavery, I believe that I have already demonstrated that the act of holding slaves is not inherently immoral. Thus the conclusion is that it is a social institution that is comprable to the existance of a Lower Class.
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« Reply #108 on: June 17, 2005, 01:31:50 PM »

And though I have just Scratched the Surface of arguments against the immorality of slavery, I believe that I have already demonstrated that the act of holding slaves is not inherently immoral. Thus the conclusion is that it is a social institution that is comprable to the existance of a Lower Class.

Bloviation! Popycock!  Horsehockey!
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« Reply #109 on: June 17, 2005, 01:44:29 PM »

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Economics is heavily powered by stupidity.

Oh great Keble, purveyor of all that is known about economics, bestow upon us, your unworthy servants, the great wisdom you have that shows von Mises to have been a fool.

Please grant us access to your wisdom by explaining to us the only true relationship between interest rates and production, for I would like to invest in ways unnaturally successful.

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I believe that I have already demonstrated that the act of holding slaves is not inherently immoral.

Oh.  Sorry.  I must have missed that post. 

No agrarian society became upper class because of slavery.  They achieved wealth through trade.  Slavery typically cost economies more than they are worth.  Slave revolts and shoddy workmanship tend to make slave labor very expensive.  That's one of the prime reasons they eventually die out.

On a theological level, slavery denies an individual one thing that we hold to be true of all men:  free will.  I don't mean that in an "everything goes" sense, but in a "nothing goes" sense.  It's a sociological way of upholding Calvinism.  Yeah.  Yeah!  That's it!  You Protestant, you.
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« Reply #110 on: June 17, 2005, 01:50:13 PM »

On a theological level, slavery denies an individual one thing that we hold to be true of all men: free will. I don't mean that in an "everything goes" sense, but in a "nothing goes" sense. It's a sociological way of upholding Calvinism. Yeah. Yeah! That's it! You Protestant, you.

That's awesome!  Cheesy
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« Reply #111 on: June 17, 2005, 01:59:03 PM »

For those of you with a strong stomach, check this out.  http://www.mises.org/journals/lar/pdfs/3_2/3_2_1.pdf

Okay, it's not the attractively presented article, but it makes the point.
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« Reply #112 on: June 17, 2005, 06:27:09 PM »

I don’t think that the two form a good parallel.  ÃƒÆ’‚ At the dawn of the 21st century, I believe the burden of proof falls upon you to make such an argument.  I find it amazing that you do not see that the institution of Slavery is not some neutral social-relational vessel that can then be filled with either good or bad behavior.

Considering Millenia of History are on my Side, and in support of your Ideals you can present little more than Enlightenment Philosophy, I would disagree and place the burden of proof on you who Challenge Nearly Every Society, Civilization, and Culture in the History of the World.

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It is an untrue, coercive, social relationship that leads to sin.ÂÂ  What holds it together in practical application are generally sets of philosophical suppositions that are also suspect.ÂÂ  Does the accident of my birth make me inherently inferior to my neighbor?ÂÂ  Perhaps my culture and/or skin tone?ÂÂ  Perhaps the decision of the civil powers of my country leads to war and defeat.ÂÂ  Shall I now be chattel to the winner?ÂÂ  Is this good?ÂÂ  One doesn’t get to approve of some theoretical institution of ‘slavery’ and then get to pick or choose what they get to be.ÂÂ  One great dilemma, and the place where much sin occurs, is in the particulars of who gets enslaved, and for how long.

These elements of inequality are apparent in every society, even our own, though we are all equal in the eyes of God, we are not equal in the Eyes of Men, we never will be. Some will be born with the capacity of being Nobel Prize winning Physicists, others will never have the mental capacity to go beyond Secondary School, and few will not even have the mental capacity to read or write...are we to say that they are equal in our Society? Before God, yes, before the Law, yes, but their opportunities are far from equal. Let us now consider culture, Does one born in the Belgan Congo or Amazon Rainforests have the Same opportunity as one Born in the United States or Western Europe? No, they are naturally disadvantaged because of the culture and country they are born into, the person may be an absolute genius, but never have the opportunity to exploit it. As far as war, Europe fortunately developed a civlized approach to War, resulting in the Geneva Convention, but this is by no means Universal. War is ultimately forcing your will on another by force of arms, the goal of war is to become the master and make the other your slave, to bend them to your will, the enslavement of a vanquished foe is simply an extension of this natural reality.

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One should not divorce the theoretical institution from its particular application- unless you have a lot of time to kill in coffee shops.ÂÂ  Right now, I’m typing on company time.

And the Institution must be separated from its abuses. Eating is not sinful, but an abuse of it, gluttony, is. Wealth is not sinful, but an abuse of it is, for Scripture says that the Love of Money is the Root of All evil. Which brings us to Love, which is a Divine Characteristic, but even this can be abused and turned to Sin such as love of Money. St. Paul certainly envisioned the Institution separated form it's abuses in Ephesians vi 5-9 where he said,

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Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.'

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To illustrate my point, I'll throw this out for consideration.  Think about the issue of inferiority, and the criteria for slave selection for a second.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Who, and by what criteria, do we get to decide?  If it is according to the temporal power you have (which God would have to have permitted), us adherents of the Orthodox faith were historically-and continue at present- to be at a disadvantage.  My ancestors lived for 500 years under the Ottomans.  Freedom under liberal democracy has treated my kith and kin much better than monarchy, theocracy (remember, not all theocracies are Christian!) or Communism.  ÃƒÆ’‚ Should culture be considered?  What then constitutes the criteria for an ‘inferior’ and therefore enslavable culture?

Basically this is just an extension of the 'Do you want to be a slave?' Argument which I have already refuted. The fact that a social situation is undesirable does not inherently make its existance immoral.

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Your argument here does not stand.ÂÂ  Christ’s response was to the Centurion’s expression of faith.ÂÂ  We know now, also, that the Golden Rule as applied rarely in such situations.ÂÂ  Our two millennia of intervening history tell us so.ÂÂ  

Again, Christ didn’t come to save the carnal man.  He didn’t come as a social revolutionary.  However, it seems that wherever civil (and Christian) society has spread, slavery has eventually been suppressed.  It is the practical outcome of the application of the Golden Rule that allows us such questioning and revision of our societal norms and social relationships.  ÃƒÆ’‚Â

Actually, it is a practical outcome of Enlightenment Philosophy which has little to do with the Christian faith. The reason that Christ did not condemn the slave owner is because it did not occur to him that the Relationship between the Centurion and his Slave was an immoral one...But fortunately as the Students of the Deists, we have grown in Wisdom beyond that of the Son of Man; we can now correct the Mistakes God made while he was on Earth.

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The institution as practiced in the Ante-Bellum south was upheld by a vile and sinful racial worldview.ÂÂ  This puts it into stark contrast to slavery in either the time of the High Empire or of the Late Antique.ÂÂ  As always, the Devil is in the details.

And slavery in the Old Testament upheld a similar world view, having far more limitations on the enslavement of Jews (generally not permanent and never inherited) than Gentiles (both permanent and inherited). Some of the attudes that arose from certain members of the Said society may have been sinful; however, the social institution was not...or no more so than that which Moses put forth in the Law (The Same Law that first taught us to Love God and our Neighbour).

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LOL, you should enter a contest for composing panegyrics!ÂÂ  You could give most Byzantine court flunkies a run for their money.

Thank you, I do what I can for God-Beloved Emperors and Empresses.

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Like all Panegyrics, you only succeed in expressing hyperbole.ÂÂ  Justinian stood on the shoulders of giants.ÂÂ  His codification was a monumental work, but was simply an organization and streamlining of the extant corpus of Roman law. (Now, an original, elegant and most superior law document is our Constitution!ÂÂ  Wink)ÂÂ  He wasn’t that original, nor did he compile it himself.ÂÂ  That would be like saying that Justinian built (in its literal sense) Hagia Sophia, when we know that its architects were Isidore of Miletus and Anthemios of Tralles.

On top of codifying the Law, which was actually a rewriting of the laws, he also published many volumes of his Novels, written by himself to either amend or alter previous imperial law, which along with his Institutes, Codex, and Digests served as the Basis for Byzantine Law. Furthermore, these Novels and the Codification became the Basis for the Legal Systems throughout most of Europe.

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I think, ultimately, that if you look at the balance of the historical record you will see that, while Justinian was a remarkable figure, he was no saint.

The Great Church of Christ would disagree with you, I believe it is on November 14th that Our Pious and God-Beloved Emperor and Empress St. Justinain most August and His wife St. Theodora most August are commemorated.

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You also don’t directly address his actions in the Hippodrome that ended the Nike riots.ÂÂ  He ended that mess with a bloodbath. Thirty thousand killed? Many would also say Theodora was a conniving and manipulative tramp.ÂÂ  Have you read Procopius?ÂÂ  The balance of modern historians on Justinian and Theodora generally don’t extol their moral fibre.ÂÂ  He funded great buildings and churches, had a really good general, but he also bled and weakened the empire through his actions.

But I did address it, it was a Glorious Victory for the Empire over a Rebel Army; a victory in which the insurrectionists reaped the fruits of their rebellion. They had retreated to the Hippodrome, but were unabel to hold it, the Leigons of Faithful Romans under command the Loyal Officers of Emperor assulted their Posistion, and neutralized the defenders. St. Theodora was probably the more influential and powerful Empress until St. Irene ascended the Throne upon the accidental death of her adulterous son, she was an asset to the Reign of St. Justinian and to the Empire as a whole. Modern Historians try to do anything they can to undermine the Eastern Roman Empire, and I have little faith in their assesments; St. Justinian reconquered many lands that the Empire had lost, subjugated the Barbarian Populations, and consolidated the Defences of Empire; as well as being a Great Builder and Lawgiver. Which is why most list him as the Second Greatest Emperor of Christian Rome after St. Constantine the Great.
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« Reply #113 on: June 17, 2005, 06:50:59 PM »

On a theological level, slavery denies an individual one thing that we hold to be true of all men:ÂÂ  free will.ÂÂ  I don't mean that in an "everything goes" sense, but in a "nothing goes" sense.ÂÂ  It's a sociological way of upholding Calvinism.ÂÂ  Yeah.ÂÂ  Yeah!ÂÂ  That's it!ÂÂ  You Protestant, you.

When I read this, a quote from the Danish Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard came to mind, 'People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid.' Slavery, which is ultimatley ownership of ones labour, is no more a violation of free will than any other law of our society which regulates our life. The Slave still has freedom of thought, Anarchy is not necessary for free will to exist. Infact in the Church we have many rules that Regulate us, it is the Protestants who advocate an Anarchistic view of religion...who's being Protestant Now?

In conclusion I would like to post a quote from Oscar Wilde's The Soul of Man Under Socialism (an absolutely wonderful work) which demonstrates the Hypocracy of Modern Man's claim for moral High Ground over the Men of past generations.

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Slavery was put down in America, not in consequence of any action on the part of the slaves, or even any express desire on their part that they should be free.  It was put down entirely through the grossly illegal conduct of certain agitators in Boston and elsewhere, who were not slaves themselves, nor owners of slaves, nor had anything to do with the question really.  It was, undoubtedly, the Abolitionists who set the torch alight, who began the whole thing.  And it is curious to note that from the slaves themselves they received, not merely very little assistance, but hardly any sympathy even; and when at the close of the war the slaves found themselves free, found themselves indeed so absolutely free that they were free to starve, many of them bitterly regretted the new state of things.  To the thinker, the most tragic fact in the whole of the French Revolution is not that Marie Antoinette was killed for being a queen, but that the starved peasant of the Vendée voluntarily went out to die for the hideous cause of feudalism.

In the context of our society, none are free, yes one is free to chose between selling his labour for money or being starved, humilitated, and degridated by society...but the slave is free to labour for his master or submit to his master's whip...is the whip really that much more terrible a threat than the aforementioned threats our current society places upon lazy and disobedient slaves? We have not abolished slavery, only altered the form slightly; we have eased our conscience by better entertaining the slaves, though have stopped far short of liberating them.
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« Reply #114 on: June 17, 2005, 06:57:49 PM »

Since he's doing so well, and is much more eloquent and passionate than I, I will let GiC continue. I would only add that if forcing one's will upon others is inherently evil, then the police are evil when they arrest someone.

And GiC is absolutely correct about your view arising out of Enlightenment philosophy. You hold these views precisely because you live in 21st century America, and they are completely relative to that era and culture. You have presented no Scripture, Father or other element of Church teaching or tradition to support your view that it is inherently sinful, while all three can be used to show it's not.
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« Reply #115 on: June 17, 2005, 07:03:41 PM »

I am not trying to correct you, GiC, but I think Kierkegaard is so eloquent, his words must be apreciated in their fulness. Therefore, I am including the full text of your paraphrase. It's one of my favorite S.K. quotes.

"How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech."
Either/Or
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« Reply #116 on: June 17, 2005, 07:43:36 PM »

Sorry, GiC,

I thought that was your quote, but in fact, I found the one you were quoting.

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. "

Never mind. But I still like the other one.
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« Reply #117 on: June 17, 2005, 10:19:02 PM »

Thanks,

Both are great quotes which demonstrate my point that people always insisting on more 'freedom' yet never exersizing even the most fundamental rights, that truly are inalienable, which they already posess. If one has yet to learn Freedom of Thought, Freedom of Speech is a very dangerous thing to give them.
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« Reply #118 on: June 17, 2005, 11:09:22 PM »

Oh great Keble, purveyor of all that is known about economics, bestow upon us, your unworthy servants, the great wisdom you have that shows von Mises to have been a fool.

Well, I am most certainly NOT an Austrian, but that's utterly beside the point.

The point is that people don't act only for economic reasons, and when they think they are acting along economic lines, they frequently are at least partly mistaken.

I'm looking at the paper to which the link was provided, and I notice two things in particular. First, the author deduces that when a fresh supply of captured slaves is available, slavery is profitable. And he goes on to observe that the Brazilian situation fitted this pattern. This is consonant with what the other sources I have found say, and they all agree that political and naval pressure from the British ended slavery in Brazil. This I would not call "dying out", but being put forcibly to an end for non-economic reasons.

The author then goes on to discuss the American situation, in which the external slave trade was cut off. Now, already there is the question of whether this political act has economic origins, or some other. Be that as it may, he then goes on to speculate that the investment in raising slaves would outweigh the income they would bring in. Some of the numbers he uses are, I think, questionable: for instance, he gives an age of fifteen at which they could begin labor, when in fact child labor was obtained from them (and of course in the free world too-- children on farms are not without chores). But at any rate, he then goes on to oberve that the time frame between cessation of the trade and abolition was too short for economic pressures to fully be brought to bear, and he ends by saying, "Thus the possibility that slavery would have eliminated itself remains an open one."
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« Reply #119 on: June 17, 2005, 11:27:51 PM »

While I'm at it, an exerpt from an address by the EP:

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If, on the other hand, it is true, as we believe, that human beings ought to strive constantly towards improvement of their values and their social relations, then, surely, we must today reject certain practices, as for example slavery and piracy, which in the past were deemed lawful and permissible.
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« Reply #120 on: June 17, 2005, 11:35:53 PM »

While I'm at it, an exerpt from an address by the EP:

I'm not suggesting we bring slavery back, I'm simply saying that past generations were guilty of no sin or immorality by maintaining the institution.
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« Reply #121 on: June 18, 2005, 12:14:53 AM »

Hmmm (yawn Roll Eyes)....looks like the yankee sympathizers lost the last few rounds. Should we call it game over yet? I would go on to add some more facts but 1. I'm feeling really lazy right now & don't want to spend the time to 2. The previous post by Gic & others are better than mine anyways and they have by far proven their case 3. Until I see some good reasons from the other side on what justified the north to invade the south then it is a moot point.


 
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« Reply #122 on: June 18, 2005, 12:38:33 AM »

Well, I'm still curious as to any documentation or citations that Union Troops fired on Richmond prior to Fr. Sumter that you asserted earlier. As I wrote, my father has never seen or heard anything like this and he has been reading and studying the Civil War for over 50 years *and* he is a Virginian.

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« Reply #123 on: June 18, 2005, 12:47:54 AM »

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Well, I'm still curious as to any documentation or citations that Union Troops fired on Richmond prior to Fr. Sumter that you asserted earlier. As I wrote, my father has never seen or heard anything like this and he has been reading and studying the Civil War for over 50 years *and* he is a Virginian.

I'm going to have to retract that. I stand by the rest of the facts in my post though. I was going off books and other sources I have read many years ago and read about an incident like this occuring before Fort Sumter but I'm probably wrong. It must have been a totally different incident I'm thinking of that had no conection to the war of northern aggression. Sorry for the mistake... Smiley..

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« Reply #124 on: June 18, 2005, 12:59:24 AM »

Thank you, Nacho, for clearing that up and the retraction.  No disrespect to you, but it sounded wrong and I trusted my father's knowledge and memory.  It's so handy having an authority in the family.  Wink


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« Reply #125 on: June 18, 2005, 11:44:04 AM »

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While I'm at it, an exerpt from an address by the EP:

Here's one of the many places the "Phanar's secret agent" and I will differ. My response would simply be, "That's why we don't have a Pope. No individual is infallible."ÂÂ  Grin

I don't buy the argument that we are more civilized now or are more mature now or are wiser now than in the past. I think it belittles our Fathers and our Faith to claim our values/morals/social relations now are somehow so much better or "improved" or more complete than they were in the past.
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« Reply #126 on: June 18, 2005, 02:50:55 PM »

Here's one of the many places the "Phanar's secret agent" and I will differ. My response would simply be, "That's why we don't have a Pope. No individual is infallible."ÂÂ  Grin

I don't buy the argument that we are more civilized now or are more mature now or are wiser now than in the past. I think it belittles our Fathers and our Faith to claim our values/morals/social relations now are somehow so much better or "improved" or more complete than they were in the past.

If needed I could have responded in that way, as not even I believe His All-Holiness to be Infallible...but why attack the Oecumenical Throne when another approach works just as well Wink
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« Reply #127 on: June 18, 2005, 02:59:39 PM »

Here's one of the many places the "Phanar's secret agent" and I will differ. My response would simply be, "That's why we don't have a Pope. No individual is infallible."  Grin

If you claim to be Orthodox you are obligated to check with your bishops before making all these moral pronouncements. I sent a message to the OCA's handy question line and got a message back affirming that they do not support slavery, regardless of how it may have been viewed in the past, and also suggesting that I shouldn't waste any more time arguing with you guys.
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« Reply #128 on: June 18, 2005, 03:16:49 PM »

If you claim to be Orthodox you are obligated to check with your bishops before making all these moral pronouncements. I sent a message to the OCA's handy question line and got a message back affirming that they do not support slavery, regardless of how it may have been viewed in the past, and also suggesting that I shouldn't waste any more time arguing with you guys.

I am simply maintaining a Posistion as old as Mankind, the posistion held by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church, I need no more ask my bishop's opinion on this issue before I present the Biblical and Patristic opinion than I need to ask him about the Church's posistion on the Morality of Murder before I can cite the Scriptures and Fathers of the Church on that issue. Abolitionists, on the other hand, who are condemned by St. Paul as 'He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself' (I Tim. vi. 4-5), may want to consider the Patristic and Biblical Posistions before they go about Condemning the Apostles and Fathers of the Church in the Name of the Enlightenment.

Furthermore, I'm certain the way you worded your question was such as to try and get the response you wanted...perhaps the proper question should have been, Do we Condemn Apostles and Fathers of the Church as immoral men who lived in sin and great workers of iniquity on account of their Holding of Slaves or Supporting the Institution?
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« Reply #129 on: June 18, 2005, 03:33:15 PM »

and also suggesting that I shouldn't waste any more time arguing with you guys.

As an afterthought, this is simply bad advice, dialogue is the best way to learn not only other sides of issues, but your own side -- especially when you are forced to defend it...it can offer knowledge and insights that you may never come across in any other manner. Furthermore, if you believe something you should know why, the assumptions behind your belief, the source of those assumptions, as well as the implications of those assumptions. If your belief is correct and consistant with your world view, you should have little trouble defending it from that perspective; if problems come about in its defence, perhaps you should re-evaluate your posistion.
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« Reply #130 on: June 18, 2005, 08:09:15 PM »

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who's being Protestant Now?

that sounds like a jewel song:

you say slavery's bad, yeah yeah,
that it makes you mad, yeah yeah
but you don't know what you're saying
and I know just what you're praying

well, the EP says slavery is coo-ool
and that you are just a dumb foo-ool
you should go to theological schoo -ool
so stop being a baptist's too-ool

well-uh who's being Protestant now
You are just an ignorant cow . . .

I hate Jewel's stuff.

So I give up.

The South was right.  Slavery is cool.  What the heck, let's bring it back.  We'll start with religious minorities.  Let's see, who should we start with . . . the Orthodox Christians!  They're all for slavery anyway, so they won't mind it if we sell them like manimals and rip their kids from them whenever we like!
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« Reply #131 on: June 18, 2005, 08:11:32 PM »

Hey, GIC, wanna be my slave?  My lawn needs a-mowing and I hate changing stinky nappies.

Dang, all these song title ideas just keep coming from this thread.
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« Reply #132 on: June 19, 2005, 08:35:17 AM »

I am simply maintaining a Posistion as old as Mankind, the posistion held by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church, I need no more ask my bishop's opinion on this issue before I present the Biblical and Patristic opinion than I need to ask him about the Church's posistion on the Morality of Murder before I can cite the Scriptures and Fathers of the Church on that issue.

If Genesis is to be believed, sin itself is almost as old as mankind, and slavery at least had to wait for some years after. Antiquity of error is no defense.

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Furthermore, I'm certain the way you worded your question was such as to try and get the response you wanted...

These are the exact words I sent:

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I'm engaged in a discussion with a group of Orthodox men who are holding that there is nothing morally wrong with having slaves. Does the OCA/modern Orthodoxy have a teaching on this? Reference to scripture isn't getting anywhere because they refer to the passage in Ephesians as tacit acceptance of slave-holding as morally neutral, and I'm unable to get very far through Google due to the multiplicity of hagiographic hits.

Thanks in advance for what answer you may be able to provide.

If you're looking for sin, we need go no further than your baseless accusation of intellectual dishonesty against me.

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perhaps the proper question should have been, Do we Condemn Apostles and Fathers of the Church as immoral men who lived in sin and great workers of iniquity on account of their Holding of Slaves or Supporting the Institution?

The apostles and the fathers are the first to testify to their own sinfulness.
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« Reply #133 on: June 19, 2005, 12:35:24 PM »

If you're looking for sin, we need go no further than your baseless accusation of intellectual dishonesty against me.

My accusation was not baseless, you didn't even ask the primary point that I am debating here, that the fathers of the Church are guilty of no Immorality or Sin on Account of their Holding Slaves or Supporting the said Institution. Rather you wrote the question from the assumption that your, thus far unsubstantiated, posistion is correct and simply asked for confirmation that someone agreed with you. I'm guessing the reason you were given advice not to continue this Debate is because the person you wrote had no better a defence of your posistion than you do.

The apostles and the fathers are the first to testify to their own sinfulness.

Yes, but you are arguing that they lived a live in Perpetual Sin, unrepentant of their Actions even to their death. Before you make such baseless accusations against Fathers and Saints of the Church, please do a bit more research and try to defend your posistion with something more legitimate than Enlightenment Philosophy. The mere fact that Slavery is distasteful does not make it immoral.
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« Reply #134 on: June 19, 2005, 12:57:54 PM »

My accusation was not baseless, you didn't even ask the primary point that I am debating here, that the fathers of the Church are guilty of no Immorality or Sin on Account of their Holding Slaves or Supporting the said Institution.

Your "primary point" is an unwelcome conclusion from the real primary point: the morality of slave-holding. Your distaste for it is immaterial. If you cannot tell the difference between the leading question that you would ask, and the neutral question I did ask, then Fr. Matusiak is probably right.

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Yes, but you are arguing that they lived a live in Perpetual Sin, unrepentant of their Actions even to their death.

No, you are arguing that I imply that. I am sure, and I am sure that the fathers would agree with me, that we do not go to our deaths with every sin knowingly repented of.

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The mere fact that Slavery is distasteful does not make it immoral.

Actually I disagree. That it is distasteful (and you choose a euphemism in that word, though at the moment I have not the time to think of a better word) to be enslaved is a sufficient argument that it is immoral to will it upon another, unless you can find a reason why it is good to be enslaved.

That's what Jesus teaches.
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