Slavery and ‘the Founding Fathers’

I was looking up some information on the founding fathers of the US, when I stumbled upon this speech, recorded from around 1687, that addressed the petition of a religious sect who were calling for the abolition of slavery. I found it fascinating:

“Have these people considered the consequences of granting their petition? If we cease our cruises, how shall we be furnished with the commodities their countries produce, and which are so necessary for us? If we forbear to make slaves of their people, who are to cultivate our lands? Who are to perform the common labours of our city, and in our families? Must we not then be our own slaves? And is there not more campassion and more favour due to us, than to these dogs? We have now above 50,000 slaves. This number, if not kept up by fresh supplies, will soon diminish, and be gradually annihilated. If then we cease taking and making slaves of them, our lands will become of no value for want of cultivation; the rents of houses in the city will sink one half? and the revenues of government arising from its share of prizes must be totally destroyed. And for what? to gratify the whim of a whimsical sect! who would have us not only forbear making more slaves, but even to manumit those we have. But who is to indemnify their masters for the loss? Will the state do it? Is our treasury sufficient? Will this sect do it? Can they do it? Or would they, to do what they think justice to the slaves, do a greater injustice to the owners? And if we set our slaves free, what is to be done with them? Few of them will return to their countries, they know too well the greater hardships they must there be subject to: they will not embrace our holy religion: they will not adopt our manners: our people will not pollute themselves by intermarying with them: must we maintain them as beggars in our streets; or suffer our properties to be the prey of their pillage; for men accostomed to slavery, will not work for a livelihood when not compelled. And what is there so pitiable in their present condition? Were they not slaves in their own countries? Are they not all governed by despots, who hold all their subjects in slavery, without exception? Is their condition then made worse by their falling into our hands? No, they have only exchanged one slavery for another: and I may say a better: for here they are brought into a land where the sun of our religion gives forth its light, and shines in full splendor, and they have an opportunity of making themselves acquainted with the true doctrine, and thereby saving their immortal souls. Those who remain at home have not that happiness. Sending the slaves home then, would be sending them out of light into darkness. I repeat the question, what is to be done with them? I have heard it suggested, that they may be planted in the wilderness, where there is plenty of land for them to subsist on, and where they may flourish as a free state; but they are, I doubt, too little disposed to labour without compulsion, as well as too ignorant to establish a good government, and the wild natives would soon molest and destroy or again enslave them. While serving us, we take care to provide them with every thing; and they are treated with humanity. The labourers in their own countries, are, as I am well informed, worse fed, lodged and cloathed. The condition of most of them is therefore already mended, and requires no farther improvement. Here their lives are in safety. They are not liable to be impressed for soldiers, and forced to cut one another’s pagan throats, as in the wars of their own countries. If some of the religious mad bigots who now teaze us with their silly petitions, have in a fit of blind zeal freed their slaves, it was not generosity, it was not humanity that moved them to the action; it was from the conscious burthen of a load of sins, and hope from the supposed merits of so good a work to be excused from damnation. How grosly are they mistaken in imagining slavery to be disallowed by the Holy Book! Are not the two precepts, to quote no more, Masters treat your slaves with kindness: Slaves serve your masters with cheerfulness and fidelity, clear proofs to the contrary? Nor can the plundering of infidels be in that sacred book forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the world and all that it contains to his faithful, who are to enjoy it of right as fast as they can conquer it. Let us then hear no more of this detestable proposition, the adoption of which would, by depreciating our lands and houses, and thereby depriving so many good citizens of their properties, create universal discontent, and provoke insurrections, to the endangering of government, and producing general confusion. I have therefore no doubt, but this wise Council will prefer the comfort and happiness of a whole nation of true believers, to the whim of a few, and dismiss their petition.”

Such was the religious attitude at that time to the differences between the ‘civilised’ believers and the ‘heathen’ slaves. But I confess, I have doctored just a few words and omitted a couple of sentences that would have given away the truth; that this was written by an African Muslim from the Barbary coast (present day Morocco) where there had been pirating of European ships and enslaving of European Christians! It was included in an unpublished letter from Benjamin Franklin to the Federal Gazette on the topic of abolition. The full letter is here: http://franklinpapers.org.

The sect discussed here was a sect of Islam called the Erika or Purists, who opposed piracy and slavery. If you read the speech again, or maybe better, the unaltered version in the link above, there are surely many things that must spring to your mind… about us, our faith, our culture, our history…? I shall make no further comments myself.

Forgive me if this appears to be deceptive, but my device had a purpose, I hope!

Grace be with you.

Advertisements

History repeats itself /or/ So you want to vote UKIP?

History repeats itself

 

History repeats itself.
Has to.
Nobody listens.

– Steve Turner

[And now a bit more explanation for those not politically aware enough to fully understand the above]

Between the wars:

Mosley was the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, a friend and ally of Hitler and Mussolini.

In 1928, the top 1% of earners in the US (with similar figures in other parts of the world) took 23% of the nation’s income. This was a peak. Banks had been given a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude by governments, to allow them to ‘generate wealth’.

In 1929, The Wall Street Crash occurred, sending world markets into a downward spiral. Our grandparents never trusted banks or bankers again.

In Germany, Hitler managed to blame a lot of the condition they found themselves in on Germany capitulating to the wishes of the rest of Europe after WWI, and of course, the Jews.

[Many Jews had been involved in banking: simple reason – pre-reformation, the Christian church did not allow usury, or banking interest, to be charged between fellow Christians. This was an Old Testament law not to lend to compatriots, BUT Jews in Europe could fill this niche market and lend money to Christians, all and sundry, and funded kings and emperors in their warfaring and campaigning. Many pogroms against Jews were simply to oust the bankers from a country before the country’s ruler or government had to pay back their loans. Anti-Semitism, while truly abhorrent racism, is based upon the resentment of debtors towards their lenders. It became institutionalised due to the biggest debtors being the rulers!]

The vast majority of Jews were not in banking, but why just blame a few people when you can blame the lot of them?

The 21st century:

Farage is the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a ‘single-platform’ party that claims leaving the EU will solve practically all of the UK’s problems.

In 2007, the top 1% of earners in the US (with similar figures in other parts of the world) took 23% of the nation’s income. This was another peak. Banks had been given a ‘laissez-faire’ attitude by governments, to allow them to ‘generate wealth’.

In 2008, The ‘Great Financial Crisis’ Crash occurred, sending world markets into a downward spiral. Maybe we should never trust banks or bankers again? This time around, though, they are still in control of governments and calling the shots, with many of our politicians just too scared to act against them. Some of them are so big now, compared to the many small banks in the 20s, that it was considered unwise to let them collapse. Taxpayer’s money was used to bail them out.

Now, Farage manages to blame all of the condition we find ourselves in, on the UK capitulating to the wishes of the rest of Europe, and of course, the immigrants. The fact that many of the cultural problems (and the perceived economic problems) are raised by immigrants with a different culture and/or religion who do not hail from Europe but from all the parts of the British Commonwealth means nothing to Farage – he’ll just go on blaming Europe and the immigrants for our woes until he can get enough people to take him seriously.

Just like Hitler garnered the will and emotions of the German people against the Jews… Farage wishes to emulate that ‘success’ with a new scapegoat.

This could end up with the same ‘solution’ to our problems with ‘Muslims’ and ‘immigration’ as Hitler enacted for his problems with the Jews. No way, you say? There are even ‘evangelical Christians’ advocating it!:

http://defendchristians.org/commentary/im-islamaphobic-are-you/

Grace be with you.

Clause 99, Catch 22 and Penning is telling lies.

Sorry to say that even I was unaware of these changes, and I count myself well-informed.

Politics and Insights

385294_195107567306966_1850351962_n
The Government are claiming victory because of a fall in the number of benefit tribunal hearings. Today, the Express boasts:
A HUGE drop in the number of people appealing against benefit decisions at tribunal hearings was yesterday hailed as a victory for the Government’s reforms.”
Actually, it’s a victory for the Government’s tyranny.
There were 32,546 tribunal cases between January and March this year, compared to 155,000 in the same period of 2013.
“Official figures” reveal an 89 per cent fall in people contesting the decisions to cut, deny or restrict Employment Support Allowance (ESA), long-term sickness and disability benefits.
Tribunals contesting Jobseeker’s Allowance decisions also fell 70 per cent this year.
Disability minister Mike Penning said: “Fewer appeals going to tribunal is welcome. Getting more decisions right first time avoids the need for protracted tribunal appeals.”
Under the Department for Work and Pensions reforms officials look…

View original post 965 more words

Mythbusting

We are complex individuals. However, we often like to define ourselves e.g. introvert/extrovert, team player, free thinker, facilitator, natural leader, etc.

One of the words I use when asked to describe myself is mythbuster. It covers a multitude of sins, since I have always hungered for knowledge and I believe that knowledge is power: it does empower you against liars and those who would twist the truth for their own ends. I suppose for me it is how I came to know Jesus as a teenager; I sought the truth, Jesus is the truth (John 14:6), and those who seek God will find him (Prov. 8:17). For me, all truth is God’s truth, and I strive to not live in fear, but by faith, therefore nothing that is true holds fear for me.

So I always find myself challenging people when they make assertions. Sometimes it’s just playing Devil’s Advocate, but usually I just want to see how they’ve come to their conclusion, or if they’ve reasoned it out at all – this is when I find myself almost incapable of letting go; I have found a myth, I REALLY want to bust it to pieces! How do I go about mythbusting? Actually, in the 21st century, the task is SO simple, it is mind-boggling to me how very few do it. The internet is an amazing ground-breaking revolution in access to knowledge, even though we know a lot of stuff on it is untrue. Recently, I have come across a number of ‘facts’ (or factoids to be more accurate without the inverted commas) on social media that have turned out to be spurious, made up, or twisted to present an inaccurate picture; some harmless little hoaxes, some politically-motivated troublemaking jibes! All I need to do is spend a few minutes (NO! – seconds, literally) on a search to find the source, a debunking, or often, nothing at all, and can conclude, extremely quickly, that what I have just read is either substantiated by many witnesses, or is a load of baloney, or (sadly, too often) it can be found from one source and it looks like news, but a critical evaluation of it turns up little keywords like ‘allegedly’ – and it emerges that no other source is corroborating the story.

By this method, one is able to deduce the more reliable news agencies – if only one is presenting something, or a particular slant on it, and does this repeatedly, it goes down in my estimation. I shall not name names – read them yourself to get the gist of their ‘agenda’ for most these days usually have one. Despite what I say about the state of journalism these days, REAL news is repeated across many places.

Google is now a verb, you can do it for yourself!

Mind you, currently I don’t Google, I Yahoo, even though I prefer Google. It’s my protest at Google’s involvement in the attempt to break up the internet into tiers for the rich and poor: http://www.theweek.co.uk/technology/12673/google-and-verizon-near-net-neutrality-deal (yes, I’m probably the only person boycotting them, but I can do no less!)

When doing my Linguistics degree, we looked at political language. We often say politicians are all liars. Technically, that’s not true; a politician caught lying can say good-bye to their career. Instead, they present half-truths, twisted truth, and misdirection, knowing full well that they are directing your thinking down a certain path. Once you call them out on something, they’ll reply “we never said that!

I’ll finish with just one pertinent example. UKIP stated that on the 1st January this year, we would open the doors to all the Bulgarians and Romanians to emigrate here. They stated this would “allow 29 million” to come here. The number of Romanians here actually went down by 4000 since January, but go on, call them on it… they only said ‘allow’ – they may as well have said that currently we ‘allow’ 500 million Europeans to come here but that would be too obvious, wouldn’t it? They’ll also never tell you that more Britons now live in the rest of the EU than EU nationals who live here!

We all know what they were trying to make us think. I didn’t think it.

Grace be with you.

HERE is where your money is going!

This is a brief political blog (maybe apt for a few days before European and local polling). No scripture verses, just common sense!

Don’t you just love it when things come together?

A few days ago, I made up my own boldomatic ‘meme’ and posted it on Facebook (and got the usual flak, of course):

Image

Yesterday, the governor of The Bank Of England stated boldly that we are heading for another major economic disaster unless we build more houses to stop this new house price bubble that is rising from the swamp. He didn’t say ‘rising from the swamp’ – that’s just my own poetic licence being waved in the air!

You see, he’s Canadian, so he hasn’t been brainwashed by the surrounding swamp of ‘free market’ ideologues we have in British economics.

This morning, I got an unusual lie-in, got up and had a late breakfast in front of the TV. We were watching ‘Homes under the hammer’ – a typical daytime production that follows people who have modest amounts of capital to auctions where they show how easy it is to buy houses, spend a few thousand (or a few hours if they’re tradespeople themselves) and sell it on for a tidy profit (maybe £10,000 for a few days’ labour or a few months’ waiting) or just rent it out for a nice income. I’ve always said that monkeys could do this, so I stand by my own meme (see above).

Today, however, we were treated to a gem! A couple bought a run-down terrace house that was virtually derelict: there was damp in the house, most likely caused (as the presenter pointed out) by a leaking roof, and a massive hole in the bathroom floor, just for starters. They bid £43,500 for it and reckoned, with the husband’s rewiring skills as an electrician, they could fix it up with their budget of around £4,000! The presenter’s eyes widened at this estimate, believe me, and then later he made it clear how ridiculous he thought that figure was. He also pointed out to them that they had broken a cardinal rule in not getting a ‘legal pack’ i.e. they had NOT involved the services of a solicitor.

They closed the house up over a cold winter, obtained insurance for it, returned after some heavy snow, and found that the snow had caused MORE damage to the house so put in a claim. The insurers informed them that since they had NOT got a surveyor’s report before they took out the insurance, it was void, and they walked away (and for once I was on the side of the insurance company). So there they were, with no money left and a worthless shell of bricks and leaking tiles. I think it was then that my wife said “slap it into them!” I nodded in agreement.

So what next for these morons? No, I’m not being harsh; let’s face it, they were an insult to monkeys!

Apparently their local council, with the housing shortage for tenants, decided to step in and give these imbeciles a grant! NOT a loan, like the ones given to all the intelligent students out there, a GRANT! OF £12,000!!!!! So the couple would finish the house and allow the council to place tenants in it for at least 5 years. The council would charge the tenants the going rate of £400/ month, take 10% for their admin costs (a standard fee any agent would levy) and give the owners £360 each and every month!

So dim-witted capitalists, investing their money unwisely in a scheme that could well have netted profit for anyone with a brain, who make a mess through their ignorance, greed and cost-cutting mistakes, get bailed out by government money! Hold on, why does that sound familiar?

Now these people are NOT benefit cheats, nor even legal benefit claimants; you know, all those people who ‘sponge taxpayers’ money’. Nor are they immigrants! Although the wonderful irony is that they are about to become immigrants: they’re heading off to a new life in Australia.

AND in 5 years’ time, they are out of their obligations of the contract and can sell or just rent to a higher paying tenant, as they wish. Nice long-term solution to our housing problems there!

AND if the tenants are on benefits or low-paid income, guess who’s going to pay most of that rent for them? To the owners sunning it up in Australia. Well, at least we’ve rid this country of a pair of dorks who were just a drain on the collective intelligence!

Just thought I’d highlight this, so that the likes of our politicians, including the new kids on the block who have their own scapegoats, will see just exactly where taxpayers’ money IS going. Glad to be of help.

This blog is in no way condemnatory towards intelligent capitalists, believe me.

(I’ll save my vitriol for the crafty capitalists for another time)

Grace be with you.