You can’t have it both ways. Either you respect the notion that gays should be put to death ( by stoning, preferably), and blacks (and others) enslaved, or you don’t. But you can’t both disagree with slavery and murder but still “respect” it. MNSBC:
Organizers from the National Scholastic Press Association, which organized the convention, issued a statement criticizing Savage’s lecture: “In his attempt to denounce bullying, Mr. Savage belittled the faith of others – an action that we do not support. Ridicule of others’ faith has no place in our programs, any more than ridicule of the LGBT community would.”
I’d like to know why the National Scholastic Press Association thinks we should respect the notion that slavery and genocide are good things.
That’s the problem with the brouhaha over Dan Savage’s (correct) comments about the Bible’s support for slavery and the mass execution of gay people. The Bible got it wrong on these points. And rather than reiterate the fact that the embrace of slavery and genocide is perhaps a bad thing, the National Scholastic Press Association is upset that Dan Savage used mean words when criticizing the embrace of slavery and genocide.
And what word is appropriate when criticizing slavery and genocide?
I get that the Christian students were offended. (And I’m offended every time we’re supposed to walk on eggshells around Christians who believe in the inviolate word of a book that embraces slavery and genocide.) And those Christian students outright admit that they were offended because they don’t believe that the Bible was used to defend slavery. That’s because they’re ignorant of the history of their own religion, not because it isn’t true. And that ignorance isn’t something the National Scholastic Press Association should be coddling.
Since the National Scholastic Press Association is more interested in genuflecting to political correctness than educating its own student journalists, here’s a little bit about what the Bible actually says about slavery. From Greg Carey at HuffPo:
When the Bible refers to female slaves who do not “please” their masters, we’re talking about the sexual use of slaves. Likewise when the Bible spells out the conditions for marrying a slave (see Exodus 21:7-11).
The occupations and experiences of slaves varied greatly. Many performed manual labor in horrid conditions, perhaps living only months after beginning their work. Some highly valued slaves attained wealth and status, a possibility reflected in Genesis’ account of Joseph. Perhaps the story of the centurion who highly valued his slave connotes an erotic relationship, likely one-sided (Luke 7:1-10). In all cases the owners’ right to use a slave as the owner sees fit, including the right to punish slaves severely, remain unquestioned.
How did people become slaves? Slavery did not accompany a particular racial status, as it eventually did in the United States, but the Hebrew Bible stipulates preferred treatment for Israelite slaves (see Exodus 21:1-11; 25:39-55; Deuteronomy 15:12-18). Crushing debt forced many into slavery, with some people selling themselves and others selling their children. Military conquest contributed greatly to the slave market as well.
The Bible does not attempt to hide the presence of slaves. Beware modern translations that use “servant” to cover up slave language. Slaves were ubiquitous in the ancient world. Imagine ancient Rome, where slaves made up between one-third and one-half of the inhabitants — perhaps half a million people! The Senate once considered requiring slaves to wear identifying marks, but they stopped short in the face of a chilling realization: if slaves could recognize one another, what would prevent them from organizing and pillaging the entire city?
In the New Testament, Jesus frequently refers to slaves in his parables, the witty stories that marked his most distinctive teaching style. He never addresses slavery as an institution, though unfortunately one of the parables assumes that beating a slave is acceptable (Luke 12:47-48).
Where is the National Scholastic Press Association’s statement against genocide and slavery?