It’s not a binary issue

Friar Yid doesn’t get it and it’s not entirely his fault:

Don’t get me wrong, Vox. I’m not pro-slavery. But if you have commandments in the Torah saying, “don’t kill your slave,” while not saying a single thing about, “oh, and don’t have slaves,” it’s pretty hard to argue that the Torah’s anti-slavery.

I don’t think I was quite as clear on this as I could have been. My view is that the Bible is essentially agnostic on slavery. It’s neither pro- nor anti-, except in that God doesn’t appear to take any human views of property all that seriously. The Torah clearly doesn’t view slavery as a good thing, or else it wouldn’t be replete with the message that slavery comes as a negative consequence for various actions. And both the Old Testament and the New Testament repeatedly put forth a message based on the concept of how God sets Man free.

And yet, the Bible clearly doesn’t view slavery as a fundamentally immoral act such as thievery, murder, extramarital sex and so forth. Regardless, I don’t see how anyone could seriously argue that the Bible expresses much of a positive view about kings, slavery or divorce, despite the way in which it offers advice regarding all three.

It really does fall in the nature of a category error, though, to attempt blaming any religion for a very common human institution that predated it by centuries, if not millenium, all around the world. This is the point that those who wish to connecct Christianity and slavery always seem to wish to avoid; it also tends to reveal an ahistorical, US-centric perspective.

So, I’m not saying the Bible is inherently anti-slavery. I’m merely saying that it is absurd to argue that it is inherently pro-slavery, and demonstrably illogical to argue that it is responsible in any way, shape or form for historical slavery.