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.

Let me get this straight

Germany’s new Nazis are putting parents in jail and freezes their assets for homeschooling their children, while at the same time putting a convicted pedophile to work in a kindergarten:

A convicted paedophile sentenced to do community service in a German kindergarten will return to court next week to face charges of abusing two children there, a regional prosecutor’s office said Thursday.

In this case it appears to be an oversight, but it is nevertheless more than a little ironic that a mother jailed for homeschooling her children could find herself sentenced to working in a school.

Slavery is the human condition

Friar Yid doesn’t understand how God can’t explain the proper way to own a slave while rejecting the notion of human property:

It’s all well and good if people want to maintain that slavery is bad and stewardship is good. But Vox’s claim that the God of the Bible doesn’t believe in personal property and “could never endorse” human slavery seems downright bogus, particularly given various Old Testament endorsements of the practice.

It’s not as if there aren’t Biblical examples of precisely what I’m describing. The Bible is very clear on God hating divorce. But, because He knows humanity and knows we’re a bunch of hard-hearted idiots, He says that if you’re going to get a divorce in spite of what He wants, then do it this way. And I note that He wasn’t particularly keen on the idea of kings either, but allowed Israel to have one anyhow.

Given God’s total disrespect of human notions of property and ownership, it seems obvious that His rules regarding the positive treatment of slaves should be regarded the same way. Slavery is, like war, poverty and government, simply an aspect of the fallen human condition. It is foolish to pretend that slavery is not common today, or that humanity has somehow evolved past it.

And from the Biblical description of God’s perspective, we are all slaves, either to sin or to righteousness, and “he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.”

I’d heard about this

But found it rather difficult to credit and even harder to confirm. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that the banks are simply ignoring the law in their feverish attempt to securitize everything:

A federal judge in Ohio has ruled against a longstanding foreclosure practice, potentially creating an obstacle for lenders trying to reclaim properties from troubled borrowers and raising questions about the legal standing of investors in mortgage securities pools.

Judge Christopher A. Boyko of Federal District Court in Cleveland dismissed 14 foreclosure cases brought on behalf of mortgage investors, ruling that they had failed to prove that they owned the properties they were trying to seize….

On Oct. 10, Judge Boyko, 53, ordered the lenders’ representative to file copies of loan assignments showing that the lender was indeed the owner of the note and mortgage on each property when the foreclosure was filed. But lawyers for Deutsche Bank supplied documents showing only an intent to convey the rights in the mortgages rather than proof of ownership as of the foreclosure date.

Saying that Deutsche Bank’s arguments of legal standing fell woefully short, the judge wrote: “The institutions seem to adopt the attitude that since they have been doing this for so long, unchallenged, this practice equates with legal compliance. Finally put to the test, their weak legal arguments compel the court to stop them at the gate.”

This could have some very interesting fallout, especially as home prices continue to decline.