Thursday, September 23, 2010

Suddenly, they never mentioned the God of slavery again. The Great Hush.

SHHHHH --- We don't talk about that God anymore.


Can you kill a God?

Yes, oddly, but you have to create it first.    The Southern God of Slavery took nearly 50 years to create -- to entrench into Southern minds, Southern laws, and Southern culture.    

Death of the Southern God

Published by  on February 6, 2011
Lee said his God "knew and intended" slavery to be painful . 
Slaves were being punished by God
Despite the myth of kindess, Lee was a stunningly cruel slave master, according to his own slave ledgers.
by Mark Douglas
Suddenly, they never mentioned the God of slavery again. The Great Hush.
SHHHHH — We don’t talk about that God anymore.
Can you kill a God?
No.  But you can show it’s so fake that its own believers never mention Him again.  That’s what happened to the Southern “God of Slavery.”
What the South bragged about at the time, our history books don’t even mention now.  Slavery was very much a religious based enterprise, and could not possibly have thrived in the Southern US without it.
In fact, the “Bible Belt” got its start, ironically, from this fierce religious defense of slavery.  As Debow (of Debow’s Review) said in 1843, “God has completely silenced all opposition to slavery by His Holy Word.

Well, God silenced opposition in the SOUTH — with the help of the draconian “anti-incendiary” laws, which set jail and possible torture (whipping) as the punishment for those who wrote openly, or even owned books, that questioned slavery. See the case of the North Carolina preacher arrested for owning a book that questioned slavery and which predicted the oncoming Civil War. He was arrested for OWNING the book, simply owning it.

He was found guilty, and the judge ordered whipping and jail as punishment. He was allowed to appeal, posted bond, and promptly left the South.

Those preachers and people who were against slavery faced physical torture and jail if they spoke out against it. Rather quickly, those who opposed slavery learned to shut their mouths, at least in public, or saw fit to leave the South.

This is easily the most overlooked aspect of US history -- the violent oppression of free and religious speech in the South, concerning slavery. That is why the "GOD OF SLAVERY" had no opposition. Most people today assume there was freedom of speech -- surely freedom of religious speech - before the Civil War, in the South. No, there was not.

Contrary to the nonsense about the North getting rid of slavery because of climate, actually slave owners there were shamed --accused, exposed, humiliated. Public shaming, and voting, stopped slavery in the North, not the temperature outside. Slave owners were not the paragons of virtue or icons of society as newspapers became more common. There was no law stopping newspapers from vilifying slave owners, exposing the whippings, the sales of children, and all the other horrors.

Stopping free religious speech corrupted everything. With religion unable to fill its moral role, unable to challenge evil, there was no power to stop slavery. Religion became SUPPORTIVE of not just slavery, but even supported the torture of slaves.

A Southern “best-seller” was Slavery is Ordained of God by Pastor Ross, and while we don't know if Davis and Lee both had copies, many of the things they said were essentially the same things in that best selling book. I would love to have a list of books that Davis and Lee owned, I bet Ross's book is in there.

The Bible, it said, condoned not only slavery, but the torture of slaves. This is what Lee believed, and said so in his letter to his wife, though he used "painful discipline they must endure" instead of the word torture. Slaves "must endure" painful discipline, Lee wrote, because God intended it. According to Lee's own handwritten slave ledgers, he regularly had wayward slaves whipped, in fact, he screamed at slaves as he had them whipped, according to newspaper and eyewitness accounts

The Bible also implies that slave women must submit to the master’s sexual demands. This is another scripture widely known at the time — but never mentioned now. You can bet the men knew of it. Another Lee fact -- as time when on, the children born at Arlington were "increasingly WHITE" according to Lee biographer Elizabeth Pryor, who was allowed to study Lee's slave ledgers. She claimed "there is no evidence" Lee fathered his own slaves --but implied he had to know who was fathering the "nearly white" slaves that Lee wrote about.

And remember, no one could preach otherwise. No doubt some did anyway, not every state was the same, not every part of every state was the same. Still, the laws were there, and the will to enforce them was there. Southern leaders did not have to whip many white preachers for the others to learn quickly,

As a result, most preachers in the South simply avoided the topic. Slavery, though widespread particularly among the religious and wealthy, was ironically NOT spoken of much at church. The rabid defenses of slavery did not take place at church, but in the books, speeches and letters from slave owners.

If you preached to Blacks, you had to have a special license from the government — and you had to agree only to preach obedience.

So slave owners were eager to “give the slave religion” because the only religion slaves could legally hear about was for total and absolute obedience — even to the violent, sadistic, and sexually perverse slave owners.

When you hear of Lee or Jackson giving their slaves “religious education” — as if it were out of the goodness of the master’s heart — this is what they were teaching. Its ironic that so many people now give credit to slave owners for "religious education" to slaves. They didn't care about the slaves -- they wanted docile obedient slaves to do the work, and in many cases, give the slave owner pleasure.


Davis said slavery was a “Divine Gift of God” and that “God delivered the Negro unto us.” Davis, like Lee, is often portrayed as kind to his slaves or anti-slavery. Unfortunately, his family did not keep his slave ledgers, as the Lee family did. But Davis was on a mission to spread slavery, and claimed the resistance to the spread of slavery was "the intolerable grievance" that mandated secession. And the first thing Davis and other Confederate leaders did in Montgomery, was to demand slavery be spread into Kansas, or promised war. See the Southern Five Ultimatums, in Richmond and other Southern papers.

If you believe -- or pretend to believe -- slavery is ordained by God, and you will whip women, sell children, burn or hang slaves who resist, there is no line you won't cross. Demanding the spread of slavery or promising war -- as the South did -- is small potatoes. Frederick Douglass escaped his plantation after he saw the owner --his father -- whip a woman to death, while he shouted scriptures. We have failed to teach the rabid violent and cruel nature of Southern leaders, which is a serious mistake.

Slavery was “sealed by the blood of Christ.” The “great moral truth” that “God ordained slavery” was the very basis of the the Confederacy said its vice president, Stephens said. Slavery was not an aspect of the Confederacy, it was the fundamental principle. That's according to his famous "Cornerstone" Speech. He bragged that the CSA was the only nation on earth founded on the principle of chattel slavery of blacks. Other nations had allowed slavery at times, after wars, for example. But the Confederacy was founded on "the revealed will" of Almighty God for white man to enslave the black race -- because God was punishing blacks for sins in the Old Testament !

The Confederacy was essentially a government by the religious leaders, for the religious leaders. They bragged about it at the time, though our history books have white washed that aspect of it.

There was little distinction between the government and God — much like radical Islam. The religion in the South, however, was not nearly as oppressive to women, white women anyway. It is because women were not as oppressed in the South, in fact, that led to an amelioration of cruelty to slaves. While Robert E. Lee accused those who spoke against slavery of “trying to bring down the American Church.” he still had to pacify his wife, and justify his whippings to her. There would be no whipping slaves to death at Arlington, Lee had to answer for the whippings. He could bedazzle his wife with religion only so far (he was not religious he regularly wrote very sexy letters to a variety of women, for example)…


Notice, however, that once Lincoln, Sherman, Grant, and the Union Army won — not one Southern leader ever said such nonsense again.

Not Lee; not Davis; not Bedford Forrest. Not Debow. Not any preacher; not any civil war veteran.

Not the most extreme; not the most timid. In fact, even private citizens, Southern newspapers, Southern books, thereafter never said God told them to enslave Blacks or anyone else.

One day their entire lives, their status, their reason for doing everything — was God telling them to enslave Blacks. But then Lee surrenders — and they never mention that God again.

Even in their private letters, there was a drastic change. Their private letters before the war was very much about God's wish for slavery, and the justification for torture of slaves. But none of that -- NONE -- appears in any letter I know of after the war.

No more mention of this God that ordained slavery. No more insistence that they were doing the work of the Lord to spread slavery.

No one said the South had to give up their God of Slavery. The only condition to end the war was for the South to stop fighting it, and recognize the government in Washington.

But Southerners en masse, without communication, dumped this God of Slavery. Totally, instantly, and forever. Why? Because their God lost. That is how they saw it, they realized, really, their God was fake. They still talked and wrote and believed blacks were inferior, they still believed whites were the superior race and that blacks should not vote or intermingle with whites. That would last another 150 years. But no more about slavery being ordained by God.

It’s as if a light switch was flipped, and suddenly, no more God of slavery. What they screamed from the rooftops one day, they did not even whisper in private the next.


Lincoln’s lasting effect is not just the 13th Amendment… his most lasting effect was forever exposing the God of Slavery as a fake…. It’s unthinkable that anyone anywhere will again use the Christian faith to justify slavery. But slavery was very much an unsettled religious issue, until the South lost. Had the South won, slavery was going into Kansas, California, and Cuba, according to Davis, who was already trying to spread slavery there before the war..

All other things may change — we may see the U.S. fall into disunion, we may see all kinds of havoc and discord. Lincoln’s efforts to keep the U.S. together may only last 200 years or less.

But his efforts to discredit the God of slavery will very likely be enduring.


  1. Southern men learned that using religion as an excuse was a very effective way for them to fool their wives. Lee's famous defense of slavery was a letter to his wife, essentially trying to calm her down. It appears she had been asking him, "Does God really want white men to enslave negroes'?

    His letter was his answer. And even that he stole -- much of the verbage was used in a letter from Webster. So Lee was very careful what he wrote to his wife. He did not write that letter off the top of his head -- because he stole most of it.

    So Lee and other men were very concerned that they have some excuse for slavery -- that their wives would believe. God was behind slavery -- he essentially said. Don't worry about it, God is in control of all this, and he wants us to have slavery, or he would not allow it.

    After the South got its ass kicked, the men could not possibly tell the women God wanted them to enslave blacks -- or else, they would have to go out and TRY to enslave them.

    They werent about to do that. For one thing, blacks weren't going to put up with that shit anymore. Blacks learned they could kick ass and that the white man was very willing to run away if the blacks stood up to them.

    That is the real reason the South never again said God told us to enslave --- that bullshit might work with stupid women before the war, but it wasn't going to work on anyone after the war.

  2. Excellent historical analysis,Mark!

    The Southern Baptist Church was fully complicit in slavery, just as it was complicit in segregation after the war and through the last gasp of Jim Crow. You will find a number of documents, and sacraments from the period sanctifying slavery based on race.

  3. Mark, This is a terrific accounting! I concur with btx3, being raised in the South & a Baptist church to-boot, much of that type of mentality carried on through the years.