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Frederick Douglass: Christianity's Justification For Slavery

analytical Essay
544 words
544 words
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In his narrative, Frederick Douglass shows how Christianity was used as a major justification for slavery and for the actions of slave masters, but he also shows how the religion provided hope for slaves themselves. In an appendix added at the end of the narrative, he draws a distinction between “the Christianity of this land” and “the Christianity of Christ,” saying that there is the “widest possible difference” between them. As he puts it, “I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.” In other words, Douglass thinks that Christianity has been corrupted in America, where people hypocritically use it to justify their injustices. …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how frederick douglass' narrative shows how christianity was used as a major justification for slavery and for the actions of slave masters, but also provided hope for slaves themselves.
  • Analyzes how douglass hopes that becoming religious will make his master kinder or even emancipate his slaves. the "christianity of this land" had a negative effect.
  • Compares voltaire's take on christianity to that of frederick douglass, who thinks there is a "real" christianity that is good and corrupted by the slave masters.

One of the best examples is when his master Auld attends a Methodist camp meeting and converts (Chapter 9). Douglass hopes that becoming religious will make his master kinder or even make him want to free his slaves. The result is the opposite: “It neither made him to be humane to his slaves, nor to emancipate them. If it had any effect on his character, it made him more cruel and hateful in all his ways; for I believe him to have been a much worse man after his conversion than before…he found religious sanction and support for his slaveholding cruelty.” He later cites an incident when his master whipped a young woman and justified it by quoting Scripture. This story directly shows how becoming

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