Douglass’ and Jacobs’ ability to read allowed them to realize their meaning of Christianity and to use their faith in a positive sense and as a powerful weapon against slavery. Christianity during “the era of slavery is not homogenous: it is extremely complex” (Davis, p. 72). Christianity ranged from one extreme to another representing the hypocrisies and horrendous uses of religion. Douglass and Jacobs both paint a striking, and unpleasant, picture of the contradictions in the Christianity of the South. Douglass illustrates how slaveowners used Christianity as one of their main strategies in keeping slaves docile and “their minds starved” to be “shut up in mental darkness” (p. 198).
Simon Legree uses Christianity against his slaves in order to maintain control over them, hoping that punishment for practicing the Christian faith will prevent his slaves from developing ideas of freedom. On the other hand, religion also creates hope for many people during this period. Evangeline is portrayed as the perfect Christian, and shows how the Christian faith can create hope for people and inspire them to lead good Christian lives, setting an almost unreachable standard. Uncle Tom also portrays hope that can be gained from the Christian faith. As a Christ figure, Uncle Tom is able to inspire many others to become better Christians and hope for a better life in the future.
As Christians, how should they have felt had they been denied their right to practice religion and believe in their god? What would they do if the country they so loved chained them to a life of servitude? Finally, what would all the work to support a family and desire for self-improvement have accomplished if it only benefited a master, but not a wife and children? Douglass deliberately addresses those aspects of life that mean the most to his audience because in doing so he is sure to gain the listeners’ full attention and consideration of the immorality of slavery.
They felt by going to church they could rid their sin, seek salvation and free their sole. This encouraged slave owners to become harsher and place strict rules. Due to religion, slave owners never had to feel guilty about their actions. 6.) What happens between Douglass and Edward
A plantation missionary stated that sharing the gospel to slaves would “promote our own mortality and religion.” However the gospel and religion the masters shared with their slaves did not remain the same. The slaves were able to apply their faith to their lives, their work, and their future. The faith the slaves possessed was rich in emotion and free from preexisting regulations. In this class we focus on the many faces and interoperations of Christ that change with the seasons of history. The slave faith represented in Jupiter Hammon’s poem shows a high level of integrity and selfless, personal application of faith.
The slaves focus on the messages and themes in the Bible that calm their emotions and bring them hope and joy, and they practice religion for themselves instead of being forced to attend church because it is a tradition, like some individuals and children in the South. When bargaining over the price of Uncle Tom, Haley attests that he has seen this pious nature in slaves “as often as any, your rail softly, quiet, stiddy, honest, pious, that the hull world couldn’t tempt ‘em to do nothing that they thinks is wrong”. He relates this religious, honest nature in Uncle Tom to slaves in general, explicitly showing the difference in religious views and faith between Southerners and slaves. Again when trying to persuade Augustine St. Clare to obtain Uncle Tom as a slave of his own, Haley proclaims that he “can show recommends from [Tom’s] master and the others to prove that [Uncle Tom] is one of your real pious – the most humble, praying pious critter ye ever did see…he’s been called a preacher in them parts he came from”. Instead of a self-righteous proclaiming religious individual, Uncle Tom comes across as a modest and sincere individual who views religion as a
Ever trusting in the Lord, he is assured that he will always be protected. "There'll be the same God there, Chloe, that there is here." (Stowe, 95) His reluctance to renounce his religion ultimately leads to his persecution and death, however his piety remains an inspiration for other slaves. In contrast, for the Caucasian Americans, their religion and Christian values are the source of their struggle to overcome the social norms that oppose their beliefs. Miss Ophelia's character is one that develops greatly throughout her role in the story, ultimately deciding to adopt a Negro child and raise her Christian.
As a religious group that focuses heavily on the rights of the individual, the Quakers were pronounced advocates of abolition. The Quakers were a prime example of what a different interpretation of the Bible could mean for the cause. Both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs had similar experiences in regards to their owners getting more involved with religion, resulting in a change in the treatment of their slaves. Frederick Douglass’ slave-owner in 1832 was a man called “Captain Auld” by his slaves. Douglass describes him as a “slaveholder without the ability to hold slaves”.
When people choose to follow a religion they agree to practice the tenets and standards put forth by that religion. If a person is a practicing Christian they would need to follow the teachings of love and kindness that are given forth by Jesus Christ. Frederick Douglass in his work, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, and William Apess in his work, "An Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man" both disagree with the form of Christianity practiced and preached by their white oppressors. Although Douglass and Apess are from different cultural backgrounds, both men's works share the theme of the white mans perversion of the Christian religion. In his work, Frederick Douglass speaks of two kinds of Christianity: the "Christianity of the land" and the "Christianity of Christ" (2093).
There were other slaveholders in the area who were very religious but they were much kinder to slaves than Master Auld was. Nevertheless, he still saw Christianity ... ... middle of paper ... ... slavery as a heavenly duty. He wrote this passage to show how slavery is wrong, but his views on religion connected with slavery are the strongest point made in this reading. I think we all can agree that treating people as unequal or cruel is actually going against the bible instead of following it. Christianity is all about doing a good deed and making the heavenly father proud, but slaveholders were doing the exact opposite.