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God and Slavery

Reported by Ellen - December 18, 2004

Believe it or not, the opening segment of last night's FOX News Live with Alan Colmes (a radio show) featured Douglas Wilson, co-author of a booklet that the North Carolina News & Observer describes as an attempt "to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think."

It was a balanced segment that also featured Keith Waters, a civil rights attorney, who argued quietly and eloquently against Wilson and kept the segment from devolving into a typical FOX food fight. Also, Colmes focused the discussion on the issue of slavery rather than religion and very effectively took apart most of what Wilson had to say. However, in my view, providing an effective argument against Wilson didn't make his appearance any more appealling than having someone who is pro-child molesting paired with someone who is against.

Here are some excerpts from Wilson's booklet, Southern Slavery, As It Was, which appear in the December 9, 2004 article on newsobserver.com:

"Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence." (page 24)

"Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." (page 25)

"But many Southern blacks supported the South because of long established bonds of affection and trust that had been forged over generations with their white masters and friends." (page 27)

Furthermore, as Colmes pointed out, Wilson's co-author, Steve Wilkins is on the board of directors of the Alabama-based League of the South which is categorized as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

What Colmes didn't mention is that, according to newsobserver.com, the authors have been accused of plagiarizing a previous work in their booklet and it has been pulled from publication because of "faulty footnotes and citation errors." It has also received criticism from a number of historians.

Who chose this guest and why? I suspect it had something to do with the fact that Wilson is a pastor and fit in with FOX's sudden fixation on God, just in time for the Christmas season, but in His worst-possible embodiment and envisioning. At one point during the show, Wilson was asked to tell one good thing about slavery. Without hesitation, he replied, "It introduced many of the blacks who came over to the Christian faith."

Hallelujah.

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