How Christian slaveholders used the Bible to justify slavery

Slave trade was the darkest period in human history. It was the subjugation of one race over another. The Christian slaveholders used every method they had to justify it. From liberating them to African being an inferior race, justifications are in every occupation. The instances from Christianity to justify slavery. The justification was that Africans were a lesser race who needed the White patriarchs to liberate them. Debates were held, and religion was used to establish slavery as humane. The sides argued that Jesus permitted slavery. They believed that old, and New testaments permitted to hold people in bondage. You can say that when one wants to prove wrong, he will interpret anything to fit his needs. This is one such example.


In any occupation, the oppressor gives different justification for the enslavement. The beliefs are radical and extremist. The main purpose is to stigmatize, and demonize the oppressed, and rob them of their selfhood. Such was the case with the slavery that slaveholders saw Black Africans as an inferior race who needed to be saved from their savage ways, and introduced to ‘Christianity’. Religion ran deep in this, and the misinterpretation played its part. The argument was that slavery would control the sinful race which is inferior to the White race, black race.



Some slaves were allowed to attend churches. At the beginning of the 1830s, black religious gatherings were permitted to some extent. Many slaves were permitted with their owners inside the Church. Earlier some revolts made the slaveholders think that the religion will infuse a belief in the slaves that they are equal. So they were allowed to enter the churches with their masters, and they were closely monitored.


The slaveholders used the Bible to justify slavery. They found the ambiguity in the Bible and misinterpreted it to use as a justification for slavery. Even though religion didn’t permit this mistreatment, they found a way to twist the instances. An article in The Charleston Mercury wrote that Jesus permitted slavery, and this became a tool in the hands of slaveholders. The anti-slavery/pro-slavery used this to their advantage. The pro-slavery established that slavery was permitted, but the anti-slavery north said even though Jesus never mentioned idolatry or sodomy, but they are sins too. The ambiguity can’t be the reason for justification. Both sides stretched the truth. This gave birth to new narratives, but it also made slavery a new business. It was now justifiable as has been established by the articles, and false arguments. The black was the less fortunate and they needed to be liberated into bondage.



People use religion to justify a lot of things. This is what makes humans prone to mistakes. There is no justification in religion for whatever evil one might do, but the human wants to justify his actions and make it seem good to misinterpret the religious books. This has been going on for hundreds of years and will go on. Slaveholders were one such example.