Yes, I know. How do you accidentally go to a Bible study group?
Well, I suppose I was kind of unintentionally forced… er… that sounds even more oxymoronic, but bear with me. Last night, my mum forced me to go see a movie they were showing on campus. What she didn’t know was that it was put on by one of the Christian organization. The movie in question was Amazing Grace (the title couldn’t have given her any clue as to the nature of the organization!), which was about the abolitionist movement in Britain and it’s religious motivations.
Although it had religious overtones, it was still a good movie, though the chair I was sitting in was a bit uncomfortable…
Anyway, afterwards, they divided us into little groups to discuss the movie. They printed out a sheet of movie questions, reminiscent of the movie questions teachers give to the class to make sure that they were paying attention.
At one point, they asked the question “If your society supports slavery, how can you change it?”
I said the secular thing to say. “Tell your society why they are wrong.”
“But why is slavery wrong?” they replied, in an attempt to force the discussion in a religious direction.
“You’re obviously causing needless suffering on to human beings which should be stopped.” An obvious answer, but unsatisfactory. The answer they were looking for was…
“People should not belong to people. People should belong to God.”
“I just think that people should belong to themselves” I retorted, and there were some awkward laughs as they took the discussion back in a secular direction.
But honestly, if they have to say that people belong to God, or that God created all men equal to prove that slavery is wrong, Christians have got some pretty lame morals. Slavery is wrong because nobody should belong to anybody. Slavery is wrong because nobody should be forced to work for other people. Slavery is wrong because it’s torturous. Slavery is wrong because it causes terrible suffering. Anybody who’s studied it and has any form of decent moral values should know that it’s wrong.
Why Christians are so desperate to make it seem like they have the best reasons why slavery is of interest to me. Perhaps it’s simply another “religious values are better than secular values” thing… but maybe there’s also a bit of guilt in the fact that the only restrictions the Bible places on slave ownership is that you can’t damage their eyes or their teeth.
Sorry to burst your sanctimonious-secularism-sucks bubble.