Deconstructing pro-slavery theology

Below is an excerpt of the article “When Our Truths Are Ignored: Proslavery Theology’s Legacy”:

Proslavery theology simply maintained that a creature that God had cursed, as evidenced by the Myth of Ham, could never be a truth-telling, law abiding, and morally upstanding Christian. In his work Defending Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Old South: A Brief History with Documents, historian Paul Finkleman reminds us that many slaveholders believed that Christianity was the only force keeping enslaved people from being lawless and godless, arguing: “If freed and denied the guidance of white masters, Africans and their descendants might very well revert to their pre-Christian ways.”

We often fail to deconstruct how proslavery theology still influences American Christianity. But simply put: Theological arguments upheld the institution of slavery long after every other argument failed. American Christian theology was born in a cauldron of proslavery ideology, and one of the spectacular failures of the Christian church today is its inability to name, interrogate, confront, repent, and dismantle the cauldron which has shaped much of its theology. We are daily living with the remnants of a theological white supremacy, coupled with social and political power, which continues to uphold racist ideologies. 

(From “When Our Truths Are Ignored: Proslavery Theology’s Legacy” by Yolanda Pierce)

The truth of the matter is: the colour of the skin has nothing to do with whether we are cursed or blessed. It is a logical fallacy to say that black people are cursed and white people are blessed based on the “myth of Ham” in the Bible (Genesis 9:20-27) because if people understand how Nature works, they will understand that whether we are fair-skinned or dark-skinned depends on how much melanin is in our skin. The amount of melanin in our skin is a result of our evolutionary adaptation to the climate. This goes to show how absurd religious ideologies can be; hence, the proslavery theology ought to be confronted, challenged and deconstructed, as part of the process of liberation of black people from oppression and genocide. 

Research also revealed that melanin enables black skin to actively interact with the sun, to produce Vitamin D from a biochemical substance, 7- dehydrocholesterol. The study also detected that, melanin has spiritual dynamics as well as physical, since it acts as a sensory ‘receptor’ and ‘transmitter’; communicating with cosmic energy fields in the vast universe converting light energy to sound energy and back. Dr. Richard King, MD, stated that, “melanin, by its ability to capture light and hold it in a memory mode, reveals that blackness converts light into knowledge”.

(From “Black skin is the genetic parent“)

Nature has selected for people with darker skin in tropical latitudes, especially in nonforested regions, where ultraviolet radiation from the sun is usually the most intense. Melanin acts as a protective biological shield against ultraviolet radiation. 

(From “Skin colour adaptations“)

Related link

Why do humans have different skin colors?

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