(08/17/2017) George Washington Owned Slaves

Posted: August 17, 2017 in America, Egypt, Forgiveness, History, Judgment, Knowledge, Law, Leadership, Pharaoh, Reconciliation
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John Trumbull, 1780 – George Washington and William Lee, the enslaved personal servant, who for many years spent more time in Washington’s presence than any other man.

 

Today, in response to a recent statement from President Trump, topics include cultural history, sins of America’s past, our present-day accountability, and spiritual confusion.  The President could be discerned to be warning the public against impassioned, yet, ungodly pursuit of judgment.  The process and substance of judgment that would meet the standards from GOD must include balance, clarity, impartiality, integrity, thoroughness, and transparency.  In speaking about the tragic event in Charlottesville, Virginia where Heather Heyer was killed during what were to have been lawful protest demonstrations for and against continuing civil war memorials, the President did not condemn any specific groups and organizations thought responsible for the violence.  When challenged by the media, President Trump cautioned that attacks against historical figures such as Robert E. Lee (the West Point graduate who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War), may also be made against others including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  By asking, Where will it end?, the President suggested that many who were indispensable to establishing the principles for what has been the world’s most enduring democratic government also advocated and practiced many of the attitudes and prejudices of their times that we now condemn; and none of our early “heroes” will be found guiltless and without flaws.  Thus, for example, on February 2, 2017, PBS News broadcasted that five American Presidents owned slaves while they were in office:  President George Washington (1789-1797), Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), James Madison (1809-1817), James Monroe (1817-1825), and Andrew Jackson (1829-1837).  Christian believers are not to rush to judgment, as the third world continues to do, condemning every American leader, and all Americans who ever were or ever will be.  The following was downloaded from Wikipedia, the online Internet encyclopedia 1:37 PM, August 16, 2017 from the article George Washington and slavery:

 

George Washington, the first President of the United States, held people in slavery for virtually all of his life. His will provided for freeing the enslaved people he held upon the death of his widow Martha Washington. In January 1801 Martha freed her husband’s slaves, just over a year after his death.[1] However, while she lived, Martha did not emancipate any of the people she held, because she held only the lifetime use of them. When she died, on May 22, 1802, at the age of 70, all of those enslaved people went to the descendants of her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis

When Washington was eleven years old, he inherited ten slaves;[3] by the time of his death, 317 slaves lived at Mount Vernon,[4] including 123 owned by Washington, 40 leased from a neighbor, and an additional 153 “dower slaves.” While these dower slaves were designated for Martha’s use during her lifetime, they were part of the estate of her first husband Daniel Parke Custis, and the Washingtons could not sell or manumit them.[5] As on other plantations during that era, Washington’s slaves worked from dawn until dusk unless injured or ill; they could be whipped for running away or for other infractions. They were fed, clothed, and housed as inexpensively as possible, in conditions that were probably meager.[citation needed]

Visitors recorded varying impressions of slave life at Mount Vernon: one visitor in 1798 wrote that Washington treated his slaves “with more severity” than his neighbors, while another around the same time stated that “Washington treat[ed] his slaves far more humanely than did his fellow citizens of Virginia.

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son:  the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.  But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him:  in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.  Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GODand not that he should return from his ways, and live?  But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned:  in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.  Yet ye say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?  When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.  Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.  Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.  (Ezekiel 18:  20-28, King James Version, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Righteousness Exalts A Nation (07/04/2017); Fulfillment of His Dream? (04/05/2017);  Joy, Survival and Worship (06/21/2017); Divine Law Expresses Love (05/10/2017); Covetousness, Slavery and Sin (09/16/2016); Called Slaves by GOD? (02/10/2016); The Provision Against Racists? (01/19/2016); Slaves to Sin? (04/13/2015) 

 

(1.)  Even where we attempt to apply the patterns and standards from the holy writings, law and the judgment of men on the basis of their deeds and works must be approached as involving multiple occasions—and the likelihood for—irreversible error.  Often, no single event or set of actions can be identified as including the full panorama of any man’s accomplishments, desires, efforts, expressions, motives, quality, and value.  With this in view, the determination to be made when courts and juries assemble are the actuality of specific contributions and participation of an individual during specific events, and is not a matter of their overall eternal value, merit and worth.

(2.)  Mature Christian believers usually agree that awareness and self-will may be dominated by sin.  The operations of sin may be invisibly embedded within customs and traditions, and can be regularly expressed through cultural, interpersonal, political, and social practices that appear historically acceptable, natural, and normal; and sin will not appear to be contrary to human character, continued existence, godliness, and truth. 

(3.)  Slavery as an institution to decimate and exploit Africans began in the markets of Portugal, Europe, fifty years before Columbus would land in the New World seeking to become wealthy through slaves and spices.  As practiced in America, slavery was a form of imperial idolatry like begun in Egypt where, during the years of famine, in order to survive, the Egyptian people (and not the Jews) sold everything they had to Pharaoh:  their livestock, their property and themselves.  Using dynasty and inheritance, the Pharaohs exercised a control that amounted to abuse, promoting themselves as gods over their own people.  Using bigotry, discrimination, racism, and hate there have been those promoting an American nightmare in place of the American Dream.

(4.)  Growing up under the influence of Jesus Christ in my life, I have been able to truthfully say neither that every Black person is my friend, nor that every White person is my enemy.  The issues of belonging, brotherhood, and separation because of ethnicity, origin, race, and skin color repeatedly destroy confidence, curiosity, discovery, flexibility, belief in a future, and hope for the higher levels of accomplishment among the young.  Anger and hate are thought to be forms of strength that allow us to confront death, however, the serious work of growth and learning that must be done to maintain life requires balance, concentration, dispassion, level-headedness, maturity, and sobriety.  Like many others, here in America, I discovered the more correct focus in deciding affiliation and to whom I connect has been the separation because of differences in sacred commitment, and ones own endowment of spirit content from the makeup of GOD.

(5.)  Patriotism and love of ones homeland are passing and temporal.  They even may be seen as a form of idolatry.  In the understanding of mature Christian believers, all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.  There can be no lasting display of mercy and righteousness without divine judgment; and the provisions of GOD through Jesus Christ include atonement, forgiveness, redemption and repentance as well as reconciliation.  For George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, the “escape” from “all or nothing” condemnation that we will embrace as victims of our own cultural and historical limitations comes by continuing in sound covenant relationship and the testament of sacred blood.

There is far more to be said, correctly examined, and spiritually apprehended.  (For example, (6.)  In our god-given oneness without sameness, every American wants to be free.  It would be fitting that the President of the United States issue a new call to end equivocation regarding American slavery.  While it continues to be correct to acknowledge George Washington, the founders of the Nation, and the many others who have contributed and served to create a way of life that may ultimately become a standard for the universe, none are to be celebrated, lauded, or regarded as having lawful justification in our present system for their earlier crimes against Africa, America, and all mankind.  Because we have distance, maturity, perspective and sobriety, we now can see more correctly their actual achievements and errors; and, because we seek to give and receive forgiveness, to maintain reasonable balance, and to go forward on the diverse paths of prosperity, we are to call “sin” by its proper name.  Continuing the commitment necessary to deal with the lawful issues of differences among us, diversity, and “State’s rights” while putting aside all issues of anyone being “holier than thou,” (1) there can be no equivocation; and, (2) there can be forgiveness:  There are no “kind” and “understanding” slave-owners; there are no men of honor and higher nobility who maintain others as slaves; there have never been, are none now, and will never be “good” and “wise” leaders of men who make merchandise of others, that feed on the misery and pain of others, and who arrogantly traffic in other men’s lives.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

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