(Sorry; there’s nothing funny in this article, because this is a serious topic.)
According to Wikipedia:
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation.
Historically, slavery has often involved the cruelest stroke of all: the forcible separation of family members.
Starting way back in Genesis (9:25-27) an entire group of people were condemned to be slaves simply by virtue of their being descendants of Canaan (who himself had done nothing wrong other than be the son of Ham who had happened to see his drunken father naked.)
According to the Bible, when God laid down his “perfect” law, he did not outlaw slavery: he regulated it. He said that slaves could be beaten to death (as long as they took at least a day or two to die). He said that a slave’s children were his master’s property (if he got married while a slave) and that the children must stay with his master if the slave should ever win his freedom and leave:
If his master should give him a wife and she does bear him sons or daughters, the wife and her children will become her master’s and he will go out by himself. But if the slave should insistently say, ‘I really love my master, my wife and my sons; I do not want to go out as one set free,’ then his master must bring him near to the true God and must bring him up against the door or the doorpost; and his master must pierce his ear through with an awl, and he must be his slave to time indefinite.
And in case a man strikes his slave man or his slave girl with a stick and that one actually dies under his hand, that one is to be avenged without fail. However, if he lingers for a day or two days, he is not to be avenged, because he is his money.
—Exodus 21:4-6; 20-21
Under God’s “new deal” where love supposedly was the fulfillment of the law, slavery still was not condemned. Slaves are instructed to serve their masters obediently even if their masters are cruel! (1 Peter 2:19,19; 1 Tim. 6:1)
One of the works that makes up the “sacred Scripture” of the Bible is a letter from Paul to Philemon telling him how he had caught his runaway slave Onesimus, and (instead of assisting him in retaining his freedom) was sending him back!
In fact, the Bible is so pro-slavery that it was used by southern preachers in the U.S. back in the 19th century to perpetuate the practice of slavery long after most other civilized countries had abolished it. Mostly because of this it took a very bloody civil war to rid the U.S. of slavery.
Benjamin Palmer was one of those southern preachers. He was a “founding father” of the Southern Presbyterian church in New Orleans. Here are some of his words from that period:
“The descendants of Ham, in whom the sensual and corporeal appetites predominate, are driven like an infected race beyond the deserts of Sahara, where under a glowing sky nature harmonizes with their brutal and savage disposition…Let us say, with all the distinctness and emphasis with which words of destiny are ever uttered, that we will conserve this institution of domestic servitude, not only from the pressure of necessity and from the instinct of interest — not only from a feeling of trusteeship over the race thus providentially committed to us — not even at last from a general conviction of the righteousness of the course — but also from a special sense of duty to mankind… Upon Ham was pronounced the doom of perpetual servitude… The abolition spirit is undeniably atheistic… the decree has gone forth which strikes at God by striking at all subordination and law.”
Slavery is evil, pure and simple. Civilization has progressed to the point where most people now recognize this fact. However, back when the Bible was being written, its authors had not reached that level of ethical maturity. So, when they wrote the Bible they condoned slavery. This proves that at least those parts of the Bible are not inspired by any loving god of justice.
The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses proudly call themselves “the faithful and discreet slave”. I guess I lied when I said there was nothing funny in this article, because that’s one of the funniest and stupidest things anyone has ever said — and believe me the GB has said a lot of really dumb things (as you’ll know if you’ve been reading my other posts).
What sane individual would be happy and proud to be a slave? Only someone who doesn’t understand what slavery is or doesn’t know what freedom is.
In what way is the GB a “slave”? Have they been kidnapped from their home, forcibly separated from family members, chained to a slave ship and forced to work for a cruel master? Have they been beaten and whipped to within an inch of their lives? Have they had their freedom yanked away from them? Do they live every day of their lives in weary, exhausted anguish?
I knew a member of the Governing Body when I served at Bethel: Bill Jackson (now deceased). He happened to be chairman of the GB the year that I knew him. He was in my New York congregation and had recommended me for Bethel service. I used to ride back and forth between Bethel and the Kingdom Hall with him and several other brothers in his car. I don’t know cars, but I know his was a nice, new, luxury car. Not the type of car you’d think a slave would be driving. Of the $20 a month I earned at Bethel for my full-time work in the bindery, $12 went to Bill Jackson to put gas in his car. I assume the other brothers were paying him the same amount. So I don’t think he was hurting on that account. But then again, maybe money really was tight with him; once out in service he refused to give a really interested person a Truth book just because that individual didn’t have the 25 cents that we were charging for books back then. (I accidentally called on the same person a few minutes later and gave him a Truth book. When I told this to Bill he claimed the placement since he saw him first — demonstrating the type of fairness that probably appealed to Jesus when he anointed Bill to be a co-ruler with him over the Earth.)
No, the GB members I saw didn’t fit the description of slaves; they were all nicely dressed in expensive suits without a trace of blood on their backs. Their appropriation of this term is an arrogant slap in the face to anyone with ancestors who experienced genuine slavery, as it is to anyone aware of the slavery that continues to this day.
Maybe some other people I saw in the congregation fit the description a little better, however:
The rank and file Witnesses are the ones who are forcibly separated from worldly and/or disfellowshipped family members. They are the ones forced to turn in a certain minimum number of hours of “field service” each month without compensation. They are the ones who have surrendered their will to their masters: the GB. They may not be “deprived of the right to leave” but they are threatened with eternal death and shunning if they do.
So much for being a “slave”. In another article we’ll see that the Governing Body’s claim of being “faithful and discreet” is just as ludicrous and insulting to our intelligence.