Slave Bible | Amandala Diary


I have often wondered why black people are so religious and so true to their beliefs. My grandparents were Nazarenes, and my grandmother made me go to Sunday school and Bible classes during the week, all my summer vacations in the country. I was fascinated by all the stories, and I can see how this indoctrination chastised and precipitated many people to be “saved”. It seemed to me that the poorer you were and the more you suffered, the more you turned to this white Jesus for salvation. There were many rules as to what was acceptable: no drinking or smoking, no fornication, no full enjoyment of life except within the concepts of religion.

The Slave Bible was published in 1807 for the Society for the Conversion of Black Slaves, a group of British religious leaders, and it was specifically intended for use in the British West Indies. The book of Exodus was not included in this bible, nor were the Psalms and Revelations and most of the Old Testament. They didn’t want slaves to be aware of anything to do with freedom or equality. They included all these passages that dealt with bondage and submission in this Bible. American slaves were spared this counterfeit Bible; they weren’t even allowed to learn to read or write, so somehow they were saved from the indignities of being lied to.

Imagine being a slave, you have nothing, no way to advance your career, except perhaps by becoming a servant. You cannot read or write or even speak and understand English properly. Then after a long 12 hour day of work, whipped, malnourished and dog tired all at the same time, you have these morons teaching you eternal life in heaven – that is if you obey to your masters! How cynical and inhuman man must be to do this to other humans! Subdue and manipulate them by force and propaganda/religion. Of course, there had to be a dark sky and a hell; why would they have blacks and whites intermingling in the afterlife?

So why are black people so religious? A survey was taken of Holocaust survivors after World War II about their religious faith. A majority of them, including rabbis, had lost their faith because of the atrocities they had suffered during those 6 years in the concentration camps. They couldn’t understand why a god would allow such brutalities against a race, men, women and children! I believe their doubts were understandable; after all, they were the chosen people? I believe black people were so indoctrinated about this white god, and because the people who taught them religion were also white, and because God was white, according to them, it was easy to manipulate the mind into thinking that ‘they were inferior, and undeserving. Be gentle and humble and grateful for their condition. That is, until they learn to read!

We have just celebrated Holy Week in the Christian world, where we mourn the crucifixion and celebrate the resurrection! 4 days of vacation, and for most of us, it’s celebration, not the somber reverence and reflection that should be given to this supposed miracle. I don’t know if God exists, I pray to him every evening, and personally express to him my doubts about his existence! I don’t have that blind faith that many seem to have. If it exists, I pity all those religious leaders who use it to get so disgustingly rich on the backs of the poor, people who need to believe in something, to ease their pain and their existence, in this unforgiving world ! Seek redemption! Enough to ?

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28. This passage was among many that were left out of this Slave Bible.



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