Barton’s New Book Cites Slavery Defender as Christian Leader

David Barton has another new coming book out in addition to The Jefferson Lies (which is, as the title suggests, packed with lies). It’s called The Founder’s Bible and it’s both an NASB Bible and a collection of articles by Barton that intend to show that America is a Christian nation. Warren Throckmorton notes that one of the leaders Barton cites as showing American to be a Christian nation was also a staunch advocate for slavery.

One of the articles that is apparently going to be included in the book says this:

Subsequent generations routinely reaffirmed what Adams had declared, including South Carolina governor James Hammond, who in 1844 publicly described America as a Christian nation. Following that pronouncement, a small group openly censured him and demanded an apology. Shocked by that reaction, Hammond responded:

“Unhappily for myself, I am not a professor of religion – nor am I attached by education or habit to any particular denomination – nor do I feel myself to be a fit and proper defender of the Christian faith. But I must say that up to this time, I have always thought it a settled matter that I lived in a Christian land and that I was the temporary chief magistrate of a Christian people! That in such a country and among such a people I should be publicly called to an account, reprimanded, and required to make amends for acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the world, I would not have believed possible if it had not come to pass.”

But as Throckmorton points out, what Hammond is actually lamenting here is that anyone could possibly doubt that America is a Christian nation — and that slavery is a Christian institution. Hammond wrote:

It is impossible therefore to suppose that slavery is contrary to the Will of God. It is equally absurd to say that American slavery differs in form or principle from that of the chosen People. We accept the Bible terms as the definition of our slavery and its precepts as the guide of our conduct. We desire nothing more. Even the right to buffet which is esteemed so shocking finds its express license in the Gospel (1 Peter ii 20). Nay what is more, God directs the Hebrews to bore holes in the ears of their brothers to mark them when under certain circumstances they become perpetual slaves (Ex. Xxi: 6). I think then I may safely conclude and I firmly believe that American slavery is not only not a sin but especially commanded by God through Moses and approved by Christ through His Apostles. And here I might close its defence for what God ordains and Christ sanctifies should surely command the respect and toleration of Man. But I fear there has grown up in our time a Transcendental Religion which is throwing even Transcendental Philosophy into the shade a Religion too pure and elevated for the Bible which seeks to erect among men a higher standard of Morals than the Almighty has revealed or our Saviour preached and which is probably destined to do more to impede the extension of God’s Kingdom on earth than all the Infidels who have ever lived.*

And in a speech on the Senate floor, he said:

In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of political government; and you might as well attempt to build a house in the air, as to build either the one or the other, except on this mud-sill. Fortunately for the South, she found a race adapted to that purpose to her hand. A race inferior to her own, but eminently qualified in temper, in vigor, in docility, in capacity to stand the climate, to answer all her purposes. We use them for our purpose, and call them slaves. We found them slaves by the common “consent of mankind,” which, according to Cicero, “lex naturae est.” The highest proof of what is Nature’s law. We are old-fashioned at the South yet; slave is a word discarded now by “ears polite;” I will not characterize that class at the North by that term; but you have it; it is there; it is everywhere; it is eternal.

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