Suck up the pain of unjust suffering

You know how Dan Savage likes to say that conservative Christians should ignore what the Bible says about homosexuality just as they ignore what the Bible says about slavery? Peter Montgomery at Religion Dispatches points out that actually they don’t always ignore what the Bible says about slavery. Sometimes they use it to tell the workers to submit. Ralph Reed, in 1990:

Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.

Does that remind you of anything? It reminds me of anything.



  1. says

    Oh, I clearly remember the staff at Hillsong church taught that type of submission.

    I was active there about a decade ago. Many nice people, but in hindsight, it was mostly about money and obedience. Oh yeah, and men > women somehow.

  2. Sili says

    9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

  3. Sili (I have an annoying subtitle says

    Though ‘to be fair’ that’s from pseudo-Paul and not pseudo-Peter.

  4. Brian says

    It all balances out in the end. Whatever suffering you have here will be rewarded in heaven. So, suck it up and take it!

  5. says

    This was a common trope in nineteenth century England. The poor should be grateful for their status, indeed they were privileged, for in their suffering they shared in the passion of Christ and would be greatly rewarded in the afterlife. It is notable, however, that those who uttered such empreachments showed no great enthusiasm for sharing in this privilege

  6. says

    Well now you’re just describing “Mother Teresa.” No meds for the people in her “hospital” but nothing but the best treatment for her.

  7. anthrosciguy says

    Well now you’re just describing “Mother Teresa.” No meds for the people in her “hospital” but nothing but the best treatment for her.

    Which is doubly ironic given her Opus Dei self-flagellation fetish.

  8. quantheory says

    What I really noticed was this quote in the link.

    “Christians have a responsibility to submit to the authority of their employers, since they are designated as part of God’s plan for the exercise of authority on the earth by man.”

    I don’t often read a defense of capitalism that’s so baldly authoritarian (maybe saying this out loud is a bit out of fashion now, maybe because this attitude backfires when people in authority aren’t behaving like good conservatives, maybe because the libertarians have been too noisy). Obey whoever has authority, because God made authority, all authority, and so obeying any authority is the same as obeying God. It’s the same as slavery is the same as treating patriarchs as the Great Leaders of the family is the same as the divine right of kings is the same as theocracy.

    If a man says “serve me, serve my friends, serve my colleagues”, that’s egotistical, but if he says “serve God by serving me”, that’s just piety!

  9. teh_faust says

    “Does that remind you of anything?”

    Marriage, child-rearing, the black labour market, the regular labour market in vast parts of the world, parts of the education system, forced military service,the agendas of various political parties….

    Or was that a rhethorical question?

  10. Brigadista says

    As with Brian @ 5, it’s always struck me how just about every religion ever invented has made a virtue out of suffering and claimed that the pain endured now is in reverse proportion to the reward you will receive in the next life. Pretty handy, really, when you want to convince someone to go and die for you, or at least work until they drop to make sure that your coffers are full. It’s also a useful way of explaining why the alleged big guy is so perverse as to make so many people’s lives full of misery. You see, he’s just getting you ready for paradise that awaits.

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