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Are Americans Pro-Slavery?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Truth-Bringer, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    This definition of slavery doesn’t mean total slavery, and includes simply having one’s time or property or labor usurped or stolen or one’s property rights infringed. I would argue then that compelled withholding by employers definitely amounts to slavery, or involuntary servitude. Even if it doesn’t meet the precise intent of the original purpose of the Thirteenth Amendment (which outlawed slavery), it is still slavery, as revealed in the following definitions of slavery in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate dictionary:

    SLAVE

    1: a person held in servitude as the chattel of another: BONDMAN

    2: one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence.

    SLAVERY

    1. drudgery, toil
    2. submission to a dominating influence
    3. a: the state of a person who is a chattel of another b: the practice of slaveholding.

    The same dictionary then defines "servitude" as follows:

    SERVITUDE

    1. : a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one's course of action or way of life
    2. : a right by which something (as a piece of land) owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another

    From the above definition, you can see that servitude, or slavery, encompasses not only surrendering control of one’s body and time to another, but it also involves the right of use and beneficial enjoyment of one’s property as well. Servitude is a condition where we have been involuntarily deprived of liberty. Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, on page 1388 defines slavery as follows:

    slavery: The condition of a slave; that civil relation in which one man has absolute power over the life, fortune, and liberty of another.

    slave: A person who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another. One who is under the power of a master, and who belongs to him; so that the master may sell and dispose of his person, of his industry, and of his labor, without his being able to do anything, have anything, or acquire anything, but what must belong to his master.

    Now consider that when reading the following:

    Are Americans Pro-Slavery?

    By Walter E. Williams

    Let's do a thought experiment asking whether Americans are for or against slavery. You might say, "What are you talking about, Williams? We fought a war that cost over 600,000 lives to end slavery!" To get started, we might find a description that captures the essence of slavery. A good working description is: slavery is a set of circumstances whereby one person is forcibly used to serve the purposes of another person and has no legal claim to the fruits of his labor.

    The average American worker toils from January 1st to the end of April, and has no legal claim to the fruits of his labor for that period. Federal, state and local governments, through the tax code, take what he produces. A small portion of the fruits of his labor is used to provide for the constitutional functions of government. Most of what's taken, up to two-thirds, is given to some other American in the forms of farm and business subsidies, Social Security, Medicare, welfare and hundreds of other government handout programs. As in slavery, one person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another person.

    You might ask, "Williams, aren't you a bit off base? Slavery means that you are owned by another person." Who owns a person is not nearly important as who has the rights to use that person. In other words, a plantation owner having the power to force a black to work for him would have been just as well off, and possibly better off, not owning him. Not owning him means not having to bear medical expenses and loss of wealth if the slave died. During World War II, Nazis didn't own Jews, but they had the power to force them to labor for them. Not owning Jews meant that working and starving them to death had little cost to the Nazis. The fact that American slaves were owned, with prices sometimes ranging from $800 to $1,300, meant that owners had a financial stake in the slave's well-being and they were not worked and starved to death.

    You might argue that my analogy is irrelevant because unlike American slaves and Nazi concentration camp inmates, we can come and go as we please, live where we want, buy a car, clothes and other things with the money left over after the government gets four months' worth of our earnings. But, does that make much of a difference?

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  2. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    unlike American slaves and Nazi concentration camp inmates, we can come and go as we please, live where we want, buy a car, clothes and other things with the money left over after the government gets four months' worth of our earnings. But, does that make much of a difference?"


    Ummm yes? Just a Huge one.
     
  3. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Given that very loose definition of the word - yes. We are slaves.

    A slave in ancient times may have been able to choose a mate, raise a family, go shopping, have days off, but had to give the owner a certain amount of his productive time. Clearly the amount of control by the owner was limited - often by law or agreement. Ancient slavery was much more like modern employment than like slavery in the US more recently.

    Yes there are some comparisons among the differences.

    We can't escape it. For our country do survive some taxes need to be compulsery.

    But it is a very very good reason for us to be very very careful about the taxes we impose. Every tax enslaves someone to some degree. We should never make a tax that is not important enough to justify "enslaving" people and even imprisoning them if and when they don't comply.
     
  4. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    One is only a "slave" if he chooses to be a "slave", and then only to those things he chooses to be enslaved by. The idea that because we must "render unto Caesar that which is Caesars" in some way makes us "slaves" is specious on it's face. Every civilized society throughout history has paid taxes, either directly, or indirectly, in the cost of any goods or services they purchased, the difference today is that we are simply more aware of the taxes we pay, whereas in Roman times, the taxes were fully inclusive (FairTax anyone?) so the amount of tax was unknown.
     
  5. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    One might note in this regard that at a recent commencement address at Wesleyan University, Obama used the word "service" (as in "community service") fifteen times. This might not be a bad thing - if he can get the young Obamabots out and do service, it might cut down the taxpayers' bill. :D
     
  6. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    Absolutely absurd. One is a slave if one is under threat of force to control peaceful, honest, voluntary actions.

    Unless you correctly interpret the phrase:


    Jesus on Taxes: Nothing is (Rightly) Caesar's!


    The story of Jesus commanding us to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's (Matt. 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26) is commonly misrepresented as His commanding us to give to Caesar the denari which he asks for (i.e., to pay taxes to government) as--it is assumed--the denari are Caesar's, being that they have Caesar's image and name on them. But Jesus never said that this was so! What Jesus did say though was an ingenious case of rhetorical misdirection to avoid being immediately arrested, which would have interfered with Old Testament prophecy of His betrayal as well as His own previous predictions of betrayal.

    When the Pharisees asked Him whether or not it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar they did so as a ruse in the hopes of being able to either have Him arrested as a rebel by the Roman authorities or to have Him discredited in the eyes of His followers. At this time in Israel's history it was an occupied territory of the Roman Empire, and taxes--which were being used to support this occupation--were much hated by the mass of the common Jews. Thus, this question was a clever Catch-22 posed to Jesus by the Pharisees: if Jesus answered that it is not lawful then the Pharisees would have Him put away, but if He answered that it is lawful then He would appear to be supporting the subjection of the Jewish people by a foreign power. Luke 20:20 makes the Pharisees' intent in asking this question quite clear:

    So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.

    Thus, Jesus was not free to answer in just any casual manner. Of the Scripture prophecies which would have gone unfulfilled had He answered that it was fine to decline paying taxes and been arrested because of it are the betrayal by Judas (Psalm 41:9; Zech. 11:12,13), and His betrayer replaced (Psalm 109:8--see Acts 1:20); see also Acts 1:15-26 and Psalm 69:25. Here is a quote from Peter on this matter from Acts 1:16:

    "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus."

    In Matt. 26:54,56 and Mark 14:49 Jesus testifies to this exact same thing after He was betrayed by Judas. As well, Jesus Himself twice foretold of His betrayal before He was asked the question on taxes--see Matt. 17:22; 20:18; Mark 9:31; 10:33; and Luke 9:44; 19:31. See also John 13:18-30, which testifies to the necessity of the fulfillment of Psalm 41:9, as Jesus here foretells of His betrayal by Judas.

    In addition, it appears that the only reason Jesus paid the temple tax (and by supernatural means at that) as told in Matt. 17:24-27 was so as not to stir up trouble which would have interfered with the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture and Jesus's previous prediction of His betrayal as told in Matt. 17:22--neither of which would have been fulfilled had Jesus not paid the tax and been arrested because of it. Jesus Himself supports this view when He said of it "Nevertheless, lest we offend them . . ." (NKJV), which can also be translated "But we don't want to cause trouble" (CEV). He said this after in effect saying that those who pay customs and taxes are not free (v. 25,26)--yet one reason Jesus came was to call us to liberty (Luke 4:18; Gal. 4:7; 5:1,13,14; 1 Cor. 7:23; 2 Cor. 3:17; James 1:25; 2:12).

    It should be remembered in all of this that it was Jesus Himself who told us "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Matt. 10:16). Jesus was being wise as a serpent as He never told us to pay taxes to Caesar, of which He could have done and still fulfilled Scripture and His previous predictions of betrayal. But the one thing He couldn't have told people was that it was okay not to pay taxes as He would have been arrested on the spot, and Scripture and His predictions of betrayal would have gone unfulfilled. Yet the most important thing in all this is what Jesus did not say. Jesus never said that all or any of the denari were Caesar's! Jesus simply said "Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's." But this just begs the question, What is Caesar's? Simply because the denari have Caesar's name and image on them no more make them his than one carving their name into the back of a stolen TV set makes it theirs. Yet everything Caesar has has been taken by theft and extortion, therefore nothing is rightly his.

    Tax Collectors are Sinners!

    A further demonstration that Jesus considered the institution of taxation to be unjust is given in the below story:

    Matthew 9:9-13: As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (See also Mark 2:14-17; Luke 5:27-32.)

    It's important to point out here that Jesus actually made a stronger case against the unrighteousness of tax collectors than the Pharisees originally had in questioning Jesus's disciples about it: the Pharisees actually separated the tax collectors from the sinners when they asked "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Yet when Jesus heard this He answered the Pharisees by lumping the two groups together under the category of sinners--thus: "For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

    Yet since this is the story of Matthew the tax collector being called to repentance by Jesus we will do well to ask how it was that Matthew obtained repentance. The answer: By first giving up tax collecting! And from this beginning Matthew would thus go on to become one of Jesus's twelve disciples.

    Link
     
  7. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    If that is your position, then you ARE a slave, but only by your own choice, a choice that millions of my brothers and sisters have provided for you in the 200+ years since the formation of this nation. As for myself, I will DIE before I will live as a slave, and God willing, I will take at least a dozen of those who would attempt to enslave me against my will with me, so that when I face my God, I can stand up straight, look him dead square in the eye, and say "look what I brung ya!" It is much to my dismay and disheartenment that you have chosen abject mental slavery over the true freedom that we sacrificed so much to provide for you.

    Oh JESUS H. CHRIST ON A CRUTCH! Now you're going to try to school me, a lifelong Southern Baptist, on what the Bible says? You'd be better off trying to instruct me on the M-60 machine gun or the M-21 Sniper Rifle. Are you an ordained Priest, Pastor, or Minister in ANY recognized denomonation? No, then do us all a favor and don't even go there, especially when the "source" you choose to cite is "anti-state.com", an admitted anarchist site. What's the matter, couldn't you find anything from Trinity University? Fuller Theological Seminary? Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary? ANY established and fully accredited Theological Seminary?
     
  8. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    You are a slave. You're just a slave who falsely believes that he's free.

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe


    LOL. Get off your high horse, Captain Arrogant. You could be schooled on a lot of things, especially the Constitution. You just can't stand any logical conclusions that differ from your own false beliefs.
     
  9. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    Taking an authors works out of context, and presenting them as if they mean something entirely different is the worst sort of mental masturbation my friend, besides being utterly intellectually dishonest.

    The entire quote, IN context is "None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrong looks like right in their eyes." The fact is that Goethe was correct, and it applies to those who remain willfully ignorant of the truth around them through their own complacency. This does NOT describe me in any way. As I said previously, one is a slave only if he chooses to be one. In the context of Goethe, that would be one who refuses to do the work necessary to find out the truth for themselves, as a FREE man will do, and instead relies on the pablum, bread and circuses offered to them by their "masters". Your constant protestations to the contrary are typical of the "house n1gger" mentality that says "you're a slave, so you might as well get used to it" that Goethe alluded to, and until you start doing the hard work of a FREE man, instead of relying on others to do your thinking for you, you will indeed remain a slave. When you free yourself of your imagined slavery, and embrace your freedom, you'll be far and away better off, and a much happier person for the realization.

    (BTW, have you ever read Faust in the original German? So much of the real meaning is lost in English despite the best efforts of the translators.)

    OK Major Malfunction. Or is it General Ignorance? In either case, while there is no doubt that I, as well as everyone else, can always use more knowledge concerning many things, you are obviously NOT the one to be "schooling" me about anything, especially the Constitution.:D

    When you stop relying on C&P of others works, and start demonstrating the ability to think critically, for yourself, I may begin to have some time for your "opinion", but until then, please don't waste any more of either of our time.
     
  10. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    I would agree in part. If one favored every tax one paid and every use the tax supported then we would not call him a slave.

    I doubt anyone thinks every tax they pay is just the greatest thing since sliced bread and agrees with everything our goverment does with the taxes.

    As soon as one realized they are paying for something they don't want and that they are paying it involuntarilly then they have a choice: continue to be a slave or refuse to pay it and be locked up - another kind of slavery.
     
  11. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate that you have put some effort into this theses and it has some merits but I respectfully disagree.

    It comes really close to making the case but when measured against other scriptures it falls.

    Jesus and the bible say that all governments are set in place by God and we have a responsibility to obey our rulers (except when they are opposed to God). If they ask us to pay just taxes then we are to pay them. God even directed the government of Moses to collect taxes.

    If there is a sin then it is when we agree to pay unjust taxes.

    Could this by why our early government was so supportive of Christianity and why socialist and communist governments are so opposed to it?
     
  12. Federal Farmer

    Federal Farmer New Member

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    One doesn't need to support, or even approve of every tax, or even ANY tax, to be free, only to understand that the taxes that are imposed are imposed on everyone equally, and were imposed by OUR representatives in the Congress, and signed into Law by OUR President, allegedly at the behest of the majority of the people. The very fact that we were able TO choose our President and our representatives is evidence of a free society, as slaves are not allowed to vote. If you don't like the taxes, then you are FREE to legally work for the overthrow of the people who imposed the tax on you, and put someone in their place that will remove the tax (Bush's tax cuts for instance:D).

    BTW, slaves don't pay taxes, since slaves aren't allowed to have MONEY! Only the free have money.
     
  13. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    Are you seriously trying to base your argument on what Jesus supposedly had to say on the matter? This is a secular society and quite frankly it does not matter what Jesus had to say on the matter.

    Further, in other Gospels that were not made part of the official cannon Jesus comments on the matter are, ""Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, give to God what is God's, and what is mine give me!" Interesting interpretations can come from that. What is specially important, however, is the addition of 'give me what is mine' to the canonical saying. 'God', who is thus placed higher than Caesar but lower than Jesus, is not the Supreme Being who is always called the Father in the Gospel of Thomas, but the demiurge, the creator of the material world. Like Caesar, he must receive his due, but it is more important to give Jesus, the unique revealer, his due

    On the issue of taxes, being in the highest tax bracket I hate the world everytime April rolls around. That said, I avoid so many taxes with loopholes its comical. So when Obama "raises" my taxes by letting the Bush tax cuts expire and then destroys the market with capital gains increases, I will continue to avoid them, I just wont put as much into the market as normal.
     
  14. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    No. Federal Farmer was the one who first quoted Jesus Christ on the matter. Go back and read.
     
  15. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    Not a correct interpretation:

    On Paul and Romans 13 and Titus 3:1

    It is often claimed that Christians are required to submit to government, as this is supposedly what Paul commanded that we are supposed to do in Romans 13. Thus:

    Romans 13:1-7: Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

    But in actual fact Paul never does tell us in above excerpt from Romans 13 to submit to government!--at least certainly not as they have existed on Earth and are operated by men. In fact, Paul would be an outright, boldfaced hypocrite were he to command anyone to do such a thing: for Paul himself did not submit to government, and if he had then he would not even have been alive to be able to write Romans 13. For Paul himself disobeyed government, and it is a good thing that he did as we would not even know of a Paul in the Bible had he not disobeyed government. As when Paul was still only known as Saul he escaped from the city of Damascus as he knew that the governor of that city, acting under the authority of Aretas the king, was coming with a garrison to arrest him in order that he be executed. This was right after Saul's conversion to Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. The Jews in Damascus, hearing of Sauls conversion, plotted to kill him as a traitor to their cause in persecuting the Christians. Saul was let out of a window in the wall of Damascus under cover of night by some fellow disciples in Christ (see Acts 9:23-25). In none of Paul's later writings does he divest himself, or disassociate himself, from these actions that he took in knowingly and purposely disobeying government: in fact, this very event is one of the things that he later cites in demonstration of his unwavering commitment to Christ (see 2 Cor. 12:22-33)!

    Indeed, ever since Paul's conversion to Jesus Christ, he spent the rest of his entire life in rebellion against mortal governments, and would at last--just as with Jesus before him--be executed by government, in this case by having his head chopped off. Paul was continuously in and out of prisons throughout his entire ministry for preaching the gospel of Christ; he was lashed with stripes 39 times by the "authorities" for preaching Christ; he was beaten with rods by the "authorities" for preaching Christ; and none of these rebellions of his did he ever disavow: indeed he cited them all as evidence of his commitment to Jesus (again, see 2 Cor. 12:22-33)!

    But even more importantly, if Paul is saying in Romans 13 what many people have said he meant, i.e., that people should obey mortal, Earthly governments, then it is questionable whether Paul could even be a genuine Christian. For as was pointed out above, Jesus would not even have existed as we know of today had it not been for Joseph and Mary intentionally disobeying king Herod the Great and escaping from his reach when they knew that Herod desired to destroy baby Jesus (see Matt. 2:13,14). Thus, if indeed Paul meant in Romans 13 that we are to obey Earthly governments then this would mean that Paul would rather have Joseph and Mary obey king Herod the Great and turn baby Jesus over to be killed.

    So what in the world is going on here with Paul and Romans 13? Is Paul a hypocrite? Is Paul being contradictory? Actually, No to both. Once again, as with Jesus's answer to the question on taxes, this is another ingenious case of rhetorical misdirection. Paul was counting on the fact that most people who would be hostile to the Christian church--the Roman "authorities" in particular--would, upon reading Romans 13, naturally interpret it from the point of view of legal positivism: i.e., that such people would take for granted that the "governing authorities" and "rulers" spoken of must refer to the men who operate the governments on Earth. But never does Paul anywhere say that this is so! (Legal positivism is the doctrine that whichever gang is best able to overpower others with arms and might and thereby subjugate the populace and who then proceed to proclaim themselves the "authority" are on that account the rightful "Authority.")

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