Religious Hypocrisy In Frederick Douglass

861 Words4 Pages
Since before the time of Jesus Christ, religious hypocrisy has run rampant throughout those who held power. Countless lives have been affected by others twisting religious interpretation in order to fit their own needs. Slaveholders used religion and scripture to their advantage when disciplining slaves, sometimes even if they did no wrong. Religious hypocrisy is especially relevant in the life of Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass’s life story depicts how religious hypocrisy committed by both slaves and slaveholders diminished the rights of slaves, while at the same time allowing injustice to endure. Throughout Douglass’s life, he had masters who practiced religion quite extensively. Although these masters were extremely…show more content…
This leads to a major issue within the slave community. Slaves possess little knowledge of life outside the plantation or house in which they are working at. This means they have no idea how humans are supposed to be treated, and rather that a “god” would never allow for another to be beaten in such severity. This is an advantage that the slave owners held over the actual slaves. If the slaves were to gain an understanding of the world around them, the “religious” quotes recited by slave owners would quickly lose their worth and soon mean nothing as well as hold no influence over the slaves. Frederick Douglas was fortunate enough to understand this, and even addressed the issue in his life story, “What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference- so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked(71).” Douglas understands that the Christianity practiced by the slave owners was far different from the Christianity intended by Jesus Christ. As Douglas referred to it, the “Slaveholding religion” was prominent throughout the slavery era, not only was this damaging for the slaves,
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