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The Dangers Of Religion In Slavery In The United States

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proud but ungovernable, and even rebellious.” (Raboteau, 103) Despite using religion to convert their slaves to obey their masters, slaveholders were also aware of the potential dangers of religion. Morgan Goodwyn, who served as a minister in Virginia, believed that slaves who converted to Christianity “would make them better slaves.” (Oshatz, 17) Slave owners forbid their slaves from meeting alone. A white person had to be present. However, slaves would risk sneaking off anyways. “Invisible institution” is a term used to describe a place where slaves held secretive worship services away from their slave owners. When they were in their slave owners’ controlled churches the preachers continued to instill in the slaves to do whatever their…show more content…
Slavery varied around the world, especially in different cultures. What started in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 left a lasting impression on the United States of America and most certainty African-Americans for many years. Even after 246 years of being ‘free’, African-Americans still endured oppression. Slavery in the United States was about power and control for slave masters. Slave masters used religion – Christianity – to oppress their slaves. There were laws purposely put in place to limit their slaves from feeling ‘equal’ to their slave masters, or any white counterpart. Despite the hurdles of being prohibited to read, write or even be taught, the slaves found ways to seek the same religion that their slave masters tried to use against them and turn it around. Slaves didn’t give up the desire to learn how to read and write in order to read the Bible. Slave owners feared the idea of slaves’ rebellion against their slave masters. Slaves risked their lives whenever they went to participate in ‘hush harbors’ and ‘invisible institutions.’ Slaves found hope in the ‘Christianity of Christ’ instead of the ‘Christianity of the land.’ All slaves didn’t convert to Christianity, but instead kept their African and Islam beliefs. Many consider Christianity a white man’s religion, however the African immigrants combined their religions traditions with worship through hymns and songs. Many slaves spoke about and against the experiences they endured from their ‘Christian’ slave masters. Even doubted the God of the Bible because of their experiences. Douglass and Walker questioned the religion of the slave masters because of the acts they committed against ‘God’s people.’ Slaves looked to Christianity – especially the story of Exodus – for hope through the
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