The Hypocrisy of American Slavery, Through the Eyes of Frederick Douglass

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The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself is a powerful book in many respects. Douglass invites you to vicariously witness the monstrous atrocities he experienced during the antebellum period; a time when said atrocities were not only encouraged, but looked highly upon. Throughout his narrative, Douglass expresses his exponentially growing anger and fortitude. When the reader arrives at The Appendix, it soon becomes that much more apparent that the vice of slavery that is most troublesome to him, is the curtain of pseudo-Christianity surrounding it. Why did Douglass, against the advice of his publisher, decide to include this radical piece? Douglass was adamant about including The Appendix …show more content…
From this it is apparent that the separation of church and state is vital. It was a widely accepted view to hold Jesus as divine; to view him as human was extreme and looked down upon. One can see this by the fall of Thomas Paine, a believer in Jesus as being human, after writing The Age of Reason. Paine and Douglass are not a far cry from one another: though their publications were around sixty years apart, both desired to detoxify religion in America. So how did an ideal such as Christianity in America become so convoluted, so manipulated, that the human conscience would allow something as horrific as slavery to endure? Acts in the name of Jesus are not new thought processes and their longevity is unparalleled. The manipulation of these acts, however, has been one of the most heavily relied upon validations of human barbarism in history. American Christianity reigned over slavery as the British once did over the colonies. “For the first time Christ was assuming the mantle of social advocate in addition to that of ethical teacher or holy redeemer” (Fox 204, 205). It can be said that Eli Whitney’s cotton gin added to the predomination of slavery in the south (Moynahan 550). Due to supply and demand, it was easy for slaveholders to fall into the evil mental trap of rationalizing slavery. The words of the Bible were manipulated by southern evangelicals to substantiate Christian slaveholding on these