Saturday 16 April 2011

The Trouble with Proof Texts

Kindly advice from a good Christian man to a runaway slave (from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.)
"Why, George, no--no--it won't do; this way of talking is wicked--unscriptural. George, you've got a hard master--in fact, he is--well he conducts himself reprehensibly--I can't pretend to defend him. But you know how the angel commanded Hagar to return to her mistress, and submit herself under the hand; and the apostle sent back Onesimus to his master.
 "Don't quote Bible at me that way, Mr. Wilson," said George, with a flashing eye, "don't! for my wife is a Christian, and I mean to be, if ever I get to where I can; but to quote Bible to a fellow in my circumstances, is enough to make him give it up altogether..."

1 comment:

  1. "The West Wing", which I have come to admire more and more in the years since it left the airwaves, has a classic scene during the final season where Democratic President Barlett and Republican Senator Vinick are eating ice cream in the White House kitchen.

    Both Roman Catholics, Vinick is distressed with the concepts of the bible and how it can preach the death penalty for working on the sabbath, but has no problem with slavery.

    Barlett wryly says, "I'm more of a New Testment man myself..."

    Proof Texting is lost on me and, I'm sure a considerable amount of other people, since I don't think the bible has any validity beyond being an historical record of our beliefs and mythology thousands of years ago.