Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Would I Have Been a Liberal Back Then?

As times change, so does what is considered "conservative" or "liberal." I hope that if I had lived 200-300 years ago, that I would've had a number of liberal traits.

Back in times of slavery, it was the conservative position that there was nothing wrong with slavery (if I'm not mistaken). It was the progressive, or liberal, position that slavery was wrong. Now, I haven't exactly done my research, but I believe that until the Revolutionary period, almost no whites spoke out against slavery. If I had been living back then, would I have had any twinge of guilt if I had been a slave owner? I suppose that since the Bible does mention that slaves should obey their masters, maybe I would've used this as justification, since it does not necessarily condemn slave ownership. And if I did own slaves, I sure hope that I would've treated them in a manner according to Ephesians 6.

During the American Civil Rights era, would I have held a progressive position towards civil rights reform? I hope that I would've been clear-minded enough to realize that there was no Biblical justification for mistreating people solely based on skin color. I hope that I would've sided with the peaceful protesters, perhaps even enduring ridicule even though I'm not black. Then again, as a Korean, I probably would've advocated civil rights reform anyways, since they probably benefited Asians as well.

Would I have disapproved of interracial marriage, during times when it was looked down upon, and even illegal in many US states? I hope that I would've had the mind to think that there was no New Testament justification for condemning interracial marriage. Harmony and I have currently not experienced any indemnity for our interracial marriage, aside from all the stuff that happened during our engagement. To my knowledge, we've not gotten any disapproving sneers when people see us together.

Then again, being liberal in your beliefs should only extend so far. The liberality of my beliefs only extends as far as the Bible allows it. To take two hot-button issues of the day...the Bible does not condone murder of innocent children (among murder of other demographics), nor does it condone homos*xual relations. Therefore I do not condone them either, however much contemporary society tries to tell me that these are normal and acceptable behaviors. Speaking of other commonly accepted behaviors, the Bible does not condone divorce and remarriage to another spouse, if the first spouse is living; therefore, I do not condone divorce and remarriage, unless the original couple is being reunited. "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" I'm just very glad that I'm not in a situation like that, nor will I ever be.

What exactly is my political label? I don't really know. There's "liberal," there's "conservative," but I hope that I could label myself as "Biblical."

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  • My Boaz's Ruth

    What time period do you consider Revolutionary times?

    As early as 1688 there are written records of protests of slavery.

    And it may even go as far back as the protestant revolution -- since so many of those protesting seem to be in smaller religious sects that had themselves been prosecuted (though unfortunately some were cowed when faced with the decision: Keep agitating for slaves' freedom and we won't let you near them to evangelize and try to bring them to God. -- OTOH I do at least understand where people were coming from who, given that choice, felt the soul was more important than the freedom issue.

  • JunkMale

    Well okay, I admit that I didn't research the topic that thoroughly before writing the post. I think the point of the post is still preserved, even with written records going back that far.