The Christianization of America has truly brought the spectacle of America's past into significance. It has caused states to revise their history books, to hide the atrocities, and to present American as a city on hill, the last beacon of freedom and democracy, the kingdom of God on earth:
"...an honest evaluation of the history of the United States must begin and end with the recognition that, compared to any other nation, America's past is a bright and shining light. America was, and is, the city on a hill, the foundation of hope, the beacon of Liberty."
This glowing description of America can be found on the back of "A Patriot's History of the United States", by Schweikart and Allen. Interesting that this perspective of American exceptionalism is taken when comparing America to any other country. It is not taken when compared to the values and morals America claims for herself, nor of her relationship to her Declaration of Independence, nor of her relationship to her Constitution. The integrity with which the founders and More specifically their worshippers lay claim to can be seen falling apart when they interact with native Americans whose land, continent, they have invaded and taken over, and whose people have been killed in defense of said native land, of the treatise signed and broken, or the promises made and reneged upon, ad nausea, ad infinitum.
Texas and other states have taken the issue of slavery in their history books, and had the publisher water it down. Jezebel.com, The Huffington Post, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Newsweek, and CBS have all documented this revisionist softening of the atrocities of racism in Texas and like minded states history education curriculum and text books. The human death toll, the atrocious nature of slavery, the treatment of black humans, and its effects on their descendants is minimized to include the trade of cotton and rum. The humanity of slaves and their suffering is in these new history books ranked alongside the activity of picking and selling cotton and the production of an alcoholic beverage. Slaves were and still are in the eyes of many people and their ancestors (cultural, literal, racial) nothing more than another commodity to be bought and sold, not humans whose stories need to be told and remembered to prevent further future evils. The cognitive dissonance needed to justify the founders as Christians is evident when people spout things like, "well the slaves were fed and cared for well", or "well there was slavery in Africa before...", or "there were black slave owner, too."
Why is there such a cognitive dissonance when it comes to the negatives of America's past? Why the abject denial of evil, or the dismissal of it as something minimal in comparison to the greatness of America? Simply put, it is because of racism’s rules, which most are unaware of.
Carl Linaeus in his book Systema Naturae states the following in 1767,
•The Americanus: red, choleraic, righteous; black, straight, thick hair; stubborn, zealous, free; painting himself with red lines, and regulated by customs.
•The Europeanus: white, sanguine, browny; with abundant, long hair; blue eyes; gentle, acute, inventive; covered with close vestments; and regulated by customs.
•The Asiaticus: yellow, melancholic, stiff; black hair, dark eyes; severe, haughty, greedy; covered with loose clothing; and regulated by opinions.
•The Afer or Africanus: black, phlegmatic, relaxed; black, frizzled hair; silky skin, flat nose, tumid lips; females without shame; mammary glands give milk abundantly; crafty, sly, careless; anoints himself with grease; and regulated by will.
•The Monstrosus were mythologic humans which didn't appear in the first editions of Systema Naturae. The sub-species included the "four-footed, mute, hairy" Homo feralis (Feral man); the animal-reared Juvenis lupinus hessensis (Hessian wolf boy), the Juvenis hannoveranus (Hannoverian boy), the Puella campanica (Wild-girl of Champagne), and the agile, but faint-hearted Homo monstrosus (Monstrous man): the Patagonian giant, the Dwarf of the Alps, and the monorchid Khoikhoi (Hottentot). In Amoenitates academicae (1763), Linnaeus presented the mythologic Homo anthropomorpha (Anthropomorphic man), humanoid creatures, such as the troglodyte, the satyr, the hydra, and the phoenix, incorrectly identified as simian creatures. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_racism#Carl_Linnaeus)
All in a group are supposed carry the same characteristics. No black is supposed to be intelligent, no white is supposed to be lazy. No black should be the head, and no white should be the tail. Anyone black who rises above the status quo of his race is a credit to his race, while any white to accomplishes the same thing is said to be the norm. Any white who fails to maintain status quo for his race is said to be an outlier, while any black to accomplishes the same is consider par for the race. When one now considers, if one is white, that these are the rules, unspoken, upon which this society exists, imagine the pressure now of being white: you must always succeed, you must always win, you must all way be right, you must always be righteous. What does it say about a white person if they fail to meet this standard? What does it say about their race if their race has failed to meet this standard? What does it say to the 21st century millennial, who doesn’t consider themselves a racist, to know that in this nation these are the founding social rules upon which all social interaction and economic success were built and operated? How does a white person feel to know that they may hate slavery, but their ability to do simple things like get a loan, own a house, etc., versus their black and brown counterparts are all affected by this bigotry? How would they feel when, realizing that one’s own family has benefited from slavery and racism, one was possibly taught racism, one now wants to be free of the family teaching? What does one do? Who does one turn to for community when one’s own family, nation, race is the problem?
The creation of slavery, the rape of a continent of its people, the institution of slavery in this nation, the removal of all original language, custom, culture, etc.,has left the black diaspora with no identity of their own except their skin. for the black diaspora, one's identity s always tied, in this western culture, to whites. One is black because they are white. If one seeks their approval and acceptance, one is defined by them. If one assimilates to their language and culture, one is identified by them. If one decides to appropriate them, modifies their language (Ebonics, etc.) and culture (jazz, fashion, etc) one is still defined by them. If one rebels, and proceeds to fight injustice, one is still defined by them. For America, the black and the white are like the twins Esau and Jacob, bound for life, every wrestling with each other. How does a black in america rise above the description and expectation, yea the traps set to force one into the descriptions for blacks above? How does one constantly tell one's self that one is better than what is socially expected, rules keep changing, the goal posts are consistently moved, etc?
While these were the unposted pseudo-scientific social rules governing life and perspective in Europe and North American, the theological ideas were not so vague and hidden:
“Governnor Theophilus Eaton directly applied the ancient Israelite law codes in the book of Leviticus to his own situation. According to Leviticus 25:45-46, the covenanted Hebrews were under divine mandate: “You may…acquire [slaves] from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. You may keep them as possessions for your children after you, for them to inherit as property. These you may treat and slaves.” Note that Eaton Corrupted the Leviticus code, altering “families that are with you” to include persons who have been snatched from another land.” (Griffin, Paul. Seeds of Racism in the Soul of America. 2000. Pg. 17-18)
“Governor Winthrop was promoting a similar view in Massachusetts…: “It pleased the Lord to open to us a trade with barbados and other islands in the West Indies”. (Ibid. pg. 18)
“The Reverend Cotton Mather…his writings call African slaves “the miserable children of Adam and Noah” who are “the blackest instances of blindness and baseless” and “the most brutish of creatures upon the earth.” Going even further, he argues that “it is God how has caused black people” to “fall into a dreadful condition [of slavery] because they were created the vassals of Satan”. (Ibid. pg. 18)
“John Saffin, a Boston Puritan, and jurist…argues that blacks have neither a legal nor a divine “right to liberty and all outward comforts of life”, because this would “invert the order that God hath set in the world”. God “hath ordained different degrees and orders of men, some ot be high and honorable, some to be low and despicable…others fo be subjects, and tobe commanded…yea,and some to be born slaves, and so remain during their lives”. When Saffin speaks of “high and honorable” it is clear her is referring to the white race, whom he later says was predestined to be the “monarchs, kings, princes and governors, and masters and commanders”. When he speaks of slaves, he claims they were predestined to be the subjects of the the white race. Christians “must not dare to think” that God created human beings “equal and of like dignity” lest they nullify “all the sacred rules, precepts, and commands [that the] Almighty hath given the sons of men to observe and keep their places, orders, and degrees”. (Ibid. pg. 19)
These and others like them wrote and preached in the north. Their Calvinistic doctrine of Election and Predestination enabled them to theologically justify their own personal bias and bigotry. This is the theological backdrop for American slavery, Peonage, Black Codes, Jim Crow, Nixon's documented War of Drug (war on hippies and blacks), redline housing, highe interests rates for people of color, the school-to-prison Pipeline, the Republican Atwater's Southern Strategy, etc., and now "Make America Great Again"
Christianity in America was complicit to the sin of slavery. It is not that slavery is an issue politically, nationally, or governmentally. It is that Christians have historically chosen ethnocentrism, nationalism, capitalism, racism over Christ, and have not only given theological backing some of the planet’s worst evils, but have high-handedly participated in such, under the name of Christ. Sadly, Adventism has not escaped this corruption.