Leaders at Cary Christian School say they are not condoning slavery by using "Southern Slavery, As It Was," a booklet that attempts to provide a biblical justification for slavery and asserts that slaves weren't treated as badly as people think.
Principal Larry Stephenson said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery.
I've checked the school's web site, and not surprisingly, every single picture is of a white child. Statistics are not available on the site, but I'm guessing that there are not a lot of African Americans enrolled.
While I agree that an attempt to understand the past necessitates a presentation of the philosophy that led to such things as slave-holding, there are much more intelligent, honest ways to present such information. Using Uncle Tom's Cabin as the straw man against which the school is presenting another view is a specious argument; in the 140 years since the end of the war, vast amounts of scholarship have been done that document how the North profited from Southern slavery even when it condemned it. Any history teacher worth his or her salt knows this; Cary's administrators are propagandists, not historians. There were reasons that the South went to war, but defending slavery is an abomination.
I'm assuming that the following topics will be covered in Cary's curriculum in the coming year:
"Putting Jews to Sleep: Why gas was a humane way to deal with the Jews according to biblical principles."
"Native Americans were pagans: Wounded Knee as justified by the Old Testament."
"Paul Told Women To Shut Up: The biblical perspective on beating the crap out of your wife."
Thanks to Jo for alerting me to the story.