School Defends Slavery Booklet

Raleigh News & Observer notes:

Students at one of the area’s largest Christian schools are reading a controversial booklet that critics say whitewashes Southern slavery with its view that slaves lived “a life of plenty, of simple pleasures.”

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.

Years ago I lived in the Triangle area. I was getting my Master’s in Latin from the University of North Carolina. For a semester I made a little extra money teaching on Fridays for a “Friday School” for home schoolers. I taught Latin. This was a huge selling point for the school, which billed itself as a “Classical Christian” school and was part of some movement in that direction.

Apparently one of the booklet’s authors wrote the book which inspired that movement.


According to BoingBoing, where I got the story, the school has pulled the booklet because of the controversy.


I had no idea how creeptastic this “Classical Christian Education” stuff was. This is from a PDF made available by Wilson on his web site. The booklet is full of gushing about how important it is to learn Latin and the importance of language and imagination for the Christian mind, all stuff that sounds good, then it comes out with this:

Fundamental to Christian worldview thinking is the biblical notion of antithesis. An antithesis is a sharp juxtaposition of two claims or views. Part of thinking like a Christian means that we aim to rid our outlook of all non-Christian assumptions about the world, history, human nature, knowledge, science, the arts, and every other subject. In its place we seek understanding from God’s revelation on each and every concern, for in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge� (Col. 2:3).

To be a Christian is to be in constant, total war. We have no say in the matter, and no one is exempt from serving. This war is not just some sideline feature of the Christian life. It is the Christian life. Every step toward seeing “every knee bow� before the Lord of glory is an act of war, whether in faithfulness or hatred. Until that point, the war is ruthless and relentless. The horrific enemy onslaught never ceases.

This war is not only constant but total, unconfined, and overwhelming. It is not limited to the daily fight against our own sin but encompasses everything within and without. It is not limited to our own or any one time but rages in every corner of history. It is not limited to our own flesh-and-blood world and history but is driven by dark clashes in heavenly places.

And as this battle moves us all along, killing and maiming, crushing and roaring, much of contemporary Christianity fights with bumper stickers and self-esteem seminars. As the enemy smiles and schemes to ravage our children and decapitate our churches, we try to play down our differences with our attackers and use their institutions as models for our own. As they mock Christ to His face, we learn to relax, take a joke, and create a more entertaining worship atmosphere. The only thing worse than being cut to death in the middle of a war is having it happen without realizing it.

The ironic thing is that, well, if Christians had historically held to this belief, there would be no Classical Christian education because Christians would have rejected wholesale the Classical culture on which the medieval intellectual tradition he so loves is based.

Few actual medieval intellectuals would recognize this kind of bile as having anything to do with themselves.

Of course, he’s not into the medievals that much — he is a very angry, angry Calvinist, and Calvin lived at the dark and chaotic end of medieval civilization, when Christianity was slicing itself to ribbons with the tools of Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric that Wilson idolizes (and I choose that word carefully).


I met a guy at the coffee shop a while ago who works for a Christian school on the north side of town, about eight or nine months ago, and he dropped the Classical Christian Education buzzword. They had been looking for a teacher of Greek I just missed applying for that job, but in retrospect I’m sure glad I did miss it. I do not want to be a part of that kind of thing.

No wonder our country is in such rotten shape, if it’s full of people who respect this kind of thinking. It’s not even thinking, it’s freaking pathology. And apparently it’s everywhere.

And in his happy little slavery booklet Wilson shows some glimmer of the kind of agenda that follows from it.