Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

How does douglass feel about his christianity of his land, and the christianity of christ


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In the Appendix, Douglass sought to clarify his views on religion. What he said about religion in the Narrative only applied to the "slaveholding religion of this land, and with no reference whatsoever to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference – so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked." The "religious pomp and show" of slaveholders' Christianity disgusted him. He loathed the fact that "we have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members." There was an incredible amount of hypocrisy and prevarication. Slaveholders denied slaves the opportunity to read the Bible, to keep their families intact, to learn the name of the God who made them, and more. The auctioneer's bell chimed at the same time as the church bell.

The picture of Christianity in America was a bleak one. Douglass criticizes these Christians as being like the Pharisees of the Bible. He noted their willingness to sacrifice but not to show mercy, their professions of love of God but their hatred towards their brethren.