What I've learned from slave-owning Georgians
Did you know that when the state of Georgia originally began, owning slaves was already illegal?
Apparently, if you come from out-of-state, and you want to graduate from a University in Georgia, you have to know something about this place and take a little test which proves you do. As I was studying for mine, I was struck by the fact that when Georgia began, owning slaves was illegal. Then, it eventually became a hot topic of debate and tension. And once the plantation system proved to be very profitable, Georgians stopped contesting it. Not only did they accept it, they convinced themselves that slavery was the most beneficial scenario for everyone involved, including black people.
Even though three-fifths of white Georgians at the time never owned any slaves, the situation is still a dark stain on our past with ramifications that this generation is still suffering through, like awful musical collaborations between Brad Paisley and LL Cool J. God help us.
All of this has confirmed a few things to me: People can be convinced of anything when it is convenient. But truth and morality have never been about what is easiest to accept; it has always been about what is right. A person challenging slavery in Georgia during the hay day of plantations would have had a very unpopular opinion, and would have been ostracized for it.
I only hope that would have been me. That I would have been that courageous. And that perhaps you would have joined me.
Today, there are many things that our culture is asking me to accept that I don't see as true, only convenient. I still believe in objective truth, and in a God complete with divine will. I feel my own convictions growing less and less acceptable to others, especially in my understanding of God's design for human sexuality, love, and relationships, which all affect the way society is shaped by issues of marriage, contraception, and abortion.
The thing is, it's not that slavery wasn't beneficial to a lot of people, it's that it was detrimental to the humanity of everyone involved. And with today's issues, it's not that pop culture doesn't have a point, it's just that there is a much bigger one to make.
Reading about how slavery came to be accepted in our own culture's history reminds me once again that truth is not always easy. And I am inspired, because I see that now is as good a time as any to have an unpopular opinion.