We're a hawk on the issues.

Right-Wing History Redo: ‘It Was Faith, Not the Federal Government that Ended Slavery’

Last week, Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint decided to redo history when he declared the Federal Government was not truly the force behind the end to slavery. Instead, according to the former South Carolina GOP senator, slave-owning Americas simply had a change of heart thanks to their faith.

In a rambling explanation that confused the Constitution with the Declaration of Independence and credited a British abolitionist dead before the Civil War even occurred, DeMint told Vocal Point listeners that the current focus on government over-regulation was wrong and “no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves.”

He then told listeners what had really happened when slavery was ended.

“Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people,” he said. “Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God.”

Not at all discouraged by the fact he had just mixed up the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution, he continued on, “But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong.”

While DeMint is right that some pastors took up the anti-slavery fight in the north, in the south, the Bible, which contains passages encouraging slaves to be submissive to their masters, was waved heavily in the pro-slavery cause.

Still undeterred by the facts, DeMint then declared a British abolitionist who was long dead when the Civil War commenced was one of the brave and valiant faith-fighters that helped bring an end to slavery once and for all.

“People like Wilberforce who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people,” he said, hailing the efforts of the British abolitionist as proof of his claims that the faith of the American people, and not the federal actions such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, was the real reason slavery was ended after all.

Photo Credit: US Congress

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.

  • ted

    Oh for goodness sake, why do we have morons in position of power?! WHY?! Fire this idiot!

  • Dewenda Cooper

    Do this lying idiot not remember that it was mostly white ” Christians” that owned slaves and justified it by claiming blacks were a decendants of Cain who God marked to be a slave thoughout generations. I grew up during a time when it was so called white Christians that spewed more hate than any group of people under the guise of blacks being inferior to whites. This is why the kkk was empowered with burning crosses and declaring this is justified by God allowing slavery. Yes there were a lot of loving, caring true Christians that sympathized with the slaves and sought to abolish it, but i guarantee he and his lying kind are not!. To spout this lying rhetoric even in this day and age is a sign that the republiklans are still trying to justfy their hate by using lies to gain people`s trust.

  • pam

    SOOOO full of SHIT! DANG

  • liberalinlove

    As an Evangelical Christian, I am fed up with revisionist history. You can’t invent a christian nation in the image of how you want it to be. We have a pluralistic society, have always had, with justice sought by atheists, deists, “christians” humanitarians etc.

    We have enough injustice at the hands of “christians” to be called to account for, that we should not have to add lying to the record.

  • Debra Ranson

    WOW! And people will actually believe this crap!

  • Dennis Augello

    Doesn’t god condone slavery in the bible?