By Lee Parker
My first encounter with slavery was in Christian Summer Bible School, with the telling of the story of Moses. I remember pictures of the little baby in a reed basket, placed in the river so he would not be killed. He was found, nurtured and eventually let the Israelites out of Egypt. We all know the story.
Then there are the stories of African slave traders and those who were sold to the white man. Some call this a blight on American history; others say that throughout history, some men have always seen others as a commodity to be controlled or sold for profit.
What is slavery and why is it such a repeatable occurrence in the history of mankind?
I believe that several forms of slavery exist, and that distinctions can be made between “voluntary” and “involuntary” servitude. Much of history focuses on the involuntary forms of slavery. For example, both the Israelite slaves of the Pharaohs and African slaves of the plantation owners were subjected to involuntary servitude.
Moses awakened the idea that the Israelites could leave Egypt and find a land where they could live in peace without being forced to labor for the Pharaoh. He confronted the Pharaoh with his ungodly behavior, and the resultant plagues continued until Ramses released the Children of Israel. We all know the story of the Red Sea crossing. We also know that after leaving Egypt and facing the rigors of freedom, many of YHWH’s Chosen Children wanted to return to the familiarity of servitude in Egypt. To these people, slavery was more comfortable than freedom.
What some people call a dark spot in American history was the enslavement of the African natives. Seldom is it discussed that many of these men and women were sold by their tribal chiefs; the stigma rests only with the white landowners of a young country.
Many people refuse to even consider that slavery was an acceptable method of obtaining cheep labor in that historical time. The reality does not justify the practice, but it does explain it. Many people also do not realize that by the time of the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery in the United States was in the process of ending on its own. Involuntary servitude proved to be economically unfeasible and so growing numbers of slaves were being given their freedom.
It is an accepted fact that to keep slaves, one must provide for them. This became financially impossible, and so the War of Northern Aggression (Civil War) was NOT about slavery, but rather about industrialization.
A less recognized and discussed form of slavery is found in the principle of voluntary servitude. It is this voluntary state that the Israelites desired when they spoke of returning to Egypt. This is truth: slaves were given their freedom yet continued to work for their masters. Voluntary servitude is the primary form of slavery that exists in modern times.
It is this voluntary state we see all around us today and which so many people support when they say, “This is America and I am free.” America is a modern Egypt that uses people to build corporate pyramids from the labor of those who believe they are free. America is a nation of slaves who volunteer to donate their hard-earned private earnings to a godless private entity known as the Internal Revenue Tax and Audit Service, Inc.
The United States is a slave nation. There is no way around that truth. Regardless of what people say, do and think, the inhabitants of the United States are not free. They comply, cajole, acquiesce, and lick the hands of their imaginary slave-lords in order to perpetrate the lie that in America, the People are superior to their government. America has one of the most effective slave-nations on the face of the earth!
Is slavery defined only by wearing chains and being forced to work in the unrelenting sun, picking cotton? Does slavery mean being forced to build pyramids for the Pharaoh? Is it slavery to be sentenced to years and years in prison for speaking out against your government, all the while working for private industry while incarcerated? Is slavery being forced to pay a portion of the fruit of your sacred labor to a government that violates its own rules and regulations? Is slavery nothing more than voluntarily complying so that you can continue pretending to be free? What exactly is slavery?
The answer is not difficult to understand, even though many of you will probably not like it’s simplicity.
Slavery is lack of choice… nothing more and nothing less. When your choice is removed and replaced with compulsory behavior, then you are no longer free. You are not free to decide for yourself what actions to take. You are not free to fail, not free to succeed, not free to be an individual, and not free to live your life outside the rules and regulations imposed on you by others. Finally, slavery is a state in which you are forced to accept whatever lies the government tells. That is slavery.
It is time for us to leave the plantation and live our lives as free men and women. It is time for us to look the Devil in the face and free ourselves from the chains that limit our choices and our souls. It is time for us to demand that the United States government cease and desist from taking our lives, liberties, and sacred property rights, for the benefit of an industrial complex that demands you keep only enough of your own earnings to buy the goods and lies that it sells.
It is time for us to be free.