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Friday, January 20, 2017

Race Issues 1c: The Curse of Ham - What To Do With It?

The wife of Moses, Zipporah, a Cushite
I endeavored to begin a series on Ham, son of Noah, that was genealogical in its spirit, with the intention of pointing out the supernatural segmenting of the tribes of men.

And so, this week, I have covered the historical Judeo-Christian theme that Ham, son of Noah, became the progenitor of the family of black people. I began with strictly Catholic thoughts on the matter, extending to the 19th Century, and I then pursued this thread into antiquity, citing the Christians of the very first centuries after Christ.

The purpose of this series is not to study the various physical, emotional, or mental features of blacks. It is neither the purpose of this series to justify any ill will towards blacks, nor is the purpose to encourage ethnocentrism or Kinism.

Accepting tradition leads to the most obvious conclusion: that all people are cousins, to one degree or another, in one family under our first parents, Adam and Eve. We are not aliens to one another. We are not separate species--as angels are to humans. We are special creatures that are above the beasts. And so, whatever signigicant benchmarks happen to men, God has had a hand in it.

For what is the alternative to this view? Shall we consider Darwinism?

Origin Of The Species 

Simultaneous belief in a creation through the vehicle of evolution is not merely "a philosophical slippery slope," but a direct train ride into a pit of darkness.  For if we are to believe in a gradual origin of the species--if the major phenotypes of men are chosen based on natural selection--then what we are dealing with in terms of mankind is not a human family, but a vast set of subspecies.

Indeed, with evolution, we can now begin relating to men the same way we refer to other organisms in the zoological tree. Consider Darwin's take on this:
"Our naturalist would then perhaps turn to geographical distribution, and he would probably declare that those forms must be distinct species, which differ not only in appearance, but are fitted for hot, as well as damp or dry countries, and for the arctic regions. He might appeal to the fact that no species in the group next to man- namely, the Quadrumana, can resist a low temperature, or any considerable change of climate; and that the species which come nearest to man have never been reared to maturity, even under the temperate climate of Europe. He would be deeply impressed with the fact, first noticed by Agassiz,* that the different races of man are distributed over the world in the same zoological provinces, as those inhabited by undoubtedly distinct species and genera of mammals. This is manifestly the case with the Australian, Mongolian, and Negro races of man; in a less well-marked manner with the Hottentots; but plainly with the Papuans and Malays, who are separated, as Mr. Wallace has shewn, by nearly the same line which divides the great Malayan and Australian zoological provinces." 
Should survival of the fittest be the order of the day, then we have the duty to promote the fittest and discourage the less fit. If we are to believe in man's evolution, then verily, we should do our utmost to engineer a master race of human beings who hold the maximum potential for attaining salvation, unlike lesser sub-species in the zoological tree of mankind who are too clumsy to achieve it.

And thus, you have racial supremacy. And with racial supremacy comes the process of weeding out the weak and promoting the strong, which is not a Christian philosophy whatsoever.

The Creation of Ethiopians 

Though the Curse of Ham has been a belief among Christians, it is, of course, apocraphal.  There is no other place in the Scriptures themselves that alludes to a possible curse on black people.  Of course, neither do the Holy Scriptures go into any detail about the antediluvian civilization of men, the full story behind the race of ancient giants, dinosaurs, the cosmos, the shape and nature of subatomic particles--and an infinite amount of other topics.

Like many facts and teachings in Christendom, this line of thought--the story of the Curse of Ham upon all of his descendants--has been passed through tradition.

How does a black person cope with this, if true?

For starters, when it comes to this matter, God Himself makes no official proclamations about the descendants of Ham.  The "Ethiopians," as blacks were once called, are not given any special instructions, nor are they told by the Almighty what to think of themselves.

Solomon welcomes the Queen of Sheba
God does not tell the rest of humanity that it is their duty or right to enslave these people.  He does not command that the rest of the tribes of men treat this group like pariahs. He does not even forbid the gentiles from intermarrying with them, should they so choose.

Without a doubt, the Almighty foresaw that black men would have enough of a social stigma, due mostly to their skin color. These people, in the very first days, felt outcast enough to travel so very far away from Mesopatamia, beyond the desert, all the way to Cush--the land between the cataracts of the Nile.

However, whatever the popular opinion has been in the past, the Catholic Church has sought to establish the right and proper way for all men to coexist.

If one is to follow the tradition of Christianity, then it will not do to cover one's ears and pretend this chapter in history does not exist.  This is the attitude of a modernist who refuses to believe in the "Curse of Eden," when God told men they would have to labor among thorns, and women would have to be subservient.

What is important is having a correct and holy perspective on "the creation of Ethiopians."

Black pharaohs who ruled Egypt
God fashioned men, and He knew what we would and would not be able to handle. He knew that black Africans would be able to carry on in spite of their circumstance.  In fact, He wanted these people to be challenged, else He wouldn't have allowed it.  And, in meeting their challenges, it is possible for this tribe of people to achieve unique graces that others might not have a chance to try for.

Had God thought otherwise, would He have allowed men to segment in this way? He knows best. Not only this, but there are lessons to be learned when two people come together in spite of differences. Consider the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"On coming into the world, man is not equipped with everything he needs for developing his bodily and spiritual life. He needs others. Differences appear tied to age, physical abilities, intellectual or moral aptitudes, the benefits derived from social commerce, and the distribution of wealth. The "talents" are not distributed equally. These differences belong to God's plan, who wills that each receive what he needs from others, and that those endowed with particular "talents" share the benefits with those who need them. These differences encourage and often oblige persons to practice generosity, kindness, and sharing of goods; they foster the mutual enrichment of cultures."
-CCC #1936, 1937 
The "Ethiopians" have offered the world much, and vice versa. As a matter of fact, they were some of the first gentiles to convert to Christianity. And as far as America is concerned, the country would be far poorer without their physical, material, and cultural contributions.

A Nubian slave
If slavery ever was an issue, it should not be now. Erroneous were the efforts, on the part of 19th Century slave traders and the early Mohammedans, to justify their commerce by citing the Curse of Ham.  Their rationalization was not a holy perspective on "the creation of Ethiopians."

Blacks should not believe themselves to be a race of men consigned to perpetual slavery in this life. For, as I stated in my first post in this series, the Catholic Church has condemned the practice. The saints condemn slavery, Pope Gregory XVI condemns it in an apostolic letter, any Catholics supporting slavery have been repudiated, and slavery is known to be an excommunicable sin.

Furthermore, if there ever was any kind of a spiritual weight on the children of Ham, it is lifted with the Sacrifice of our Lord. With the coming of Jesus Christ, the distinctions between the Jew and gentile, freeman and slave, men and women, are lifted. We are all sons of the same Divine Father.

Conclusion 

A sober look back at traditional Christian history, with a right and holy perspective, can yield better fruits than the historical revisionism of today's modernists.

Belief in evolution is a horrible trap in this kind of an argument, and ignoring this part of mankind's story is a blind approach to the past.

St. Martin de Porres
Christian tradition holds Ham responsible for the creation of black people. Enraged at his son, Noah appears to have initiated a curse upon his own descendants, and it has stuck ever since.  God did not initiate Noah's curse.  Noah did.  The builder of the Ark is the fall guy.

Yet, for some purpose, God must have had some kind of a hand in the transformation of men.  Mortal men have no magical power.  A man cannot wave his hand and transform the characteristics of other men.  God must have been involved to some kind of a degree.

The Holy Spirit can infuse grace in real and valuable objects, as well as individuals, couples, families, ethnicities, and countries.  So, what was His aim?  Why would God create a line of men so different from the rest of His human family?

The Catechism states that "benefits are derived from social commerce," that talents "are not distributed equally," and that differences between men oblige them to practice generosity and kindness, with a mutual enrichment of one another.

Therefore, I say to black people everywhere that their legend has endowed them with gifts and graces that can enrich the world, and it would behoove them all to conquer their weaknesses, as we all must, and meet the with the other nations and tribes of men in generosity and good will--just as the rest of mankind is obliged to do for them and each other.

In the end, together, the nations shall walk in the light of God's glory in His City:
And the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into it.  And the gates thereof shall not be shut by day: for there shall be no night there.  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.  There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.Revelations 21:24-27

The kings of the earth shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into The City of God.

4 comments:

  1. Yes, indeed.

    I was kind of worried when I saw the topic of the series, but as usual you gave a very intelligent analysis on a complex topic.

    And looking through your post post, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you were a veteran from Fisheaters and SuscipeDomine. You probably don't remember me, but I'm Hiero. I haven't been on either forum in a long time, but it's cool seeing old faces again.

    Once again, good work.

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  2. The Remnant should publish these posts! Excellent work Hirsch!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You forgot to mention indentured servants died at a rate of 99 for every 1 slave that died
    Indentured servants were treated in an especially cruel sadistic manner as opposed to slaves who were a lifelong investment.(from the masters perspective)
    In 1860 slaves were only 5%-6% of the entire population of the USA/CSA.
    African Tribal Chiefs kidnapped & sold their people to mainly Muslim & Jewish slave merchants.
    The Dutch & Portuguese slave ships were mainly Marrano Jews.

    ReplyDelete