This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Quaeritur: should Christians keep slaves?

Q: Dear Fr E, I am an Anglican living in Salisbury, and my bishop says that traditionally the Christian churches supported the keeping of slaves. Is it true that Christ kept slaves?

Comedy bishop

"Before Wilberforce, all Christians kept slaves, you know."

Fr E writes: There seems to be no clear Biblical evidence that Christ kept slaves, although as a share-holder in His father's JOKEATM furniture business, He was clearly a wealthy man. JOKEATM flat-pack bookcases and tables were known throughout the Holy Land. And, if they were ever broken, then they were soon repaired (cf. the Miracle of the Healed Chair-leg).

broken table

We're getting our next table from JOKEATM.

However, claims by Anglican bishops that Jesus kept slaves, and even that He used to beat them, seem to be wide of the mark.

According to a Tablet journalist I was talking to, it was compulsory for Catholics to keep slaves until Vatican II, when the windows were thrown open and the slaves were thrown out. So I'm told that we should thank Basil Loftus for the final abolition of slavery.

It's a theological grey area.

Q: I am a "working peer" in the House of Lords, and also a pious Catholic. Although I have no time to go to church, I do make a point of listening to Thought for the Day on my car radio each morning, and I attend charity events such as beer festivals whenever I know a press-reporter will be present.

peer festival

Welcome to the Peer Festival.

Now I am in a real dilemma over the Equal Sex Bill, as I have been getting rude letters and e-mails from the public, of two kinds:

1. Look you half-witted freak, you are supposed to be have some sort of conscience, and it's blindingly obvious that marriage should be between one man and one woman, and not some other ridiculous combination of organisms. Call yourself a Catholic?

2. Look, mate, you don't want us to tell people that you are a homophobic bigot who is out of touch with modern liberal attitudes, do you? We know where you live, you know.

I feel that argument (2) is more persuasive.

peers voting

The House of Lords votes on same-sex marriage.

Fr E writes: Quite right, my son. As a member of the Houses of Parliament, you don't want to start thinking for yourself, do you? Just string together some of the following buzzwords, and you'll have a cast-iron argument for same-sex marriage:

LGBTQIA community.
Equal Marriage.
Elton John.
Queer as a coot.
gay coot

A gay coot with designer babies.

Gay Pride.
Husband and, er, husband.
Alan Turing.
Parent 1, Parent 2 and Parent 3.
François Hollande.
Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street.
There's nowt so queer as folk.
designer baby

Our "designer baby" seems to be a duck.


  1. Darling eccles, I didn't know I should have had a slave - should I confess this? Jess xx

    1. Congratulations for commenting before the comedy deacon (Eccles silly sockpuppet wot is not very convincing anyway). Maybe he has bin put back in the sock drawer?

  2. Another tour of de forest, Bruvver!

  3. By the way, I heard that the Patron Siant of de forest is St. Bernadette Subaru.

    1. No. She is patron saint of Japanese car workers. St Treenian is the patron saint of forests.

  4. Very good, sir. And very funny.

  5. Dear Sir,

    I would like to express my utter disgust at the blatant cootophobia you are peddling on this third rate luvvly blogue.

    Yours approaching a seizure,
    Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, CBE, ACTA and Bah

  6. I had a slave once. She was so hopeless I sent her back. I am a Catholic (oops)

  7. Dear Father E.

    In the light of this luvvly thoelogicality from your blogg, I've been wondering if that fellow Oded was a Prophet in good standing.

    After all, he said that :

    Chronicles II : {28:9} At that time, there was a prophet of the Lord there, named Oded. And going out to meet the army arriving in Samaria, he said to them: “Behold, the Lord, the God of your fathers, having become angry against Judah, has delivered them into your hands. But you have killed them by atrocities, so that your cruelty has reached up to heaven.
    {28:10} Moreover, you wanted to subjugate the sons of Judah and Jerusalem as your men and women servants, which is a work that should never be done. And so you sinned in this matter against the Lord your God.
    {28:11} But listen to my counsel, and release the captives, whom you have brought from your brothers. For a great fury of the Lord is hanging over you.”

    Who is a confussed pusson (unsavd) to believe ?

    Prophet O, or Father E ?

    1. Coulnd't get past the third sentence. Sorry!

  8. This Homerphobia gets me really angry. I love Greek epic poetry. Do the LGBTQ etcs have a law against this as well?

    1. I disagree entirely. Greek epic poetry encourages a suspicion of equines and is therefore racist and equinist and contrary to a propper equal rights agenda for modern Catholics.

    2. Are there any of those funny people left?

  9. "Who's Elton John?"

    A public convenience located in a rather delightful village in Cambridgeshire - so I'm told.

  10. Eccles, good to see you're not a slave to convention...

  11. Should Christians keep slaves? As an interfaith wiccan practitioner in good standing, I am probably in a more authoritative position than a C of E nu-bishop to give an answer - and that answer is YES.

    I myself keep a fake-franciscan ex-vicar from the wrong end of Ardwick in my potting shed. In return, he frightens off the burglars, Jehovahs Witnesses and double glazing salesman by prancing around in my cast-off underwear, singing a selection of Steeleye Span numbers, and allowing several endangered species of blue tits to nest in his beard. This domestic arrangement has the full consent of his luvvly wife, Elaine - she borrows him back on Thursdays to do the heavy weeding on the allotment.

    I know that you soft southern pooves prefer to have attendance danced upon you by comedy deacons, but we northern folk have simple and less pretentious tastes in lunatic stalkers.