The imprecision of condemning slavery

The text of the 13th Amendment:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Notice that the condemnation of slavery is not absolute, but conditional. Hence the “except as” clause. Failure to recognize this leads to misinterpretations and distortions of our past, our laws, and the meaning of Scripture.

1 Comment

  1. Dan said,

    December 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I’d be interested to hear you expand on this if you get the chance.

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