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2.20.2019

Saving Paradise, nuggets of immense wealth and piles of manure. Here is a nugget.....

Rev. William Ellery Channing (1780-1842), preached that the human capacities for reason, affection, imagination, will, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity, and moral conscience reflected the imago dei. He said that Christ came to restore the obscured image of God in humanity, the "impulse to what is divine within us." The divine likeness in humanity was found not in supernatural or miraculous gifts but in the human faculties of "understanding, conscience, love, and the moral will." 42 Channing's parishioners applied his imago dei preaching to a range of issues. Margaret Fuller advocated for women's rights. Elizabeth Palmer Peabody started a movement for early childhood education that treated children with reverence. Horace Mann labored to establish free public education for all children, who without it would be inhibited from growing their souls. Lydia Maria Child protested Indian removal and agitated for an end to slavery. She pushed Channing to see that his theology required him to support the antislavery cause. However, Channing's elite Boston congregation was full of merchants whose wealth was built on the labor of slaves, and he was reluctant to call for abolition. For most of his ministry, he protected the comfortable life of his congregants and his affectionate relationships with them. When he finally took a strong, public antislavery stand in 1841, near the end of his life, it cost him his pulpit in a congregation he had served for nearly forty years. 43 Though Channing eventually took a costly stand, his caution in publicly supporting abolition was typical of elite white Christians, who advocated some social reforms but balked at those that would disrupt their privileged identity as "true Americans." That identity, forged by genocide and slavery, maintained Anglo-Saxon economic, social, and political superiority in relationship to African Americans and Native Americans. Many, though morally troubled by slavery, were reluctant jg6 Saving Paradise to relinquish its economic advantages. Slaveholding Quaker families in Maryland and Pennsylvania enjoyed wealth and prominence. 44 White women werejust as inclined as white men to advocate for the end of slavery while also wishing to preserve racial hierarchies. Though many white women labored...  

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