Saturday, December 24, 2016

The End of Advent - Christmas Eve Reminder

It was December 24, 1857, 160 years ago, that ancestors of mine had some slaves auctioned off.  They had inherited them, did not want or need them.  Instead of manumitting the slaves, they auctioned them off.  Got about $700 each for them.  That was a lot of money back then.

Word to slaves: "We have some good news and some bad news.  The good news tomorrow is Christmas.  The bad news is today we are selling you down the river."  I wonder who got a slave for Christmas?

A daughter at ten years old was appalled when apprised of this bit of family history.  A teachable moment: "It ain't your roots, it your fruits.  Never mind what crime they did 150 years ago, what's the crime, perfectly legal, even expected, you might do today without a second thought?"

Slave auction yield - good prices.
"Unto the third and fourth generation..."  It was the fourth generation, with the stock crash of 1929, that the family wealth was wiped out, and the pater familias was packed off to the Puzzle House.  My father lived like a Virginia gentleman, which people found overwhelmingly charming.  He could live it on a small liberal college professor's salary.  And he, armed at all times, a .38 police special on the hip and a Derringer at his ankle.  Few knew.  Sic semper tyrannis. A Virginia gentleman.

God is Love.  Without free will, there can be no love.  There is the rub: with free will, we can do anything, good or bad.  The Christmas story is God intervened, given our choices.

What crime, perfect legal, are we doing that requires divine intervention?

Merry Christmas!

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