Terry's post about President's Day, including some of the less known facts about President Lincoln and the Civil War, has given me a chance to present something about why our nation's Civil War was so bloody, while other nations did not participate in the carnage--most notably Great Britain under the leadership of great men like Wilberforce.
Specifically, let's take a look at a bit from the biography of Robert E. Lee, specifically the circumstances around the inheritance of the Lee-Custis estate (now Arlington National Cemetery), and a less known fact about Lee; while there is evidence he knew slavery was wicked, and while his father-in-law provided for the liberation of his slaves, Lee ended up treating them cruelly in an effort to pay off his father-in-law's debts.
And so we have one big reason why the institution could thrive among even those (Washington, Jefferson, Lee, Lincoln's in-laws) who abhorred it; they were collateral for the debts of the owners. And so, bound by chains of debt and pretended honor, they plunged into an abyss of war.
Thankfully, we're not on the brink of civil war (I hope), but in an age when chains of debt are strangling our economy and transforming our politics, I think it is a lesson we'd do well to heed. It is not for no reason that the Bible says that the borrower is servant (Latin "servus," meaning "slave") to the lender.
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