Re: God and Man on the Right (Heather Mac Donald & Ross Douthat)
I find Heather's arguments very odd and ahistorical. She maintains that we should embrace the ideas of Locke, Hume, etc., and that the church is morally deficient for having failed to condemn slavery. Well, weren't her favored persons rather cosy with slavery? Didn't John Locke publish a defense of slavery? And here we're talking explicitly about the race-based slavery that we find specially abhorrent today.
Here's a nice piece from David Hume:
I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all the other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites. There never was a civilized nation of any other complexion than white, nor even any individual eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufactures amongst them, no arts, no sciences. On the other hand, the most rude and barbarous of the whites, such as the ancient GERMANS, the present TARTARS, have still something eminent about them, in their valour, form of government, or some other particular. Such a uniform and constant difference could not happen, in so many countries and ages, if nature had not made an original distinction betwixt these breeds of men. Not to mention our colonies, there are Negroe slaves dispersed all over EUROPE, of which none ever discovered any symptoms of ingenuity; tho’ low people, without education, will start up amongst us, and distinguish themselves in every profession. In JAMAICA indeed they talk of one negroe as a man of parts and learning; but ‘tis likely he is admired for very slender accomplishments, like a parrot, who speaks a few words plainly.
I don't think that you would find that 18th century England was a place where slavery was under siege by the Enlightenment and defended by the religious.