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Clarence J. McLeod

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Clarence J. McLeod
Clarence J. McLeod, 12-8-20 LCCN2016844848 (cropped).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 13th district
In office
November 2, 1920 – March 3, 1921
Preceded byCharles A. Nichols
Succeeded byVincent M. Brennan
In office
March 4, 1923 – January 3, 1937
Preceded byVincent M. Brennan
Succeeded byGeorge O'Brien
In office
January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1941
Preceded byGeorge O'Brien
Succeeded byGeorge O'Brien
Personal details
Born(1895-07-03)July 3, 1895
Detroit, Michigan
DiedMay 15, 1959(1959-05-15) (aged 63)
Detroit, Michigan
Political partyRepublican

Clarence John McLeod (July 3, 1895 – May 15, 1959) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

McLeod was born in Detroit, the son of a well-to-do Scottish father who had served as Collector of Internal Revenue in Detroit. He attended the public schools and the University of Detroit. He graduated with an LL.B. from the Detroit College of Law in 1918. He was a member of Delta Theta Phi.

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  • ✪ Bernadette Brooten lectures on slavery in the Catholic Church
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- So, good afternoon everyone. Welcome to Rehm Library. I'm Tom Landy, I'm the director of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. The McFarland Center sponsors and supports programming that explores issues of meaning, morality and mutual obligation. I'm grateful as always to Professor Benny Liew, the class of 1956 Professor in New Testament Studies for his support, for his co-sponsorship, and for suggesting and leading things on the event today. I'm very happy to introduce Professor Bernadette Brooten to speak on How Catholicism Changed from Official Approval of Slavery to Prohibiting It. Professor Brooten's lecture is especially timely given the discussions we've had on campus over the last year about Holy Cross's own history with the institution of slavery. As many of you know, Father Thomas Mulledy sold 272 slaves belonging to the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus in 1838, to reduce a substantial debt at Georgetown University, where he'd previously served as president, and to begin an endowment for the formation program of young American Jesuits, which had some implications for Holy Cross. Only a few years later, he became Holy Cross's first founding, the founding president. Likewise, the Healy brothers, those remarkable in most ways, very many ways, early graduates of the college, were still in the eyes of the state of Georgia legally slaves when they were students here at Holy Cross. They were also themselves the owners of slaves whose sale eventually benefited the college when the Fenwick fire almost closed us down. You can only imagine what Catholic teaching on slavery meant to some of our most outstanding early students and to the faculty in those years. In her talk today, Professor Brooten will trace the church's changing position on slavery from references in the New Testament and early canon law that fully tolerated slavery, to the current teachings that prohibit it absolutely. Bernadette Brooten is the Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies at Brandeis University. The position is one of a pair of professorships endowed by the Kraft and Hiatt families, New England Patriot's owner Robert Kraft, his late wife Myra Hiatt-Kraft, and her mother and her father, the great Holy Cross benefactor, Jacob Hiatt. Its purpose was to promote Jewish-Christian understanding on both campuses. The other position is the Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Judaic Studies, held here by our own Alan Avery-Peck. Bernadette Brooten is also Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, of Classical Studies and of Religious Studies at Brandeis. She's Founder and Director of the Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project, which aims to create Jewish, Christian and Muslim sexual ethics rooted in freedom, mutuality, meaningful consent, responsibility and pleasure, untainted by slave-holding values of the early church. Professor Brooten has edited Beyond Slavery: Overcoming its Religious and Sexual Legacies, published in 2010. She's author of Women Leaders in the Ancient Synagogue: Inscriptional Evidence and Background Issues, and Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, for which she received three awards. She's been published on various topics in ancient Jewish and early Christian history. She's been a visiting scholar with Harvard's Women's Studies in Religion program, a MacArthur Fellow, and she's held several fellowships in the Harvard Law School, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies and many other agencies, so please join me in welcoming Bernadette Brooten. (applauding) - I am very, very happy to be here. I'm very happy to see my colleagues and to meet new colleagues. To the students I want to say you have a very impressive faculty in this department, and so I'm really, especially honored to be able to speak to you and that was a perfect introduction because the very first thing I was planning to speak about was indeed, Georgetown and the way it is seeking to repair the damage. So some of this has already been said, but I don't know how to pronounce the name, President DeGioia - [Tom] DeGioia. - DeGioia. DeGioia has announced a mass of apology for slavery, and especially to the descendants of 272 enslaved workers whom Georgetown sold to pay its debts, as well as preferential admission to those descendants. This is a major step forward, significant especially because very few religious leaders, orders or denominations have ever acknowledged the harms of past actions. The Sisters of Loretto and the Arch Bishop of Canterbury have similarly apologized for their past slave holding and I think that this new move sets a precedent so that other schools or religious orders, churches will begin assessing their own past involvement in slavery, if they have one. I'd now like the slide of the defendants. Okay. Yes, is that coming up? Yes, okay. There are further steps that need to be taken, however. The descendants of these 272 human beings noted that although they had asked to be included in the panel at Georgetown that made concrete recommendations, Georgetown had not included them. These descendants are asking, among other things, for tuition scholarships, and not simply preferential admissions, a much better endowed institute to study slavery than Georgetown has planned, and a clear public description of the horrors that their ancestors' enslavement entailed. The pain and the legacies of slavery are still with us. What I'd like to ask, I'd like to look together with you today, is how did Georgetown arrive at this place? What were the steps, the moves within Christianity, and Catholicism specifically, that led to what we now have, what we're now experiencing, which is a very significant move. And slavery, like other institutions has experienced change, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. So from the Bible through 1866, slavery is considered fully acceptable. From the late 19th century until 2016, slavery is wrong, even a sin. So ancient Israelite slave law changes over time, and I am working here with what is called the Documentary Hypothesis, which I know that your professors would be teaching you, which is that the, rather than being written by one person at one time, the Pentateuch was written over time, and there are changes from one set of laws to another set of laws. There are three major sets of laws in the Pentateuch, and each of them has a discussion of slavery. So from Exodus to Deuteronomy we have gender equality within slavery, okay, if you can call it that. So in Exodus 21:2-11 we have discussion of certain guidelines, rules, law for slave holding Israelites, and there we read that a Hebrew daughter sold into slavery is not freed after six years, as the Hebrew men are, and so scholars have noticed this difference and have wondered, did that always stay the same, did it change? When we get to Deuteronomy 15:12-18, both enslaved Hebrew men and women are to be freed after six years, so there's a change, and that's what I'm calling kind of a gender equality, that both enslaved men and enslaved women, Hebrew enslaved men and enslaved women were supposed to be let go, given freedom after six years. And another change between Exodus and Deuteronomy is equally significant, and is an improvement. When a person leaves slavery after six years, their master is supposed to give them generously from the flock, so that would be goats, sheep usually, wine and grain so that they don't start out destitute. So that's very important. If people are emancipated and they have no means wherewith to start a new life, they're kind of homeless. What are they going to do? We do have to be cautious, however, because the question is, there's always slippage between the law and the reality. So people don't always follow the law. Jeremiah rails against the Israelites for this, and he says to the people of his time, "Your ancestors did not free enslaved persons after six years." So your ancestors didn't follow this at all, but, "You yourselves repented," so at some point, some Israelites came around to doing it, "You freed your enslaved laborers, "but then you turned around and subjugated them again." So you know, that may be closer to the reality, but there was an ideal. So there are changes between Deuteronomy and Leviticus. So in Leviticus 25:39-46, a very important move happens. First of all, try to prevent slavery. It is very good advice. It's moving advice for today. Help people economically so that they are not at risk of human trafficking, or of the father selling the daughter. One leading expert on contemporary slavery says "If you want to help a girl in Thailand "so that she won't be sold into slavery, "buy her father a boat." So if the father has the means of sustenance, he's less likely to sell the daughter into slavery, and Leviticus says just this kind of thing. So try to prevent slavery to start with, and that's how it opens. Then, you should treat those, your brother, your sister, i.e. fellow Israelites who sell themselves to you. So you try to do everything to prevent it, but if they do sell themselves to you, you shall treat them as hired laborers, not as slaves. So he's saying there shouldn't even be slavery at all, or they shouldn't be treated that way at all. That's clearly an improvement over the earlier laws, but there's a catch. You may enslave foreigners forever. You may pass them on as a legacy to your children. So that raises the question whether the other statutes, what did they have to do with non-Israelite enslaved persons? Well, they said Hebrew, so they clearly didn't apply. So in the Bible, in the statutes, we have very clear guidelines for the treatment of enslaved Hebrews. We have none for the treatment of enslaved foreigners. Okay, within the New Testament, we also see changes over time, and here I am working with the widely accepted view that again, I'm sure your teachers teach you, that of the letters attributed to Paul, some are clearly by Paul himself and some are disputed. So some think that some of his students followed a widespread practice in the ancient world, namely to write in their teacher's name, as they remembered it, or as they interpreted it, and then attribute it to that person. So here we have an example in Paul, Paul's letter, the first letter to the Corinthians 7:21-22, "Let each of you remain in the condition "in which you were called." So that means called to follow Christ. "Were you a slave when called? "Do not be concerned about it." So what does that mean, do not be concerned about it? You don't mind if you're enslaved? Or it's not going to make a difference for you in the church? It's not fully clear. "Even if you can gain your freedom, "use your becoming free," or make use of your present condition now more than ever. There are very few Greek phrases that could be interpreted as the same and the opposite. (chuckles) And this one is one of those. So this phrase, mallon chresai could be don't worry if you have come in in a state of servitude, but if you have the chance to get out, someone offers to pay what needs to be paid, and you have an opportunity, then do it. Or, even if you have the opportunity to get out, make use of your present condition. So in other words, the point is that following Christ is the most important thing and not your status. So we see here simply some ambiguity and this passage has been interpreted in more than one way in more than one time. So I am considering the letter to the Colossians to be written by a student of Paul. Some scholars think it was by Paul, and here we have in a larger passage that concerns wives in relation to their husbands. The wives should subordinate themselves to their husbands, the husbands should love their wives. Children in relation to their parents, the children should obey their parents in all things and the father should not be overly harsh with the children, and this part concerns slavery. In a recent article that I published, I have argued that we need to read the whole thing intersectionally, so when it says slaves, what if it's a child? Then how does the child obey the parent if the child is to obey the master and they conflict. Or wives obey, be subordinate to your husbands, but what if you're both enslaved and the master will not allow you to do what you wish? So in other words, I'd like to put it in the broader context and especially alert you to the fact that these can be female or male, they can be children or adults. "Slaves, obey your earthly masters," and the Greek term used here is kyrios and the plural kyrioi, "in everything, not only while being watched "and in order to please them, "but wholeheartedly fearing the Lord," kyrios. So throughout, the word for master and the word for the Lord is the same word, and that would be significant when reading this in Greek. "Whatever your task, put yourselves into it "as done for the Lord and not for your masters, "since you know that from the Lord "you will receive the inheritance as your reward; "you serve the Lord Christ." So some scholars have argued that these household codes were essentially lifted from the Greco-Roman world and brought into Christianity, but that they're really not foundationally Christian. I would point out, however, I don't agree with that position, and I would point out that this is heavily theologized. It's about the Lord, so it's constantly about the Lord. You please, you obey your masters, but you're always thinking of the Lord. And when you work, do it for the Lord, and not just for the masters. "Since you know that from the Lord "you will receive the inheritance as your reward; "you serve the Lord Christ." I want to say a word about, I want to say a word about some work that I have done, collaborative work in the Feminist Sexual Ethics project that was published, as was mentioned earlier. I worked with a woman from Sudan who was captured as a young girl and carried into slavery in Khartoum, the capital, where she was kept in slavery for six years, and she finally had a rare occasion to escape, in Britain, actually. And she had already written her narrative of what it was like, her life was like before slavery and what it was like during slavery. She is one who says six years. When we looked at some commentary on the Exodus passage, she said, "These people have never talked to anyone "who was in slavery. "The way that scholars wrote about six years, "well six years. "They don't know what it's like "to be in slavery for six years." And when I read this passage with her, the whole passage with the husbands and the wives, the parents and the children, and the enslaved persons and the masters, with respect to this part, she said, "This is irrelevant. "This is totally irrelevant. "You don't obey your master because someone "tells you to in church, you obey your master "because you are terrified." Wow. The part of the code that most disturbed her was children, obey your parents. She said, "How could I obey my parents? "I was taken from my parents. "How could I do that?" That was the part that most touched her, and it showed me the value of working with persons that the situation of slavery is not the same slavery as today, there are many differences, but there are some commonalities, and to see her perspective, and it made me aware of the necessity of working with people who have these experiences. So the Colossians then goes on, "For the wrongdoer will be paid back "for whatever wrong has been done, "and there is no partiality. "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, "for you know that you also have a Master in heaven," a kyrios in heaven. Now the question is, what does justly and fairly mean? In Exodus, Deuteronomy and Leviticus, the lawgivers spelled that out. This isn't spelled out. It just says justly and fairly. At this point in history, and through much of history, a man was allowed to beat his wife, beat his children, and beat his enslaved laborers. It was not considered contrary to Christian teaching, but rather a correction that would be necessary to make them more virtuous. So we see throughout the early church and of course, later also, that beating, whipping was not seen as contrary to justly and fairly. Okay, so let me move on now to some of the sources of early canon law. So I would argue, and this has echoes today, that the penalty for one's killer denotes the value of one's life. It's one measure of how society values a person, namely how they will treat a person who killed that person. Going back to Exodus, we see that there is a law concerning this, namely, "When a man strikes his slave, "male or female with a rod, and he dies there and then "he must be avenged." So in law one would call this proximate cause, so in other words, if the person dies immediately it is clear that the death was a result of the beating. "But if he survives a day or two, "he is not to be avenged, since he is the other's property." Property here in Hebrew is (speaks foreign language), which means silver. It's good to also translate it as since he is the other's money. So that would be, based on the assumption that the person could have died for another reason, and not as a result of the killing, of the beating, so they would not have a proximate cause there. Okay, so let's move ahead to Elvira. I was in Elvira this summer, in Andalusia, in Southern Spain. It is spectacular. Andalusia is really great. I highly recommend it. (chuckles) So, there was a synod there of bishops and elders held around the year 306, and this is one of the canons. "If a woman," who this obviously refers only to a Christian woman, because the canons can't address anyone outside of the church, "overcome with jealous rage, "flogs her slave woman with lashes," and the kind of instrument used is a rod with multiple thongs, and they sometimes had metal embedded in the thongs, or sometimes bones embedded. So anyone who picked up this type of flogging instrument would know it could result in death. "So that she dies within three days," so that echoes Exodus, but it extends the time further, "in a state of severe physical pain, "but whether she killed her intentionally "or accidentally is doubtful." So whether it was murder or whether it was homicide but not with intent. "If it was intentional, she shall be "readmitted to communion after seven years "of prescribed penitential acts," so communion could have both the meaning of not being allowed to participate in the Eucharist, which of course would be horrible for someone not to be able to participate in that central ritual. It can also mean not even being allowed in the church, in the sanctuary, and we have evidence of this elsewhere, of people doing penance in front of the church or in the atrium of the church, so there are levels of penance. We don't know what kind of prescribed penitential acts are here, but we have some clues from other canons in other places, "and if it was accidental, "after five years of prescribed penitential acts. "In the event that she becomes ill within the set period, "let her receive communion." Okay. So we have a woman who has killed another human being, she is excluded from communion for seven years if it was intentional, and five if it was unintentional. If we compare, yeah, okay, I'm going to go back to that. I'm actually not going to talk about that, I'm going to talk about something else for a moment. If we compare other canons at the same synod, we find that other canons are much harsher. For example, if parents allow their daughter to marry a pagan, they will be excluded forever. So there're other penalties that are considered to be much, much more serious than killing an enslaved laborer. And then there are some that are less, for you be excluded for a year, or be excluded for three years, but there definitely are others that exclude for life, and then sometimes the life is they don't ever get back, or sometimes at their deathbed they would be readmitted. Now notice that neither this nor the New Testament spoke of whether the enslaved persons are Christians or not. So within Colossians, certainly, the enslaved person would be Christian or Christ believer because they're the ones to whom one speaks. With the masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, so that could be if you own enslaved Christ believers or if you own persons of other religious practices, whereas Exodus, Deuteronomy and Leviticus distinguished between Hebrew and foreigner, the early church does not distinguish, and this continues. So in other words, Christians who are enslaved do not have preference. There are no advantages given to them. So I have looked at this from a legal standpoint, and also in the context of ancient Roman law, and the question here is are the circumstances that are outlined mitigating or aggravating? In other words, if you have an aggravated circumstance, that would mean that that makes this crime much worse. If you have a mitigating circumstance, that means that you would be treated more leniently in court. So I looked at each of the elements. The rage is likely aggravating, meaning that because she killed the woman in rage, that likely makes it worse. The type of whip used is also likely aggravating because one knows what this whip is capable of doing. Dying in excruciating pain is also likely aggravating, and the jealous rage, one might think, well, jealous rage, so that likely implies some kind of jealousy over sexual behavior, so a very common scenario in the ancient world and in fact, in any slave system that I have seen, I have not studied all, but in those that I have studied, where you have slavery, you have sexual access to enslaved persons, usually women, but also men and boys. And so it could be that the mistress of the house found out that her slave woman was sleeping with the master, and instead of turning the anger against her husband, who was the more powerful one, she turned her anger against the enslaved woman, and so that would be jealous rage. Now could one argue that because it was jealous rage it was like a crime of passion? And therefore it would be a mitigating circumstance, and I argue that it is likely not mitigating. So that has lots of implications. If I am correct, this canon refers only to the most egregious killing of a slave woman by her mistress, not to a death resulting from a more normal whipping. So in other words, each of these elements is so specific that I think we cannot take it as referring to every killing, it's these very specific circumstances and it could well have been a case that a bishop or an elder brought to the Synod of Elvira and said, "You know, what should I do? "This happened in my church, what should I do about it?" There is one other canon from the Synod of Elvira and it concerns homicide that involved sorcery, so that is heavily punished, likely because of the sorcery. So nevertheless, this is relatively light in comparison with others. Let's turn now to another, oh, and by the way, that canon made its way into the Medieval Code of Canon Law, the Corpus of Canon Law that was in effect from the Middle Ages to 1918. The Synod of Ankyra in 314 in Galatia, Asia Minor, so across the Mediterranean, way to the other side. Here we have voluntary murderers who are excluded from communion until their deathbed, so that might be more what we would expect, that a homicide would be treated in that way by the congregation. Involuntary homicides are closer to the Synod of Elvira, exclusion for five or seven years. So again, later, the codes, the canons of the synods and so forth that created these, promulgated these canons in the early church are spread around disparate over time, so we're piecing together a picture. So this is much later, 517, 306, 517, we are much later, but there we find a canon. "If one kills his or her own slave "without the permission of a judge, "he or she must do a penance of two years "for the bloodshed." Uh-huh. Okay, that is a very light penalty. What does the permission of the judge mean? It apparently means that one would have to bring the case concerning what the enslaved person had done, that the master believes merits death, the death penalty, and then the judge would give permission or not judge give permission, and so what if a person does it without going to the judge? It also implies that judges are giving permission for such killings. They must do a penance of two years for the bloodshed. That is a very light penalty. So in Medieval Canon Law, in the 12th century Gratian, who was a great legal scholar and collected canons from all over the ancient world and up to his time, and tried to bring them into some kind of unity, because they contradicted one another at some points, and he incorporated this canon, the Elviran Canon Five into his work the Decretum, and so it was part of canon law from the 12th century through 1918. Now we have a totally different kind of synod, the Synod of Gangra, which is in Northern Asia Minor, so what is today Turkey, the north of Turkey, and it prescribes excommunication to the followers of Eustathios, that is the Eustathians, on any one of 20 infractions. This is complete excommunication, nothing about the deathbed, nothing about readmittance at all, it is complete excommunication. The Eustathians are very interesting. They are radical aesthetics. The women and the men wear the same clothing. The men wear a simple garment that is considered not suitable to a person of any standing in society. The women do not veil themselves. They are vegetarian. They do not give their money to the bishop. In other words, they apparently use their money for charity as they deem fit. The wives and husbands leave behind children and spouses. So it's a very radical group, and we see here Canon Three. "If someone, under the pretext of piety," so that means if someone, believing that this is the right Christian thing to do, "teaches an enslaved person to despise their owner "and to withdraw," anachorein, which I will explain in a bit, "from service, and not to serve their own owner "to the utmost with affection and all honor, "let that one be excommunicated." Now, the Eustathians were not abolitionists, because there was no general move for abolition at the time. I think that people could not imagine a world without slavery. The economy depended upon it. But there were pockets of resistance. There were various ways in which an enslaved person can resist, or their supporters can resist. You can run away. We have this happening all over the Roman world. You can kill a child so the child won't grow up in slavery. You can, and we know this from US history that that happened sometimes. You can do your work slowly, you can make mistakes. You can poison your owner. There are all kinds of things that you can do to resist, and people did those things. So I think that this is one of those forms of resistance that the Eustathians, or at least some of them viewed, encouraged people to flee, and treated them as refugees rather than as criminals, because under Roman law, they had committed a crime, namely stealing themselves. And I argue that the Eustathians could well have had a coherent theology and biblical interpretation that would support them in this. For example, they could take I Corinthians 7 to mean if you have the opportunity to get out, get out. They could take sayings of Jesus about the poor, the naked, the imprisoned and so forth to mean we should be helping people, and they could draw upon other early Christian sources outside of the canon that they may have considered canonical. We now have some questions of interpretation. Anachoreo. So two scholars, one Spanish, one German have argued that Anachoreo here does not mean to withdraw from slavery generally, which would imply that the Eustathians had some kind of a developed concept of assisting in slave persons, encouraging in slave persons to flee. They rather argue that it means to withdraw to an aesthetic life, so to join them. And we do have evidence of monastic communities taking in enslaved persons, and this is something that Basil of Caesarea addresses when he makes his rules of monasticism that are the main rules of the monastic life in the Greek East. So in other words, and the Roman law even gets into this, so apparently there were monastic communities that thought this is a good thing to be doing. This is a good, Christian thing to be doing, to take in fugitives. So Anachoreo can mean withdraw to the solitary aesthetic life, so that is actually different from withdrawing to a communal monastic life. But it also means to withdraw more generally, such as from marriage, withdraw from marriage or withdraw from work, as in to go on strike. And we have in Egypt, in the fourth century, so in the same time period, but in a different location, we have documentary papayri that is papayri from daily life that use this verb anachoreo to designate enslaved persons escaping, goat herds refusing to work, and married people separating. So I am arguing that it is very likely that these monastics, these radical monastics were assisting enslaved persons more generally. Now, this also is one of the pillars of later canon law on slavery. So they started out as these little synods, there were 13 bishops at this synod of Gangra, very small, in a small place, out of the way, still out of the way today, and the Synod of Elvira was also a small synod in comparison, for example with the Council of Lycea, which has several hundred bishops. But, once it becomes part of the Corpus Iuris Canonici it then enters into the canon law of the Latin church, but not only that, the Gangran canons were also translated into Syriac, Georgian, Armenian, Arabic, Ethiopic and Old Church Slavonic. In other words, influence extended from Southern Russia through to Ethiopia, so that's a very broad spread, and that ensures later ecclesiastical opposition to assisting persons fleeing slavery in a whole area. Now, when we spoke of Georgetown, we were speaking of enslaved laborers that the Jesuits owned. And as I understand it, actually the local bishop wanted to have those, and the Jesuits wouldn't give them up. So in other words, there were churches that were slave holding, there were communities that were slave holding, and this too, has an ancient past. Oh, sorry. Because starting in the early church, we have reference to ways in which enslaved persons could, ways in which enslaved persons could belong to an entity. So in Roman society, there could be enslaved persons belonging to the city that then carried out duties on behalf of the city, road maintenance or building maintenance and so forth. Guilds could have enslaved laborers that belonged to them, and so the early church followed suit and we have both individuals in leading a monastic life that you depended upon slave holding labor, for example, Gregory of Nanzianzus gives to a woman named Rasiana, or she may be Russian, it's hard to know exactly, a place to live, a house to live on his estate. So he had a big estate if he has extra houses on it. And he allowed Rasiana to select from among his enslaved women and girls, two, who would serve her for the rest of her life. So that means she had, there was choice, there were others, and she could either later manumit them out of gratitude, free them out of gratitude, and if not, they would revert to becoming the property of the church so that corporate slave hold, the body being slave holding is necessary and we also see monasticism is fully compatible with slavery. That is hard for us to imagine, because we think of monastics leading a very abstemious life, a harsh life, which they did, but some had enslaved laborers to support that, such as Rasiana, so that she could study, pray, etc. Now I'm going to jump ahead. I could speak about the Middle Ages, in which we have even a pope being a slave holder, going to the market, buying English slaves, Angols. He found them very pretty. But I am going to jump ahead. In the late 15th century Spain and Portugal in particular began to invent race-based slavery. Before that, it was not based on race, and they began to invent this concept and wanted to engage in the sub-Saharan slave trade. So they asked the Vatican for approval to engage in the slave trade, and the Vatican first granted official approval to Portugal and then to Spain to engage in the slave trade. And they did so as long as the people whom they were capturing and enslaving were Saracens, that means Muslims. The word probably comes from an Arabic word (speaks foreign language) which means Eastern peoples, pagans and other enemies of Christ. Okay, so now it becomes religious. Now we're enslaving foreigners in distinction to enslaving Christians. I forgot to mention on thing, in the Middle Ages Christians began to be unhappy about holding other Christians in slavery, and so they began to make a distinction. They wanted enslaved persons, they wanted persons who had been captured in war to be ransomed. That was a very important act, so if they wouldn't go into slavery. And here we see a more explicit religious argument. And then Spain, yes. And so in addition to, what they did, they may invade, conquer, crush, pacify and subjugate such persons. So that was crucial for the rise of the Atlantic Slave Trade, both to South America, to North America and to the Caribbean. That Vatican approval that allowed the slave trade to begin, which then became massive. So here we begin in the 19th century to see some questioning of slavery, which as we see had been accepted for over 18 centuries. Gregory VI denounces the slave trade and the continuation of slavery. Now this is happening, denouncing the slave trade is happening just after, or as others are denouncing the slave trade, others are abolishing the slave trade. First the English, then the Americans denounced the slave trade, although it continued. And here we find a very clear statement of the other side. So in other words, they were not fully in agreement about slavery. So this is a response to priests who were serving in Africa, and they found slave holding among their parishioners, and they asked what to do about it. And so Pope Pius IX did say, you know, it's really hard, so he wasn't totally supporting slavery. It's in the culture, what can you do about it? But he goes on to say, "Slavery itself, considered as such "in its essential nature, is not at all contrary "to the natural and divine law, "and there can be several just titles of slavery. "It is not contrary to the natural and divine law "for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given." Well, we see that it is certainly not contrary to canon law at this point, but he's going even further because if it were contrary to natural law, that would mean it is wrong in all times and in all places for all peoples. So that's a very foundational statement to make that slavery is not contrary to even natural law, but it's not simply the law of nations, but even natural law itself. Ahh, and notice that was in 1866, one year after the end of the US Civil War, although it wasn't directed to the United States. But here we have a change. Leo XIII, I'm sure that many of you have studied some of his ncyclicals in your studies because he's so foundational for Catholic social ethics. So he says slavery, he uses another word, but I put that in there, is wholly opposed to that which was originally ordained by God and nature. Okay, that's exactly the opposite of what we just saw a few years earlier. Either it's in accordance with natural law and Divine law, or it's wholly opposed. Okay, there is movement, there is a shift, and he goes on to say, whoever compares the pagan and Christian attitude toward slavery will easily come to the conclusion that the one, i.e. the pagan, was marked by great cruelty and wickedness, and the other by great gentleness and humanity, that is, the Christian form of slavery, nor will it be possible to deprive the Church of the credit due to her as the instrument of this happy change. Well, this argument was often made in the United States concerning slavery so pro-slavery advocates in the United States, appealing back to Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy and the passages about slaves obeying their masters and others said even in the Roman world where slavery was so much more worse, was cruel, did the Apostles and Christ not oppose it? So they used that argument also. Roman slavery was much worse, our slavery is a benign institution, a paternal institution. Because it is Christian we bringing people to Christ by means of enslavement. So I have to say I am not sure about the credit due to the church as the instrument of this happy change. Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum, that's a very famous encyclical is responding to what is happening around him, namely the rise of socialism and workers' rights. He is arguing against socialism because he says it is bad for both workers and masters and argues masters should treat workers with dignity. So that would exclude slavery. "The following duties bind the wealthy owner "and the employer, not to look upon their work people "as their bondsmen." That is directly reminiscent of Leviticus, that you should not treat your fellow Israelites as if they were as slaves, but rather as hired workers. "But to respect in every man his dignity "as a person ennobled by Christian character." Okay, so dignity, this is a crucial addition to the discussion. If you begin to speak of human dignity, then slavery becomes less plausible and seems immoral. But note here, he's speaking of Christian workers ennobled by their Christian character. What of other workers? Moving ahead, the Catholic Catechism in 1993 makes it definitive. It argues "Enslaving human beings "is against the seventh commandment, "you shall not steal, and against human dignity." So again, the concept of dignity that has now become central in Catholic thought with respect to workers. And this has a certain irony to it because in ancient Israel, do not steal would likely include human property, and to steal someone else's enslaved laborers, because the commandments following speak of do not covet your neighbor's wife and goes on to say his female slave and his male slave, so if you're not allowed to covet, then surely you're not allowed to steal. So it's now taken very differently. You shall not steal, that is, you shall not steal another human being. So here we see a complete turnabout. Over 18 centuries of tolerating, enabling and benefitting from slavery and 1 1/4 centuries of opposing it. So for me, this raises many questions about history and about religion. The first is, religious communities can and do change, including on something as fundamental to morality as the question of slavery. So what can we do to repent? First of all, we can learn this history. We can teach this history. We can seek to understand its impact on the present. We can collaborate with the descendants of those harmed to make genuine reparations, so that's what I argued for with, and the descendants themselves are arguing for with respect to Georgetown, but that applies to all of us in all circumstances, and we can ask ourselves in what comparable harms we are now complicit, because what this teaches me is well-meaning people who simply thought that slavery was another form of labor tolerated slavery and benefitted from it for many centuries. It would be easy to go back and judge them, but I ask myself in what horrific acts am I complicit by not demanding better from my government, by not examining where the goods and products that I purchase came from, under what conditions of labor, and so forth, because I think that we are as enmeshed in comparable harm as people of the past. The International Labor Organization of the UN estimates that there are now over 20 million persons who work in conditions of forced labor. That is more than at any time in history, and for the individual person working under such conditions, the child in the Ivory Coast picking cocoa, the worker from South America being forced to pick tomatoes in Florida, being held in slavery, and so forth. And even though slavery is not legal, for the individual who works under such conditions, I don't think that makes a difference. To say, well, it's not legal, but I live in terror of the master whether it's legal or not legal. So, thank you very much. (applauding) Thank you. I assume we have time for questions? Please, I'm eager to hear your questions and comments. Exodus and Deuteronomy, yes, that's right. It is not to the master's advantage. It's not to the master's advantage. - [Student] Then why even have laws about it? Why would it happen? - Well, it would be a way to ameliorate the conditions of slavery, to make it not forever, but for a fixed period. But yes, of course, the master would always have an economic disadvantage, and in that passage, I didn't go into that, but in both Exodus and Deuteronomy, the enslaved person may declare that they love their master and want to stay with the master and then they will have their ear pierced with an awl, like you know, the ear lobe signifying that they have chosen to stay with the master. In Exodus, we see some of the kinds of conflicts that could lead to this, so in Exodus, if the person who is enslaved, and they're speaking of a male, brings his wife with him into slavery, then when he is freed, they both go free, but if he came in without a wife and the master gave him a wife, and they have children together, the wife and the children do not go free. So what kind of a conflict would this create for a person? Should I stay in slavery, or should I leave my wife and children, my beloved wife and children? And that is also a conflict for people in other periods of slavery, certainly in US slavery, that was a conflict to flee and to leave your wife and child behind. So in other words, there are some checks on it that could mean then that the master would. But we do have to keep that Jeremiah passage in mind, how much did people follow it? Some particularly pious people I think probably did. Thank you. Yes, Caroline. Well, I think he is more ambivalent than his students. I do think he's more ambivalent than his students so the question that Professor Johnson-Hodge, the passage that Professor Johnson-Hodge is, or the text that Professor Johnson-Hodge is referring to is Paul's letter to Philemon, and this is one of the undisputed letters. Apparently an enslaved man has fled and joined Paul and supported Paul, been loyal to Paul, helped Paul, and Paul is now sending him back to his master. So that would be what you're supposed to do under Roman law, because harboring a fugitive itself could make you liable. And he says, "Treat him as a brother, "or as more than a brother." So what does that mean? I'm sure Professor Johnson-Hodge discussed this with you, those who are taking her class, in great detail. Does it mean, "I really hope you will free this person? "This man has been so helpful to me. "He is Christian. "Please, I'm pleading with you to free him." Or, it could be, "I'm pleaing with you to treat him better, "to treat him as a brother." So I think the fact that these passages can be read in more than one way indicates his ambivalence, that is then disambiguated in the following letters that were likely written by students of Paul. Yeah, yeah? Oh, great, a question, yes. With respect to the early canons, we don't know how they were applied. We don't know. So that is difficult. With respect to the question of Augustine freeing persons, and he freed quite a number of persons, I do think that there would have been other examples of that, where a bishop could do such a thing, so buying a person out of slavery is never, that's never a problem. That would not be a problem. But assisting someone to flee or to, encouraging them even to flee is different. So I think we do have in the course of Christian history examples of leaders, popes, bishops, who tried to find some way within the system. So for example, we have a very early bishop of Rome known as a pope, Kallistos, who was himself previously enslaved, so he had come out of slavery and eventually made his way up in the church hierarchy to become a Bishop of Rome, which is a very significant bishopric, of course, and among other things that he did during his time, was to declare that it was acceptable for Christian women to marry enslaved men. So apparently what was happening was we had high-ranking Christian women, and they were wanting to marry enslaved men, or not finding a suitable partner from their own social class, and they were marrying enslaved men. This is very much contrary to Roman law. In fact, under Roman law, which was still in effect at that point, a free woman who entered into a marriage-like arrangement with an enslaved man, it could not be recognized as matrimonium, but it could be recognized as what is called (speaks foreign language), which is term for enslaved marriages, so the Roman law giver accepted that there was something here, but it wasn't at the same level as matrimonium and it did not bestow any rights. So for example, a child born into slavery was without parents. There's no father, the biological father has no rights as a father, no responsibilities as a father and so forth. So the Roman law giver held that if a woman went into a marriage-like relationship, and she was warned, and she still did it, she would become enslaved to that man, to that owner. So if you love an enslaved man, welcome to slavery. And Kallistos went against this, so that may relate to his own past history in slavery. As to your second question, the differences among religious groups, yes, it's very interesting. Let me take the United States as an example. So in the United States, we did have slavery in New England. We had slavery in New York that came to light some years ago in an excavation for a building where a graveyard was found with many persons of African descent buried there, but the Northern states abolished it sooner and the Southern states had it for longer. So in that time, people were looking for justifications because the Abolitionist movement had arisen, and Protestants argued from the Bible, and Catholics argued from canon law, Divine law, natural law. So in other words, there is a difference as to what is the authority, and I do think that an encyclical by someone like Pius IX or putting it into the Catechism has an affect on Catholics around the world. So I do agree with you that if a pope makes a statement, it's going to have, it doesn't mean everybody follows it, but it's going to have a different impact. Does that answer your question? - [Student] Yeah, but I was thinking with what you say-- - We do need to stop, so I'll assume if you two want to take that on, we'd like for you to do that, but unfortunately we have a dinner that's coming up. - Okay, okay, okay. Thank you very much, thank you so much. (applauding) Great, thank you.


Military service

During the First World War, McLeod served as a private in the aviation section at the ground school, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, and as sergeant in the Intelligence Division. He accepted appointment on May 12, 1919, as second lieutenant in the Officers’ Reserve Corps, and successively as captain, major, and lieutenant colonel. He was admitted to the bar in 1919 and commenced the practice of law in Detroit.

Political career

In November 1920, McLeod was elected as a Republican from Michigan's 13th congressional district to the 66th United States Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Charles A. Nichols. McLeod served from November 2, 1920, to March 3, 1921. At the time, McLeod was the youngest person ever elected to Congress, being just five months over the age of 25—the minimum age required by the U.S. Constitution.[1] Furthermore, McLeod was a candidate only to fill the unexpired term of Nichols. At that same election, Vincent M. Brennan was simultaneously elected to a full term in the 67th Congress.

In 1922, however, McLeod was elected to the 68th Congress and subsequently re-elected to the six succeeding Congresses, serving in the House of Representatives without interruption from March 4, 1923, to January 3, 1937. He was an unsuccessful candidate in the Republican primary election for Governor of Michigan in 1934. In 1936, he lost to Democrat George O'Brien in the general election for the 75th Congress. In 1937, McLeod was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for mayor of Detroit.

In 1938, McLeod defeated O'Brien to be elected to the 76th Congress, serving from January 3, 1939, to January 3, 1941. McLeod lost to O'Brien in 1940, 1942, and 1944. In 1946, McLeod was defeated for the Republican nomination by Howard Aldridge Coffin, who then went on to defeat O'Brien in the general election. McLeod won the Republican nomination in 1950 and 1952, but lost both times to O'Brien in the general election.

Later life

After leaving Congress, McLeod returned to the practice of law and was a consultant to the Administrator of Federal Civil Defense Administration. He died in Detroit in 1959 and was interred in the city's Mount Olivet Cemetery.


  1. ^ TIME January 4, 1932


  • United States Congress. "Clarence J. McLeod (id: M000557)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The Political Graveyard

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles A. Nichols
United States Representative for the 13th Congressional District of Michigan
1920 – 1921
Succeeded by
Vincent M. Brennan
Preceded by
Vincent M. Brennan
United States Representative for the 13th Congressional District of Michigan
1923 – 1937
Succeeded by
George O'Brien
Preceded by
George O'Brien
United States Representative for the 13th Congressional District of Michigan
1939 – 1941
Succeeded by
George O'Brien
This page was last edited on 9 June 2019, at 04:29
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