D074 Renouncing the Theology of Slavery held by the Rev. James Craik, 11th President of the House of Deputies

Final Status: Concurred as Amended

Resolved, That the 81st General Convention of the Episcopal Church renounce the theology of slavery held by the Rev. James Craik, the unanimously elected 11th President of the House of Deputies as described in General Convention Memorial 2024-M003, summarized here: In his pamphlet, Craik, a Unionist, argues that slavery is, in fact, an evil institution. Among his reasons, it is an economic hardship to the enslavers, it relegates the working class to an inferior status, while inciting pride and contempt for labor in the children of slave-owners, and the responsibility of caring for the enslaved is “a burden grievous to be borne.”  “But,” he goes on to write, “it is not often that God permits an evil to exist long, and on a large scale, out of which he does not bring some corresponding good.” The evils, Craik says, fall only upon the white race, while the enslaved receive all the benefits because “a race of barbarians, gradually degraded by many thousand years of ignorance and brutishness to the lowest stage of humanity, has thus been place[d] in intimate contact, and under the constant and authoritative superintendence and government, of the most enlightened and civilized race upon the globe.  Humanity, religion, and interest concur to make the cultivated and master race the friends, protectors, and instructors of the inferior race.”; and be it further,

Resolved, That General Convention acknowledge the role our leadership played in the institution of chattel slavery; and be it further,

Resolved, That the General Convention repent of the ongoing benefits and accrued wealth by this church through the enslavement of children of God; and be it further,

Resolved, That because our baptismal promises call us to ongoing repentance, to persevere in resisting evil, and respect the dignity of all people, we must commit to bravely communicating to the church and the world our truths about our history and ourselves; and be it further, 

Resolved, That the General Convention urge the Canonical Archivist and Director of the Archives of the Episcopal Church and the Archives Advisory Committee to update the entry for the Rev. James Craik on the website of the Archives of the Episcopal Church to include information about the theology of slavery and white supremacy he espoused as well as a link to the pamphlet he published.