Weird: Conservative Catholic Sohrab Ahmari Attacks Thomas Jefferson
In a strange turn of events, conservative commentator Sohrab Amari attacked Founding Father Thomas Jefferson for being a slaver.
He tweeted on November 12, 2019 “One of the blessings of embracing political Catholicism is never having to defend the atrocious slaver Thomas Jefferson. There are many men in the Founding generation whose life and ideas I can admire. But not Jefferson.”
Ahmari, an Iranian immigrant who converted to Catholicism in 2016, has become one of the more provocative figures on the Right in recent years.
Despite his publicized brand of Catholic conservatism, Amari ended up taking a page straight out of the cultural leftist playbook.
Jefferson has been a whipping boy for the Left given his background as an aristocratic farmer. One frequent historical critique levied against him is his supposed relation with the slave Sally Hemings, where it is argued that Jefferson slept with Hemings. However, new scholarship has debunked this assertion.
The Catholic Church has made significant contributions to the development of Western civilization, but it has similar blemishes to Protestantism when it came to the slavery question.
In the Western Hemisphere, Spanish and and Portuguese (both intensely Catholic) America featured some of the most squalid slave conditions at the time. The nature of slavery in the sugar field is well-documented, where slaves were often worked to death in order to keep the sugar export bonanza going. This period of colonial history in the Americas was indeed a low point in Western civilization.
But when it came to ending slavery, the West was far ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the world.
Even Ahmari’s native land of Iran was late to the slavery abolition party, after it decided to outlaw the practice in 1929.
The U.S. was founded by a predominately white Anglo-Saxon protestant demographic, but it was known to extend a hand to groups such as Catholics largely due to the country’s respect for religious freedom.
However, attacks on Thomas Jefferson —whether it be for being a slave owner or his ethnic background — fit in very well with the Left’s agenda to undermine the historic American nation.
Ahmari raises interesting points about conservative issues, which is desperately needed after decades of neoconservative dominance. But trying to throw Jefferson under the bus because he held slaves is province of the iconoclastic Left. Comments like these only add more fuel to the Left’s anti-American narrative.