The Fall and Rise of Cain

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It's incredible. He said his prospective opponents in the 10th District congressional race wouldn't make the situation any better. Because look what happened with David Paterson. He has a chance to select a black senator, the black senator for this state, and he gives us Gillibrand , because he's trying to win an election that he's not going to run for. You know, just having black people in certain positions, without black consciousness and black commitment to black agendas and black issues, is a problem.

And you get a David Paterson, or you get a David Dinkins. And you get these black governors and you think you've made progress, but whites usually select blacks that they're comfortable with. And that's going to continue the policies that keeps white interests protected. With Barron leaning toward challenging Towns for a second time, I asked if he was at all concerned that his memorial service for Moammar Khadafy in Bed-Stuy two weeks ago might be used against him.

I'm not in this business to be afraid to speak my mind and speak what I believe to be the truth. And, any way Hakeem Jeffries or anybody else wants to use it, bring it. Since I wasn't at the memorial, I asked if he could sum up why it is that he supported the former Libyan dictator.

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Moammar Khadfay came into power in and When he came in, he was going to nationalize the oil industry, so they hated him for that. They didn't like that. He also stayed in power from '69 to ' And with that he didn't want to have any kind of government, he wanted to have more of a people's congresses. And he started the people's congress and they, the people's congress, were elected. He stepped down from any office. And the people in office, the ministers and all of them, could be led by the decisions made by the people's congresses.

Herman Cain, GOP candidate for president? The Tea Party darling and pizza magnate's chances.

And he wanted it to go directly to the people. So they did have some economic struggles there, that was real. It was a Libyan person who did it. He denied he had anything to do with it. He paid compensation to the families. He didn't free the young man, the guy who did it He embraced him when he came home.

Rashi comments on Genesis by saying that the mark was one of the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton : "He engraved a letter of His [God's] Name onto his [Cain's] forehead. In Kabbalah , the Zohar states that the mark of Cain was one of the twenty-two Hebrew letters of the Torah , although the Zohar's native Aramaic does not actually tell us which of the letters it was.

Some commentators, such as Rabbi Michael Berg in his English commentary on the Zohar, suggest that the mark of Cain was the letter vav. According to author Ruth Mellinkoff, commentators' interpretations of the nature of the "mark" depended on their views regarding the status of Cain, as either being given additional time to repent or as being further shamed. At some point after the start of the slave trade in the United States , many [ citation needed ] Protestant denominations began teaching the belief that the mark of Cain was a dark skin tone, although early descriptions of Romani as "descendants of Cain" written by Franciscan friar Symon Semeonis suggest that this belief had existed for some time.

Protestant preachers wrote exegetical analyses of the curse, with the assumption that it was dark skin. In Syriac Christianity , early exegesis on the "curse" and the "mark", associated the curse of Cain with black skin, although not in a racial sense.

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He beat Cain's face with hail, which blackened like coal, and thus he remained with a black face". The split between the Northern and Southern Baptist organizations arose over doctrinal issues pertaining to slavery and the education of slaves. At the time of the split, the Southern Baptist group used the curse of Cain as a justification for slavery. Some 19th- and 20th-century Baptist ministers in the Southern United States taught the belief that there were two separate heavens; one for blacks , and one for whites. The curse of Cain was used to support a ban on ordaining blacks to most Protestant clergies until the s in both the United States and Europe [ citation needed ].

The majority of Christian churches in the world, including the Catholic Church , Eastern Orthodox churches, Anglican churches, and Oriental Orthodox churches, did not recognize these interpretations and did not participate in the religious movement to support them. Certain Catholic dioceses in the Southern United States adopted a policy of not ordaining blacks to oversee, administer the sacraments to, or accept confessions from white parishioners.

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This policy was not based on a "curse of Cain" teaching, but was justified by the widely held perception that slaves should not rule over their masters. However, this was not approved of by the Pope or by any papal teaching. The Curse of Cain was often conflated with the Curse of Ham. According to the Bible, Ham discovered his father Noah drunk and naked in his tent, but instead of honoring his father by covering his nakedness, he ran and told his brothers about it. Because of this, Noah cursed Ham's son, Canaan by saying that he was to be "a servant of servants".

Genesis One interpretation of this passage states that Ham married a descendant of Cain, who was black, so that the descendants of Canaan were both marked with black skin and cursed to be servants of servants. While there is no indication in the Bible of Ham's wife descending from Cain, this interpretation was used to justify slavery and it was particularly popular in North America during the Atlantic slave trade.

Modern scholars now believe that the Canaanites are of Semitic origin, and therefore unrelated to black Africans. Mormonism began during the height of Protestant acceptance of the curse of Cain doctrine in North America, as well as the even more popular curse of Ham doctrine. Like many North Americans, [26] [27] Mormons of the 19th century commonly assumed that black Africans had Cain's "mark" of black skin, [28] and Ham's curse to be servants of servants.

As related by Abraham O. Smoot after his death, Apostle David W. Patten said he encountered a black man in Paris, Tennessee , who said that he was Cain. The account states that Cain had earnestly sought death but was denied it, and that his mission was to destroy the souls of men. Kimball 's The Miracle of Forgiveness. Therefore, although Ham himself had the right to the priesthood, Canaan, his son, did not. Ham had married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain Abraham —24 , and so his sons were denied the priesthood. There is evidence that Joseph Smith did not consider the ban on black men to the priesthood to be relevant in modern times, since he himself and other church leaders close to him ordained black men into it, [35] notably Elijah Abel and Walker Lewis.

Brigham Young the second President of the Church accepted the idea that people of African ancestry were generally under the curse of Cain, and in , he stated that people of black African descent were not eligible to hold the church's priesthood. The spirits of black people fought under Cain and were assigned to be Cain's descendant. Those that fought under Abel were assigned to be Abel's descendants. Cain hoped that by killing his brother, the spirits that were under him would have an advantage over the spirits under Abel.

However, God cursed Cain and his descendants to not have the priesthood until all of Abel's descendants had the priesthood. The spirits of black people understood this and stood with Cain and accepted the punishment. Several of his successors defended it as being a result of the curse of Cain, though some disagreed. Sterling M. Some interpretations view this as a physical mark, whereas other interpretations see the "mark" as a sign, and not as a physical mark on Cain himself. There is no clear consensus as to what Cain's mark was.

In the Torah , the same word is used to describe the stars as signs or omens Genesis , the rainbow as the sign of God 's promise to never again destroy his creation with a flood Genesis , circumcision as a token of God's covenant with Abraham Genesis , and the miracles performed by Moses before the Pharaoh Exodus , 9 , 17 , 28 ; ; ; , 2.


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The narrative of the curse of Cain is found in the text of Genesis The curse was the result of Cain murdering his brother, Abel, and lying about the murder to God. In a sense, the earth was left "drinking Abel's blood". The first concerns the earth that was cursed by Abel's blood.

This may imply why he went on to build cities, [5] namely the City of Enoch. Modern interpretations of the Hebrew verse 12 suggest that Cain went on to live a nomadic lifestyle and that he was also excluded from the family unit. Philo interprets the Greek verse 12 as an allegory for Cain's fear of being soulless.


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The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Targums translate the same verse to mean that Cain feared being "an exile and an unstable man". It is not known what the mark was, but it is assumed that the mark was visible. Thus, it is speculated that the mark served as a sign to others not to commit the same offense. Abba Arika "Rav" said that God gave Cain a dog, making him an example to murderers. Abba Jose ben Hanan said that God made a horn grow out of Cain. Hanin said that God made Cain an example to penitents Gen. Rashi comments on Genesis by saying that the mark was one of the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton : "He engraved a letter of His [God's] Name onto his [Cain's] forehead.

In Kabbalah , the Zohar states that the mark of Cain was one of the twenty-two Hebrew letters of the Torah , although the Zohar's native Aramaic does not actually tell us which of the letters it was. Some commentators, such as Rabbi Michael Berg in his English commentary on the Zohar, suggest that the mark of Cain was the letter vav.

According to author Ruth Mellinkoff, commentators' interpretations of the nature of the "mark" depended on their views regarding the status of Cain, as either being given additional time to repent or as being further shamed. At some point after the start of the slave trade in the United States , many [ citation needed ] Protestant denominations began teaching the belief that the mark of Cain was a dark skin tone, although early descriptions of Romani as "descendants of Cain" written by Franciscan friar Symon Semeonis suggest that this belief had existed for some time.

Protestant preachers wrote exegetical analyses of the curse, with the assumption that it was dark skin. In Syriac Christianity , early exegesis on the "curse" and the "mark", associated the curse of Cain with black skin, although not in a racial sense. He beat Cain's face with hail, which blackened like coal, and thus he remained with a black face". The split between the Northern and Southern Baptist organizations arose over doctrinal issues pertaining to slavery and the education of slaves. At the time of the split, the Southern Baptist group used the curse of Cain as a justification for slavery.

Some 19th- and 20th-century Baptist ministers in the Southern United States taught the belief that there were two separate heavens; one for blacks , and one for whites.

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The curse of Cain was used to support a ban on ordaining blacks to most Protestant clergies until the s in both the United States and Europe [ citation needed ]. The majority of Christian churches in the world, including the Catholic Church , Eastern Orthodox churches, Anglican churches, and Oriental Orthodox churches, did not recognize these interpretations and did not participate in the religious movement to support them.

Certain Catholic dioceses in the Southern United States adopted a policy of not ordaining blacks to oversee, administer the sacraments to, or accept confessions from white parishioners. This policy was not based on a "curse of Cain" teaching, but was justified by the widely held perception that slaves should not rule over their masters. However, this was not approved of by the Pope or by any papal teaching. The Curse of Cain was often conflated with the Curse of Ham. According to the Bible, Ham discovered his father Noah drunk and naked in his tent, but instead of honoring his father by covering his nakedness, he ran and told his brothers about it.

Because of this, Noah cursed Ham's son, Canaan by saying that he was to be "a servant of servants". Genesis One interpretation of this passage states that Ham married a descendant of Cain, who was black, so that the descendants of Canaan were both marked with black skin and cursed to be servants of servants.

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While there is no indication in the Bible of Ham's wife descending from Cain, this interpretation was used to justify slavery and it was particularly popular in North America during the Atlantic slave trade. Modern scholars now believe that the Canaanites are of Semitic origin, and therefore unrelated to black Africans.

Mormonism began during the height of Protestant acceptance of the curse of Cain doctrine in North America, as well as the even more popular curse of Ham doctrine. Like many North Americans, [26] [27] Mormons of the 19th century commonly assumed that black Africans had Cain's "mark" of black skin, [28] and Ham's curse to be servants of servants.