So we tear down the man who wrote Amazing Grace?main
The English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton (1725–1807) was press-ganged into the Navy as a lad and wound up on the wrong side of the Atlantic, where he began trading in slaves.
He carried on at this pursuit until well into his 30s, when he had a spiritual revelation and became ordained as a priest.
His legacy includes two great hymns – “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken”. Newton became a passionate campaigner for the abolition of slavery and this first of his hymns was embraced by many African-American denominations.
But he started out as a slaver, right?
So, by present logic, his statue ought to be torn down.
Along with that of George Washington, who bought and sold slaves all his life.