History is the Remembered Past. These are the words John Lukacs, perhaps the finest historical thinker of the last century.
The past informs our present. Or, to be more precise, our understanding of the past informs our present.
We keep the past fresh in memory by memorializing it. We fill our capital with monuments to Presidents, we name parks after local worthies. And the South is no different from any other place. They have countless places named, and statues and monuments erected, to honor their men who fell in the Civil War.
Now radicals are calling for the destruction of every monument which honors leaders of the Southern Confederacy. Not only radicals, but conservatives as well. Writers on The Federalist and Ben Shapiro have expressed sympathy for attempts to remove all confederate monuments.
There are now plans to tear down Confederate statues across the US, from Baltimore to Virginia. In Georgia, a gubernatorial candidate has called for the Stone Mountain relief to be destroyed. This is following the destruction of Confederate memorials in New Orleans last month.
Everyone seems to be treating these monuments as if they represent three things which are taken to be evil. Racism, Slavery, and Secession.
First let’s talk about racism. In the 19th century, virtually all white Americans were racists. Full stop. Virtually everyone we know of was a racist. Southern Democrats and Northern Republicans said vile things about blacks.. North and South held vile views of blacks. Illinois passed an amendment to their constitution barring free blacks from settling there. Leading Republicans wanted to restrict the Western lands for the settlement of white men alone. Tocqueville noted during his travels that the South was more welcoming to blacks than was the North. Nowhere in America in 1861 or prior were black Americans treated as human persons. That stain belongs to the entire Union, not the South alone.
The accusation of racism as an unspeakable moral evil, while true, is a point of politics for the Left, and not morals. If they truly cared about racsim, they would care about the fact that Korea has been quietly expelling black English teachers from their country. They would care about the racism of many Japanese against Miss Japan, because she is half-black, and not pure Japanese. They would care about the mistreatment of Asians in African nations, at the hands of African governments. That they do not says that they do not care for the morality of racism, which is evil. What they care for is the political power the term racism gives them.
Our world has lost almost all its moral vocabulary. We cannot speak anymore of vice and virtue, or of sin and righteousness, or of cowardice and courage. Old verities are now replaced by new ones. Instead of fornication as an evil, it is evil to restrict a woman’s ‘right to her own body.’ Racism, as one of the few moral certainties of a confused generation, must be extirpated everywhere that it is convenient to destroy it. One of these places is the American South
But why the American South? The South is unique in the United States, having its own culture and even civilization which no other part of the Union can match. It’s literature, statesmen, soldiers, and writers rank as among the finest, and perhaps the finest, we have ever seen. Beside the humane literature of Flannery O Connor or William Faulkner, where does the silly frippery of Emerson stand? How can the crony capitalists of the early Republican Party match up to the greatness of Jefferson or Calhoun? The South also stands on the cultural periphery, and so is an easy target for the Left’s need to destroy things.
So much for the racism charge.
Slavery is also taken to be a great sin by the South. And is true that slavery is a great moral evil. Just as it is also true that slavery existed in the North during the Civil War. 4 slave states jointed the Union, but never did Lincoln threaten their peculiar institution, only that of the states which seceded. Further, it is also true that slavery has been universal to all societies, in all times. The first step towards abolition came in 1688, according to historian David Brion Davis. To condemn the South for slavery is to condemn every society in history.
If Confederate monuments are built to honor slavery, and therefore must be torn down, then the list of things to destroy will get rather long. The Coliseum, the Pyramids, Kharnak Temple at Luxor, countless medieval cathedrals, were built using slave labor. Should we destroy them too?
Slavery was by no means the sole cause of war. In his For Cause and Comrades, James McPherson found that, for a most soldiers North and South, slavery was not their main reason for fighting. They fought for Union and for State, slavery was often an afterthought.
The final moral charge is that of destroying the Union, but why this this an evil? The States, through their conventions, created the Union in 1789. Union was the creature of the States, with no law or amendment ever passed to forbid leaving it. Instead there were endless debates over the exact language used in the Construction, whether it allowed secession or not. These debates were ended, not through compromise, but by force.
If none of these charges make sense, then why is the Left so determined to tear down these monuments?
By taking down Confederate monuments, today’s radicals are engaged upon a war against cultural and historical memory. If these monuments are taken down, because they do not match up to today’s moral standards, then it is a path to the general cultural destruction of our heritage. Trump, in his recent confusing press conference, perceptively asked when the statues of Washington and Jefferson might also be taken down. He is right. If today it is Lee and Davis, why not tomorrow Jefferson and Washington, and the day after that why not Churchill, FDR or Eisenhower?
If there can be no respect for our past, for those who left behind a legacy to us, then what hope is there for preserving it? And if the past must be destroyed because it is seen to be immoral, then how can anything from our past be called good? For all men have done evil.
Video: What is a Classical Liberal?
A short video making the point that the Left is no longer Liberal, having traded individualism for collectivism.
In one of their first animated video shorts, the Rubin Report discusses the vitally important topic of just who is a Classical Liberal.
OUR FIRST ANIMATED VIDEO! What is a Classical Liberal?
Liberalism has been confused with Leftism or progressivism, which is actually has nothing to do with classical Liberalism. Sadly the Left is no longer Liberal at all for it has traded individualism for collectivism.
The Rubin Report
Published on Jul 10, 2018
$.02: When is it OK to quit church?
Chris Sonsken of South Hills Church and founder Church BOOM penned a piece on Fox News that caught my attention on Twitter. It was a good column. Read the article here. The article addressed a Pew Research finding as to why people change churches. There finding as shown by Sonsken are:
- Sermon quality
- Welcoming environment/people
- Style of worship
Sonsken does a great job in arguing that there are biblically sound reasons for leaving a church and finding a new one.
1. It’s OK to leave if God calls us to leave.
2. It’s OK to leave for family and marriage.
3. It’s OK to leave a church if you have moved too far away to conveniently drive to your church.
4. It’s OK to leave if you cannot follow the church’s leadership.
5. It’s OK to leave if heresy is being preached.
Sonsken even mentions that unethical practices like abuse are reasons to leave, though not the norm for the majority of church swapping.
The reasons Sonsken gave are no cause for disagreement, and I’m sure his book Quit Church probably better articulates them.
Where I want to add my two sense on the matter is that I disagree with his assessment sermon quality is not a biblical reason for changing churches. The supposition that sermon quality is inherently a result of the person treating church like an object of consumption, as Sonsken suggests is not true. I believe sermon quality is an umbrella term for several reasons for not liking a Sunday message.
Too often people leave a church because of disagreement, not getting their way, or because the sermons are no longer deep enough. Often when we dig into the reason the sermons are not deep enough, it ultimately goes back to the person being offended or not having their faulty theologies endorsed from the pulpit. The same pastor who was previously deep enough becomes shallow once there is an offense. It’s incredibly difficult to hear from God in a sermon when we are offended by the person delivering the sermon.
This is true in many cases. A sin that is personal gets preached on and the offended party leaves. I don’t deny this to be the case. But I believe we should look deeper into the current trends of worship and focus on the mission of the church.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-21 ESV
The church is to preach the gospel, but people accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior is only part of the mission. The Church is tasked with making disciples. The church is meant to teach. Not every follower is at the same level in their spiritual maturity or theological depth. Some churches, larger churches in particular dumb down the bible. In public education, this would be seen as lowering the bar. In church this practice could hold back believers in their growth. Small groups are a way to supplement this, and every church should employ bible study as a means to grow discipleship.
Many churches now are focused on metrics. This can lead to theologically watered down sermons and worship. Why risk offending that person who may leave with a sermon? But if a church is more focused on using a Sunday message to give a motivational speech using an out of context passage, what does it matter if they are doctrinally sound (in their written beliefs)?
There are a lot of heretical churches in America. We have issues like gay marriage to separate the sheep from the goats. But what about the sheep that suck? If a church has the right doctrine but is more focused on metrics than the power of the Holy Spirit, their head is in the wrong place. So it is biblically sound to change churches so that your head to remains in the right place.
That is not treating church like a consumer product. That is treating church like one’s means to grow spiritually, better recognizing the mission of the Great Commission.
That is my $.02 on the matter. I hope I added some meaningful word to this topic.
This post was originally publishd on Startup Christ. Startup Christ is a website for business and theology articles and columns.
Video: So, You Think You’re Tolerant?
Leftists like to fancy themselves as being tolerant and Liberal, but they fall way short in both qualities.
Leftists will tell you that they are the most tolerant people who have ever lived, they will also scream at you for being a racist, xenophobic troglodyte if you happen to mention that you’re a conservative. They are supposedly ‘Liberal’, being in favour of Liberty while demanding it’s polar opposite – socialism.
Yes, if there is one constant in the universe, its that Leftists cannot be honest about who they truly are. This is what we love about our wonderful opponents on the nation’s socialist Left, for they are nothing like another group that went by the same nomenclature who also screamed at people in the streets with the motto: Common Good Before Individual Good. [Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz]
But let’s not talk about the epithets they project on their enemies, let’s talk about how they get along with everyone who just happens to agree with everything they say. A new PragerU video featuring Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report looked at who is really tolerant. He is a true Liberal that discovered that it is actually the Pro-Liberty Right that is more tolerant, go figure.
Jul 9, 2018
Are you tolerant? You probably think so. But who is tolerant in America today? Is it those on the left, or those on the right? In this video, Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report analyzes this question and shares his experience.