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Why Confederate monuments are not evil

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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.

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Culture and Religion

Acts 17:11 – ‘searched the scriptures daily’

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Acts 17:11 searched the scriptures daily

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. – Acts 17:11 (KJV)

We’ve talked before about doing daily Bible study, then we made sure to expand on what we were promoting by reminding people that Christianity itself should not be a task. Now, we’ll go to the source (as we should have done from the beginning) and point to scriptural backing that we are not only supposed to read the Bible, but to search it and use at as the ultimate reference.

This verse is often quoted out of contest. It points to the Bereans as true students of the Word. There are even ministries today who herald to the Bereans and continue in the works that were alluded to in this chapter. The reality is this: the Bereans were Jews who studied fervently and as a result they were easily converted to belief in Yeshua as the Messiah.

If there’s any one takeaway from this (other than the call to continuously study and find truth in the Bible by applying the teachings of the Bible itself), it’s that those who are the most steadfast in their studies, whether it’s of the Bible or of this world, are the ones who are easiest to bring to the truth. Christianity and all religions have gained an unfortunate label of being only for the “weak of mind” or gullible people. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not necessarily about intelligence. It’s about discernment. Those who see the world through the lens of common sense and an unbiased intellect are the most likely to come to the faith. They simply need a little Biblical worldview prompting.

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Culture and Religion

Matthew 22:37 – ‘love the Lord thy God’

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Matthew 2237 love the Lord thy God

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

We’ve all heard this verse, but have we really contemplated it? This is a verse that sits in the middle of many different things happening. The Pharisees and Sadducees were questioning Him. His answers were profound and defining.

This important portion of this message is echoed three times: all. Love thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the most important Commandment according to Yeshua.

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Culture and Religion

Scouts BSA: Proof that moral leadership matters in life

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Scouts BSA Proof that moral leadership matters in life

In the Age of Trump, where the Fellowship of the Pharisees and their so-called evangelical followers have given “God’s chosen president” a “mulligan” for his sexually immoral past in exchange for a seat at his table, the damage being done to the Gospel of Christ is obvious.

Another consequence of this kind of hypocrisy has been the destruction of moral leadership in nearly every area of American life. For example, let’s take a look at Scouts BSA, formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America.

In a report by NBC New York yesterday, we learned that nearly 8,000 adults are suspected of sexually abusing more than 12,000 children in the Boy Scouts over the years, and that these incidents have been kept secret according to victim’s rights attorney Jeff Anderson.

“For many, many years there’s been an excavation of what are called the ‘perversion files’—those are files held and hoarded at the Boy Scouts of America headquarters.

“Those ‘perversion files’ that they’ve had reflect that they have removed thousands of offenders of childhood sexual abuse over the years and they’ve kept that in files secretly.”

While the abuse appears to have been going on since the 1940s, recent decisions by the Boy Scouts created an environment that essentially guaranteed it would happen with greater frequency, thanks to the institution of LGBT-friendly changes to their leadership requirements.

In the summer of 2015, then-president of the Boy Scouts and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates abandoned the organization’s commitment to develop moral character by lifting the ban on homosexuals serving as leaders due to fears of possible lawsuits.

The lawsuit excuse was a lie as the Supreme Court had already upheld the BSA’s right to exclude homosexuals. In reality, Gates, the guy responsible for ending the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, simply wanted to open scouting to the LGBT community, regardless of any consequences. Moral considerations be damned.

Here’s an irony for you. Scouts BSA announced a few months ago it may go bankrupt due to the lawsuits over sexual abuse and declining membership. I guess Gates missed that one.

By the way, Scouts BSA also made a policy change in February 2017 to recognize children by their “gender identity,” and the reason Boy Scouts of America changed the name to Scouts BSA is because it’s now open to girls. How long will it be before we hear about a “straight” leader sexually molesting these new additions to the Boy Scouts?

In the end, however, it’s not an LGBT or straight issue; it’s a moral leadership issue. Unfortunately, morality no longer exists in the Boy Scouts because their first duty to God no longer exists, due in no small part to the rise of the lukewarm church and cheap grace theology.

Moral leadership matters in life; and in politics as well. But we’ll never see it again in America unless something changes in the heart of the church.

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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