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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.

Chris McDonald, Classical Conservative, Federalist, amateur philosopher and Son of Liberty. Visit me on The College Conservative at http://thecollegeconservative.com/author/christophermcdonald/

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Culture and Religion

Snatching Defeat from the jaws of Victory: ‘Writing out’ Most Guns with the Bump-Stock ban.

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Bump Stock

The latest Liberty grabber wave has crested, but Trump is about to give them a tremendous victory over the 2nd amendment.

Now that the Sturm und Drang of the March for gun confiscation has ‘died down’ it has become evident that, much like previous movements of the past, it came to nought aside from some localised suppressions of Liberty. The problem is there a vestige of this assault of freedom that is still rearing it’s ugly head, that of the infamous ban on so-called “Bump-Stocks”.

Those who are rightly concerned about this assault on Liberty can still inscribe their opposition with the Moonshine, Cigarettes and Fire-sticks bureaucracy [Better known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – BATF]  pushing through a new ‘law’ that all by himself, Trump has taken to “Writing Out”.  The deadline is June 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET for everyone to post their opposition to this ‘Law’.

First they came for the Bump-Stocks.

For those who may not care about someone else’s concerns over freedom, just be mindful of a reprise of Martin Niemöller Poem starting with the line: “First they came for the Bump-Stocks, and I didn’t object – For I didn’t care about Bump-Stocks…. Soon enough, they get around to coming after the firearms everyone else cares about, and eventually that will be hunting rifles or shotguns. If you chose to remain silent those guns will be “written out” as well.

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to what the Liberty grabbers have stated in bragging about the subject:

Delaney Tarr [March for Our Lives]

When they give us that inch, that bump stock ban, we will take a mile.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.):

Upon being asked if the bill was a slippery slope toward further gun restrictions, she said, “So what? … I certainly hope so.”

Apparently we’re not supposed to notice when the Liberty grabber Left broadcasts their intentions to the world. We’re supposed to let them get a foot in the door of a pretext for further bans before objecting.

Giving up the question.

David Deming over on the American thinker, Made the very important point that sacrificing one more time to the Liberty grabbers of what seems to be nothing is in essence:

If we agree to ban bump stocks because they facilitate rapid firing, we have given up the question. We have agreed in principle that any dangerous gun can be banned and confiscated by an arbitrary executive order. All guns are capable of rapid fire, and all guns are inherently dangerous. Pump-action shotguns can be rapidly fired and reloaded. Jerry Miculek can fire five shots from a double-action revolver in 0.57 seconds. High-capacity magazines most certainly facilitate rapid fire, so they also will have to go. A writer who wants to ban all “private individual ownership of firearms” recently argued that “even bolt-action rifles can still fire surprisingly fast in skilled hands.” He’s right. All magazine-fed guns will be outlawed.

Automatic redefinition.

In point of fact, the ATF previously ruled that Bump-Stocks [and presumably other ways of ‘bump-firing a gun – Fast fingers, Rubber bands and Belt-loops] don’t actually convert ordinary semi-automatic firearms to a “Machine gun” because the trigger has to be pulled for every shot. Now with the President’s authorising this linguistic legerdemain, this definition codified in the law has been blurred to the point that any gun that can be ‘Bump-fired’ could also be banned. However, they can’t very well ban fingers, belt-loops or rubber bands, so they will just ban each and every gun that can fire too fast.

Just ‘Write-out’ this legal requirement and Voila! Any gun that can be fired too fast for the sensibilities of the Liberty grabbers can be thought of as a “Machine Gun” and banned instantly – converting most of the 120 Million gun owners into instant felons. With a bit of training,  most guns can be fired faster, so in essence, letting them change this legal definition could have them ban just about every gun in existence.

The Takeaway.

One might not care about the fate of thousands of inert pieces of plastic or what happens to those who have them. One might not care if someone won’t be able to bump-fire a weapon in this particular way. But we on the Pro-Liberty Right will rue the day that we let this go through in exchange for nothing.

If we let the powers that be arbitrarily proclaim that some guns with these pieces of inert plastic are “Machine Guns’, the day will soon dawn when ALL guns are dishonestly ‘written out’ as the same. It will then just be a slippery slope to everyone having to undergo a background check, registration and of course – TAXES – on guns that we already own. Followed by the inevitable confiscation of those guns.

Those who remain silent now will only have themselves to blame when this happens – so now is the time to stop this dead in it’s tracks. The comment window is only open for a few more days [Jun 27, 2018 11:59 PM ET], make the best of it.

 

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Culture and Religion

Is Mike Pence too political for church?

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There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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