“[H]ad the Confederates somehow won, had their victory put them in position to bring their chief opponents before some sort of tribunal, they would have found themselves justified . . . in stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command for violation of the laws of war, specifically for waging war against noncombatants.” ~ Lee Kennett, Marching through Georgia: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman, p. 286
The War Between the States has been over a long time. The bones of those who fought are now dust, the memory of them relegated to the past as those they once loved were laid to rest. Few remember their names. Few even care to. But the cause for which those men fought is a fight still going on today.
Was the war fought over states rights? Or, as is often put forth, was it fought over slavery? Slavery existed in the South, no doubt, but it existed in the North also. Slavery, evil institution that it was, was allowed by the Constitution. Slavery wasn’t done away with by the Union until December 1865 with the ratification of the 13th amendment. So what are we to believe? And where do we get our information?
It seems like everybody and their neighbor is on the “Let’s get rid of the Confederate flag” bandwagon now. Walmart, claiming to not want to offend anyone, removes the Confederate flag while continuing to sell Che Guevara items. Che Guevara, for those who don’t know, was a Marxist Revolutionary who founded Cuba’s infamous “labor camp” system, a system that incarcerated any who spoke against them, and those they disagreed with, including homosexuals and AIDS victims. He was responsible for the murder of many men, women, and children. His enemies died without having a chance to defend themselves. He was an opponent of free elections. Hey, young people wearing tee-shirts emblazoned with his photo: Bet you didn’t know he banned rock’n’roll, did you? But he is an acceptable hero but the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia (which is not, nor has ever been, the official flag of the Confederacy) is offensive?
But the flag flew over slavery so it must go. Well, then, you might as well get rid of the U.S. flag because it flew over slavery a whole lot longer.
Well the South imported slaves so, that made them wrong. Well, yes, but where did the South get them? From the North. No Confederate flag ever flew over a slave ship. Not one. The USA, however, cannot say that.
We could go on and on but, ultimately, as Christians, what is important is honoring the Lord. Disunity isn’t honoring to Him, but neither is buying into lies. Where exactly are we getting our information about how horribly infamous the South was supposed to have been, and may still be? Oh, yes, that’s right: From the liberal media. And from the US Government themselves, through the public schools (which, as everyone knows, can be trusted to teach the truth about everything, right?). They couldn’t be wrong, now could they? After all, they’ve never lied before. (Cough)
Before we jump on the South is Evil and so is all they’ve ever stood for bandwagon, let’s show a bit of common sense. Maybe dig into the facts. It was a different time, a different place, and we cannot and will not, agree with everything on either side but, if you look, if you seek truth, you will find out things about the North that will make you just as sick, if not sicker, than what you think you know about the Southern cause. Most folks in the South didn’t own slaves. Most of the young men who went to war did so because there was an army here, shooting at them and seeking to destroy their land and their homes. They did what you and I would do if we were in the same situation. They brought the war to us, and our ancestors fought it because they had to in order to protect hearth and home.
So why did the South secede? “Historians Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffer found that a few common factors increase the likelihood of secession in a region: lower wages, an economy based on raw materials and external exploitation. Although popular movies emphasize slavery as a cause of the Civil War, the war best fits a psycho-historical model of the South rebelling against Northern exploitation. Many Americans do not understand this fact. A non-slave-owning Southern merchant angered over yet another proposed tariff act does not make a compelling scene in a movie. However, that would be closer to the original cause of the Civil War than any scene of slaves picking cotton.” http://www.emarotta.com/protective-tariffs-the-primary-cause-of-the-civil-war/
As for Lincoln, that Great Emancipator wasn’t a great emancipator at all. He didn’t believe blacks and whites should be, or even could be, equal in any way. Frederick Douglass, author and former slave himself, was wary of Lincoln’s intentions as President, and, as history proves, he had every right to be. On December 1, 1862, Lincoln recommended a constitutional amendment, which would have been the 13th had it gone through. His proposed amendment offered a gradual emancipation of slaves that would take 37 years to complete. Compensation was offered to the slaver owners but not to the slaves themselves, and guaranteed the expulsion of the negro race to Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. This proposed expulsion was supposedly to be voluntary but, essentially, was to be a new Trail of Tears. But, Lincoln, you gotta love him, right? Wrong.
William Lloyd Garrison, famous abolitionist of the time, speaking of the North, stated that, “The free colored people were looked upon as an inferior caste to whom their liberty was a curse, and their lot worse than of the slaves…” Where do we hear that today? In textbooks? Hardly.
Northern Major General Benjamin Butler, irritated that the women of New Orleans weren’t showing his soldiers proper respect, issued what came to be known as the Woman Order:
As the officers and soldiers of the United States have been subject to repeated insults from the women (calling themselves ladies) of New Orleans in return for the most scrupulous non-interference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered that hereafter when any female shall by word, gesture, or movement insult or show contempt for any officer or soldier of the United States she shall be regarded and held liable to be treated as a woman of the town plying her avocation.
By command of Major-General Butler:
GEO. C. STRONG,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
In short, any Southern woman insulting Union soldiers would be treated by law as a prostitute.
Confederate President Jefferson Davis issued a formal statement of objection, as did England’s Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. Butler came to be called “Beast Butler”. Many called for a bounty to be put on his head. But did you ever hear that? No. That bit of history seems to have been omitted from history textbooks.
General Sherman’s men were known to tie black men up by their thumbs while trying to find out where valuables might be hidden. Sometimes they hung them by the neck, often killing them, as they sought to get information out of them. “They tied me up by my two thumbs and try to make me tell where I hid the money and gold watch and silver, but I swore I didn’t know,” said a former slave in The Slave Narratives.
Union General James H. Lane said, “We believe in a war of extermination. I want to see every foot of ground in Jackson, Cass and Bates counties burned over – everything laid waste.” And they did just that, burning, pillaging, stealing, killing and raping, our land, and our people, including the black people, both freeman and slave. Don’t believe it? Go back and read the historical accounts of the time.
So go on and take down the flag, protest against war memorials, and declare, again and again, that the South was wrong and the North was right, and that we are backwoods hicks who know nothing and hate anyone with skin darker than ours. You can say that, but you’re going to be wrong. Look into the historical evidences yourself but meanwhile know this: the flag isn’t the issue. You can take it down if you wish and it won’t change a single thing. If somehow this piece of cloth will keep people from the Lord, it should be taken down–but if we do that we must also remove everything else in our lives and in our land that is an offense unto the Lord and a hindrance to the salvation of the lost. But, if we’re going to be honest, the only way this flag can offend is if we, through ignorance and lies, through lack of information and confusion, let it offend. For me, for many Southerners, this flag represents a fight against tyranny. For that reason, I still support it–unless it is interfering in the Lord’s work.
Just remember, this isn’t a flag issue, it isn’t a white issue, or a black issue, it is a truth issue, and truth is a rare commodity in the United States today. And while they have you busy getting all up in arms over this, they are busy stealing away more and more of your freedoms every single day. They came for our truth a long time ago; now they are coming for everyone’s. Today, the South is, for the most part, the bastion of modern conservatism and, by distracting the folks with the flag issue, they are ingeniously equating conservatism with racism and all sorts of evil. When they do, they will have won.