Thursday, October 25, 2007

Missouri Wildfires

The exodus of Californians fleeing recent wildfires has been characterized by TV media as, "the largest peacetime evacuation of Americans since the Civil War."
We're a little confused by their terminology, but the statement may at least be an acknowledgment that such things happened during Lincoln's War.

Non-combatants fled Charleston when that city was shelled by Federal terrorists, and Atlanta was forcibly depopulated after its capture by Billy ("War is Hell") Sherman. Women and children slept in parks and cemeteries when the boys in blue burned Columbia, and wherever the Union-savers appeared, multitudes were left homeless.

But the most horrendous of forced evacuations occurred in occupied Missouri, where Yankees were having a difficult time pacifying the population. On August 25, 1863 Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing issued his infamous Order No. 11. Everyone–more than 20,000 civilians–living in his 3,000 square mile district had fifteen days to get out. Refugees were robbed and murdered as they departed, and their homes were torched. The devastation was so compete, fires often spreading to fields and forests, that the four counties became known as "The Burnt District."

"The order settled the border war," Ewing proudly told the Washington Post. "It was approved by Major General [John] Schofield and by President Lincoln."

Y'all, this was one war the Nazis won.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Maybe it was hell for some of them Yankees ..."

Former slave Henry D. Jenkins of Fairfield County, South Carolina, interviewed in 1936:

"When the Yankees come, what they do? They did things they ought not to have done and left undone the things they ought to have done. Yes, that ’bout tells it. One thing you might like to hear. Mistress [Sara Howell, wife of plantation owner Joseph Howell] got all the money, the silver, the gold and the jewels, and got the well digger to hide them in the bottom of the well. Them Yankees smart. When they got there, they asked for the very things at the bottom of the well. Mistress wouldn’t tell. They held a “court of enquiry” in the yard; called slaves up, one by one, good many. Must have been a Judas ’mongst us. Soon a Yankee was let down in the well, and all that money, silver, gold, jewelry, watches, rings, brooches, knives and forks, butter-dishes, waiters, goblets, and cups was took and carried ’ way by an army that seemed more concerned ’bout stealin’, than they was ’bout the Holy War for the liberation of the poor African slave people. They took off all the horses, sheep, cows, chickens, and geese; took the seine and the fishes they caught, corn in crib, meat in smoke-house, and everything. Marse General Sherman said war was hell. It sho’ was. Maybe it was hell for some of them Yankees when they come to die and give account of the deeds they done in Sumter and Richland Counties.”

From SC Slave Narratives, vol. 14, pt. 3, pp. 23, 26; quoted in Walter Brian Cisco, War Crimes Against Southern Civilians (Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2007), pp. 185-6.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another book we recommend: DOWNSIZING THE U.S.A.

"We believe the time has come to reconsider secession as a viable option for dealing with our own problems of big government, big military, big business, big labor, and big cities. America has become an unworkable meganation which defies central management and control ... Our states should be allowed to secede from the Union; megastates such as California, Texas, and New York should be permitted to break up; and megalopolises such as Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York should be encouraged to downsize and possibly even split with their respective states. Decentralization and devolution are pretend solutions to problems which require radical surgery, not just more political rhetoric."

Thomas H. Naylor and William H. Willimon, Downsizing the U.S.A. (page 241).

Friday, October 19, 2007

"How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him ..." I Kings 18:21

Dr. Gregory A. Boyd told of attending a Fourth of July worship service held at one American mega church. At center stage stood a cross and a huge American flag. After singing praise choruses and patriotic songs, a video was shown.

"The video closed with a scene of a silhouette of three crosses on a hill with an American flag waving in the back-ground. Majestic, patriotic music now thundered. Suddenly, four fighter jets appeared on the horizon, flew over the crosses, and then split apart. As they roared over the camera, the words "God Bless America" appeared on the screen in front of the crosses.

"The congregation responded with roaring applause, cat-calls, and a standing ovation. I saw several people wiping tears from their eyes. Indeed, as I remained frozen in my seat, I grew teary-eyed as well—but for entirely different reasons. I was struck with horrified grief.

"Thoughts raced through my mind: How could the cross and the sword have been so thoroughly fused without anyone seeming to notice? How could Jesus’ self-sacrificial death be linked with flying killing machines? How could Jesus’ people applaud tragic violence, regardless of why it happened and regardless of how they might benefit from its outcome? How could the kingdom of God be reduced to this sort of violent, nationalistic tribalism?" [From The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005, page 88.]

A foreign-exchange student from Finland, attending one South Carolina congregation's patriotic service, could only be confused about the true meaning of the Gospel. Amid militaristic flag-waving, the unintended message she received was that Christianity is the exclusive religion of America.

A musician at an Upcountry, SC church respectfully requested that he not be required to sing a hymn that glorified war and military conquest. That brother was asked to go.

At another self-proclaimed "Bible-believing" church in the SC Midlands, a family was told to leave when they declined to pledge allegiance to the US flag.

Has America become our god? What must the Creator of the universe think of such idolatry?

In their promotion of "civil religion," too many American Christians seem to assume that the Prince of Peace waves the Star Spangled Banner, as they confuse God with Uncle Sam. What can this be called except blasphemy!

"You shall have no other Gods before Me," proclaims the First Commandment (Exodus 20:3). Have we forgotten that, as Christians, our true citizenship is in heaven? (Philippians 3:20). Jesus said, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations," (Mark 11:17) not just our own.

Individual Christians will always hold a variety of views. What we may not do is use the Savior's church to promote that which is secondary and secular. The cause of Christ is superior to all allegiances—even of loyalty to country—and we dare not erect barriers based on our own prejudices. All—regardless of nationality or political opinion—must be welcome in God's house and invited to enter His Kingdom.

The Church of Jesus Christ has a creed that has nothing to do with opinions or patriotism, and a commission to be about her Master's business, not Caesar's. Just as politics has no place in the pulpit, patriotic songs and symbols too must be left at the door.

The flag of the United States, like the banner of every other country, symbolizes that which is passing and perishable, and has no legitimate place in a Christian sanctuary.

Friday, October 12, 2007

DeRosa's new book is now available!

The framers of the Confederate Constitution were, from long experience, well aware of Washington's appetite for power, and convinced that centralized government inevitably leads to tyranny. When Southerners set up their own federal system after secession, their supreme objective was political decentralization and the rule of law (in contrast to rule by law) as protection against abuse of power. Dr. DeRosa is absolutely correct when he says, "the original and ongoing campaign against CSA principles is a ruse to augment the scope and reach of a coercive centralized government, at the expense of individual and community self determination."

Professor of political science and expert in constitutional law, DeRosa is author of the classic study The Confederate Constitution of 1861. In his new book, he goes on to make the compelling argument that truly democratic principles are to be found in the Southern model of government. If Americans are ever to regain their liberties lost at Appomattox, it will be in a return to the fundamental principles embodied in the Confederate Constitution. Bold and insightful, Redeeming American Democracy is a must read!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Henry Timrod's World Tour

One hundred and forty years ago, on October 7, 1867, Henry Timrod died in Columbia, South Carolina. He was not yet 39 years old, living in abject poverty, and his death from tuberculosis was hastened by seldom having enough to eat in post-Sherman Columbia. Two years earlier, he had lost his home and business to Sherman's arsonists. Two of his sisters, and his own 10 month old son Willie, died in a single month—additional victims of Lincoln's War. Yet when Henry Timrod died, he was arguably the finest poet in America.

Born December 8, 1828 in Charleston, educated there and at the University of Georgia, Timrod spent a decade tutoring children of plantation families. He began writing verse as a teenager, his subjects usually nature or romance. The coming of Southern independence stirred him deeply. He became widely known in February 1861 with the publication of his poem "Ethnogenesis." Others, such as "The Cotton Boll," "Charleston," "Christmas," "Carolina," and "Spring" secured his fame as "laureate of the Confederacy."

This writer first encountered Timrod's "Ode" (in honor of the Confederate dead) when a high school student in the 1960s, in California. Studying American literature in college we read many of his other poems. Yet over the years, as the blight of political correctness settled across the land, Timrod was increasingly neglected and his work began to disappear from anthologies.

In late August of last year, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan released a CD of his newest work called "Modern Times," and it soon rose to number one on the charts. Within days, out in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a disc jockey named Scott Warmuth decided to do a Google search of Dylan's lyrics. What he found was astonishing. In one song, "When the Deal Goes Down," Dylan used poetic phrases from no fewer than four Timrod poems. Warmuth discovered many more examples of Dylan "borrowing" from the Southern poet. "I told my neighbor Chris about what I had turned up regarding Bob and Timrod," remembered Warmuth, "while our kids were riding bikes in the street between our houses one Sunday afternoon. It got his dander up, and he went and wrote the New York Times a letter ..."

Reporter Motoko Rich of the Times did some research, and her article appeared on September 14, 2006; asking tongue-in-cheek, "Who's This Guy Dylan Who's Borrowing Lines From Henry Timrod?" The word was out! Quickly other papers reprinted the story, or ran their own. From London to Atlanta; Sydney, Australia to Osaka, Japan—the story of the Timrod/Dylan connection appeared in at least 42 newspapers in 18 countries. It was discussed on-line on countless thousands of websites, blogs, and forums. National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" interviewed discoverer Scott Warmuth.

Some denounced Dylan's "plagiarism" while others defended his borrowings. Someone pointed out, for what it's worth, that the word Timrod can be spelled from the letters in "Modern Times."

Sales of Timrod's poetry spiked on Amazon. One on-line reviewer said, "After all the noise about Dylan's supposed borrowing from Timrod, I thought I'd give him a look. What one discovers is thoughtful and colorful poetry of a 19th century man ... [Except for] the Dylan furor, I never would have discovered him." He gave Timrod five stars.

The real story here, and cause for rejoicing? That Henry Timrod, neglected for so long, was discovered by legions of new readers. Truly, God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Secession: America's oldest tradition

What do South Carolina, Alaska, Vermont, Hawaii, and Texas have in common? Among other things, citizens in each state are working for independence. It seems that there are secessionist movements active now in no fewer than 25 American states! Most are concerned about liberties lost to the federal leviathan, and senseless wars waged by the empire. (Of course the SPLC pretends to see racism afoot, but that's how they make a living). For more, check out today's Associated Press article: Secessionists Meeting in Tennessee

Monday, October 1, 2007

The sincerest form of flattery ...

The U.S. Navy is terribly embarrassed over a San Diego barracks built in the shape of a huge swastika, and is scrambling to obscure the symbol with $600,000 worth of landscaping. It's difficult to see how its design could have been a mistake, though we hope it was no more than that and, after all, it was a government project. But it doesn't take a Google satellite image to note the striking similarities between the architecture of Hitler's Reich and Roosevelt's New Deal. As an example, above are images of the Federal Reserve Board Building, Washington, D.C.; and of the Reich Chancellery, Berlin. Now that's embarrassing!