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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Objectionable Windows?

The Washington National Cathedral's stained class windows incorporate many different themes and subjects.

Upon the recent death of Nelson Mandela, objections have now arisen to two of the stained glass windows — two separate windows depicting General Stonewall Jackson and General Robert E. Lee, both of them officers in the Confederate Army:




According to this recent article in the Washington Post:
Jackson is described as walking “humbly before his Creator, whose word was his guide.” Lee is described as a “servant of God, leader of men, general-in-chief of the armies of the Confederate States whose compelling sense of duty, serene faith and unfailing courtesy mark him for all ages as a Christian soldier without fear and without reproach.”

Above each inscription are stained-glass windows depicting events from the mens’ lives. They even feature the Confederate flag.

Absent from the hagiography is any suggestion that the cause Lee and Jackson fought for was in any way controversial, or that the presence of the niches is inappropriate for a cathedral, especially a cathedral in the capital of the union the generals tried to destroy.
Objections are not limited to the two stained class windows mentioned above. The article also mentions that the cathedral also holds the remains of one of the country’s most racist presidents — Woodrow Wilson.

Before sharing any comments that you may have, please read this article in the Washington Post for further details.

111 comments:

  1. To All Muckrakers and Agitators

    Foul-minded, ill-intentioned –– your
    Ugly disposition longs to battle.
    Caring only to distress not cure,
    Kicking at the sky you shake your rattle

    In defiance of Propriety.
    Noxious noise is all that you produce ––
    Grotesque behavior seeking notoriety ––
    Bad smelling like a long-uncleansed prepuce.

    A soul in torment must be what you are ––
    Suffering with the fear you are inferior.
    Too bad! A fine intelligence you mar
    Assaulting with produce from your posterior.

    Redemption might be earned should you relent,
    Desist your endless insults, and repent.


    ~ FreeThinke

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Wilson himself was the worst. A lot of the blame for the hundreds of thousands of deaths in the Serbian holocaust in the 1990s can be laid at his feet: he was a major factor in the bad idea of creating Yugoslavia, an unjust little "evil empire" that was always a time bomb, and included such dangerous mistakes as attaching Kosovo to Serbia against Kosovo's wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meddling in the internal affairs of others is a great evil -- even when it appears to be well-intentioned. The problem is as old as Time, itself.

      We must first perfect ourselves before we dare even to dream of correcting flaws we see in others.

      The Busybody Mentality -- daring to PRESUME one know what's best for someone ELSE -- may very well be THE root of all the evil that plagues human society.

      Busybodies are universally loathed and despised -- and rightly so.

      There could be no greater sin than that of Self-RIghteousness -- a form of HUBRIS.

      Delete
  4. I grow weary of such stupidity, particularly among the so-called intellectual elite. I believe the southern cause leading us toward civil war had far more to do with states rights than it did with slavery, but it is perfectly understandable that the two issues merged into one. We might wonder what it was that urged the young dirt farmer, likely a tenant farmer, to abandon his small plot and go off to war on the side of the Confederate cause. No slave-owner, he … it must have been the sense of duty he had to stand with his state, which was (and is) sovereign. Do we now castigate such a man? A few years later we were urging his grandson to do the same thing for the federal government, but this time in Europe.

    I do believe that Robert E. Lee was a genuinely good man. I also think he was a horrible general. I think he did the best he could with what he had. As for Jackson, I see the man as an aggressive soldier, and a zealot (both for the Confederacy, and his religion). His deathbed suffering might convince some that he was no favorite of the Lord, and how ironic that he was felled in a friendly fire incident. Both men did their duty, as they understood that duty, even if we disagree with the things that motivated them. Is it useful now to criticize such men?

    For those who argue that these damn rebels fought to maintain horrid slavery —why are they not incensed that slavery continues to exist to this very day, or importantly, that nothing is being done about it? Why was slavery “horrid” back then, and not now? Specifically, I wonder why democrats suddenly pretend that the notion of slavery offends them. If it does, then release those blacks today enslaved by Democratic/progressive programs. Otherwise, STFU.

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    Replies
    1. Mustang said: "I do believe that Robert E. Lee was a genuinely good man"

      I just now read an interview with him in which he expressed his desire for eliminating all Blacks in Virginia. Kind of seems rather un-good to me.

      Delete
    2. Do you mean the same kind of "eliminating blacks" that Abraham Lincoln considered, as in sending them all back to Africa? Do you mean the same kind of solution that led to the creation of Liberia? Is that also an example of "un-good?"

      Delete
    3. Lincoln considered it: but let blacks stay here. Face it, trying to find "good" in a man who was the main military leader in an ultimately evil cause is a futile effort.

      Delete
    4. Okay, I get it now. I apologize dmarks; I thought you were interested in a civil discussion; I was wrong. You are only interested in listening to yourself. As you now presume to know what is in the hearts of men, go for it. I would only urge care in judging others, particularly when you only know a little about what actually happened some 200 years ago.

      Delete
    5. dmarks, by "evil cause" I assume you mean the Union cause, namely, the invasion of sovereign states to force them back into a political union they no longer wanted, the destruction of "the consent of the governed," the conduct of total war on civilians, and the elevation of the federal government from a servant of the states to their imperial master.

      Delete
    6. "to force them back into a political union they no longer wanted"

      You have no idea that "they no longer wanted it", Stogie. A huge proportion of the people of these states were barred from having any say in the decision. And you and I both know they would have opposed it.

      " "the consent of the governed,"

      A concept which by design simpy did not exist in the Confederacy. And did exist at the end of the war. Sorry, the "slavery is good" arguments stank back then, and don't smell any better.

      Stogie, thanks for expressing your views without engaging in playground taunts.

      Delete
    7. This excellent article cuts to ribbons the idea of defending a false "nation", the Confederacy, which was based upon the illegitimate "rights" of state governments to deny the Constitutional rights of a huge proportion of its individuals.

      Face it. The South lost the war. Not only militarily, but when it came to ideas and most especially morality.

      Delete
    8. Dmarks,
      the illegitimate "rights" of state governments to deny the Constitutional rights of a huge proportion of its individuals

      Not as the Constitution was originally ratified, however.

      As I understand it, the Northern states were pleased not to count individual slaves as complete human beings. Also as I understand it, the South wanted individual slaves counted as complete human beings. The matter of how to count slaves had to do with power in Congress.

      Also, did not a least a few states join the Union with the stipulation that those states could secede? I can't vouch for this source (and I have no time right now to verify assertions contained therein), but the article is an interesting read. For balance, here is an article with a different viewpoint on the matter of reserving the right to secede.

      Delete
  5. Mustang: Were there any specific state rights involved?

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    Replies
    1. I believe that many (if not most) southern states believed that the Ninth and Tenth Amendments permitted states to repudiate objectionable federal laws and had the right to nullify them. I know that both Madison and Jefferson believed this in their day, and we even see some of that remaining today as South Carolina appears to have nullified the ACA.

      Delete
    2. Mustang: do you have any examples of some specific pre-Civil War laws that were states rights issues? Specifically, was there any one issue that was the most contentuous?

      Delete
    3. The Ordinance of Nullification (1832) ...repudiated the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832.

      Delete
    4. According to this article: click here the main states rights issue was slavery. Which meant it was really about slavery, if we want to be the most honest.

      The oppressive and illegitimate "right" of a state government to violate so many basic rights of its people...

      Delete
    5. If we want to be honest, the war was not about slavery at all, but about the right to control and the right to tax. The slavery propaganda was instituted after the war in order to give a false nobility to the bloodiest war in our history. Read this informed and scholarly essay "Why the Civil War Was Not About Slavery." http://saberpoint.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-civil-war-was-not-about-slavery.html

      Delete
  6. Yes, the right of the states to allow slavery.

    Check out South Carolina's petition for secession.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ducky: That is what I always understood. But I wonder if Mustang has other information...

      Delete
    2. Ducky, you point out why South Carolina seceded, not why the Civil War was fought. The war was fought over secession, not the reason for the secession.

      Delete
    3. Yes, that is technically correct.

      However, slavery was the institution which nearly shattered the union. It was unlikely that secession would have been discussed otherwise.

      But think of all that Robert E. Lee brought to the science of warfare.
      Brute force tactics that were popular until WW I finally woke the world.
      It's a disgrace for a cathedral to honor that animal.

      Delete
    4. Ducky said: "Yes, that is technically correct."

      See how they dance around the facts and evade.. It's present in the total illogic of the frequent claim "it wasn't about slavery, but about states rights (the main one involving slavery)". That is what you will find with the so-called "neo-confederates", Ducky, They get a few facts technically correct. But they get the important ones entirely incorrect.

      "It's a disgrace for a cathedral to honor that animal."

      Ducky, could be worse than Robert E. Lee. Nathan Bedford Forrest could be on the windows instead. And Stogie, Sam, etc would be all the happier.

      It is pointless to argue, Ducky, with those who get some many of the facts wrong and are steeped in ill intent. The type of people who come to a gun fight not with a knife, but with a strand of wet spaghetti. The type of people who see the movie "Twelve Years a Slave" and are outraged that the slave was able to get away with so many transgressions against the property rights of his superiors, and cheer on the slave-owners.

      I've had the same sort of arguments with Arabs who really really hated Jews. With Serbs who really really hated Kosovars. And yes. of course with other similar white supremacists. It's pointless, really, they are all faith-based not fact based. And in the case of discussions of American affairs, they show a deep contempt for the individual liberties which all but a tiny few of us in white robes hold dear.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Odie,
      Yes, there is indeed the issue of U.S. history involved.

      Many of the windows and niches at the Washington National Cathedral depict events or personages in our history.

      Delete
  8. I have a question for dmarks. If you believe education is the most powerful weapon to change the world, then shouldn’t you begin looking at history in more than one dimension. By all means, let us educate ourselves about the civil war. Your contention that slavery was the main issue is only true over time. It became the issue, particularly when educators began drumming slavery into the heads of young children in middle school. There is a reason for this, of course. Children do not understand the complexities of nullification, or of any of the other issues leading to civil war. They are struggling with the multiplication tables, as are some adults.

    So yes, slavery was the main issue if one chooses to ignore nullification, congressional gag rules, southern agrarianism, sectionalism, inadequate compromises, political fragmentation, and the pitfalls of revisionist history.

    Another good idea is to read actual history, rather than the marketing campaign of a website that deals primarily in tourism. Although, the link dmarks provided does contain this statement: “The trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public of the war’s history and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it.” Use of the word “conflicts” suggests more than one, which is most definitely true. Apparently, in those days, no one from the north had a clue about what the southern farmers should do about slavery, other than to release their slaves. Release them to what?

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  9. "Apparently, in those days, no one from the north had a clue about what the southern farmers should do about slavery, other than to release their slaves. Release them to what?"

    Kind of a strange argument from him that argues in favor of letting slavery go on....

    Release them to what? Freedom. Wow. I thought the pro vs anti slavery arguments were really an 1850s thing, not something of the modern era.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your views are overly simple and not thought through. Release them to starvation, more than likely. The North never proposed any responsible or workable plan to free the slaves, which would involve paying slave owners for their losses, and relocating slaves throughout the territories and states and giving them land to farm. The Northerners were extremely prejudiced against blacks and would never consider either one.

      Delete
    2. Stogie said: "Your views are overly simple and not thought through. Release them to starvation, more than likely."

      I see we have a second person arguing in favor of keeping the institution of slavery. The exact same sort of argument can be used, for example, to justify keeping the North Korean prison camps running. You give entirely no regard to the intrinsic human rights of these people.

      "The North never proposed any responsible or workable plan to free the slaves"

      Actually, they did. The Emancipation Proclamation, which ended the entirely illegitimate condition of human beings owning other human beings.

      "which would involve paying slave owners for their losses"

      Losses? These human beings were never their property to begin with. If anything, the slaveowners owed damages to those they raped and abused. Sorry, the slaveowners were entirely in the wrong. Not the victims.

      "The Northerners were extremely prejudiced against blacks and would never consider either one."

      You do have a good point, the first you have made yet. The North was hardly perfect. But that is still no reason to allow an entirely illegitimate situation to continue, nor is it a reason to reward those who were in the wrong on this.

      Delete
    3. Aha, I see the only way dmarks can argue is to assign a false position to his opponents. I am arguing that the Civil War was not a moral crusade to end slavery, but a selfish one to prevent Lincoln from losing his tax base. No, the slaveowners were not entirely in the wrong. There was no easy way to end slavery without great economic dislocation, and a huge and ruinous war was (assuming your position is true, which it is not) a cure more deadly than the disease. I see you have no argument for the Northern slave trade and the North's enormous culpability for the institution. Slavery was an American institution, not a Southern one, and immediate emancipation would have been ruinous for both slave and master alike. The peaceful ending of slavery would have required Northern cooperation and financing, which they were not willing to give. Your simplistic morality play is sophomoric and reflects your ignorance of history.

      Delete
    4. Oh by the way, the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave, nor did it intend to do so. Once again, you expose your ignorance. Lincoln called it a war measure, and hoped it would encourage the slaves to revolt and fight their masters. It failed to do so.

      The Emancipation Proclamation declared all slaves freed in the seceding state after a certain date (if the states returned to the Union before that date, they could keep their slaves). The Proclamation did not free a single slave anywhere the Union had control, as the Yankees needed the labor. In other words, it freed slaves where it had no power to enforce, and did not free any slaves where it did have the power to enforce.

      Delete
    5. One more point: slavery was ended peacefully everywhere but the United States. Great Britain did indeed pay compensation to its slave owners for emancipating their slaves. Paying compensation was necessary to avoid economic ruin.

      Delete
  10. @ dmarks

    Seriously? When did I argue in favor of slavery? Are you really that simple-minded? Where should these freed slaves go, moron? Tell me, would they line up for jobs at Wal-Mart? Did you even finish high school?

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Release them to what?" is an argument for the status quo. A poor choice of words on your part, probably. It makes you look like you were being reactionary against this basic reform.

    As I am completely opposed to slavery, I would not question releasing slaves to freedom. I'd say "it's about time" instead of release it "to what?"

    "Where should these freed slaves go, moron? "

    Ah. I should have read the rest of it. Yet ANOTHER argument against releasing slaves.

    "Tell me, would they line up for jobs at Wal-Mart? Did you even finish high school?"

    Anyone who thinks Wal-Mart existed in the 1850s shouldn't be calling his betters "morons" and questioning their education.

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  12. Also, I will remind Sam, who is getting increasingly hot headed and losing the grasp of facts and issues, of this "civil dialogue" rule: "1. Any use of profanity or abusive language" and "3. Use of personal invective"

    Calling someone a moron for pointing out inconvenient facts and daring to read what you actually wrote is getting close to that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dmarks, I suggest you suppress your feeling of moral and intellectual superiority. As a life member of Sons of Confederate Veterans, I can assure you that in any debate over the Civil War between us, I would massacre you. I have done so with better informed Yankees than you are.

      Delete
    2. Stogie: Sorry, I will not respect my knowledge that respecting our basic human rights as in the Bill of Rights is better than slavery. No amount of poorly thought out arguments will change that.

      "I would massacre you". With your empassioned arguments against slavery and that those who brutalized the slaves were somehow victims, you have massacred yourself.

      " I have done so with better informed Yankees than you are."

      I doubt that very much.

      Delete
    3. Once again, you misrepresent my positions and sound hysterical in your desire to avoid the public spanking you have coming. The Bill of Rights was instituted when most of the Founding Fathers were slave owners or slave traders themselves, including Washington and Jefferson. Apparently, they didn't agree with your position.

      Secondly, the slaves were not brutalized, but treated very well. This has been documentd by such scholarly studies as in the book "Time on the Cross." Slaves were valuable property, and slaves that were well treated did not try to run away. Further, most slaves were loyal to the South, many thousands serving the Confederacy willingly as teamsters, cooks and even as soldiers. There are monuments in thehSouth praising the slaves for their loyalty.

      Shall the massacre contiue, dmarks? I'm game.

      Delete
    4. The slaves were well treated ... late for your Whit Citizens Coucil meeting, Stogie.

      Or are you going to follow with some fringe right wing lecture on freedom?

      Damn Harriet Beecher Stowe.

      Delete
    5. Slaves were well treated? Here's a Wiki excerpt ...

      "Pregnant women received the most horrendous lashings; slave masters came up with unique ways to lash them so that they could beat the mother without harming the baby. Slave masters would dig a hole big enough for the woman's stomach to lay in and proceed with the lashings."

      Sounds similar to a stoning to me. You a closet Muslim Stogie.

      Why are the men who defended that barbaric behavior on the windows of the national cathedral?

      Have you seen "12 Years a Slave"? I thought it was excessive but then folks come along who remind us that slavery is still defended and we may in fact need those graphic reminders.

      "Backs broke bending digging holes to plant the seeds
      The owners ate the cane and the workers ate the weeds
      Put the wood in the stove, the water in the cup
      You worked so hard that you died standing up"


      Delete
    6. Stogie said: "Shall the massacre contiue, dmarks? I'm game."

      I am quite content to sit back and watch you massacre yourself. By all means, continue.

      Delete
  13. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that calling attention to the fact that someone is simple minded is a personal attack, if he is in fact simple minded. That would seem to be the case with dmarks.

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  14. Robert: That would apply the most to Sam who argues that slavery should not have been ended because there weren't Walmarts (???). I see perhaps you are like him, though, and won't defend the idea of keeping slaves as slaves with facts, but merely with support of unintellectual insults made by others.

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    Replies
    1. dmarks, Sam should simply be instructed to study John C. Calhoun, a favorite patriot.

      The cotton economy was the life of the South and with it slavery. Calhoun's objection to the Federal government was simply an objection to any attempt to alter the (failed) plantation agriculture economy.

      Absent that issue nullification would have never arisen.

      Be careful when Sam fails to realize his limited, circumscribed understanding of American history. He got a thorough damaging indoctrination somewhere.

      Delete
    2. No, Sam simply was educated beyond the simple understanding of Yankees everywhere First of all, slavery was an American institution, not a Southern one. Twelve of the original thirteen colonies were slave states. Northern slave ships brought and sold slaves to the South, and for every slave sold to the South, they sold 19 more to Cuba, Brazil and the West Indies. Some moral superiority, hey Ducky? Also, Northern textile industries thrived on that slavery-picked cotton and the whole country benefited from it. Further, 80% of the nation's tax revenues came from the South, most of which was spent in the North.

      The disagreement between North and South was whether or not slavery should be allowed in the new territories. Northerners wanted slavery kept out, because they despised blacks, and wanted to keep the territories reserved for white people, but also so whites would not have to compete with slave labor. Their opposition wasn't due to great moral considerations as so many falsely assume.

      Delete
    3. Stogie: None of your points justify the support of slavery.

      "The disagreement between North and South was whether or not slavery should be allowed in the new territories"

      At last an admission that the whole thing was really over slavery. In direct contradiction to Sam...

      " Their opposition wasn't due to great moral considerations as so many falsely assume."

      I know that. None of which justifies slavery.

      Delete
    4. Well let's see what Lincoln himself said about it:

      "Before proceeding, let me say I think I have no prejudice against the Southern people. They are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist amongst them, they would not introduce it. If it did now exist amongst us, we should not instantly
      give it up. This I believe of the masses north and south.

      Doubtless there are individuals, on both sides, who would not hold slaves under any circumstances; and others who would gladly introduce slavery anew, if it were out of existence. We know that some southern men do free their slaves, go north, and become tip-top abolitionists; while some northern ones go south, and become most cruel slave-masters.

      When southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery, than we; I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists; and that it is very difficult to get rid of it, in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do
      myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution."

      This was from the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

      Delete
  15. /facepalm I love how ALL OF YOU derailed the discussion from one about the National Cathedral to re-starting the Civil war. Especially since arguing about it is utterly pointless online- none of you are willing to change your opinions. I've yet to meet a Southerner or Northerner who is.

    -Wildstar

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    Replies
    1. Wild: No, I will not budge in my opposition to slavery.

      Delete
    2. Wildstar,
      When I published this blog post, I expected a lively discussion, always the case about that period of American history.

      I have to admit that I chuckled when I read the last two sentences of your comment:

      none of you are willing to change your opinions. I've yet to meet a Southerner or Northerner who is.

      I'm not sure that the argument here is utterly pointless, however. **smile**

      PS: Mr. AOW chuckled, too, and stated: "True, dat!"

      Delete
    3. Good morning, Wildstar, a day late, I fear. Your observation is exactly correct, with the exception of the sardonic sonnet I posted at the head of the comments, which in it's stylized, formally-structured, figurative fashion identified, condemned and castigated the source of the deadly disease that besets our society –– namely the practice of constant complaint, captiousness, excessive confrontation and self-centered, self-serving demands that society at large alter its ways to suit the whims of an increasing number of of aggravated and aggravating splinter groups.

      These are the Professional Troublemakers, the arrogant, self-appointed, self-anointed, self-righteous busybodies who've made it their business to "repair the world" and remake it in an image pleasing -- not to God -- but to themselves.

      How do you know them from the genuinely good? The Troublemakers are much too busy shouting, screaming, shrieking, roaring, denouncing, hectoring, badgering, irritating, insulting, scolding, condemning and DEMANDING to find time to do anything CONSTRUCTIVE.

      Those who quietly, humbly pray in secret, and then go forth to do what needs to be done without fanfare seeking no reward other than the satisfaction of doing a job as well as they can are the true heroes. Fortunately, their name is Legion.

      The noisemakers, to whom the enemedia gives the lion's share of attention always, are the "tinkling brass and sounding cymbals" dismissed by St. Paul in his famous passage on Charity in Second Corinthians.

      It helps to remember: "The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away..."

      Delete
    4. FT,
      "The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away..."

      I love Psalm 1!

      I have memorized verbatim very few entire chapters of the Bible. But I committed Psalm 1 to memory when I was about 10 years old and can still recite it.

      As for the noisemakers and Professional Troublemakers that you mentioned, I've decided not to let them run my life by my having to delete every single noisemaking comment. One can only hope that their venting prevents them from committing violent deeds -- catharsis, in other words.

      Yesterday, Wildstar and I had a brief face-to-face chat about this thread. In many ways, this young lady has insights well beyond her chronological age. I enjoy her company!

      Delete
  16. @dmarks

    "Sam who argues that slavery should not have been ended because there weren't Walmarts (???). "

    Are you really so shallow that you don't see the actual point that Sam is making?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jon: I saw it, and see that it is completely invalid.

      Delete
  17. Maybe the war had something as well to do with cotton. With the development of the cotton gin, slavery would have become a moot point. Economically not beneficial. But better to try out Lincoln's unconstitutional acts.. The better for Obama to have a road map.

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    Replies
    1. Quite the contrary. With the development of the gin, cotton became a hugely profitable crop and dominated the southern economy which bound it to slavery. Someone had to pick the stuff, they didn't have Mexicans.

      Delete
  18. NOTICE TO COMMENTERS:

    I was delayed in getting home from work today, the last day of classes before the homeschool group's Christmas Break 2013.

    I will be reading all these comments -- as soon as I recover from today's fracases in the classroom and the bitter cold temperatures in the building.

    This post will remain at the top of the blog until Saturday morning.

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  19. Make of these words from Abraham Lincoln what you will:

    I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, or intermarry with the white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.

    And, here we are, well over a century later, trying to sort out the conundrum.

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    Replies
    1. Correct. But those opinions were not placed into the Emancipation Proclamation, or anything similar.

      Delete
    2. Dmarks,
      There is no doubt that Lincoln abhorred slavery on a moral basis. One can find many Lincoln quotations about the immorality of slavery.

      Nevertheless, when it came to certain aspects of civil law, Lincoln clearly didn't come down on the side of racial equality.

      Let us remember that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued during wartime. How much of the Emancipation Proclamation was motivated by war strategy?

      Getting back to those stained glass windows at the Washington National Cathedral...

      We know how much respect Lincoln had for the Confederate generals as fellow Christians -- and, yes, as military officers.

      Did not Lincoln wish for General Lee to be the lead general for the Union? What about General Jackson? Not sure about Lincoln's connections with the latter.

      IMO, Lincoln himself likely would have had no objection to those stained glass windows at the cathedral. In fact, I suspect that Lincoln expected to fellowship with Robert E. Lee on the other side of the veil.

      Delete
    3. AOW: Good points overall. About the Emancipation Proclamation? The most notable thing about it is that it WAS issued, and was not couched in any sort of language that reflected any of Lincoln's supremacist views, however much he had them.

      Delete
  20. There is always someone "offended" at something. It is really getting tiresome.

    I read a link at Weasel Zippers "Liberals: “We Need To Start Calling Out Christians For Trying To Exercise ‘Christian Privilege’”…"

    Zip comments: "And a new liberal myth is born, Christian privilege."

    Article is at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/liberals-discuss-the-need-to-end-christian-privilege-in-the-name-of-religious-freedom/article/2540668

    Now that there is a name for it, let the Christian bashing continue full force.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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    Replies
    1. Right Truth: Interesting... but I am not surprised. It seems similar, at least in name, to "White Privilege", an utterly invalid concept created by left-wing racists to make them feel good about maintaining ignorant stereotypes and generalizations about whites.

      Delete
  21. Elsie Cook said

    And they still wonder why Hitler built the ovens.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  23. Something interest that I found via a Google search: The Private Thoughts of Robert E. Lee: Lee's real feelings about the Confederacy and slavery. Robert E. Lee was a complex man in many ways.

    I also found this at another link via the Google search "robert e. lee freed his slaves" (without the quotation marks):

    General Robert E. Lee did not own slaves. His wife inherited slaves from her father. He freed those for which he could find jobs. He did not free those too old to work and support themselves.

    Worth reading -- no matter which side of the Civil War you're on.

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  24. I think the Sistine Chapel is also racist. I mean, look at all them white folks depicted. Humor aside, I have found that those who usually cry foul and racism also harbor racism against their intended targets. Takes one, to recognize one.

    Tammy

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    Replies
    1. Tammy,
      Excellent points!

      Give it time, and we may see the Sistine Chapel remodeled in the name of...whatever.

      Delete
    2. Anon: This is true. After all, many on the left do end up favoring institutionally punishing whites specifically for their skin color and nothing else. This divide between the racist liberals and the equal-rights conservatives always comes to light in battles like this [California Civil Rights Initiative]

      Delete
    3. Dmarks,
      After all, many on the left do end up favoring institutionally punishing whites specifically for their skin color and nothing else.

      Has this advocating the punishment of whites ramped up in the past few years? If so, why?

      Delete
  25. What should we then do about "objectionable" presences at the Washington National Cathedral?

    Rip out the windows?

    Disinter Woodrow Wilson?

    Or say, "That was the way it was," then move on?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AOW: I should also mention that this Cathedral is "a privately owned and operated non-profit organization that receives no federal or national church funding". Whatever my views of Lee and his fighting the bad fight against the tide of history and the centuries long trend for improvement of individual liberties, I really don't have a say. I don't own this cathedral. It is not like it is a government institution. The name almost implies that it is.

      And if it were, the issue would be very different. I don't believe the government has any business controlling or funding (also control, of course) arts, expression, and certainly religion.

      Delete
    2. Dmarks,
      Other than the one article in the WaPo (and the article was not in the news section), I've seen nothing more about objectionable items at the Washington National Cathedral. However, I haven't been online much for a few days because of the holidays and my work schedule.

      It is not like it is a government institution. The name almost implies that it is.

      The Washington National Cathedral is supposed to be the National House of Prayer. See this.

      Delete
  26. AOW: I tend to personally take the view to leave stuff alone rather than have great expense to change things. This includes instances where Ten Commandments related references are found in courtrooms or public places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dmarks,
      We agree there!

      In the course of history, many works of art depict eras gone by, and ideas and ideals that have become rejected by many (if not the majority).

      In my view, the victimhood mentality has overtaken -- and on a worldwide basis.

      Feuding, feuding, feuding! It's the Hatfields and McCoys all over again. What's the point?

      I look at history and say to myself, "There you have it!" I don't dwell much on the past because doing so is futile.

      We should learn from the past, then move on.

      I worship no man. Every human being has "warts"!

      In most cases, I subscribe to "Take the best and leave the rest."

      Sometimes I feel like this: "Look how far we've come." Other times, I say, "Look how far we've sunk."

      IMO, revisionist history is a real problem because it obfuscates what we should be learning and remembering. I particularly object to the canonization and the demonization of political figures.

      Delete
    2. AOW: Yeah, I tend to think that such considerations should be given for government expenditures NOW to honor such men in NEW ways, but maybe its a waste of money to change the old art!

      About "warts", I will mention that there are warts (i.e. what Thomas Jefferson has), and then there are truly despicable and evil men. Columbus (I know, a little off topic) counts as one of these.

      Delete
  27. Hattie McCoy said

    All of our social problems would have been eliminated long go if only we'd made all blacks swim back to Africa with a Jew under each arm.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hattie McCoy said
    "All of our social problems would have been eliminated long go if only we'd made all blacks swim back to Africa with a Jew under each arm."



    Sounds like something that Rational Nation USA would say.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Here I am. Late as always. Thanks to all who have made intelligent and well thought out comments. Now, my two cents on the Civil War, its causes, and why men fought.

    1. The Civil War would not have been fought if the institution of slavery had not existed in the Southern States.

    2. In the early years of the war, Lincoln knew that he couldn't raise armies to fight against slavery. That's why he used "preserving the Union" excuse. It was not until Jan 1, 1863 that he issued the emancipation proclamation that freed slaves in only the Southern States in rebellion.

    3. Prior to his presidency, Lincoln was a member of the American Colonization Society whose goal it was to repatriate African slaves back to Aftica. Note that today's Monrovia, Liberia is a result of that program. According to Carl Sandburg's "Lincoln", the value of slaves on the books in the United States was so large that no agency could support buying all these slaves and sending them back to Africa. They sent enough to start a nation.

    4. In my family the Civil War was fought for patriotic purposes. For example, my great-grandfather (Confederate Soldier) knew his grandfather (Revolutionary Soldier), and believed he was fighting for the same things. As far as slavery went, it was just there, and the living that those dirt farmers scratched from the soil (no slaves) was what they were defending. Those people did not think about Africans in the same way we do. Slavery was what it was, and they had no say about the institution. But, they could join the Confederate Army to defend their homes, farms, and families. Remember, the average Union soldier was not fighting against slavery, at first. Their charge was to preserve the Union.

    5. One of my other great-grandfathers joined the Confederate Army with his two older brothers shortly after Grant's victory at Shiloh. These men were taken into the 37th Mississippi Infantry regiment, and saw action fairly quickly at Iuka and Corinth, Mississippi. One of the brothers was killed at Iuka, and another was killed at Corinth a few days later. My gg-grandfather was wounded and furloughd home. He had to tell his father how his brothers had died. Later, he was back in the Confederate Army and had the distinction to be captured by Grant''t army when the siege at Vicksburg ended. He then went home.

    The reason for these histories is that I am trying to make the point that slavery was a constant underlying reason in the Civil War, but if you were to ask any one soldier why he was fighting, you would probably get an answer that had nothing to do with slavery.

    As far as Lee and Jackson goes, my hero used to be Stonewall Jackson until I read a reasonable biography of the man. Indeed, he was a devout Christian, but I don't remember if he had any slaves. I don't think he could afford one because he was such a lack-luster person, and a financial failure. However, for some reason, he was considered a genius on the battle field, not because he was a great general, but because he was aggressive, and lucky. His is a story that supports the idea that luck follows active people, and Jackson was always willing to attack. Many of his opponents were cursed with the tendency towards caution, and Jackson took advantage of these guys.

    The legend of Robert E Lee, I think, is a bit overblown. He was a great leader, no matter of Mustang's competency rating of the man. What ever you think of the man, he was of a different time with a different set of values. We can only be thankful that we have learned a lot since then.

    I don't think the windows in the Cathedral should be kept, but I will respect the opinions that think otherwise. You see, I just don't care. We are talking about history, and removing a couple of church windows will change nothing.






    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob,
      Being late to a thread here is okay. I'm not posting every day during the Christmas season.

      I found your comment informative and insightful, particularly the first part of Point 2 and the last 2 sentences of Point 4.

      However, I don't quite understand your reasoning in that last paragraph. If removing a couple of church windows will change nothing, why do you also state: I don't think the windows in the Cathedral should be kept? Perhaps you will take a few moments to explain further.

      Delete
  30. ______ Incessant Complaint ______

    A mask for self indulgence, piety
    Contains a plausible ingredient. An
    Overbearing aura of propriety
    Negates what to it’s not obedient, and

    So a self-sealed system’s put in place
    To exclude everything that won’t conform,
    Adore, pay homage to a cell-like place
    No loving person would have as a norm.

    The rationale for doing what one chooses
    Brings isolation, tedium and grief.
    Indulging Self exclusively soon loses
    Touch with a sound basis for belief.

    Cast aspersions, scorn, express contempt.
    Hell still yawns. Zealots are not exempt.


    ~ FreeTninke

    ReplyDelete
  31. AOW: I don't believe those windows in the cathedral serve any purpose. It's kind of like the controversy here in Georgia in years past about the Confederate Flag being part of the state flag. When you review the history as how that came about, the state flag was changed in the early 1950's as a statement opposing segregation.

    My black friends saw the flag as a slap in the face, and when I really thought about it I could do nothing but advocate changing that flag, as most Georgians did. Since we have gone back to an earller state flag it is not an issue. There are still some historical sites around Atlanta and the state about the Civil War, and those don't need to be changed.

    I view the cathedral windows in the same vein as the Confederate battle flag being part of the Georgia state flag. Those windows serve no purpose other than to create controversy. They were installed in a time by people that idolized the old Confederacy. The fact is that we lost that war, and justifiably so.

    I don't care about the cathedral, and I really don't care about the windows. My life, nor anyone else's, depends on those windows being removed, or left in place. So, I can say that I am in favor of removing those windows, and still say I don't care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob,
      I understand what you're saying, but can't say that I agree because removing and replacing the windows would have to be done at great expense. Furthermore, at what point do we call an end to not caving in to anyone and everyone who is offended. So many people are offended these days! I'm of the school of if you don't like it, don't look at it.

      In any case, I've heard nothing more about the matter of those windows at the National Cathedral.

      Delete
  32. The windows are beautifully wrought works of fine art. Destroying them would be as BARBARIC -- and MORONIC -- as going into the Louvre, the Uffizi the Prado -- or any great museum -- and slashing oil paintings by great masters to ribands with long knives or machine gunning marble statues from antiquity to rubble.

    This politicizing of established works of art and architecture to suit the whims of a few disaffected crackpots is as despicable ad untenable as serving feces in place of the host and urine in place of the wine at Communion.

    This is the kind of thing MUSLIMS do to the holy shrines of faiths they do not respect. THe only difference here is that WE use LAWYERS and COURTS as WEAPONS of DESECRATION and DESTRUCTION in the names of "Social Justice" or some such horse puckey.

    Wildstar and I had it right from the start. This was NOT about the Civil War, Slavery, Civil RIghts, Racism, Equality or anything other than NAKED AGGRESSION by a lousy stinking PRESSURE GROUP in the attempt to DESTROY established works of ART symbolizing part of our history just prove they can sue to get the POWER to THROW THEIR WEGHT AROUND,

    It's DISGUSTING that such an issue would be give any official consideration whatsoever,



    ReplyDelete
  33. Mustang’s opening remarks show the perspective of a great teacher of history.

    After I read the Washington Post article I thought of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. I’ve read that Grant was worried that the South, as its army was defeated, wouldn’t surrender but disperse. In this case fighting would continue in the hills and fields guerrilla-style. Think about the occupation of Iraq, for example, to imagine that horror. But Lee ordered his troops to surrender and return home. He surrendered as an honorable man and gentleman. Grant, as I recall, restrained his troops from gloating and ordered them to show respect. Thus, the respect shown to Lee (and Jackson) in that cathedral is the respect Grant gave Lee and the southern soldiers at Appomattox. We are challenged to follow Grant’s example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason,
      Thank you so much for mentioning those details about Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

      You made such an eloquent statement to conclude your comment:

      We are challenged to follow Grant’s example.

      Supposedly, we living in the 21st Century are more evolved than those who lived in the 19th Century. Lately, I've come to believe that humanity has regressed in several ways, particularly with regard to both civility and perspective.

      Delete
    2. Just reading a sampling of letters written by ordinary people at the time of the Civil War gives proof to your assertion, AOW. Many people who had little "formal education" were familiar with the Bible and Shakespeare, were capable of writing beautiful letters to their loved ones in expressive English. Diaries from the nineteenth century also tend to demonstrate that we were a more sober, reflective, polite, reverent, and gentle people then than most are today.

      There are many reasons for our decline, of course. At one time or another I've discussed most of them. This is no time to rehash all that. But you are right. We ARE a shallower, less literate, less cultured, less considerate, less disciplined society than we were before the Progressives, the anarchists, the upstarts, the troublemakers, the cultural Marxists began to take over early in the last century.

      Delete
    3. FT,
      Here's one for you....Recently, I polled a few homeschool parents, all with college degrees, to ascertain how many had read a Shakespeare play. Very few! I kid you not! How is such a lack of education even possible?

      I learned long ago that a lack of formal education is no barrier to actually having knowledge. For example, my father, who completed school only through the 10th grade (1927) but was an avid reader his entire life, was actually a man who had acquired real education on his own; time and again while I was in college, he had to assist me with various history courses. I learned in a similar way for different subject areas that my grandmother (8th grade graduate) and my mother (high school graduate) were actually very educated people despite their lack of formal education.

      I could go on and on with similar examples. At the same time, I'm witnessing that many with PhD's are dumber than boxes of rocks.

      Frankly, I'm grateful that I'll finish my teaching career sometime in the next 6 years! Ignorance on the part of students doesn't bother me much. But the ignorance on the part of degreed parents? YE, GODS! Worse, these parents often see no point in supporting what I do with academics and curricula. I do sometimes feel as if I'm sending my students off into a void!

      Delete
  34. Bob, what an amazing comment! My heart broke hearing about the soldier who had to tell his father two brothers were killed. Your whole comment was fascinating to read. Thank you for sharing with us some of what you know. Great stuff.
    I must say I'm for the windows staying as is, but I do see your point about them.

    Someone mentioned slaves being treated well, far up above, and, indeed, some were. For Ducky to have to resort to Wikipedia to show us a terrible example of brutality's a little weird...it's not like we all don't know slavery was HORRID.
    But, yes...some slaves were treated very well, did not want to leave their plantations upon freedom and even loaned money to their white plantation owners from the patches of land the owners had allowed them to farm. A black writer wrote about this and I remember seeing a lecture of his on CSPAN years ago. yes, many were treated much differently than we've been taught; sadly, not enough were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Z,
      Here's what I think about the evils of slavery. (pragmatically speaking, that is)...The truth is somewhere between what is presented in Uncle Tom's Cabin and Gone with the Wind.

      The realities of labor on a cotton plantation were at least twofold: (1) a huge labor force was required (I've picked cotton as an experiment and know what doing so is like), and (2) in many ways the textile mills in the North exerted a lot of pressure to keep the price of cotton way down, thereby perpetuating the institution of slavery. Furthermore, even many of those advocating abolition thought of Negroes as less than human beings.

      Delete
    2. Z said: "But, yes...some slaves were treated very well,"

      Were they free to leave the plantation for any reason, any time, and never return if they wish?

      If not, Z, then this positive treatment was nothing more than that is a prisoner who is brutalized less.

      Delete
    3. Z said: "For Ducky to have to resort to Wikipedia to show us a terrible example of brutality's a little weird...it's not like we all don't know slavery was HORRID."

      Most of us here know this. Two of us do not.

      Delete
  35. Interesting points, once we have moved past the main arguments of Sam and Stogie (sophistry of claiming that the Civil War wasn't about slavery, but instead about the right of states to have slaves.... how slaveowners deserved a reward for the atrocities they committed...the importance of Walmart in the 1850s.... and claims about how well treated slaves are).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dmarks,
      The whole matter is thorny.

      One problem with the argument that the government should promote and enforce morality, particularly in the context of today...

      Obama says over and over again "It'sthe right thing to do." Now he is advocating with some frequency that the redistribution of wealth is "the right thing to do." Is such redistribution morally sound? Many would say that it is.

      Caveat: this comment is not to be construed as one supporting human slavery.

      Delete
    2. Dmarks,
      Oh, and one more thing....Sam is an expert on history (qualified both formally and informally). Stogie is an avid student of history as is Jason Pappas.

      You do not agree with them, but such disagreement does not subtract from the validity of what they have stated in this thread.

      Again, this matter is complex. People living during the time when things came to a head recognized that complexity -- including Lincoln himself.

      Delete
    3. AOW: I respectfully disagree with you. Their "expertise" does not extend to their statements about how good slavery was: statements which show a complete lack of information of history, as well as complete disrespect for our basic rights. And it is greatly undermined when they mention the presence of Walmarts (or not) in the antebellum South as a factor. There is no validity to that, while there is some validity to the stuff they say when they not being bonkers.

      Delete
    4. AOW asked: " Is such redistribution morally sound? Many would say that it is."

      This redistribution is nothing more than theft by those in power, who are able to get away with it because they have the guns and will kill people if they refuse. Then these rulers line their own pockets with it, and the stolen money to their friends. They can get away with it most of the time because the say they are doing it for good reasons. And this is very immoral.

      That is what the situation is, at the heart of it.

      Delete
    5. I know that the distribute-the-wealth push is.

      My point, of course, is that socialism relies on the socialistic version of the high ground. It is a fact that grinding poverty is hideous and self-perpetuating. My maternal ancestors were from Appalachia and couldn't get out until FDR came along.

      Delete
    6. "the socialistic version of the high ground" should read
      the socialistic version of the moral high ground"

      Delete
  36. And I repeat this silly statement by Sam: "no one from the north had a clue about what the southern farmers should do about slavery, other than to release their slaves. Release them to what? "

    How can an "expert" in anything say something so silly as he did, again and again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dmarks,
      Sam: "no one from the north had a clue about what the southern farmers should do about slavery, other than to release their slaves. Release them to what? "

      Release didn't wave a magic wand. Labor skills that were no longer valid and lack of education -- and, of course, racial prejudice -- were factors that resulted in many blacks living in terrible conditions after their release from slavery.

      I'm not saying that people are not better off if they're free. Not at all! However, freedom is a nebulous ideal if living condition is a dead end.

      So, you see, I don't find Sam's statements silly at all. The economic and social realities were devastating and lasted decades.

      We could discuss this ad nauseum. Complexities are multi-faceted.

      Delete
    2. AOW said "I'm not saying that people are not better off if they're free. Not at all! However, freedom is a nebulous ideal if living condition is a dead end....So, you see, I don't find Sam's statements silly at all"

      I don't find any of these difficulties as any sort of excuse to keep the entirely illegitimate institution of slavery alive. Sam is arguing that it was good to keep it alive. IMHO, that is worse than "silly".

      you are dealing in subtleties, he deals in outrages.

      Delete
    3. Sam is arguing that it was good to keep it alive.

      I didn't interpret his comments that way. Of course, I have the advantage of personally knowing Sam.

      Delete
    4. Fair enough. I will say that I found some of the comments about Northern hypocrisy enlightening. But none of them made me budge on a fact-based and morality-fueled conviction that something like the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery was not only due then, it was due way before. And that a concept of "states rights" based mainly, even if not entirely, on preserving the right of the state government to deprive a huge proportion of its people of basic rights is immoral and indefensible.

      Delete
  37. BTW, my ancestors did not hold slaves. Dad's side had moral objections, and Mom's side was so poor that they lived on ground that wouldn't sprout black-eyed peas.

    Besides, none of my family originated from the Deep South, where cotton was king. Southerners depended on cotton for their livelihood in much the same manner that we depend on our vehicles today (no car, no job, no food on the table).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AOW, I have ancestors from old Virginia, the "Empire State" of the south. I have no idea if any of them had slaves. I suspect they might have.

      Delete
    2. Dmarks,
      I'm not sure, but I don't think that Virginia had nearly as many slaves as the Deep South. Of course, plantation owners here had some slaves, but not the hordes that cotton plantations did.

      Ah, well. Slavery is gone now. What remains: problems with race relations.

      Myself -- I can't feel guilty about something that I had nothing to do with.

      Delete
    3. AOW said: "Myself -- I can't feel guilty about something that I had nothing to do with."

      You can't, of course. White guilt, white privilege, etc are all racist concepts, which require judging on skin color instead of the person.

      Delete

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