Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Guardians of the Southern Tradition, rally to the Colors
Are you a guardian of the Southern Tradition?
Do you know what the Southern tradition is? Have you taken the time to study the South, or do you believe that being born in the South is all that matters?
Some men who can trace their family ancestry back to the ante bellum era may point to the Charge as the best definition of the Southern tradition. This mission statement was given to the Sons of Confederate Veterans by Lt. General Stephan D. Lee, on behalf of the Confederate veterans;
To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.
The Charge is certainly a comprehensive statement of purpose. It lays a heavy burden of responsibility on those who take the oath. Unfortunately, many in the S.C.V., including much of the leadership don’t seem to have contemplated the meaning of the words in the Charge.
For example the word “vindication” is one that deserves serious study. What does vindicate mean? Are attending graveside ceremonies, monthly meetings and the occasional parade fulfilling the meaning of this word? Many think so, I do not.
And what was “the Cause”? If there were thirty Southerners in a room, you would probably get thirty different definitions of the Cause! Some of those definitions probably wouldn’t be more than a few words. Other definitions might be much more lengthy, citing the original Constitution; and words like Republic inalienable rights, and states’ rights.
You see, if you accept the Southern statement that the true causes of the war were about one part of the nation attempting to change the meaning of the words within the Constitution, than you must accept that today’s “Confederates” should be just as dedicated to the original Constitution as their ancestors. And, if you accept that, than you must ask; Why aren’t you Sons of Confederate Veterans active in changing local, state and federal government policy to ensure that Southern values and interests are represented at the governing table?
I believe there is a second element to the Southern tradition; Christianity. Men like Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jackson and so many others refer in their official and personal writings the place of Providence in the South. Massive Christian revivals occurred in the Southern armies and at home. And it was Christianity and the Bible that George Washington said were essential to the governing of America!
Judeo – Christianity is at the heart of the creation of America. It is the reason for the close and enduring bond between Israel and the United States. It is an umbilical cord between two peoples, one that should never be cut. As Israel was the first chosen people of God, America is man’s third chance to be God’s people.
Is Dixie called the Bible Belt in error? Are the people of the South not committed to Christ?
As you can see from these brief words Dixie is about a lot more than accent, lovely woman, Southern food and a robust culture, diverse in its make-up and genre. And the South is still today, despite a continuous onslaught from the north, still a separate and unique people.
For many in the Southern movement, visiting a classroom for a few brief hours to provide the children a small glance at the Olde South, is all we can do. But, that’s not true. The Gay Rights movement is getting public schools to teach “Dick and Jim.” Should we in the Southern movement not be getting public schools to talk about the original meanings of the Constitution and the warnings of Patrick Henry?!
This is work. Not an hour meeting, not talking to the local museum about a presentation. This is about changing policy in the halls of a large bureaucracy! This is about participating in the governing of your nation! This is about vindicating the Cause! Our ancestors did it with their blood and treasure, can you not do it through the ballot and energetic citizenship!
The formation of the Southern National Congress was one expression of the need for a regional political defense force concerned with ensuring the representation of the South in the halls of Congress. But, it’s membership is too small, too monolithic to truly represent the 21st Century Southland. The Southern National Congress could be the tool to re-introduce a Southern voice in national politics, but to do so, it must grow exponentially and include a proportionate representation of blacks, Indians, Mexicans in order to have real credibility and be an accurate representative body of today’s South.
The Colors of the South, all of them, but most significantly the Confederate battle flag are proud colors which represent to the world resistance to oppression by a central government, and the pride of independent regions and peoples. These colors are about defiance to manipulation of a system, or changing the rules when you can’t win. Whether you look at Roe v. Wade, or Obama Care, or Gay Rights you see repeatedly that rules are changed, law ignored because these groups cannot gain a majority. While simultaneously you see majorities reversed on issues like Voter ID, traditional marriage, and property rights.
The political battles occurring in the United States at the turn of the twenty-first century are the very same battles, very same issues which drove the people of the South to choose secession in 1860 – 61. And these issues may force a re-visitation of secession in the modern day. In Scotland, secession is underway from the United Kingdom! In 2014 the people of Scotland will vote, and should they vote for Scotland Free a second “gun heard round the world” will be fired.
If you answered the first question of this essay yes, if you believe yourself to be a guardian of the South, then accept that re-enacting and parades, and small monthly meetings are not the responsibilities General Lee was calling you to. For the 21st Century United States to remain the “City on the Hill” to the entire world, the South must be a powerful, constant political pulse within America. If as a guardian of the South you relinquish that sacred trust, you are in fact gutting the United States of its nobility and Providential character.
This is what I tried to say as the Lt. Commander of the Texas Division, and what I will continue to say as just me, though you may hear it as only a faint whisper.
May God preserve the South in the palm of His hand,