Jeff Davis Legion Dispatch


Something for you all to ponder. Does your church sing this hate filled song???



It was with great dismay that I read your article "America’s Songs" (July 1997,p. 10). To include "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory" (Battle Hymn of the Republic) as patriotic in a Southern Baptist Publication– it is strange to me!!! Julia Ward Howe wrote that song as a recruiting tool to inspire Northern men reluctant to join in Abraham Lincoln’s invasion of the South. The purpose of the song was to convince people that this and the subsequent destruction of her people was part of a religious crusade. Julia Howe was calling for God’s wrath on the Southern people in this song. While it is strongly identified with the period, I personally do not consider it to be patriotic. While the words may sound Christian, the intent behind them was most assuredly not. In large part this religious feeling contributed to the North’s decision to not only make war on the South’s armies, but on her women and children as well.

It amazes me how we just accept things as Christian or at least moral without looking behind them. We stand in our churches Sunday after Sunday singing this song with no thought given to the fact that we are trying to praise God with a song written to promote the destruction of the South and our families. Had Julia Howe’s words achieved their intended purpose, there would be no Southern Baptist Churches or any Southerners for that matter.

With all the attacks that Southern Baptists are subject to, it would be good for us to examine our past and the past of our attackers and learn more about them. There are common threads between events the past and events of the present if we will just perceive them.