Response to Mark Vogl article "Politics killing the SCV" on SHNV
Dear Mr. Vogl,
After reading your article, “Politics killing the SCV”, http://shnv.blogspot.com/2012/04/is-politics-killing-scv-part-i.html, I felt compelled to respond.
First, kudos to the National SCV for the financial assistance given to the Friends of Forrest in Alabama in their efforts to prosecute the whereabouts of the stolen bust of General Forrest. It is their duty to aid in such matters.
And while I also commend their efforts regarding the travesty at the Museum of the Confederacy, steps should have been taken to prevent escalation. It was suggested years ago that the SCV purchase the MOC due to the engulfing expansion by VCU, but I digress.
Now that credit has been duly given, allow me to address your article, starting with the first-half of the “Charge” and vindication:
I have a copy of Gen. Stephen D. Lee’s speech as taken from the June 1906 Confederate Veteran Magazine. While I concur with your point regarding vindication, the second-half of the “Charge” (now often omitted) is Lee’s “interrogation mark” that challenges our collective and individual strength to vindicate: “Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul?”
These three questions that begin the second-half of the “Charge” have actually been replaced with a phrase not part of the 1906 speech by Gen. Lee: “Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations." The reasons you cited, as well as other “conformist” mindsets, are the likely causes for this doctrinal correctness.
The first half of the “Charge” defines our mission. The second half stipulates that sacrifice is necessary to accomplish our mission – a step most elected SCV leaders are unwilling to take. With the exception of a Confederation few I call “pockets of resistance”, too many liberal members support the leadership’s McClellan tactics because they are engaged in the politically-correct Civil War (sic) Round Tables and Civil War (sic) Trails initiatives that elevate the yankee victor.
For better than 20 years, some of us have tried to offer these elected "leaders" solutions for an actual Heritage Defense operation – bold initiatives to stave off every element possible to prevent disaster of our collective Confederate culture. Instead of advancing these suggestions with determination and inspiration, their predictable bow of desperation exposes the institutional impotence.
Typically the SCV head shed response is to issue paper tigers, usually in the form of resolutions or last-ditch letters – a ruse to appease the members into thinking "heritage defense" is more than campaign speak. They are reduced to this device because in reality, they aren’t willing to truly sacrifice in the manner of our ancestors. The collective SCV "leadership" should be willing to sacrifice the entire organisation to preserve the Confederate culture, but their personal enrichment plan conflicts with the truly inspiring inscription on the Confederate Monument at Arlington Cemetery:
Not for fame or fortune; Not for place or rank;
Not lured by ambition; Or goaded by necessity;
But in simple Obedience to duty As they understood it,
These men suffered all, Sacrificed All
Dared all… and died.
I am reminded of a quote observing a noble trait of General Pettigrew: A South Carolina friend wrote of Pettigrew, “more than anything he loved liberty, but he felt that to love liberty was an empty mockery unless that love was exhibited in sacrifice which its acquisition requires.”
And unfortunately Mr. Vogl, high membership will remain a potential because men who are starving for real Southern-Confederate leadership know they won’t find this sacrifice in the SCV.
What they will find are flagpole climbers consumed by ambition – void of genuine servant leadership. And though these men preach against apathy, they rely on that very apathy to remain quiet as they pursue corrupt and covetous advancements. Anyone voicing opposition is systematically eliminated without regard to bylaws – official channels hopelessly debased.
If General Stephen D. Lee were here today, he would ashamed to see that sacrifice has been replaced with sacrilege.
Semper Fi in the Confederate Cause,
GySgt / USMC (ret.)