by Cecil Williamson
The people of the South went to war because the South was invaded and because they understood that the doctrine of state sovereignty was absolutely essential as the bulwark of the liberties of the people The Constitution conferred certain defined powers on the central government and expressly reserved and prohibited the exercise of all other powers, leaving the states to manage their own affairs. It was not only Virginia, but also Rhode Island and New York which approved the Constitution and joined the union of States with the express provision that they reserved the right to withdraw from the union whenever the state decided the withdraw. Secession from the Union was the ancient righteous remedy to which the Southern states were reluctantly driven by a long course of northern greed, treachery, and oppression.
It is incredible that today’s liberal press, the politically correct, and the multiculturalists expect us to abandon the principles upon which this nation was founded and for which our ancestors fought. They expect us to forget who we are, from whence we came, to abandon our flags, symbols, heritage, to act as if there were never a Southern nation which was willing to give hundreds of thousands of its sons for the just cause of constitutional liberty.
For most of this century, the US was considered a "melting pot", where immigrants, mostly from Europe, came to these shores and became Americans. Out of the hippie, drug-driven culture of the nineteen-sixties, a different idea about the culture of this country arose.
As a member of the Dallas County Board of Education, I attended the convention of the National Association of School Boards in San Francisco in April of 1999. There were more than 8,000 school board members present representing every state. The operative words in American education, politics, and media are that the United States is no longer a "melting pot", but is now a "salad bowl". Like a salad bowl with many distinct ingredients, the United States now has many equally valid cultures. There are now Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, Asian, Native, and every other kind of hyphenated American. The masses now worship at the feet of the false god "diversity".
But if it is granted that the nation is now a "salad bowl" – many equally valid cultures – there is one culture the multiculturalists will not recognise, tolerate, or permit to have its own heritage. That is our historic Southern Celtic culture.
The politically correct would not dare call an Indian a "redskin" for fear of offending him, but they do not hesitate to offend us by demanding that we remove all of our symbols and flags from public view. Those who are so tolerant, such as the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, who want homosexuals and lesbians to teach in our schools and lead our scout troops, have no tolerance when young people in public schools want to wear a shirt with the battle flag on it. Those who would not dare call an illegal immigrant swimming across the Rio Grande a "wetback" for fear of offending Hispanics have no hesitancy in calling those of us who are determined to defend our heritage "racists, bigots, and rednecks".
The only culture the multiculturalists and politically correct do not want in America’s salad bowl is our historic Southern culture, yet the irony is that they would be willing to kill another 600,000 men before they would let us peacefully leave this union of States.
The reasons they hate our Southern culture are the very reasons we should vigorously support and defend it. And it is simply this: Southern culture – particularly antebellum Southern culture – was primarily Christian, primarily western European, and primarily family-oriented. The South and our heritage are maligned today because the South is the only part of the country which has not wholeheartedly embraced the anti-Christian biases, the anti-western civilisation mentality, and the anti-traditional-family philosophy which have saturated our culture.
The South with its heritage is the only thing restraining the liberals, multiculturalists, and the politically correct from completely eradicating the values and principles upon which this nation was founded. Southern heritage is the enemy of the educational, the entertainment, and the political systems of today. Our enemies continually attack us, hoping to make us ashamed. They want us to be so afraid that we would never sing Dixie in public again, never fly another battle flag, and never mention Lee or Jackson.
Make no mistake about it. Southern heritage and culture are under constant attack today because of what happened in 1776 and in 1861-1865. We are vilified because of what we historically represent.
I. Colonial America and the antebellum South were mostly Christian, mostly western European, and mostly centred on the traditional family. It was the pre-War theologian Dr James H. Thornwell who framed the war in terms of the Christian South being attacked by the New England Unitarian abolitionist North.
When New England had been settled in the early 1600s by the Puritans and Pilgrims, both of whom were Calvinistic in their theology, there was some commonality of belief with the Scotch-Irish Calvinists in the Carolinas and even the Cavaliers in Virginia, whose theology summarized in the 39 Articles was also Calvinistic. Most of these early settlers had a common Christian faith and were of Anglo-Celtic origin.
But whereas the historic Christian faith remained the dominant religious influence in the South, Unitarianism had, by the early 1800s, replaced Christianity as the dominant religious influence in New England. With no belief in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, no belief in the holy Trinity, no belief in an eternal Heaven or Hell, the Unitarians centred their efforts on a new social order in the here and now. Consequently, the abolitionist movement was driven and financed by Unitarians who were not Christians. Unitarians such as Dr. Samuel Howe, who helped finance the murderer John Brown, and his wife Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the hate-filled Battle Hymn of the Republic, hated the antebellum South. Most all of the war mongering abolitionists were either New England Unitarians or strongly influenced by anti-Christian theology.
The murderer and traitor John Brown was a zealous abolitionist. Though he was a cold-blooded murderer, Brown is revered today by most Americans as a hero. The New England abolitionists had the same mentality about John Brown as the radical feminists have today about Bill Clinton. It does not matter what he does; they love him because he supports their leftist agenda. In the case of John Brown it was abolition. In Clinton’s case it is abortion. It does not matter how much the President uses, abuses, and misuses women; the Feminists love him because he supports their "death for the unborn" agenda.
By contrast, men such as Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis were men of exemplary Christian virtue and character. The most eminent theologians in pre-war America were Southerners such as Thornwell and Hoge. Stonewall Jackson, a deacon in his church in Lexington, Virginia, exemplifies the Christian character of the South. From 1855 until he left for the war in 1861, Jackson gathered eighty to one hundred slaves together for his Sabbath School every Sunday afternoon. He and twelve other men and women taught the Bible to the slaves. To the end of his too-brief life, Jackson inquired of every visitor from his church to his camp how his black Sabbath School was progressing. If the answer was favourable, he did not fail to express gratitude to God.
Because of the New England Unitarian abolitionists and the greed of men such as Abraham Lincoln, more than 600,000 lost their lives in a War Between the States. The US was the only country in modem times to end slavery by war, by the deaths of 600,000 men. Yet technically, the War did not end slavery because slavery was legal under the original United States Constitution. Supposedly, the illegally passed thirteenth amendment to the Constitution, passed two years after the War ended, legally ended slavery.
II. Much more than the North in 1860, the free people of the South had an almost exclusively Anglo-Celtic culture and a British Isles ancestry. The antebellum South was by free population a western European civilisation in the New World.
Today, there is one culture and civilisation being buried under multicultural garbage–Western European civilisation! It was no oversight that the New Age poem which Maya Angelou read at Clinton’s first inauguration mentioned every civilisation except British.
The first day my daughter as a freshman went to her physics class at Tulane University, she was greeted by a long-haired, shorts and sandal-wearing professor, who spent the entire period condemning the ancient Greeks, whom he said stole all of their knowledge from the Egyptians, who were black. The emphasis was not that the Greeks stole from the Egyptians, but that Europeans stole from blacks. This is an example of the Afto-centrism being heaped upon the young in today’s educational system.
If you examine almost every public school history – now called "social studies"– textbook you will find that in every chapter there is an obligatory feature about an African-American, a Hispanic-American, and a Native American. There is very little about Americans of European ancestry.
In 1998, I served on the State Textbook Committee to select textbooks for use in public schools in Alabama in the areas of social studies, arts, and foreign languages. I assure you that under the guise of the culturally diverse agenda, intellectual and literary goals are being replaced by social and political goals. Efforts to incorporate more ethnically varied readings into textbooks to raise minority students "self-esteem" have systematically "dumbed-down" the American educational system. Multiculturalism is needlessly limiting the academic achievements of the very students for whom most of those changes were made in the textbooks. It is no wonder that hundreds of thousands of parents are choosing to home school their children.
Southern heritage is under attack today because it is primarily a western European heritage. Present day multiculturalism denigrates western culture while emphasizing African, Asian, Latin, and Indian cultures. Our antebellum Southern culture is still the great enemy of the present day diversity planners. That is why all things associated with Southern history are ridiculed, mocked, and attacked.
III. Not only is Southern culture primarily Christian and primarily western European, it is also family oriented.
We should never refer to the war as a "civil war". In the classical languages and historically, a "civil war" is when two groups within the same country are trying to gain control of the central government. What happened between 1861 and 1865 was not a "civil war". The South fought for its rightful independence. It was not at war to gain control of the government in Washington.
The antebellum South was a family oriented culture. Most families did not live in cities, but lived apart from one another. The South was an agrarian society where less than 10% of the families owned slaves. Because the South was an agricultural society, families found it necessary to work and live together. The extended family was the foundation of Southern agrarianism.
Stonewall Jackson had slaves. To him, they were a part of his family. Jackson and his family had family worship every morning and every afternoon. He required every one of his servants to attend these times of worship with his immediate family.
In the last thirty years it is the traditional family of husband, wife, children, living with and loving one another, that has come under attack.
When I served on the State Textbook Committee, I asked each publisher, "what is your definition of family?" Almost without exception, the publishers, out of deference to the homosexual, lesbian, and feminist movements, define family as two or more people living together who care for one another. By their definition, any two people living together – men, women, married, unmarried – are now defined as a family.
The antebellum South was a society founded on the traditional family of husband, wife, and children. Even today, more than the rest of the US, the South is still more family oriented. Southerners still do not move as often as other people do. More than 75% of the people living in Alabama today were born in Alabama.
Because the South was, and is more family oriented, and because our definition of family is increasingly unacceptable to many Americans, all things Southern, including our concept of family, are attacked.
However, we must defend our Southern heritage at all costs because of family. Today 5 in 10 Southerners can trace his or her ancestry to a Confederate soldier. By contrast, only 1 in 10 people outside the South can trace their ancestry to a Union soldier.
So when the leftists in the press mock the Confederacy, they are reviling our ancestors -our family members. We will be a sorry people indeed if we will not defend our ancestors against these unjust attacks. Our family members – and many of them gave their lives in the War – gave their lives for the just cause of constitutional liberty and freedom. We must surely be willing to stand up and defend their good name and the righteous cause for which they fought.
Most of us remember when Dixie was played at college football games, when radio stations signed off in the afternoon by playing Dixie, and when people proudly displayed the Confederate battle flag. There was even a time when the movies portrayed Confederate soldiers in a favourable light. Even television portrayed Confederates favourably – remember the Gray Ghost TV series about Colonel John Mosby!
But all of that has changed since the late 1960s and 1970s. And it is because what the South was before 1860 are the very things most disdained in American society today. The multitudes reject what our heritage is: Christian, Celtic, and family.
Our ancestors did not run. They did not retreat in the face of overwhelming odds. Neither should those of us today who love our heritage and our families. We should remain committed to Christian principles as the foundation of our struggle. We should answer every attack in the press, movies, and on television with letters and public indignation. We should set forth historical truth and shame those who reject truth. We should observe all of our Confederate holidays and birthdays by flying our flags, having parades, and public gatherings where young and old are reminded of our heritage. We should recruit young people to our cause. We should never be ashamed of our Southern heritage, but we should be ashamed of those who are!
The South was right in 1861. We are right today! The constitutional cause for which our ancestors fought was just and righteous. Issues settled at the end of a gun barrel are never settled in people’s hearts. We should have the courage to stand against tyranny just as our ancestors did. God will vindicate. God Save the South.