This Crimson Carnage

I begin by saying that I think of the American flag with affection, respect and sorrow. I think of what it used to represent, what it ought to represent, and what it periodically still represents. The sorrow has to do with what our ruling elites are insisting that it must come to represent, and the grief is over their many successes in that endeavor. Despite this, I do not yet believe the American flag is a lost cause. Take that as the starting point.

But if our rule in these matters must be the logic of those demanding that any and all vestiges of the Confederacy come down, we will soon enough discover that this is a knife that can cut in all kinds of directions. In all of this, the issue is not so much what you do as why you are doing it. If you admit a false principle into the settlement of public disputes like this one — and I hate to be the one to bring you the sorrowful tidings — the false principle does not disappear when the dispute does. It remains there, propped up in the corner, cocked and loaded, waiting for the next dispute. And because of the times we live in, there will be a next dispute, probably in about three weeks.

Glad to see she was among those who could make it.
Glad to see she was among those who could make it.

None of this has anything whatever to do with a desire for a do-over at Gettysburg. I am carrying no water for a neo-Confederate anything. If you think I am, then that simply means that you are not grasping a point that is dangerous to miss. I am not fighting yesterday’s battles. I am fighting today’s battles and some of tomorrow’s. If you want me to believe that the flag in South Carolina should come down because of sins x, y, and z, then I am simply inquiring why another flag should not come down because of far more heinous sins X, Y, and Z. Don’t accuse me of racialist sins I have despised all my life, and then call me stupid. Answer the question. I’ve got all day.

And it won’t do to say that the American flag is the flag of an extant power, an actual country, because that just means that application of this grand principle might take some actual courage. If you refrain because fighting adversaries who are armed and dangerous is . . . well, dangerous, then you are exactly the kind of person who would have played it safe in 1850. People kept their heads down then too.

Let me explain what I mean, and I want to ask you to hear me out.

In 1969, the baseball hero Jackie Robinson said this about the American flag in an interview with The New York Times. “I wouldn’t fly the flag on the Fourth of July or any other day . . . When I see a car with a flag pasted on it, I figure the guy behind the wheel isn’t my friend.”

This is not the moment to white-splain to Jackie that this feeling would be appropriate with symbols that were used to oppress his people a century and a half ago, but is not appropriate with regard to what he thinks of as oppression right now. So while I would want to differ with Robinson’s course of action because we see things differently, if we have already admitted the principle that what matters is his feelings and not the facts as understood and processed by millions of other people, and scores of subcultures, where are we?

So the problem applies to both flags, simply on the basis of the history of race relations as normally understood. But let us apply additional biblical standards to the situation and see what happens.

From the adoption of the Constitution in 1789 to the outbreak of hostilities in 1861, the American flag flew over race-based chattel slavery, constitutionally recognized. That was 72 years. The Roe v. Wade decision happened in 1973, wrapped up in penumbral evasions and lies, but still done in the name of the Constitution, the flag of which is Old Glory. That means that abortion has been a settled constitutional right for 42 years now. In another 30 years we will have been chopping babies up in the name of the Constitution for as long as blacks were bought and sold under the aegis of the Constitution.

And screw this into your minds — our treatment of the unborn is far, far worse than slavery was and involves many more millions of people. “As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge” (Jer. 5:27–28). If there is one cause we have absolutely refused to hear, it is the cause of the fatherless.

Since the shooting in Charleston last week, approximately 15,000 children have lost their lives in this country; legally, according to the nine black-robed Nazgul; safely, at least if you don’t count the baby; but scarcely rarely. Blacks make up about thirteen percent of the general population, and yet are represented in about 35 percent of the abortions. That is disproportionate enough to lean genocidal, and to make it the actual legacy of the very white bones of Margaret Sanger. That means 5,250 of these children, slaughtered legally since last Wednesday, were black. Who speaks for them? I don’t count because I have a picture of Stonewall Jackson in my office.

Isn’t that the limit? I have spoken out repeatedly against this racial monstrosity from my enclave here in Sherwood Forest, while most of the Big Voices for Racial Reconciliation cannot be persuaded to give a tinker’s damn about it. John Piper, God bless him forever, is an exception. When it comes to this subject, President Obama is a partial birth abortion ghoul and a large number of people from the soft evangelical middle voted for him. Twice. But what did they vote for when they did that? They voted for the continuation of a policy that on average takes one out of every four black Americans out of line and kills him dead. And everybody who voted for Obama, white or black, voted for that and ought to retire from lecturing anybody else over race relations ever again.

The 15,000, white and black, who have lost their lives since last week do not have any makeshift memorials springing up anywhere. No flowers propped against fences and no teddy bears left for the nameless. Nobody in any position of significant influence speaks for them with any kind of moral authority. But since we are talking about racial justice here, let us just address that aspect of our national tragedy. Since Roe, about 13 million black children have been executed. 13 million. That is roughly the total population of Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Nebraska. So black lives matter, do they? And coming back to the point, what flag flew over the courthouses that continue to authorize this crimson carnage? What flag was still flying there just this morning? How many more decades before the great principle of flag indignation kicks in? Would the populations of ten more Midwestern states do it? It only took Hitler twelve years to ruin the swastika forever. How many years do we get?

So when I move from the shooting in Charleston to abortion, I am not changing the subject. We are talking race-based murder in both instances. 13 million. It appears plain to me that some folks don’t want a future for black people, and it also appears to me that a lot of other well-placed people are prepared to let them run with that plan. Are you one of them? If you tripped and fell over my earlier statement about Stonewall, then perhaps it is because you are more concerned about a gnat in north Idaho than about the caravan of camels that our evangelical leadership specialize in swallowing.

Some Christians have not realized the magnitude of the problem because the unborn have no voice. They really are defenseless. But in the Bible, innocent blood cannot really be silenced because whenever it is shed it cries out from the ground. In our case, it cries out from the polished linoleum floors of our abortion mills. God is just and will not be mocked. We will reap what we have sown, and our only possible refuge from righteous judgment over the blood we have shed is in the righteous blood that Pilate shed.

If the men of Sodom can rise up to condemn Capernaum, then the men of old Charleston can rise up at the day of resurrection and condemn us. They did things that appall us, true enough, and we are right to be appalled. But we do things that would appall them and they would have every right to be even more appalled.

John Rawls once said that your concept of the ideal society should be constructed without you knowing where you were going to be born into that society. This is just one more variation on the Golden Rule, and by this measure, if you were going to be conceived as the child of black parents in North America, would you prefer Charleston in 1850 or Chicago in 2015? I know which one involves a certified nurse counting up all your pieces so that they can make sure they throw all of you away. Be honest. Be brutally honest, and in the light of that honesty I would then invite you to rethink everything you thought you knew about racial reconciliation. You are not living in the kind of country you thought you were, and the myths you were taught about our recent history are just laughing at you behind your back.

The only way the ethnoi can be reconciled to one another is through the blood and water that came out of Jesus’ side. But if we go this route, we must teach the nations to obey all that Jesus taught. That means His Word is authoritative over everything, and He wants His people to do far better with racial reconciliation than to be MSNBC’s echo chamber. A good start in racial reconciliation would be for everyone to start loving the truth more than we love flattery.

All this said, I know that the Confederate battle flag has been used in some awful ways, and if we are speaking the truth we must include that one. By now the families of the Charleston victims must have seen photos online of their assailant brandishing one. Their feelings about it are completely justifiable, period, stop. Our task there is simply to weep with those who weep. My task is simply to ache with them as my brothers and sisters, pray for them, and do my level best not to compound their grief.

In addition, I have white friends whose “unreconstructed” days really were mixed in with racism and bigotry, and their way out does need to be repentance and walking away. I have no quarrel with any of this.

But the one thing we will not be allowed to walk away from is the strategy that is being run on us. As Trotsky put it, you may not be interested in war  but war is interested in you. That is something we must come to understand. The people behind all our symbol controversies are the same people. Their fellow-travelers change, as do their tools and patsies, but they are relentless about the same thing, over and over again. They say that a “heritage not hate” sticker really “is too” hate. But do you really want to put them in charge of what is “really hate”? They are the same people who say that bakers who will only put hetero-figurines on top of their cakes are driven by hate too.

So while we labor at all these things we have to remember this is one screwed up planet, and consequently the same sort of thing can be said (legitimately) of virtually any other symbol. It is even true of the cross. Do you have a cross in your sanctuary? Try showing a picture of that cross to the father of a bride whose wedding was blown up in Yemen by a wayward drone, sent to him by the “crusaders,” the Americans.

The reply comes back that the cross has an important and necessary meaning that is not contaminated by those mistakes and abuses, and the Confederate flag only means KKK rallies and redneck drinking parties. What needful meaning could possibly be there? Said the people who are just days away from the Supreme Court mandating same sex mirage for all fifty states, which states will all put up with it docilely even though the overwhelming majority of them don’t want anything of the kind.

We badly need a doctrine of the lesser magistrates and a robust understanding of nullification, and we need a symbol for it. Now I would be happy for the battle flag to go into the history books. Let us make way for a new symbol of resistance to federal tyranny. What do you suggest? A fighting gerbil on a yellow background? Like a kinder, gentler Gadsden flag, one that won’t be so off putting?

Whatever symbol it is, our adversaries will see to it that it will be identified with racism in about ten minutes. That is precisely what happened with the Gadsden flag at Tea Party rallies. Here was a movement dedicated to the most non-racial thing ever — basic budgetary math — and they were immediately assaulted for their racism. Whatever flag you pick, they will demand that you make it small enough that they can’t see it. And then they will accuse you of a micro aggression with your micro-flag. They have been running this play enough times that we really ought to recognize it by now. The play is this — they must be put in a charge of all definitions. And my response to that is, let me think about it, no.

None of this is said in defense of continuing the serious use of the flag as a symbol of resistance. It does have a lot of baggage. But because I acknowledge this, I am then am accused of inexplicable foot-dragging. Just take it down, man! But what I am acknowledging is a history of sin. See my essays in Black and Tan, particularly the chapter addressing what it means to be “regenerate but unreconstructed.” I believe that every Christian should always be prepared to confess sin, biblically defined. What I am rejecting is demonization. And to simply go along with what they are currently demanding is to help establish their authority to demonize. I don’t want to accede control of that process to them. I don’t want them to have the demonization gun — I know where they are going to point it next.

So I do want to replace the flag but I don’t want to do it in a way that enthrones totalitarians, giving them complete control over our dictionary of symbols. These are the people who don’t know the difference between boys and girls. These are the people who fiercely condemn female circumcision in Saudi Arabia and applaud genital mutilation by another name in California. These are the people who are willing to call people racists if they want to spend less than we take in. So mark me down as happy to replace the flag — but I just don’t want to replace it with a white one. And I understand the rainbow is taken.

In the meantime, the kind of Christian leader who gets worked up over a decal on a pick-up truck belonging to the sort of good old boy who spends half of every paycheck at Cabela’s, but who has no visceral reaction whatever to that big Planned Parenthood logo which he drives by every day, where today’s horrors are actually being perpetrated, is not, apart from repentance, going to be part of the reformation we so desperately need.

And last, in writing all this, I should say I am not worried about forfeiting any choice invitations to the great banquet of Reformed evangelicalism. I wasn’t really getting those anyway. Having spent half my life knee-deep in opprobrium, I might as well use the peculiar advantage afforded by such a situated perspective to do what Arthur Koestler once advised. “One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up.” Having done so, I will now shut up.

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AMA
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AMA

Amen. This is one of your very best.

Darius
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Darius

Outside of a piece from a couple years ago about the smoke rising from Babylon, this is the closest I’ve come to weeping in response to one of your posts, Pastor Wilson. So powerful, and so needed.

Lee Edward Enochs
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Lee Edward Enochs

They cried in Atlanta when Sherman burned it to the ground on his triumphant march to the sea.

Katecho
Member

Meanwhile more reform-minded people overcame the large scale slavery and slave trade of the 1800s relatively peacefully everywhere else, without the need for over 620,000 dead in battle, and without the legacy of continuing racial animosity. Way to go Lincoln.

Tim Paul
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Tim Paul

Regarding Lincoln, do you think John Wilkes Booth was ordained by God as an avenger because of all the blood on his hands standing as our federal head?

Smfrmrinfrisco
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Smfrmrinfrisco

As I recall the Brits and the Mexicans and Brazilians didn’t find it necessary to rebel against the State over a planter’s rights to own human beings unlike the Southern secessionists…it’s all on the Southern planters

Katecho
Member

“Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true,… Read more »

Smfrmrinfrisco
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Smfrmrinfrisco

Said like a true Southern military gentleman…too bad you don’t seem to have Mr. Cleburne on record talking about how he felt Negroes in the South were being well-treated by the “peculiar institution” or how the Southern Planter class held the lower class whites in such high regard being willing to fight and die so their betters could maintain their ante-bellum life style….I grew up in the South, sonny, don’t try to teach a cow how to chew cabbage

Katecho
Member

Apparently Smfrmrinfrisco isn’t persuaded by a Southerner. Perhaps he would be persuaded by Lincoln himself: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” — Abraham Lincoln, August 22, 1862, letter to newspaper editor, Horace Greeley At some point, anyone who… Read more »

Steven
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Steven

I’m actually amazed the Confederate Army lasted as long as it did, being comprised solely of die-hard, racist slaveholders as it surely must have been.

timothy
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timothy

solely

Source please? Do you have the proportion of fighting men in the Confederate forces who owned slaves?

Honest question; please answer.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Sorry. I was being facetious, but I don’t think I communicated that very well.

If the confederate flag is really, simply, a banner for racism and slavery (as some here would suggest), then it would stand to reason that the only people marching under that banner would be racists and slave-owners.

timothy
Guest
timothy

heh.

Good one! I missed the /sarc tag and in these discussions it is hard to differentiate the sarcasm from the typical SJW opinion.

Well done and thank you.

Smfrmrinfrisco
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Smfrmrinfrisco

Keeping the Union together was the central issue and it became the central issue after the folks in the South under Planter and Statehouse Class decided they would take a runner because they couldn’t stand the thought of being alienated from their “property” – slaves. Really, taking the Planters and Statehouse folks out and shooting them would have saved everyone a whole bunch of trouble….

Katecho
Member

The contempt for the entire South is amazing given that at least two thirds of families didn’t even own slaves. Smfrmrinfrisco just assumes they were all fighting for slavery anyway. It’s pathetic. Every other kind of bigotry and bloodlust is okay, but at least Smfrmrinfrisco isn’t a racist.

At least we have his admission that freeing slaves was not Lincoln’s central motivation for the war. That’s a start.

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

Sonny, the net effect of fighting for states rights by the South was to preserve slavery, true? I don’t have much use for bigots or bloodlust, but I also don’t have much patience with folks who try to tell me that the South did not recognize one law for whites and another for folks who weren’t….or that the Planter and Statehouse classes didn’t whip up fear and resentment of the North because they perceived their property interests threatened…as I said, offing the Planters and Statehouse folks would have been in the South’s interests as well as the Union’s…

timothy
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timothy

Sonny, the net effect of fighting for states rights by the South was to preserve slavery, true?

The net effect of centralizing power is to concentrate it. Concentrated power tends towards evil and raises barriers towards limiting it (see obamacare, rule of law, end of)

With the stakes higher, the options fewer the carnage is larger.

Katecho noted that England did not lose over 1/2 million in ending slavery. They did it with Wilbur Wilberforce.

Which do you prefer? War? or Gospel?

Katecho
Member

This is where I get the distinct honor of informing Smfrmrinfrisco that I am in no sense his son. Apparently he needs someone to inform him that the North also continued to recognize “one law for whites and another for folks who weren’t”. The Civil War didn’t change that, and it was not Lincoln’s agenda to change it. “Whoever has inhabited the United States must have perceived that in those parts of the Union in which the Negroes are no longer slaves they have in no wise drawn nearer to the whites. On the contrary, the prejudice of race appears… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Here’s some more of Lincoln’s admissions concerning the tangle of slavery, and admissions about the heart of the Southern people: “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… Read more »

Smfrmrinfrisco
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Smfrmrinfrisco

Ah, but the damn fools in the Carolinas decided not to give Lincoln a chance now did they? They were rebels and deserved what they got….

timothy
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timothy

Some interesting history I have read on this. I don’t have the links, but Sumter was forced by the Union over (money?).

I don’t know. I will have to buy Wilson’s book

JPM
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JPM

Well if we’re just trying to shoot people to prevent further violence, let’s add some more to the list…..

timothy
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timothy

I was born and raised here. Get your cow out of my cabbage patch.

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

LOL

rungeeric
Member
rungeeric

Excellent quote.

Barnabas
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Barnabas
Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

When I was young everyone understood that slavery had been a bad thing like lots of things in history were bad. Nobody really thought about it or spoke about it much and nobody got worked up about the Dukes of Hazzard or The North and South. Since then slavery has gotten more evil every year. Every year it looms larger in the American imagination and you can’t turn on a television without hearing about it. What’s going on? Victim status has become increasingly politically valuable. If you are going to use a historical moment to maximize anger in one group… Read more »

Ben
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Ben

The political circumstances of the slave should be of primary concern because his circumstances are a result of coercion and are therefore a moral atrocity, unlike the sharecropper, who has simply made a voluntary contract.

Of course I would argue that the sharecropper and the landowner are themselves enslaved because they are forced to pay taxes.

Lee Edward Enochs
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Lee Edward Enochs

That is utter nonsense. All forms of human trafficking and slavery are reprehensible and equalling damning.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Did I justify any type of human trafficking or slavery at all?

Katecho
Member

Very well stated by Barnabas. Victim creation is a technique for accumulating political power. I’ll go ahead and Godwin myself by reminding folks that this is how Hitler did his power trip. We are being played. Remember that Wilson just posted some Democrat candidate materials displaying the Confederate flag in the background. These are from the 70s and the 90s. Even Clinton and Gore used it then. This tells us that the flag wasn’t the focus of offense, at that point, that it is being made into today. This tells us that the trajectory of racial relations is going the… Read more »

Lee Edward Enochs
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Lee Edward Enochs

I used to believe when I was young that racists only wore white sheets, now I realize they protest at people’s funerals

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

Or try to argue that slavery wasn’t nearly as bad as some folks think it is….

weisjohn
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weisjohn

“And then they will accuse you of a micro aggression with your micro-flag.”

That one got a chuckle.

Good stuff, Doug.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
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Conserbatives_conserve_little

SPLC is the most likely to be the agenda pusher. They are already labeling resistance as racist.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

For a hundred years the Strars and Stripes represented Jim Crow in Court. Please v. Ferguson and Lum v. United States were decided by U.S. Supreme Court.

Jack Bradley
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Jack Bradley

Douglas, you write in Black & Tan, p. 21: “I don’t want to minimize the effects of slavery on the South or minimize any enormities. . . But neither do I want to ignore the biblical teaching on slavery and act as though the Christian defenders of Antebellum slavery had no clue what the Scriptures said about this. They knew the apostolic instructions precisely, had their exegesis in hand, and consistently bested the abolitionists in debate.” And yet, in other places in your writings you have condemned in no uncertain terms chattel/race-based slavery, which I think it is safe to… Read more »

Barnabas
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Barnabas

Mohler declared “racial superiority” a heresy. He goes on to speak of slavery but only hints from there. What does this heresy look like today? I think its cowardly to claim heresy and then give no definitions. He gets to strike a sanctimonious pose and when those with political motivations start defining it for him then his hands will be clean. Is supporting the Confederate flag heresy? Is being against Affirmative Action or maybe being FOR it a heresy? How about meritocracy if it produces disparate impact? What about white flight, private schools, supporting law enforcement, limiting immigration, cutting welfare,… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Slavery, in simplest form, is forced labor to pay back a debt owed. The debt can be moral or financial. The debt can be to God or to men, but there needs to be a debt owed. Requiring restitution for an actual debt is a very righteous principle, and slavery (forced labor) can be a very important part of that restitution when the debt is genuine. This part is what is easy to defend from Scripture, and defenders of Antebellum slavery could do this much. What they couldn’t do is explain what debt the blacks owed. This is what made… Read more »

Barnabas
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Barnabas

Moldbug on callous altruism, “….And it’s not just sadism that motivates callous altruism. Another source of venal satisfaction is that when you help people, or appear to help them, you become a patron. You gain ownership over them. When you help overthrow the dictator of Egypt, for example, you become in a sense the new government of Egypt. The old dictator was a strongman — the new dictator is a weakman, because he owes his job to someone else. That someone is you — the collective you, but you nonetheless. If you decide you don’t like your weakman, it’s easy… Read more »

Laura
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Laura

Thanks for the link. “Symbols matter, and sometimes they matter in different ways to different people. For most people in the South, the Confederate Battle Flag does not now represent racism or any reference to rebellion against the Union. Nevertheless, every symbol has a historical context and associations. For this specific flag, the most immediate context is the civil rights movement and resistance to its central goals. As Christians, we are called to love God and to love our neighbors. Some of our neighbors–and some of our own brothers and sisters in Christ–are deeply wounded by this flag. They see… Read more »

Tracey
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Tracey

I am curious as to how many people understand that the flag in question is not being flown over the South Carolina State Capitol, and rightly hasn’t done so since 2000 (contrary to popular media images), but is being flown at a Confederate War Memorial that is on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol along with memorials to African-American history, George Washington, Revolutionary War heroes, the Palmetto regiment in the Mexican-American war, and various other prominent South Carolinians? I think that if you remove the flag, the monument will eventually have to come down as well.

Katecho
Member

Interesting. If Confederate memorials must come down too, what about civil war reenactments? Will both sides have to wear Union blue coats, and wave the same Union battle flag as they fight one another? There might be something appropriate about that. But what if the civil war was about more than just race slavery? What if there was something about State’s rights in there too? Are we still going to be allowed to talk about that issue, or is that part of what is getting hushed and chilled into silence too? We are being played. Guilt and emotionalism is a… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Other facts not widely discussed: taking the flag down requires a two-thirds majority vote of the General Assembly. Furthermore, the flag is affixed to the top of the pole rather than being on a pulley. (I’m amused how much someone planned ahead.)

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

I wasn’t aware that racists were building copies of the confederate war memorial in front of their homes or on top of their cars or taking pictures of themselves in front of it wearing their Klan hoods….if that’s the case, I agree it probably should come down, otherwise….

timothy
Guest
timothy

We put it on our wedding cakes. By law, you must bake one for us when we ask or you will be put out of business.

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

Fine with me, hope you have $5,000 sitting around to pay the bill – I have no problem baking your cake if you can pay for it.

timothy
Guest
timothy

I will remember your reply when the gay marriage wedding cake discussion happens again and you comment therein.

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

If I get paid my $5000 for the cake, I’m happy to make one for pretty much anyone…..

wackytobeme
Member

So, money trumps principle.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Sure. Thanks. You have shown me who and what you are.

Al Stout
Guest
Al Stout

Doug, thanks for this. Some good cautions here.

In the South we are holding onto the badges of a system of government that shed blood to hold on to an economic system propped up by the understanding that Africans were less human than Europeans. Those badges were adopted to rally folks here to Jim Crow laws and adopted into our state flags.

As you know, symbols are powerful things. Could our desire to hold onto these badges encourage the apathy of the genocide of abortion? This is really recent history in the South.

Thanks and God bless.

Joe_WA
Guest
Joe_WA

“If you want me to believe that the flag in South Carolina should come down because of sins x, y, and z, then I am simply inquiring why another flag should not come down because of far more heinous sins X, Y, and Z” First of all, using this logic, what symbol could ever be taken down for any reason? Second of all, this is why I do not believe that this is a fair comparison (copy/pasted from another post _ _): _Comparing the American flag to the Confederate flag, in terms of the horrors that they may represent, is… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Doug would argue that this is part of the culture war. That these demands do not come from nowhere. That the issue is often not the issue. Thus taking sown a flag because of sin x is a reason. And it is the reason that sets the precedent.

So while people should do the right thing, they should also do it at the right time for the right reason. Doing the right thing at the wrong time or for the wrong reason can be the wrong thing.

Joe_WA
Guest
Joe_WA

So doing the wrong thing at the right time for the right reasons is okay? Or, you know, we could just do the right thing…We are too obsessed with the background noise. Too obsessed with not giving an inch to our enemies.Too obsessed with showing Liberals (as if they are the only people who don’t like the Confederate flag…) that we don’t care what they think. Excuses, excuses. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. Or is there a part in the Bible I missed where doing the wrong thing is cool as long as you’re… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

You’re right, but just warning you–it’s lost on this crowd. They’re so deep in their culture war paranoia that it’s enemies everywhere, and any attempt to talk them down is just exposing yourself as yet another enemy.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Part of the Christian life is learning to live with neighbours who do stuff we dislike.

bethyada
Member

No, doing the wrong thing at the right time is also wrong. But we are not talking about a one person showing prudence when another is around who is weak or sensitive; we are talking about public demands, many of whom making them are far more full of hate towards people who like the flag than full of love towards those who have lost relatives and friends. If the demand is public change then it is part of the culture war. One needs to thing about making public changes and making right changes in response to mobs emboldens mobs. And… Read more »

Joe_WA
Guest
Joe_WA

Don’t do the right thing for the public. Do it for your conscience.

Steven
Guest
Steven

That’s just it, though: the people for whom the flying the flag pierces their conscience have already been refraining from flying the flag. I’ve lived in the South my whole life, and because of its baggage, I find most displays of the flag gauche and tacky. To the best of my knowledge, I have never owned a Confederate Battle Flag (well, I did have a toy “General Lee” as a kid during the hay-day of the Dukes of Hazard’s popularity…I’m learning now that I was, apparently a closet racist this whole time). In general, I am not a big fan… Read more »

Joe_WA
Guest
Joe_WA

Oh and not liking the flag is for the righteous, not the weak and sensitive.

A.J.
Guest
A.J.

I am really tired of hearing about all of this and frankly I’m not all that tied to the American flag even because while I’m grateful for where I was born, I realize that my home is not here and being an American Christian doesn’t mean I’m better than every other Christian on the planet.

However, you talk about logic of grade school children when I honestly can’t even follow your logic. You are all over the map in this post.

Joe_WA
Guest
Joe_WA

Yeah the grade-school thing was a bit superfluous. It does make sense though…

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

In 5 years, same people pushing for the removal of this flag will be calling for “hate speech” laws and censoring the internet with the full support of open-minded, well-meaning Christians. In another 5, reading controversial passages from the Bible aloud in public will get you arrested. Every concession will only fuel the movement to reconstruct America. Open-minded, well-meaning Christians will say, “Why do you have to be so divisive? How is offending people spreading the gospel?”

Nathan Smith
Member

I think this is the real concern here concerning the flag. This is almost an infringement on free speech. The confed battle flag has now become a symbol of hatred to be legislated against. There is a move today to remove a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Capitol in Frankfort, KY. Where does this end? It is a short jump for the Progressive Element from public to private as we have seen with the “healthcare” legislation – Sure, you can practice your religion however you see fit, in accordance with your conscience, as long as its within four walls… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Walmart is removing all merchandize with Confederate flags. For the children. Just to be sure. So we are already seeing a chilling effect outside of government. It will be interesting to see how long before States ban public reenactments of the Civil War which portray the Confederate side. It might be racist.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Open minded?

Their minds are steel traps locked shut.

Phil James
Guest
Phil James

I can understand the position that the flag has become so tarnished with evil associations that it is no longer has a place. This could be admitted by people who take pride in our Confederate dead, without disavowing them; or so it seems to me. Sin robs us of our inheritance. I don’t know why this oughtn’t include our symbolic inheritance as well. But reading here and elsewhere, it becomes clear that some people (mostly of a certain age) are unable to allow that a confederate symbol could be important to non-racist Xian’s. The assumption is that we all know… Read more »

Joe_WA
Guest
Joe_WA

The self-righteousness of the Left annoys me as much as most of you (actually–after reviewing some of these comments–that’s not even close to being true. But trust me it does annoy me…). I follow the Atlantic and other leftist publications on Facebook–for fun–and the headlines and articles are cringe-worthy, for sure. I don’t really feel like joining their chorus. But then I go and read comments from the opposite side and I find them slightly more nauseating and slightly more self-righteous and when all that comes to a head I kind of have to pick the side that doesn’t like… Read more »

LittleRedMachine
Guest
LittleRedMachine

A few things should be noted: the CSA battle flag is part of the flag of the state of Mississippi and flies on the grounds of the state capital. The state of Mississippi is the most difficult state in these United States in which to practice perhaps the greatest evil ever in our country – the murder of innocent unborn children. For this, God bless Mississippi. It should also be noted that based on today’s politics there is not a single state that made up the former CSA that would have legalized abortion practiced in its borders. The crime of… Read more »

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

Mr. Wilson, I used to read your Credenda Agenda back in the 1990’s and was an avid fan of your irenic ministry which helped me think cognitively about the issues of our day and gave me impetus to take classes at Westminster Theological Seminary and become a student at Princeton Theological Seminary today. However, Sir, In my three decades as a Christian it is doubtful that I have read a diatribe so convoluted and just plain wrong than this weak and poorly written and unorganized piece. I was left wondering if the person who wrote this is the same person… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Doug Wilson wrote:

Our task there is simply to weep with those who weep. My task is simply
to ache with them as my brothers and sisters, pray for them, and do my
level best not to compound their grief.

You wrote:

That you cannot sympathize with those hurting over last week’s mass
shooting in Charleston, S.C. (…..) is
just unforgivable.

Retract your lie.

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

Wilson has no business making an article about the evils of abortion from the shooting in S.C. that seems just beyond the pale when people are hurting is my point. Also Stonewall Jackson was a racist who owned five slaves. Also, why is “Southern Slavery as it Was” still for sale on amazon.com?

timothy
Guest
timothy

His business is his own; you are not his boss and he can write about any darn thing he pleases. Your transparent attempt to DISQUALIFY Wilson is an exact mirror of the Confederate Flag controversy and the point Wilson was making.

You SJW pukes will never stop until you are stopped.

Consider yourself stopped.

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

Co-writing a book in defense of slavery has disqualified Wilson from any place at the table of discussion about race relations in America.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Young man I think you have a bright future ahead of you. Have you considered blogging for The Gospel Coalition? Its a shame you went to Westminster because the Southern Baptist Convention is looking to purge itself of its neo-Nazi past and you sound like just the man to shake things up a bit. Its nice to see someone bring a bit of class and erudition to the discussion here in this dank bigoted backwater.

Christopher
Member

I’ve read “southern slavery as it was” and it wasn’t a defence of slavery.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Donating to a pro-monogmous cause disqualified Brandon Eich (the inventor of javascript) from any place at the table at mozilla. Wearing a totally cool shirt with space-babes on it disqualified Matt Taylor from any place at the table in the European space program. Writing the Bell Curve disqualified Charles Murray from any place at the table in academia. Writing ‘The Talk’ disqualified John Derbyshire from any place at the table at The National Review. Each of these people I cite are eminently qualified, smarter than you are, accomplished and civilized. You? You are a bigoted barbarian. Go take your place… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

As for the book, I was unaware it existed.
I have added to my wish list on Amazon.
I look forward to purchasing it and reading it.

bethyada
Member

Timothy, There were some problems with the book relating to inadequate documenting of sources. Doug (as editor and co-author) has accepted responsibility for this. The book has been subsumed into Black and Tan as a chapter. Better to buy this. Doug has also made Black and Tan available for free previously so you may be able to download a copy from somewhere. I could email you mine if you can’t find it online—if Doug doesn’t mind (assuming I can find my e-copy). Better to spend your money on Doug’s recent and excellent Rules for Reformers which covers exactly this kind… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Bethyada,

Thank you.

I hope to have a vivisection of a polygamous toad completed later today and I have added your suggestions as a TODO item in those debate notes. I will search for it after that task.

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

“Southern Slavery as it Was” can easily be found in full on line: http://reformed-theology.org/html/books/slavery/southern_slavery_as_it_was.htm

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

Merely saying that you are sympathizing with those who mourn does not demonstrate that you are. Turning a national debate about whether the confederate flag should be on SC’s statehouse property into a diatribe about abortion is tacky.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Simply stating that we do not mourn does not make it so.
As katecho wisely reminded us, we are all Eve’s children. We mourn as such.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Classic. Tips fedora.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Poe’s Law at work

timothy
Guest
timothy

Enoch’s comment was sarcasm?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Poe’s Law says you never can tell but try reading it dramatically aloud.

timothy
Guest
timothy

I did note the template, boilerplate SJW As a [former fan and accolyte] and a [insert list of credentials signaling my membership in an approved tribe.] I TAKE OFFENSE! [insert list of emotive wails and lamentations] [Ignore the subject of the thread, ignore dialectic, go full-bore rhetorical and argue from the SJW cause du-jour] [huff and puff] DISQUALIFY! [appeal to the person outside the SJW group to humiliate himself before the SJW] It is funny in the same way that Wile E. Coyote getting humiliated is funny. It makes me think these guys went to ACME U. ACME U. We… Read more »

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

No. I use to think Wilson had value in the Evangelical now I think he is a sophisticated Fred Phelps.

Darius
Guest
Darius

Hahaha. Yes, that seems a valid comparison. Do you even read your own comments?

Katecho
Member

Lee Enochs wrote:

“How an avowed supporter of southern slavery still has a ministry is beyond the pale for me.”

Avowed supporter? I agree with timothy that we are either dealing with an utter failure of reading comprehension, or a shrieking opportunist. I’m not sure why he wants to drag Princeton’s reputation down with him.

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

The guy wrote a book arguing that slavery was not that bad for the African American slaves, has a picture of five time over slave owner Stonewall Jackson on his wall and turns a debate on the legitimacy of the Confederate Flag into a crass discussion on abortion, and you are calling me an “opportunist?” I knew it was against my better judgment then to wade here in the tide where the Neo-Nazi’s hide.

Katecho
Member

The baiting is apparently a sad attempt to play us and control us with emotionally charged name called. Cute. The problem is that there isn’t enough truth to his yarn to make it convincing. Apparently Enochs wants us to ignore the multiple occasions where Wilson has rebuked racism and racial kidnapping more effectively than those who are peddling all the outrage. It’s all well documented and on record, so the racist charge slides right off every time. As for the abortion holocaust association, Enochs can look forward to many more comparisons as the slavery topic is poked at by the… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Apparently CNN has now raised the question whether the Thomas Jefferson memorial in D.C. should be removed because “Jefferson owned slaves”. Enochs is sure that no one would ever have a picture of Jefferson hanging on their wall unless they supported Southern slavery, right? This is the opportunism I’m referring to. Perhaps we should leave Enochs and CNN to their hysteria and continue our own agenda to bring attention to a more current moral crisis affecting more black people in America today than Southern slavery did more than a century ago now. Maybe Enochs can catch up to the real… Read more »

Darius
Guest
Darius

Dude, my 7 year old could comprehend this piece better than you did. Try it again, but this time, read slower.

Rick Davis
Guest
Rick Davis

Quotes from Wilson’s book on slavery: “Let there be no mistake here-the logic of the Christian gospel is contradictory to the institution of slavery generally, and as the gospel of salvation progresses through history, one of the necessary results is the gradual eradication of all slavery.” “And so we as Christians, and especially as American Christians, must denounce as a matter of biblical principle every form of racism, racial animosity, or racial vainglory. God created man in His own image and has made from one blood all the nations of the earth (Acts 17:26). We are called to believe firmly… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

Lee, Do you have to apologize, being a student of Princeton, for that “vile racist” Jonathan Edwards who also owned slaves? Whereas we should voice how ethnicity-based slavery was an evil *absolutely*, I don’t think you have to put and asterisk beside a respect for Edwards. But, neither should you characterize Jackson as being a “vile racist,” who yes, did own slaves. Why do I say that? Because Jackson, being a Christian who loved Jesus and the Gospel, taught enslaved blacks how to read and write in a Sunday school so they could study Scripture. To do so was actually… Read more »

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

I apologize for only one thing, being involved in this discussion in the first place. It is impossible to have a rational discussion and express real dissent with Doug Wilson’s controversial views on race without his legion of trolls, popping out of the woodwork and shouting me and others down. I used to be fan of Doug Wilson and liked his presence in the Reformed Evangelical world. Unfortunately his vies on race and slavery have pushed him to the fringe and he is dangerously close to being the mouthpiece and theologian of very bad and racist people. Yet, one cannot… Read more »

wtrsims
Member

Lee, Whoever was trolling you, it was not intentionally me. You assaulted and insulted (I daresay “trolled”) DW for admitting to having a portrait of Thomas Jackson, who you claim to be a “vile racist,” in his office. I challenged your calling Jackson a “vile racist” by presenting historical, recorded evidence to the contrary, intending to defend Wilson for at least that one thing, and to defend someone I believe, along with those black members of 5th Ave. Prez who honored him for his teaching their parents the Gospel and gave them the tools to study it, to be a… Read more »

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

Stonewall Jackson and anyone who owned slaves in American history were unjustifed. Defending a slave owner as “not all bad” is like saying Jeffery Dahmer had good points despite his necrophelia and homocidal proclivites. This whole matter is outrageous to me. Doug Wilson’s views on race are considered controversial even in mainline Evangelicalism let alone here in an Ivy League town. This is all beyond the pale for me and I need to recuse myself.

wtrsims
Member

Well Lee,

Equating slave-owning Thomas Jackson and Jonathan Edwards with necrophiliac murderer Jeffery Dahmer reveals that no, you and I and any other person on this blog, perhaps, aren’t going to get anywhere.

Serve Christ where you are, Brother, and I hope and pray that I do the same.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Do you not see the irony of your closing statement? So you’ve received a bit of push-back on your post (which,if I read it correctly was a bit of push-back of its own), and your response is to do the cyber-equivalent of huffing and stomping about “trolls.”

So, thanks for taking the time out your busy schedule to come enlighten everyone here on how to have a “real discussion.”… I guess.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Banning lets you demonstrate your own integrity by sacrificing something that is valued by someone else.

To elaborate: consider the scapegoat. The symbolic act is valuable because the Israelites associated their own guilt with their own symbol. In contrast, there’s nothing particularly noble about associating guilt with someone else’s symbol and railing against that. Rather, you are asserting that anyone who values the symbol must therefore share in the guilt, and engaging in corporate punishment for individual sins.

duellsquimby
Member

Pastor Doug mentioned that this was just the begining of the end run… and now with the ink barely dried on his blog post comes this CNN piece by everyone’s favorite SJW Sally Kohn.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/23/opinions/kohn-confederate-flag/index.html

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Its clear that Evangelicals and mainstream conservatives can mount no resistance to Marxism when it comes in blackface. Albert Mohler’s cowardly disowning of all pre-civil rights Christendom should be a lesson to us all. The price of appeasement is too high. Once you start telling the official lies about race and history where will you stop? The Benedict option may be the only alternative to making the church just another social justice megaphone.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Some of us need to quit beating around the bush and say it straight out, “racism” and “slavery” as defined by our enemies are not inherently sinful. I believe Pastor Wilson’s earlier description and condemnation of the sins of racial malice and racial vainglory is a very helpful delineation of the boundaries here: https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/skinism.html But those are hardly where accusations of racism start and stop in 2015 America. Similarly, there are certainly many accounts of malice, cruelty and injustice towards African slaves in America — but there are also many accounts of peaceful and affectionate relations as well. Neither Jesus… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Here is a well referenced bit of truth on what the Bible has to say about race and race relations.
http://freenortherner.com/2014/05/11/christian-ethno-nationalism/

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“the Confederate battle flag has been used in some awful ways”
Yes, for starters it was used as the Confederate battle flag.

Darius
Guest
Darius

That was actually one of its best uses.

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

Yep, whut we have heah is a failure to communicate, boy. And I do mean boy….a man doesn’t claim to be a loyal American while trying to justify flying the battle flag of rebels 150 years after they had their butts whupped. A Christian man wouldn’t attempt to justify flying a flag that is symbolically offensive to a substantial portion of the community including a fair number of Christians, nor would he attempt to distract attention from this long standing insult by throwing abortion into the discussion…you must be a Southern Baptist because you sure as heck aren’t a Christian….

wtrsims
Member

So, does a man misrepresent the stance of another man with whom he disagrees by saying that he’s trying to justify flying the battle of rebels when that other man has done no such thing? Does a Christian man, while not attempting to justify flying a flag that is symbolically offensive to a substantial portion of the community including a fair number of Christians, throw a significant number of his brothers and sisters in Christ under the bus as enemies of Christ by saying that Southern Baptists aren’t Christian? What we do in fact have heah is a failure to… Read more »

Gregory C Dickison
Guest
Gregory C Dickison

What about the point made by Jackie Robinson that he would not fly the stars and stripes because of the ongoing racism? The north may have won the war between the states, but was still just as racist as the south. The north expresses it’s racism in a less obvious way than through chattel slavery, but is no less paternalistic and patronizing in its treatment of blacks. Abortion is one expression of that, and I don’t see how a society that tolerates murder can claim the moral high ground over a society that tolerated slavery.

The Canberean
Guest

I wish I was a senior pastor so I could ask you to come and preach and teach at our church.

Tim Paul
Guest
Tim Paul

Laura,

If your argument is biblically sound then say it and leave it and trust in God’s providence to make it realized. God doesn’t need us to strive and persuade people by our incessant arguments, for He is the one that controls our wills. But I think that you believe that you think you control the will of the individual by your continued railing. Apples of gold in settings of silver is a word rightly spoken because it settles our soul knowing truth.

Tom©
Guest
Tom©

I consider (from my high horse) how long it will be until the Christian flag comes under attack from those who have their panties in a bunch over the crusades.

Titus213
Guest
Titus213

Excellent! Please, continue to ‘write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth’.

Matt
Guest
Matt

“So when I move from the shooting in Charleston to abortion, I am not changing the subject.”

No, you really are, and it’s your pride which is causing you to do so. You identify with people who support the flying of the CBF, and how dare those others suggest that we are the problem? No, whatever happens in the world, right wingers should never have to change anything in response.

You’re all about confessing sin, as long as someone else is doing the confessing.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Doug made a pretty strong case about how the subject wasn’t being changed with the remainder of the very paragraph you quoted from and then the following paragraph, in particular. The whole impetus behind the withdrawal of the CBF highlights that the conversation is about race-based murder, so Doug just continued that conversation in ways that are uncomfortable for some.

Bob Myers
Guest
Bob Myers

Always interests me when the topic is racism many white Christians shift the subject over to abortion. This reveals something about our discomfort in focusing on racism as a current reality for minorities in the USA.

Steven
Guest
Steven

Are you uncomfortable discussing abortion and whether or not racism is an important facet of it?

JMK
Guest
JMK

That’s an interesting take on it, but not one with which I can agree. I don’t see it as a topic shift. I see abortion as the most racist evil currently occurring in our nation. I weep for the millions of lost black and Hispanic (and others) babies that have been murdered. Abortion IS a “current reality” and the problem is that we, as a nation, would rather babble on about a flag.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Always interests me when the topic is racism many white Christians shift the subject over to abortion.

One sin is currently sanctioned by law; the other is not.

Scott Diesing
Guest
Scott Diesing

It is difficult for us to imagine what the South fought for (I was born and raised in Iowa in the 20th century). But, for the majority, I don’t think it was the right to own slaves. I think it was because they had a primary allegiance to their state and only a secondary allegiance to the united states. Imagine, if you will, a not too distant future when a more powerful (than today) United Nations tries to bankrupt the United States and uses a moral pretext of protecting the environment. Imagine America decides (legally) to leave the United Nations.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Excellent. This deserves to be repeated.

timothy
Guest
timothy

But I wish we were interested in those principles and willing to fight for them. And I wish we could honor those who did fight for them. I feel sorry for those who cannot put themselves in their shoes. On a hillside over the ridge across the road from my current home is a small family graveyard. In it are the graves, the tombstones but chiseled field stones stuck in the ground, of two teenage boys killed fighting to repel the War of Northern Aggression. The moniker “The War of Northern Aggression” rings true to my “northern educated ears’ because… Read more »

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

Has it ever crossed your mind, Timothy, that States Rights is no more for “local control” than Federal government? Instructive tale: in Texas we have cities where they don’t want fracking as residents fear ground water pollution. The city of Denton passed a ban on drilling in the city limits which was upheld by citizen referendum. What did the fracking companies do? They went to the Republican legislature and paid to have laws changed to make control of fracking a STATE matter and promptly told the City their ban was illegal! States Rights has consistently been used by folks who… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

Actually, I have to give a shout-out to the public high school I attended in small-town Mississippi.

We were taught better than the revisionist nonsense people are putting forth here.

ashv
Guest
ashv

“had to” preserve the Union? Now who’s talking about propaganda?

The Northern states (led by Connecticut) were the ones threatening secession during the War of 1812, using pretty much the same rhetoric. It was hardly a new idea.

Katecho
Member

I think what Smfrmrinfrisco is trying to say is that Lincoln had an agenda concerning the Union to which the slavery issue was simply a cudgel.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Somehow I doubt it. (For my money, Thad Stevens was a more interesting figure than Lincoln in that period…)

Smfrmrinfrisco
Guest
Smfrmrinfrisco

Did they in fact secede?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Actually, I studied neither. I was fed the usual public school pablum. Now, as an adult, I see things I could not see as a child and I question what I was taught and why. As a math tutor, I had a handicapped student and he was a history buff. I learned then that “the history guys” are a breed apart and I would do well to listen to them rather than do the autodidact thing and teach myself. Lo and behold, the alternate history things I see match up much better with what I see around me. We have… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

The only potential hole in your hypothetical situation is that the present day Americans would not, I believe, be guilty of any moral evil for their pollution, unlike the slaveholders. The fact that the Americans didn’t have enough information to understand the effect they were causing on the environment would make them guilty only of ignorance. I think we can all agree, however, that the slaveholders were unequivocally immoral and that no plea of ignorance of any kind could possibly change that. At the very least, I’ve never heard anyone use that as a defense in their favor. But of… Read more »

B.V.R.U.
Guest
B.V.R.U.

“Yes, social conservatives did the wrong thing but the left is so rotten and insane and irrational that social conservatives can’t afford to admit that wrong thing in public.” At some point in the last year or so of this blog’s illustrious history, this particular brand of peevish blame-shifting seems to have become the go-to, prefab substitute for thoughtful cultural analysis. Two particular problems with this flawed approach: 1. It gets social conservatives all contorted and tangled up trying to defend indefensible things 2. It provides incensed liberals with plenty of solid evidence for their frantic suspicion that social conservatives… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

At some point in the last year or so of this blog’s
illustrious history, this particular brand of peevish blame-shifting
seems to have become the go-to, prefab substitute for thoughtful
cultural analysis.

Links that verify your claim, please. Or is this request what you call ‘peevish blame-shifting’?

B.V.R.U.
Guest
B.V.R.U.

“Links that verify your claim, please.” No, I wouldn’t call this blame-shifting; it’s more like I’ve been pulled over by the self-appointed comment police! I did just made a quick attempt to satisfy your demand but the problem is that keywords such “race” and “abortion” and “black” turn up hundreds of posts and I don’t have the time at present to undertake a detailed statistical blog study. But to address your request in general terms, my impression is that dismissing every critique related to racism with a long post about how leftist power mongers are inevitably behind it and besides… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Do you see any correlation between the increase in race discussion on this blog and nonstop race coverage in the media over the last few years?

B.V.R.U.
Guest
B.V.R.U.

Yes, I can see an upward trend in race conversation in the wider culture and the media, with a major uptick in the wake of Ferguson, et al.

But I don’t have a problem with Doug discussing race frequently.

Getting back to my initial comment, what I take issue with is using a limited repertoire of blame-shifting strategies to derail valid critiques of racism.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Yes, the accusations and the defenses are predictable.

Defending an honorable man is not being peevish.

What happens if the ground is not defended is that “the narrative” gains traction and becomes “accepted wisdom”. Debate is welcome, reversion to disqualification is ruthlessly demolished.

B.V.R.U.
Guest
B.V.R.U.

“Debate is welcome, reversion to disqualification is ruthlessly demolished.”

Not sure what you’re referring to in that last line. Are you saying I’m “reverting to disqualification”? And you see that as a problem? If so, I don’t know why you’d say that. I’m all for disqualifying arguments on the basis of their deficiencies, illogic, etc.

As in the case of my original brief comment, I listed a couple of specific problems that I see with Doug’s default blame-shifting strategies. But I guess you chose not to engage with those points…

timothy
Guest
timothy

Thank you for your measured reply. Much appreciated.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

“It was my father’s flag” is the only defense anyone needed to give.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Hi Barnabas, I couldn’t find the post to which you were replying, so I have missed the context. But, taking your statement on its own, is this a position to which Christians can subscribe? If my father hypothetically chose to fight for a flag that represents pure evil (Pol Pot’s regime, for example), how can I honor that?

ashv
Guest
ashv

That’s what people are quite possibly going to be asking about the USA flag in a hundred years or so. Pastor Wilson’s points about what the USA flag actually represents would be a good response there.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

When I was young a lot of young black men would wear Africa medallions around their necks. They were proud of their ancestry. The reality is that their ancestors would have lived in a constant state of war with other tribes marked by murder and the selling of one another into slavery. Idolatry would have been universal and cannibalism rampant. In spite of this I never suspected that one of those guys might want to eat me. What if I had laid all those crimes out to him and demanded that he denounce his ancestors and throw away his medallion.… Read more »

Eric Cooper
Member

Powerful. I am very grateful for your skill at peeling away all of the layers of deception and hypocrisy to expose the truth. Thank you for this.

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

It’s a tragedy that a great theologian like Doug Wilson has been reduced to being a mouthpiece of the lunatic fringe of conservatism that William F. Buckley worked so hard to banish from the post- world war 2 neo-conservative movement. This once erudite Reforned scholar with Chesterton like abilities, by his own admission, has become a “the crazy uncle” of Reformed Evangelicalism and an honorary member of the sons of the confederacy. Oh how the mighty have fallen! Doug Wilson, you could have been another Machen or Warfield. Instead you have been forever banished to the Jerry Sringer side of… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

I can’t tell if you’re trying to continue the conversation you regret being party to or trying to stifle any sort of dissent through grandiose well-poisoning.

Both options seem incongruous with your previous claims, so I’m truly stumped.

Lee Edward Enochs
Guest
Lee Edward Enochs

I do want to stop responding to all the comments directed to me by Doug Wilson’s cult of personality that refuses to admit that almost the entirety of Reformed a Evangelicalism thinks WIlson’s views on race are quackery and boarding on racism. That you guys don’t see that Wilson has been relegated to Arkahm’s Asylum is just sad. Wilson could still salvage himself in the broader Evangelical world if he would just stop talking about African Americans period. He sticks his foot in his mouth time after time and I would rather have him discuss the Federal Vision, which I… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

Well, don’t let me stand in your way.

wtrsims
Member

Lee, I wanted to genuinely talk with you about a particular point and reason with you. You’ve repeatedly assaulted and insulted Doug, you called someone else a “vile racist,” and equated that someone, along with Jonathan Edwards (and any other slave-owning figure in history), to Jeffery Dahmer. And I do mean “equated.” The structure of your argument was that “x” (good traits) are to “y” (slave owners) as “x” (good traits) are to “z” (a necrophiliac, cannibalistic serial killer). I honestly wanted to discuss with you those points, but you shouted me and anyone else who challenged you down as… Read more »

Katecho
Member

The invitation is certainly open, but Enochs will need to acknowledge several truths: Wilson’s objection is to the manner in which Southern slavery was upended, and not that it came to an end. Wilson’s repeated position that Southern slavery was a wickedness and an injustice. Wilson’s narrow defense of the Biblical form of forced labor as true restitution for debt actually owed. Wilson’s rebuke of kidnapping those who owe no debt. Wilson’s rebuke of racism as a denial of the dignity of all men who are born of Adam and Eve and created in the image of God, regardless of… Read more »

AndrewHoehn
Guest
AndrewHoehn

“Said the people who are just days away from the Supreme Court mandating same sex mirage for all fifty states, which states will all put up with it docilely even though the overwhelming majority of them don’t want anything of the kind.” If you really believe that the overwhelming majority of American’s don’t want gay marriage, you’re living in the past, since 57% of Americans support gay marriage, and just 39% oppose it. As far as I know, states don’t have opinions, but the people living in these United states by large favor the right of gay people to get… Read more »

johnkw47
Member

Just read this. Awesome!

kyriosity
Member

Just for the sake of saving future researchers the trouble (except that they’ll have to read all the comments to find this one): The original publication date of this article was June 23, 2015.