Confederate Symbols

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This topic contains 98 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #31906

    _Robert_
    Participant

    There was a time when I was opposed to removing Confederate statues and portraits from government property. What was I thinking? This ‘Southern Pride’ nonsense was all around when I was growing up. I never thought about what it meant to descendants of slaves. I was taught that the US Civil War was all about states rights. I was taught that Robert E Lee was a genius and that the North were aggressive invaders and carpetbaggers. We walked around with the “stars and bars” rebel battle flag on our tee-shirts.

    Now I just see the old South a bunch of traitors who were stupid enough to fight an immoral war.

    #31907

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I like the idea of leaving the statues but including a real narrative in re to the person and the period.

    #31908

    We are not in need of added context. We are in need of a new context, say the great great grandsons of Stonewall Jackson.

    #31909

    Davis
    Participant

    I’d say yeah…keep the statues. But instead of putting them on pedestals and shining an light on them place them in a pit so they only half stand out of the ground. It’s one thing to remember them. It’s another thing to exemplify and venerate them.

    #31910

    Unseen
    Participant

    Slavery is the country’s original sin. We lionize the Founding Fathers and don’t think about the fact that while they could have gotten behind the plow and worked the land like real farmers, instead they bought and sold kidnap victims so that they could live like the wealthy English industrial barons.

    Thomas Jefferson actually sexually abused one of the pretty ones.

    Give that narrative to many “patriotic” Americans and they’ll ask why you don’t leave the country if you hate it so much.

    #31911

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Indigenous Americans may feel a little overlooked in that assessment, Unseen.

    But it makes me ponder the issue of moral relativism. Do we forgive the contemporaries of the age on the basis of being the same as every other asshole?

    #31912

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Do we forgive the contemporaries of the age….

    They certainly knew it was wrong. Washington freed his slaves. Jefferson, not so much. He missed the opportunity to be truly great and future leaders can learn from that.

    Slavery is the country’s original sin.

    Amazing how deep rooted biblical nonsense is rooted even amongst atheists. Just yesterday I slipped out a “thank god”.

    #31913

    Unseen
    Participant

    Indigenous Americans may feel a little overlooked in that assessment, Unseen.

    That, too.

    But it makes me ponder the issue of moral relativism. Do we forgive the contemporaries of the age on the basis of being the same as every other asshole?

    It’s not like nobody was pointing out the inhumanity of slavery at the time.

    #31914

    Unseen
    Participant

    Slavery is the country’s original sin.

    Amazing how deep rooted biblical nonsense is rooted even amongst atheists. Just yesterday I slipped out a “thank god”

    I meant it in a literal, not religious sense, of course.

    #31915

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Yeah i have no clue what percentage were abolitionists but am guessing it was 5 or so. Fewer? With such a horrific albeit peculiar institution ya gotta conclude the zeitgeist was solidly pro slavery. And what does that say about human nature? Perhaps if civilization somehow survives our era will be looked at askance for having so little opposition to butchering animals and treating em like slaves. And the apologists for both eras are essentially the same. Blacks and animals are unthinking unfeeling and less valuable. Maybe i mentioned it here but i read a long biography bout Jefferson and one of the stories that stuck was how shocked the man of letters was to have received a well written and reasoned letter of science from a black man. Jefferson looked down on blacks as inferior. But i am guessing he wrote it off as an aberration of nature instead of questioning his fundamental assumptions.

    #31916

    Davis
    Participant

    I know of few complex civilisations that didn’t institute slavery, serfdom or severe indentured servitude. CivilizatiobsThCivilization a withoutrwithout areuare almost invariably in the process of secularisation or have weak influence from religion. Human nature evolved outside of complex civilization. We are not conditioned to live in density and complexity. Cruelty naturally comes from structuring complex society. It is a miracle there have been pockets of broad (though hardly universal) civil protections. Including now. I cannot imagine how it can last.

    And despite some simpletons ideas that religion helps institute a fairer sense of morality…religion has backed-up the shit behind slavery and serfdom throughout history…with very rare (and not so powerful) moments of religion stopping it. If you find a religion in a complex society…it easily lends itself to codifying human exploitation. Even the “happy” Bhuddists still do it in Myanmar and for centuries in Tibet.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Davis.
    #31919

    It has been estimated that the members and ministers of the Orthodox churches in the South owned no less than 660,000 slaves.

    Thomas Paine, in 1775, when he wrote his article on “Justice and Humanity,” was the first to demand emancipation in a lucid manner. The campaign for liberation of the slaves was therefore inaugurated by a freethinker, and triumphantly closed by another freethinker, Abraham Lincoln. In this manner did the Church abolish slavery. With characteristic disregard for the truth, the religionists have laid claim to Lincoln, which claim has been amply refuted; but we are still awaiting the Church’s claim to Paine as one of her devotees.

    “And, truly, the case against Christianity is plain and damning. Never, during the whole of its history has it spoken in a clear voice against slavery; always, as we have seen, its chief supporters have been pronounced believers. They have cited religious teaching in its defence, they have used all the power of the Church for its maintenance. Naturally, in a world in which the vast majority are professing Christians, believers are to be found on the side of humanity and justice. But to that the reply is plain. Men are human before they are Christians; both history and experience point to the constant lesson of the many cases in which the claims of a developing humanity override those of an inculcated religious teaching.

    “But the damning fact against Christianity is, not that it found slavery here when it arrived, and accepted it as a settled institution, not even that it is plainly taught in its ‘sacred’ books, but, that it deliberately created a new form of slavery, and for hundreds of years invested it with a brutality greater than that which existed centuries before. A religion which could tolerate this slavery, argue for it, and fight for it, cannot by any stretch of reasoning be credited with an influence in forwarding emancipation. Christianity no more abolished slavery than it abolished witchcraft, the belief in demonism, or punishment for heresy. It was the growing moral and social sense of mankind that compelled Christians and Christianity to give up these and other things.”

    (C. Cohen: “Christianity, Slavery, and Labor.”)

    #31920

    jakelafort
    Participant

    But the Quakers weren’t fakers no matter what Nixon was fixin.

    All jerkin around aside it is sick how Christianity infected the mindset of the conquistadors, explorers and slavers et al. Manifest destiny perhaps captures some of the flavor of both the superior power and the i dont give a rat’s cock about you. As a Christian i am entitled and as a nonchristian you are fodder for my exploitation.

    #31921

    Unseen
    Participant

    It has been estimated that the members and ministers of the Orthodox churches in the South owned no less than 660,000 slaves.

    What? Here in the United States when you invoke “Orthodox Churches,” you mean Eastern Orthodox or Asian Orthodox churches pretty much, as distinguished from the Roman Catholic Church.

    Knowing that, what did you mean in referring to “Orthodox churches”?

    #31925

    What I mean by “Orthodox” are the mainstream Protestant and Catholic Christian religions, rather than small offshoots or cults that some apologists try to introduce to shift the blame. I do accept your reading of the word.

    Slavery was first introduced by the Christian Portuguese. Later in 1517 the Spanish began shipping slaves to the West Indies and Cuba. In England Queen Elizabeth loaned John Hawkins, whose statue was recently pulled down, her ship “Jesus” to get him started in the trade. These were all Protestant and (very) Catholic countries at the time. When slavery arrived in America it was given the same acceptance by Christians, many of whom were from Europe, that it had in Europe.

    “Had the Church been against slavery it would have branded it as a wrong, and have set the example of liberating its own slaves. It did neither. Nay, the Church not only held slaves itself, not only protected others who held slaves, but it thundered against all who should despoil its property by selling or liberating slaves belonging to the Church. The whole history of the Christian Church shows that it has never felt itself called upon to fight any sound institution, no matter what its character, so long as it favored the Church. Slavery and serfdom, war, piracy, child labor, have all been in turn sanctioned.”

    (Chapman Cohen: “Christianity, Slavery, and Labor.”)

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