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When Confederate Monuments Represent Reconciliation

It seems to me that you only pardon the sins that you don’t really think sinful. You only forgive criminals when they commit what you don’t regard as crimes, but rather as conventions. You forgive a conventional duel just as you forgive a conventional divorce. You forgive because there isn’t anything to be forgiven.G. K. Chesterton [1]

The above quote is by the titular priest in G. K. Chesterton’s The Secret of Father Brown. The townspeople that Father Brown addressed had first welcome back a beloved nobleman who killed his loathsome brother in a duel 30 years prior. They accepted him with open arms, “forgiving” him without question because they liked the guy so much. Father Brown was more hesitant, saying that the killer must be penitent before anything is forgiven, leading the townsfolk to proclaim themselves more forgiving than the priest.

It comes to be known, though, that it wasn’t the well-regarded man who killed his hated brother — it was the other way around! The demeanor of the people is flipped accordingly, and they demand the lousy sibling’s execution. Father Brown again calls for moderation, but this time in the direction of mercy.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean anything unless those granting it believe that something actually wrong happened, as the sagacious priest further explains to the crowd. Forgiveness, to them, is just a cheap tactic to brag about when they don’t actually believe anything unjust occurred. Forgiveness — and penitence — hurts.

The Catholic faith that I share with Chesterton is as unambiguous about the wrongness of racial hatred as it is about the rightness of reconciliation. Racism is the sin that denies the inherent dignity in every human being, and is therefore incompatible with God’s design. The Confederate States of America defied God’s law by institutionalizing a false and perverse moral distinction between humans.

God’s justice couldn’t sleep forever. Hundreds of thousands of brothers, husbands and sons—many of whom were teenagers—had the meat ripped from their bones by cannon fire. That stench of death may have never left the American psyche.

One monument that grapples with this reality is called Spirit of the Confederacy, in Baltimore. It shows a scene that should be haunting to anyone familiar with the Civil War: a wounded soldier who appears to be barely 20 years old. He needs help standing; he is dying. But the angel that is carrying the soldier off brings something uplifting to tragedy, as does the pedestal’s text Gloria Victis, which is Latin for “glory to the defeated.” Onlookers are given reassurance that even the young men who fight on the losing side will be honored, cared for, and granted immortality.

As of Tuesday night, Baltimore started the process of removing Confederate memorials, and the Spirit probably won’t be spared. It was vandalized on Monday, and city governments are often on the same page ideologically as iconoclastic mobs.


That monument is from 1903, but its sentiment is anything but “outdated.” In 2015, a sculpture called The Pieta of Joan of Arc was unveiled by the U.S. Army at Fort Drum, New York, has a similar theme about unbiased moral courage during war.

The Pieta of Joan of Arc, which was unveiled during a ceremony Jan. 6 at Fort Drum’s Main Post Chapel, depicts Joan gazing down upon an Englishman in his last breath looking to the heavens and waiting. It serves to remind Soldiers that their enemies are human. (Credit: Spc. Osama Ayyad/U.S. Army)

It shows the Saint Joan holding the head of her dying enemy in her lap, comforting him as a sister would. It’s based on a real moment which had eyewitness accounts. He was an English prisoner that was too poor to be ransomed, so he was struck down by the heroine’s countrymen.

We don’t (or shouldn’t) go to war because we love the enemy’s suffering [2]. It’s that kind of tribalistic militarism that needs to be consigned to the trash heap of history, not the memorials of our fallen enemies. But this sentiment is nowhere to be found in mainstream moral messaging. Why aren’t we allowed to deal with the country’s deadliest war with a moral gravitas that is uncontroversial anywhere else?

The Civil War was not a war of conquest. The South is not a subjugated foreign nation, but an essential component of the United States. The South—and, importantly, the nation in general—paid for its sin of slavery with horror and hardship that the modern person can’t imagine. The Southern states were re-admitted to the Union, and the restoration of fraternity began. Southerners get to honor their dead not because they were fighting on the correct side, but because they’re allowed to grapple with the texture of sacrifice and war as their culture experienced it. Just like Yankees do. That’s what memorials are for.

Those who are trying to bring statues down are so are so obsessed with moral rightness that they forget that part of being good is loving your enemies rather than hating them. Love—agape, not the “love” that we’re lectured about in empty sloganeering—and crowds out vengeance and tempers impulses to hurt.

Housebroken conservatives offer lukewarm appeals to “patriotism” as their own pseudo-morality. The argument that we need to hate people because they fought against the United States is a nauseating attempt to gain the favor from the country’s over-culture. Would this argument work if applied to the Vietnam War? What about the Indian chiefs we honor with monuments, who fought against the United States and for their own brand of despotism?

Conspicuous, spiraling displays of anti-racism are part of the American civil religion. But our secular creed will never provide the moral grounding that actual religion does because it will always be a prisoner of the current day, existing as an instrument to legitimizing political ends.

Anti-memorial activists can learn something from the father of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in Charlottesville. He forgave [3] the white supremacist who murdered his daughter, and he expressed that he did so because of God’s example on the Cross. There is no political justification for this kind of charity because the goal of politics, like war, is to defeat an enemy. Undiscriminating compassion is strategically useless when it’s tribe vs. tribe.

Individual virtue can exist even in a less-than-virtuous system. Heroes of the South, from Robert E. Lee to a 20-year-old soldier who died anonymously, can be honored with a clear conscience in the same way that George Washington can. Their memorials and symbols can be remembered fondly, blemishes and all. If you think that the flag-adorned Dodge Charger from The Dukes of Hazzard was a Nazi fashion statement, you’re living in a Portlandia sketch.

In a rush to cleanse society of anything that is morally offensive, activists often forget about the most important party of morality: reconciliation. Grave-spitting is easy, forgiving those who have done wrong is hard.

Robert Mariani is the opinion editor of The Daily Caller, and the co-founder of Jacobite [4], a magazine of post-political thought. Follow him on Twitter [5].

92 Comments (Open | Close)

92 Comments To "When Confederate Monuments Represent Reconciliation"

#1 Comment By Lenny On August 18, 2017 @ 6:50 pm

Once you recognize that these men fought for the cause of slavery, you realize these monuments are an affront to human decency.

Should Germany erect a monument to Hitler to commemorate the German Soldiers who died in WWII

#2 Comment By Rossbach On August 18, 2017 @ 7:26 pm

There are only 2 kinds of people in the world: those who acknowledge their own ethnocentricity (“racism”) and those who deny it to assert their own moral superiority. Racism is not the same thing as slavery. It may sometimes serve as a pretext for slavery, but it is not the same thing.

Slavery is the product of greed, not racism.
Most people in the world are “racists” but few own slaves or would want to.

#3 Comment By pinkjohn On August 18, 2017 @ 9:01 pm

Cheap Grace. The south has never repented it’s racism (neither has the north, btw) but demands forgiveness and insists that we all forget about slavery.

#4 Comment By Adriana I Pena On August 18, 2017 @ 9:20 pm


The North forgave the South after the Civil War.

What did the South did with that unearned forgiveness?



Do you remember Jesus parable of the servant who asked for mercy for himself, but denied to those who asked it of him?


#5 Comment By spite On August 18, 2017 @ 11:12 pm

Funny how the actual veterans that fought each other had no problems with these monuments, nor was the general public, until fairly recently, up in arms as if this was the worst thing ever. Yet some people alive today treat them as if their own family members were butchered in some atrocity in the war.

The difference between the people then and the ones now is that the level of lunacy were no where close to what they are now.

#6 Comment By Ellimist000 On August 18, 2017 @ 11:39 pm

“Grave-spitting is easy, forgiving those who have done wrong is hard.”

Years later, after Trump is out of office, most of the statues are taken out of the public into museums (most of which are well documented as intentional symbols of white supremacy, not “graves” FYI), a flaming-rainbow-multiculturalist President is in office, and the right-wing inevitably forms another Tea Party (or worse) based on anger at the left over “changing culture”, I hope you and other conservative whites will quote about forgiveness to them as much as you do to people of color (and a lot of whites BTW) who have an issue with honoring men and cultures who wronged them and never accepted there was something to forgive.

I won’t hold my breath.

#7 Comment By Ellimist000 On August 18, 2017 @ 11:45 pm

“Few among those the fought for slavery repented and none among those who erected those monuments did. Many still glorify and romanticize the perpetrators of our original sin, and this is precisely why the wound still festers. It’s right there in the first couple paragraphs!”

I know. “Confederate sympathizing claptrap” indeed. The cognitive dissonance is simply incredible. And then they wonder why some on left see them as unable to be reasoned with or lacking good faith.

#8 Comment By Leslie Fain On August 18, 2017 @ 11:53 pm

“[T]he South will never ever accept race harmony; they’ll only tolerate it when they absolutely have to. Just as I accept that they’re part of the US only because I absolutely have to.”

How magnanimous of you. For the record, I’m a white woman who has lived in the South most of my life, and have had the distinct pleasure of living in Catholic Louisiana, where white and black people have been going to church together, partying together, getting married to each other and having babies together before you were born. I love my fellow Louisianans, black and white, and count myself lucky that when this country does finally crack apart, I’ll be with the good folks of Louisiana than a condescending arse like yourself.

#9 Comment By Justin On August 19, 2017 @ 12:54 am

Platitudes such as this would be better if the South had indeed repented of the evils of slavery and racism and accepted the forgiveness that was extended to them after the war. But they did not; their response was to bite the hand that feeds them by creating the Klan, enshrining Jim Crow, and making lynching a public spectacle. Repentance is a pre-requisite for forgiveness.

#10 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 19, 2017 @ 12:58 am

I hate to be the rain on the parade. But I am going to reject that forgiveness has nothing to with the monuments.

We live in a country that does not require forgiveness in order to obtain and deliver fair and just verdicts or fair play. Anyone familiar enough with my views know I am no progressive or leftist. But this business of clothing the left as unforgiving is just the common refrain among whites for calling black people on the carpet for not being forgiving enough to be given their due.

You get to wrong someone and when they call you on the wrong, you berate them with how unforgiving they are. This is the kind of slight of hand that has been useful in ameliorating and sloughing black people. it’s the use of Christ, to call them to a higher purpose than not for the sake of Christ, but to avoid culpability, to ease the way to being held to account.

In my view it’s just another ploy of the anger card. Angry black people are unforgiving and thereby unworthy of just play and consideration.

Ohh yesss sireee . . . we love our blacks as long as they are church going and meek, kind, and of course forgiving. Whites in power can run amuck blowing up the world and making mayhem, even using angry blacks to the cause as forgiveness, we are woefully short:

Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria . . . the Ukraine.

But the demand and it is a demand that blacks, cloaked as leftists, take on the mantle of forgiveness when the country has yet to forgive them for a brand they had no choice in accepting and one which is benign save for the four hundred years whites have branded it anything worthy of forgiveness. No instead, blacks are treated suspect.

Now I am not arguing against forgiveness. It is the demand of the christian walk. The spirit of Christ says it is a must, without equivocation.

So the standard must be first for those of Christ, who call on forgiveness to forgive. Now maybe I missed that in the article. But forgiveness first starts with me. I say this as a man who now lives in a darkened house because the light hurts my eyes and whose legs are just now getting their bearings — darkened house and sunglasses have aided in that.

Forgiveness does not by definition have anything to do with justice. My lack of forgiveness for that bundle of lies about me that cost me everything should and does not short circuit the issue of justice. I think the matter of statue removal is hardly the redress required and like it or not, since the the south was not permitted to secede those men are a part of our history. The fact that they were embraced By Pres Lincoln –“better angels of our nature . . . yada yada . . .” suggests that he did not see them nor intended to treat them as traitors.

And with slavery, there is little that persuades me he would have done so at the expense of blacks he thought inferior beings. I hope the south can forgive the rest of the country for scapegoating them, when they engaged the same practices in much more covert means.

#11 Comment By Ivo Olavo Castro da Silva On August 19, 2017 @ 1:53 am

Leftist comments reveal their authors true feeling: endless hatred. And they present themselves on marches as apostles of love. So touching! They truly are hypocrites and liars.

#12 Comment By MLD On August 19, 2017 @ 8:47 am

How many times should I forgive my brother? 70 x 70.

We could go on forever splitting God’s word. I’m as happy to wield the wrath of God as you are, when it serves my ideas. And doesn’t offend my taste.

How do you know that the South, in toto, is unrepentant?

The South paid dearly for the sins of the leaders of the prior Union. The prior Union, the prior memorials, the prior statues, the prior parchments.

The killing stopped after there remained only a low percentage of the young male population, IMS.

As Mr. Mariani wrote: Forgiveness is hard.

#13 Comment By Adriana I Pena On August 19, 2017 @ 9:58 am


You cannot distinguish between hatred and demands for accountability.

The fact is that reconciliation was offered and given.

And those who received it went on and enforced Jim Crow and lynchings.

Matthew 18:21-35 explains the limits of forgiveness.

#14 Comment By Dave On August 19, 2017 @ 10:19 am

If those statues had been actual memorials to war dead, I’d be in the streets and online yelling for their continued display.

But this narrative omits the fact that many of these statues were erected in the 1910s and 1920s, as part of Jim Crow culture, and were not endorsed by folks like Robert E Lee. Some were erected on the very locations where slave auctions were held. Thus, these are not benign pieces of public art, and their appropriateness is a fair topic of debate.

I do not, for a second, condone vandalism or mob justice, and I hope those who’ve committed those acts are punished. But many of these statues need to disappear.

#15 Comment By Paul On August 19, 2017 @ 12:41 pm

To me, this article is quite a moving piece on forgiveness. I’m sorry that so many of the commentators don’t share that view.

Still, Mariani leaves out one key point. Many (most?) of the Civil War monuments were erected during the Jim Crow period. South Carolina’s Confederate flag, for example, dates to 1962–late in that period–and was flown in opposition the Civil Rights movement, at least in the beginning. This suggests that the Baltimore statue, which Mariani refers to, is something both less and more than a home-grown Pieta.

What if instead of tearing down monuments, they were contextualized? There would be debates on the context, of course, but debate always seems a good thing, and greatly preferable to the rancor that is washing over the land just now.

#16 Comment By J Radclyffe On August 19, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

“Anti-memorial activists can learn something from the father of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in Charlottesville. He forgave the white supremacist who murdered his daughter”

I hope Fields sues every one of you sniveling cowards for slander when he’s acquitted.

#17 Comment By Jeff On August 19, 2017 @ 2:10 pm

“…the goal of politics, like war, is to defeat an enemy.”

This statement represents contemporary understandings of politics. The goal of politics should be effective governance.

#18 Comment By Mike Mauney On August 19, 2017 @ 2:58 pm

Most of the confederate monuments are not remembrance of the sacrifice of the war, but rather part of the collective deliberate blindness to the evil of slavery and a celebration of the counter- reconstruction. In short they are monuments to racial subjugation as instituted beginning in the 1890’s by such figures as James Varderman, Cotton Ed Smith, Pitchfork Ben TilLman. It was sustained not only by lynchings and burning crosses, but by public displays like confederate statues. That is why a vast majority of them were erected in the 1910s and 1920s.

#19 Comment By Ellimist000 On August 19, 2017 @ 3:50 pm

Ivo Olavo Castro da Silva,

The heirs of the Third Reich and Jim Crow march in the streets with guns and you have the gall to talk about “endless hatred”. HA!

#20 Comment By Columbian On August 19, 2017 @ 4:46 pm

“I don’t think you ask for forgiveness if you haven’t shown us first how you have wrestled with empathy. The insult of those monuments is profound.

What incredible arrogance. We have no forgiveness to ask of you. What have you done that you imagine entitles you to “forgive” us?

#21 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 19, 2017 @ 9:10 pm


And with slavery, there is little that persuades me he would not have done so at the expense of blacks he thought inferior beings.

#22 Comment By William Dalton On August 19, 2017 @ 9:58 pm

Adriana I Pena:

The South forgave the North, and proved its sincerity in doing so, by taking up its flag, wearing its uniform, and going to fight, as valiantly as they had in their grey uniforms, in the wars Washington was later to concoct. And does so even today, in proportions far larger than any other region of the country. When the last Confederate monument is desecrated and removed perhaps they will stop doing that.

#23 Comment By Bryan Hemming On August 20, 2017 @ 11:05 am

Though I don’t think the statues should be vandalised or destroyed, I do think most should be removed, especially the ones glorifying generals.

If we destroy our history we tend to forget it. Some of the the statues could be taken to museums where they could be used to explain the history of slavery, not only in America but in the rest of the world, especially those countries from which slaves were forcibly removed. They could be used also explain how white supremacists exploited statues to glorify and perpetuate racism, while they remained in situ, usually occupying prominent positions in towns and cities.

When all said and done, we don’t see anyone calling for the destruction of the pyramids because they glorified pharaohs. And they were erected using slave labour. Quite the contrary, far too many of us glorify, and almost worship, the pharaohs. And the same goes for many other slave owners, who commisioned ancient monuments and edifices to be erected solely for the purpose of the glorification of their own existence for eternity.

But to counter Robert Mariani’s argument, if we allow all such statues stand in honor of the dead and the wounded, we should not be surprised if some call for statues of Hitler and his generals to be erected and honored.

#24 Comment By Richard Debacher On August 20, 2017 @ 11:52 am

Oh, please, Mr. Mariani, the Confederate memorials arose primarily from 1890 to 1920 along with imposition of Jim Crow laws and the rise of the KKK and lynch justice across the South. A second wave arose in the ‘50s and ’60 in reaction to the civil rights movement and desegregation. In both instances the intent was and is clear – to underscore the return of white supremacy and the subjection of people of color.

When the South makes reparation for its sins and makes a sincere effort to bring its black citizens into full political and economic equality with the ruling white class, then and only then is forgiveness appropriate and necessary.

The defiant defense of monuments honoring those who fought to defend the right to buy and sell other human beings for slave labor is impossible without honoring the institution of slavery itself. And you can’t do that without dishonoring your fellow citizens who are descendants of those slaves, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of soldiers lost fighting to end that practice.

Remove the monuments and put them in a museum surrounded with pictures and artifacts illustrating the horrors of the slave trade, of the lynchings and terrorism of the Jim Crow era, and the violence and murder perpetrated against civil rights workers. Forgiveness will follow the admission of guilt and the exercise of appropriate penance. I’m not holding my breath.

#25 Comment By Adriana I Pena On August 20, 2017 @ 5:23 pm

@William Dalton

I am sure that Emmett Till and every other lynched victim appreciated the forgiveness that the South extended the North. Since it was their blood paying for it.

Reread Matthew 18:21-35 Exchange the king by the North, the servant in arrears by the South, and the second debtor by black citizens, and you see what it Jesus’ opinion.

#26 Comment By TR On August 20, 2017 @ 6:51 pm

This is white people talking to white people. No one here or elsewhere has asked the question of how many African Americans ever wanted these statues erected in the first place. (And there are many in Black majority constituencies.)

How many were even asked? How many were offered complementary remembrances of the awfulness of slavery, etc.?

There’s something else rotten in Denmark.

#27 Comment By WorkingClass On August 20, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

“The Civil War was not a war of conquest.”

The Confederacy was invaded, defeated, occupied and absorbed into the fledgling American Empire. How is that not a war of conquest?

The south lost the war 150 years ago. Why is it under attack again now? The answer is it’s not. The white race is under attack. The current orthodoxy holds that all white people, even the frantically virtue signaling ones, are not only racist but irredeemably so. Whites who are participating in the hate fest against dead Confederates are complicit in their own destruction.

#28 Comment By EliteCommInc. On August 21, 2017 @ 5:29 am

“The white race is under attack. The current orthodoxy holds that all white people, even the frantically virtue signaling ones, are not only racist but irredeemably so.”

Hmmmmm, no. There is no attack on whites as a people. The issue here is about the consequences of slavery. An issue that gets short changed by every liberal and conservative who guises the civil rights matter as anything and everything except native americans and blacks.

For 150+ years blacks in the south, especially as a group have been incredibly=y tolerant and long suffering. Sadly the word racist has lost any real meaning as its thrown about like breath of air. There aren’t any back patrols rounding up white people. There are no police offers using excuse to charge white people, harass whites.

Blacks are not calling for more immigration of others to avoid dealing with the US history on the question of color. Black business owners aren’t firing and manufacturing reasons to demonstrate that whites are lazy stupid, incompetent. Black legislatures are not creating voter ID laws and then proceeding to troll white demographics. Np President has used his office to marginalize, criminalize whites.

Reai estate brokers are not organized in the community to deny whites housing. There’s no enmass educational protocol to discourage whites from being scientists, doctors, legislators, lawyers, etc. Prosecutors are not overcharging whites, maligning their character, acting with defacto biases. the latinos community and the likes of Ted Cruz and marko Rubio are not demeaning whites to make room for more illegals and latin immigrants.

The US military isn’t doubling up on the standard for entry into the armed services.

I am unclear where this war on white people is.

As much as I hate to admit it . . . the war s you references has been in the other direction. And while I have deep divides wit may blacks as a conservatie, I think the data on the record is clear.

#29 Comment By Ken T On August 21, 2017 @ 8:59 am

The white race is under attack.

I guess you failed to notice that the person who was murdered in Charlottesville was white. Or that the majority of the anti-Nazi, anti-KKK protesters are also white. The majority of people, white or black, find the principles of the Confederacy and its current day apologists to be despicable.

The south lost the war 150 years ago. Why is it under attack again now?
Because of the number of “Lost Cause”, KKK, and Neo-Nazi supporters who have restarted it.

#30 Comment By Esti On August 22, 2017 @ 1:07 am

It seems that the lesson of this article is lost to the Left.

Forgivness is good and right when it’s given without concern for the repentance of those we forgive. If we stop forgiving sinners because they are unrepentant, that means that our forgivness was false.

Our forgivness is our act of compassion and inner power, which, if it is sincere, have to be independent from the world outside. But if it is not, than it’s just our selfrightousness and virtue signaling, and an easy welcome for those who adhere to our moral code anyway… Than it is shallow.

The Left in the Unated States is always ready to forgive those who embrace values of the Left. But for those, who are on the Right or even for those, who aren’t deep enough on the Left, the forgivness is banned nowdays.

In this light, the Left is no better than Nazis, for both groups preach the same unforgivness for those, who commit the sin of being different.

#31 Comment By mrscracker On August 22, 2017 @ 10:59 am

I’m deeply conservative. Probably reactionary. And I’m a Southerner who believes Robert E. Lee was heroic & maybe as close to being a saint as a Protestant can be. I love Stonewall Jackson, too. But there is no “white race.” Never was.
To celebrate home & culture is fine. But skin color is irrelevant.
Folks back in the day didn’t have the knowledge revealed to us now by DNA. But we know better.
If your ancestors have been in America since colonial days it’s very unlikely that your DNA is 100% “white” or “black”. You may very well be part Jewish too because they tended to assimilate into the general population.
We should celebrate what’s good & decent but move on from ignorance & prejudice.
We should preserve all monuments & memorials to recall our history-good, bad, & ugly- so we don’t repeat the stupid parts of our past. That’s what they do in the UK. We only have a couple centuries of history here & seem hellbent on destroying it.

#32 Comment By mrscracker On August 22, 2017 @ 11:21 am

Mike Mauney says:

August 19, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Most of the confederate monuments are not remembrance of the sacrifice of the war, but rather part of the collective deliberate blindness to the evil of slavery and a celebration of the counter- reconstruction. In short they are monuments to racial subjugation as instituted beginning in the 1890’s by such figures as James Varderman, Cotton Ed Smith, Pitchfork Ben TilLman. It was sustained not only by lynchings and burning crosses, but by public displays like confederate statues. That is why a vast majority of them were erected in the 1910s and 1920s.”
This is a common misunderstanding, but actually statues like Gen. Lee’s in Ch’ville were erected by the city as a part of the City Beautiful Movement which spread across all of America during the time period you mention.
The man who donated the land which now is Lee Park also donated land for a black city park with a statue of Booker T. Washington. Additionally, a statue of Lewis & Clark was erected in Ch’ville.
The great majority of statues in US public parks were erected during that same period as a part of the City Beautiful Movement:

“Starting with the creation of the Lewis and Clark monument and continuing through the years of 1919 to 1924, Charlottesville felt the direct influence of the City Beautiful movement that swept across America. This movement had its origins in the 1890’s and continued to impact America through the early part of the twentieth century. The cause of the movement may be attributed to the struggle of the economic system to redefine itself and Americans through the language of consumption, social unrest and violence, overcrowded urban centers, and the end to the agrarian way of life so familiar to Americans. The movement called back a nostalgic past, a time before the Industrial Revolution took its foothold in all of American life and made an agrarian society a thing of the past… ”


#33 Comment By Rehoboath On August 22, 2017 @ 9:37 pm

“When the South makes reparation for its sins and makes a sincere effort to bring its black citizens into full political and economic equality with the ruling white class, then and only then is forgiveness appropriate and necessary. “

Um, when do the North, Midwest, and West plan to make their “reparations”, “sincere efforts”, and achieve “full political and economic equality for their black citizens”?

It certainly hasn’t happened yet. In fact, it shows no signs of happening at all.

#34 Comment By FiveString On August 22, 2017 @ 11:16 pm

If the confederate monuments are “history” and “reconciliation”, then where are the public monuments to African Americans and the commemoration of the atrocity of slavery?

Two of General Stonewall Jackson’s descendents said it best:

#35 Comment By Michael Berleno On August 23, 2017 @ 11:46 am

Article III, Section 3, of the US Constitution:

“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

I don’t understand why that’s not the end of the conversation right there. How can anyone think they are a patriot when they want to memorialize and honor people who fit the exact definition of treason?

#36 Comment By mrscracker On August 23, 2017 @ 2:44 pm

I ___ swear to be true to our sovereign Lord King George, and to serve him honestly and faithfully in the defence of his person, crown and dignity, against all his enemies and opposers whatsoever, and to observe and obey his Majesty’s orders, and the orders of the Generals and Officers set over me by his majesty.

So help me God.
___ Recruit
Michael Berleno ,

I’m no historian but I know Washington would have taken a similar oath as a British officer. How does that differ from the example you provided?
Washington & Lee were both great men who lived in trying times & were forced to make difficult decisions based on their conscience.

#37 Comment By mrscracker On August 23, 2017 @ 3:35 pm

FiveString says:

If the confederate monuments are “history” and “reconciliation”, then where are the public monuments to African Americans and the commemoration of the atrocity of slavery?”
We certainly need to tell stories from more than one perspective, it’s true. There is no one correct narrative in history because it was experienced differently by different peoples.
As far as Stonewall Jackson, there’s a stained glass window honoring him in a Black church in VA:

“Depicting soldiers camped by a river, the window behind the altar is dedicated to Jackson, and features his dying words: “Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees.”

It was designed and ordered installed by the Rev. Lylburn Liggins Downing, the son of two former slaves who attended a Sunday school class taught by Jackson at Lexington Presbyterian Church in the 1850s.

In doing so, Jackson, then a Virginia Military Institute professor, skirted laws of the day banning education for blacks, Robertson said, and Downing’s parents instilled in him gratitude for that act of courage.

The window has remained, cherished by a congregation that bore the humiliations of segregation, yet resisted efforts by civil rights activists to remove it, Robertson said…”


#38 Comment By bj On August 23, 2017 @ 4:28 pm

“I know Washington would have taken a similar oath as a British officer. How does that differ from the example you provided?”

And there aren’t statues of George Washington all over England, are there?

#39 Comment By Michael Berleno On August 24, 2017 @ 5:46 am


Regarding your reply to my earlier comment:

“Michael Berleno ,

I’m no historian but I know Washington would have taken a similar oath as a British officer. How does that differ from the example you provided?
Washington & Lee were both great men who lived in trying times & were forced to make difficult decisions based on their conscience.”

I have been to the UK many times, and I have never seen a statue of George Washington. Thank you for confirming my point that statues commemorating traitors are inappropriate in the countries toward whom they were traitors.

#40 Comment By mrscracker On August 24, 2017 @ 4:19 pm

Michael Berleno ,
Here you go. It looks like it was erected about the same time as Gen. Lee’s statue in Ch’ville:


“Presented to the people of Great Britain and Ireland by the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1921.”

And actually King George had good things to say about Washington. As I think we all should.

#41 Comment By Michael Berleno On August 25, 2017 @ 1:23 am

Well that is interesting, and I stand corrected.

Based on this and the statues of Lee and other traitors around the US, I suppose it’s only a matter of time before a statue of Timothy McVeigh goes up in Oklahoma City.

#42 Comment By Anthony Mays On September 22, 2017 @ 9:35 am

So much is wrong with the way we are taking sides on Confederate monuments. I woke up to see the battle now is moving into cemeteries. Who are these people peering into every nook and cranny for the boogeyman?

Looking to the day society has eradicated all traces of the Confederacy, what are we going to tell our children who see one of the thousands of Union monuments and asks: “Who did those soldier’s fight?” The only answer we’ll be able to comfortably say is, “Aliens.”