A Guest Blog by a friend of mine Jay Gregory
Over the past 18 months or two years, it has been nearly impossible to check your local or national news without finding at least one report of a Confederate Monument being vandalized, a cemetery being desiccated, or lawless rioters destroying property while demanding one of the above. We don’t often see are discussions about why our Heritage is under attack, why now, and why is it important for the SCV and similar organizations to continue the struggle to preserve our culture.
My father only had a third grade education. He could sign his name, and struggle through the headlines of the newspaper. But, once and a while he would come up with “real wisdom.” One of those pearls was, “The man who knows how will always have a job, but the man who knows why, will always be his boss.” So, please allow me to beg your indulgence. Grasping “why” in societal issues usually requires at least a rudimentary understanding of the “back story” leading up to the present.
I truly hate to quote someone from Massachusetts, but remember the quote from John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (October 11, 1798.),
Our founders, North and South, knew from the beginning that a free people could only govern themselves if they were an honorable and moral people with an innate sense of right and wrong; of Nature and Natures God.
The Apostle Paul suggest in Romans 1:25 that the magnificence of creation alone presents “nature’s god” as self-evident. There is “someone out there” bigger than ourselves and He is the source of man’s equality, and has endowed us with our unalienable rights, and among these rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of property.
I think the story of where we started getting off track, at least as it relates to this issue, begins with Horace Mann, an early education reformer, who with a man named John Dewey, knew better than Adams and the other founders. They believed that man, not God must be the ultimate arbiter. In 1843 they traveled to Prussia to visit the schools and study them. They returned with the teachings of philosophers Pestalozzi and Kant.
Pestalozzi was opposed learning by memorization and to strict discipline. He pioneered using physical objects in the teaching of natural science. He also promoted broad liberal education followed by professional training for teachers.
Kant believed that as humans we are autonomous. He argued that the human intellect is the source of the general laws of nature; and that by reason humans give themselves the moral law, which is our basis for belief in “a god,” freedom, and mortality. Therefore, scientific knowledge, morality, and religious belief all rest on the same foundation of human reason and understanding.
For a 100 years after their deaths, the compulsion to put the material before the symbolic, the physical before the spiritual, the order of nature before human tradition, dominated the very psyche of everything and everyone involved in government funded education. The unstoppable drift away from the first founding principles had begun.
This drift began to accelerate in 1852, the year Massachusetts became the first state to require children ages six through 16 attend government funded schools. Of course, when the government uses its citizens’ money to pay for schools, they get to decide what is to be taught. By 1918 all states had compulsory government school attendance laws.
In 1908 Woodrow Wilson published a book entitled “Constitutional Government in the United States.” In it he asserted that In order to “render government more accountable to public opinion,” that the business of politics—namely elections—should be separated from actual governance. He believed that “nonpartisan”, and therefore “neutral,” experts (Read that unelected, deep state bureaucrats) should actually rule the people. Further, he thought the president, as the only nationally elected public official, would best exemplify the will of the people. Thus the President should “rule” through this bureaucracy of “neutral (unelected) experts”. In other words, Wilson believed we should be ruled by an oligarch with him, and his successors at its head. Huh, that seems vaguely familiar, somehow.
The next big shift came in 1963 when the SCOTUS ruled in Abington School District v. Schempp that group Bible reading and recitation of the Lord's Prayer were both unlawful in government schools.
Then in 1964 – 65 Johnson brought us the Great Society. It contained no less than 60 separate laws that provided for “better” classrooms, minority scholarships, and low-interest student loans. (e.g. More national money, more national control, lowering standards, and more social engineering.)
In 1979 the Department of Education was created. It initially had 3,000 employees and a $12 Billion budget. In 2004 the budget was five times that amount and with the “No Child Left Behind” program a national government school curriculum was fully in place.
During ‘95 and ‘96 we all witnessed scandal of President Clinton’s public dalliances in the Oval Office. We’ll just set the details of that episode aside. His conduct and its handling by our courts and elected representatives, openly announced to the world the end of one of our most important founding principles. In fact this principle goes back all the way to the Magna Charta; that is all men are equal under the law. That ended with Bill Clinton.
Our descent down the slippery slope accelerated on Election Day 2008. In my opinion, a clearly documented case of voter intimidation occurred in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The Bush DOJ correctly filed charges before leaving office. In April 2009 when none of the defendants appeared in court to answer the charges, the DOJ “civil service” attorneys moved for a default judgment against them. To the lawyers’ surprise they were overruled by two of their bosses, politically appointed Assistant Attorneys General from the incoming administration.
The lessons and implications of this case, have played out in public dozens of times since; from April 2009 onward, some crimes are sanctioned by the regime in Washington and other simply ignored.
From that tipping point, on at least 43 occasions between May 19, 2010 and April 23, 2013 various offices within the Executive branch of the National government announced that they simply would not enforce valid US criminal law. This is another BIG DEAL. It represents the collapse of another key tenant of our form of government. The principle is that it does not matter which party passes a law and signs into effect, nor which party occupies the Executive (Presidency); all existing laws are equally enforced. If a current administration disagrees with a law, fine the Constitution provides a means of changing it under Article I.
If you are still with me, thank you. I believe we have finally laid out the minimum facts to support my answer to our central question; why is our Confederate Heritage under assault?
It has been four generations since Mann and Dewey began proclaiming man as the source of the truth of right and wrong. It has been two generations since prayer or Bible reading outside the home or the church house virtually ceased. According the Barna Group, we have 75+ million young people (people with limited life experience), people born after 1981, who agree with this statement, “Whatever is right for you or works best for you is the only truth you can know.” So, they are convinced that the truth of right from wrong comes from within themselves.
The Clinton, Lewinsky scandal began demonstrating that some people are above the law when the oldest among this same group were 13 years of age – entering puberty. Of course the outgoing Obama administration has demonstrated this lawlessness on dozens of occasions over the past eight years.
Let me see if I can pull this all together.
· For the past 108 years the stated objective of the progressive left has been to replace our democratic republic with an oligarchy.
· 75 million young people have been trained in what boils down to anarchy – a personal since of right and wrong, with little concern for the rights of others
· Since that group reached adolescence they have witnessed public officials flaunting that the law doesn’t apply to them. Illegal acts in support of the progressive left (“the oligarch”) are either ignored or encouraged.
· In short, there is no deterrent to lawlessness
What is driving the mob, the pursuit of Wilson’s goal? So, we must ask, what barriers to that objectives remain? The short answer is the shreds of the memory of liberty.
So, large, conspicuous monuments to a group of men who believed in liberty so strongly that they took up arms in defense of that liberty simply must go. That memory MUST be erased; especially if some of the descendants of those men still don’t consider themselves defeated.
Can these forces be mollified by compromise? I’ll let you decide. Here is a quote from a “Take Em Down NOLA” communication published the day after the General Lee monument was removed.
“We've appreciated you being on the battlefield with us. Now we need you to join us in the bunker [to] plan how to truly rid this city of racism. There are over 100 symbols to white supremacy still standing in this city. To make sure the removal of the monuments is more than just a surface change, but instead a reconfiguration of systemic racism in the city [they must be removed] - - -“
Will new laws or regulations be the solution? We’ve already established and witnessed that these are lawless people. Laws are scant deterrent to lawless people.
On May 25th Joseph Goodman wrote on AL.com,
“On Wednesday, with the eloquent and powerful words of New Orleans' mayor still making national headlines, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill protecting the state's Confederate statues. - - - Let's be clear, - - - removing the names of Confederate leaders from public schools is the correct and moral thing to do.”
In my opinion this is merely a first step. It is perceived by “those people” that Confederate monuments are a relatively easy target. After-all, who would defend slavery?
But remember Wilson’s objective. In order to reach that objective all remembrance of liberty must disappear. My guess – emphasize that word, guess – is that the rest of the founders are not far behind General Lee. Then they will move on to others according to the degree of difficulty. On it will go until perhaps Woodrow Wilson himself will be one of the “founding fathers” or perhaps rejected for the Confederate skeletons in his own closet.
You see, dignity comes from God. Thus, monuments to men of dignity, like General Lee or Jefferson Davis, highlight the presence God, and by extension remind us of those unalienable rights which come from God, not government. They therefore must go.