On the Bicentenniel of Robert E Lee’s Birthday

Robert E. LeeClick to enlarge

Robert E. Lee
Click to enlarge

Yesterday, Jan 19th, was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Robert E Lee, one of the greatest Americans who ever lived.

Not all that long ago, most Southron states honored Lee’s birthday as an official state holiday. That tradition, alas, is now honored more in the breach. The birthday of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr has slowly gained to Lee’s detriment. In solomonic fashion, Mississippi, to its credit celebrates the birthdays of both men on this day. Indeed, all Americans should celebrate his birthday. Unfortunately the quality of spinelessness is preponderant among our political class.

I mean no invidious comparisons to Dr King. Lee himself would not have countenanced anything of the sort were he alive today. He was a deeply Christian man of humble spirit and would have been embarrassed by any adulation directed his way. During his presidency of Washington College (later to become Washington and Lee), he forbad any negative comments against Ulysses S Grant, the Unionist commander to whom he surrendered at Appomatox. Nor would he publish any memoirs, saying that he “would not trade on the blood of his men.” The man was a Christian warrior in the truest sense of the word.

Alas, we live in a day in which mercenary officeholders have no such compunctions. Lee’s life was one of selfless devotion to duty, honor, and country; so much so that I find it hard to find another such character in the annals of Western Civilization. His military exploits were of such caliber that no less a person than Winston Churchill in his book A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, wrote that may have been “one of the greatest captains in history.”

Lee’s was more than military heroism however. There was a moral component as well. His devotion to his friends, his soldiers, and to God was legendary. Some would say that because he was a slave-owner, he could not have been moral. Yet he emancipated his slaves at the outset of the war and more than that, he trained them so that they could make their way as freedmen and women. (More than could be said for the Abolitionists who cared not a whit for the wellbeing of freedmen just as long as they were “free.”) His own views on slavery could be summed up in this letter that he wrote in 1856, some six years before the War Between the States:

“In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil.”

Some may well ask, that if Lee felt this way, then why didn’t he take command of the Union forces when he was asked to by the Secretary of War? The answer to that is simple: he was asked five days after Virginia voted on Secession. “You would ask me to raise my sword against my own State?”

Like Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and scores of other Southron commanders, the hundreds of officers, and myriads of soldiers, the South could not be understood without recourse to a devotion to the Christian faith. Unlike the Yankee Northeast, the abominable heresies of Universalism and Transcendentalism never made their presence known in the South. The mercantilism and industrialism of the North was obvious in contrast. America to this day suffers from an aggressive consumerism made possible by the Unionist defeat of the South –a materialism that gnaws away at our very souls. It was for reasons such as these that the agrarian and traditionalist Europeans sided with the South as did L’Ossevetoro Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican.

That is all water under the bridge however. The question as to whether the various States can secede from the Union (a Union by the way which they created) has been decided by force of arms. As to Lee himself, he never felt any bitterness, again because of his Christian faith: “I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South dearest rights. But I have never cherished them bitter or vindictive feelings, and I have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.”

If we are to survive as a nation, these virtues must again be inculcated. General Robert E Lee has left us the moral blueprint with which to do so.


  1. Rd. Daniel, a Yankee Forever! says

    This is the most wacky and historically untrue version of this sad part of our American history, that I have so far encountered.
    To me, as a Ohioan Yankee, …and as a loyal American, the great grandson of my great grandfather, an emigrant from Prussia, and a volunteer in the 18th. Ohio Volunteer Regiment, who swore personal loyalty to Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and who bravely…and with serious injuries for the rest of his life, righteously faught the despicable Southern Confederate Insurrectionists, as a blacksmith in the Union Army, I have zero sympathy for this major traitor to America, and one who did his best to destroy our union, Robert E. Lee.
    The so called, southern-cause, stood for slavery, injustice, and tried to the best of their misguided efforts, to destroy America.
    Robert E. Lee, who when early asked by Lincoln to lead the Union Army said, “I cannot fight against my country!” (i.e. Virginia), was a major traitor in our American history and responsible for the needless deaths of many many thousands of both the misguided Confederate soldiers, Union soldiers, and how many civilians.
    I do not have the least doubt, that his miserable soul is now in Hell eternal.
    Shame on his dishonorable memory and shame on all who now, so foolishly honor his memory.
    As General Grant commented, just after the Confederate surrender at Appomatox,: …that he had to respect the
    bravery of the Confederate troops, but that, they faught and died for a such a MOST unworthy a cause.
    So now, we are supposed to respect their leader, Robert E. Lee…who by the way, his later civil life and writings, proved that he never seemed to really fully repent of his civil war behavior, even continuing to look down on blacks, etc.
    He and all the Confederate generals who survived that sad civil war, deserved to have been hung.
    Here, George is re-writing American history, to suit his own prejudices, not the facts.
    To Northerners, fighting against the southern insurrectionists, was a Christian and a moral cause.
    God and the truth, were totally on the Union side, which history has confirmed.
    Yankee, Rd. Daniel Everiss

    • lexcaritas says

      Dear to Christ, Rdr. Daniel,

      It is, sad to say, you who are set on re-writing history. Your anger blinds you to half of the truth. On my father’s side are Pennsylvania men who fought for the North, one died in Andersonville. Their fathers arrived on these shores in 1816 from Alsace and in somewhat later from Darmstadt.

      On my mother’s side, were Virignians, Kentuckians, and Mississippians who fought for the South. They arrived in this God-protected land early in the 17th century.

      Both sides of this cross-sectional family have always been unanimous in their respect for General Lee, nor were they on either side unsensitive to the difficult issue of how to preserve the Union (by force???) while repsecting the rights of the States and the People by whom and for whom it was created. Both sides were equally dedicated to the concept of government of the people, by the people and for the people–whether you believe it of not. I have heard the stories told by grandparetns and great grandparents on both sides.

      The matter deserves much deeper and more sensitive analysis than you seem willing to give.

      Over 600,000 men perished in this horrible conflict by reason of which much of the South was devasted and did not recover until the end of the 1950s. Slavery was ended and traded for tenant farming and “wage-slavery” in factories and robber barons made their fortunes.

      There must have been a better way. One could regret that General Lee made the decision he did. However, Virginaia was his home and to lead an invading army against it would have been to make war on his family and friends. Could he have remained neutral? or would that have been cowardice?

      The South Carolinians were wrong to fire on Ft. Sumpter. But was Lincoln right to reprovision it? Was it really right for him to raise armies of a size not seen before to invade the Southern part of the country and compel the grandsons of many of the founding father to remain in a union they believed had usurped its authority. Lord Acton called their effort to seced as nothing less than the Second American Revolution, motivated by many of the same principles that had inspired the former.

      Your definitiona of “treason” is, frankly, careless. it was not shared by Lincoln or Grant.

      The minority in the South who owned slaves were wrong to do so. But once in the quagmire what was the solution without capital and cash to pay for the work that needed to be done. Who was to bring in the necessary crops? Who was to feed and clothe and house all these people? And remember that the African who were brought here for sale, were frequently captured and sold by Muslims and animists in Africa and brought her by English, Dutch and Yankee merchantman who made a profit on the sale.

      I’m afraid there is more than enough evidence of human sin and blame to go around. We must pray for these people as we pray for all the departed not level broadsides of hateful condemndation at them 150 years after the fact.

      Christ is in our midst.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Lex, thank you for your eloquent reply. If you would permit me to exposit a little on one or two of your points.

        First, we modern Americans forget that capital (in the form of currency) was a precious commodity held by very few. George Washington, arguably the wealthiest man to ever be elected president (JFK may have been the other one), had to borrow $500 to travel from Mt Vernon to Philadelphia for his inauguration.

        In my own family history, my grandfather, a village doctor back in Messenia, had a fair amount of land in comparison to the other villagers but very little money. Because of his busy practice, he took in a young peasant girl and had her be the nanny to his three youngest children. She lived with them and he fed, clothed, and sheltered her. To her dying day, we called her “Auntie” and my father and his siblings considered her to be an older sister. So devoted was she to my family that she named her first son after my grandfather rather than her own father (as was the custom). To my knowledge no money ever exchanged hands. This was during the Depression, World War II and the bloody aftermath between the Communists and the Royalists/Republicans. Destitution and hunger was rampant.

        During this time, he hired a young man who became his tenant farmer as he was gone for weeks at a time, being the only doctor around. Later this young man and woman married and my grandfather used his meager savings (the wars pretty much wiped him out as well) to build a small house for them (which they subsequently enlarged over the years). Were these people “slaves”? Not in the least. Yet stories like this were replete throughout all the world from time immemorial.

        As for the Atlantic Slave Trade, that was abominable. But the full story must be told: how Muslims, Jews, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, and black Africans made it possible, and not merely the European colonization of the New World. Indeed, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the richest man to have ever lived was the King of Mali (14th century I believe). He was a West African who made his fortune by hunting down the surrounding tribes and selling them to Arab traders. When the New World was discovered, these Arab traders would sell them to Dutch and Spaniards who then sold them in Jewish auction houses in Curacao, the Bahamas, and Caracas. (So numerous were Dutch Jews in the slave trade that auctions were suspended on the High Holy Days.) The point being that there was no way a white European could have navigated the interior of Africa to do this.

        Otherwise, its odiousness cannot be realistically appreciated.

        • Well, I am an Ohioan — and I’m also a fan of my distant cousin General Lee. There have been few finer Americans.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Not going to fight this one again, George!

          My only comment is that U.S. Grant was not the “Unionist commander”. He was a general in the United States Army.

          • With all due respect Tim, I don’t know that you’ve ever really fought this at all. I’ve read the previous threads here on Monomakhos that fell into this matter, all I’ve ever seen you do is express displeasure at a the point of view of George et al — I’ve never seen you rebut them. By the way, I say this as a New Yorker who’s high-WASP ancestors settled Massachusetts in the 1600’s.

            I used to buy the party line that the Civil War was a war to end slavery. The thoughtful argumentation from Southrons such as George has caused me to reconsider my position. I have a hard time refuting the logic that the south had a right to secede from the Union just as the colonies had a right to secede from the United Kingdom.

            It seems that all my fellow Yankees can do when confronted with this simple line of reasoning is tap dance to the tune of “Slavery.” Listen, you don’t have to convince me that slavery is deplorable, and no one in my family ever owned slaves. But that doesn’t refute the claim that the south had a right to secede, which I think it did, and which I think is primary.

            Disagree with any of the above? Thought experiment: suppose the south did not have slaves — would you support their right to peacefully secede? If yes, then why does the presence of slaves change matters? If no, well, at least that’s a defensible position — outright rejection of the right of secession — but slavery has nothing to do with this.

            You either accept the right of secession, or you reject it. (To be fair, you can reject it and still believe in “might makes right,” thereby justifying the secession of the 13 colonies but invalidating the secession of the south.) There are certainly other important factors, but the crux of the matter is the right of secession. Did the south have a right to secede? Everything hinges on the answer to that question.

            The eloquent reasoning displayed by the likes of George — and the shameful evasiveness of my fellow Yanks when confronted with this question — has lead me to believe that the south did, in fact, have a right to secede, and that the civil war really was a war of northern aggression — another case of might makes right. I am glad that it ended de jure slavery, although de facto slavery arguable has not left the face of the planet yet — and I really doubt that, as Southrons say, “the juice was worth the squeeze.”

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Well, I certainly didn’t evade it before, Thomas, but I intend to largely do so now.

              You will note that, whatever the occasion or forum, it is the “Southrons” who are the first to ignite these Civil War petards. For example, George does so every few months, but it’s his forum and his right.

              But no “Northron” (shall we say) ever starts one of these “discussions”. They never gratuitously kick the beehive, and start tossing the insults “southward”. This is purely a Diehard Confederate pastime. And if the bees don’t swarm, they are disappointed, and try again!

              I think grievances and resentments are a waste of time, and that deliberately nourishing, embellishing, polishing, and handing them down over the generations is worse than a waste of time.

              Last time around, Seraphim98 convinced me that no citation to, or quotation from, any of the primary materials and personalities on the subject of the relationship between slavery and seccession, and the ensuing war, could possibly make any difference to Southron partisans. That Calhoun, Alex Stephens, Robert Toombs, and countless others who were there said it themselves makes no difference at all, and indeed S-98 made this quite explicit. On this subject, their hearts are hardened.

              The only thing I’ll add this time (until I’m barbed again, of course!) is that if one wants to understand the issues, read the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, and above all his Second Inagural Address, one of the greatest speeches in history, in my view.

              And if these do not persuade (which of course they will not), then perhaps we can at least agree on this: they are succinct, well put, and easy to understand; and that therefore, they are superior to the circuitous pomposities, portentious obscurities, and bombastic rhodomontade of the ante- and para-bellum rhetorical offerings of the Southern “statesmen” to their cause.

              • I think the south had the right to secede from the union. It appears to me that you disagree, but are unwilling to say as much directly, for whatever reason. Certainly none of what you wrote addresses the right of secession.

                I also think the right of secession is the primary issue. I would suppose you disagree with this as well, although I can only hazard a guess as to what you think the primary issue was. (Slavery?) But none of the above addresses the primacy of secession either.

                I think we therefore agree to disagree. And this is probably typical of most pro-secession folk you will encounter on this blog.

                EL FIN

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I don’t think that the Southern states had the right to secede. And if I had lived then and had believed they did, Abraham Lincoln would have proved me wrong.

                  Do the descendants of Europeans have the right to possession of the North American continent? Yes, and for the same reasons.

                  The Confederacy needed to secede. It needed to, because otherwise it would be unable to expand the Southern system, including slavery, to new territories. Robert Toombs put it all together nicely in his speech in support of seccession before the Georgia legislature. If one wants to know what the Southerners wanted, and their reasons for it, read Toombs, Stephens, Calhoun, and many others. They weren’t the least bashful about it, unlike their descendants!

                  • What I can’t wrap my ahead around is the legitimacy of colonial secession from the crown vs. the illegitimacy of confederate secession from the union. What gives? It seems to me that secession is right the people either have or they don’t. Prior to the civil war, it seems the right of secession was assumed — hence the validity of the revolutionary war. But after the civil war, it just seems like might makes right. (Or are you saying that it’s always a matter of might makes right?)

                    The anti-slavery explanation just doesn’t make sense to me. Again I ask: suppose the south did not have slavery, but wanted to secede over some other issue, e.g. taxation. Would you still view this desire to secede as illegitimate?

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Here is the point:

                      The colonial “secession” from Great Britain was legal because it was successful after trial of arms– i.e., victory in war made it legal. “We will hang together, or we will hang separately.”

                      There is no right of secession from the Union, because the States that held that there was were defeated in war. The outcome of the war decided the issue.

                      In all of human history until 1945, the right of conquest was recognized as legally legitimate. This was expressly true, as a matter of international law, until then. The basic rule was this: if you conquered, and if you held your conquest for a long time, you were the legitimate owner. Here is an example: the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453. They have held it for centuries. Therefore, it is theirs, with full legitimacy.

                      “Treason never prospereth, for if it prospereth, none dare call it treason.” Remember the “good old rule”:

                      “The good old rule sufficeth them, the simple plan: let them take who have the power,
                      and let them keep, who can.”

                      Here’s the way to resolve the Southron legalistic arguments: yes, you are right. The southern states should have been able to secede. So let’s stop arguing about it, ok?

                  • Reader David Sanders says

                    If secession was illegal and the South is being blamed for wanting to spread slavery, explain the existence of West Virginia. It seceded(illegal) from Virginia and joined the Union as a slave state in June 1863, six months after the Emancipation Proclamation(freeing all slaves in Confederate held territories of which West Virginia was part) took effect. The formation of the state of West Virginia destroys any “secession is illegal” or “the war was about slavery” argument.

                    After years of being a Union-Lincoln supporter, the testimony of black American Nelson Winbush, a retired high school principal, and member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans(SCV) got me to see the real story. Mr. Winbush is the reason I am now a member of the SCV and an avid supporter of the Confederate cause which was States’ Rights over tyrannical central government. By the way the SCV has many black American members. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War have none.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      The “legality” of secession, slavery, etc. was not an argument for a court of law. It was much, much more than that, way past that. It was a question for the battlefield, and it was decided by war.

                    • Reader David Sanders says

                      “The “legality” of secession, slavery, etc. was not an argument for a court of law. It was much, much more than that, way past that. It was a question for the battlefield, and it was decided by war.”

                      Battlefields, war, that’s a given. The question is “Was the Confederacy correct in seceding and forming its own government?” Now if you say the answer to that question was determined by the outcome of the war would mean “might makes right.” And I don’t think you believe that do you?

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      But is that not exactly what I said?

                    • Justina (Christine Erikson) says

                      There was nothing illegal in a section of a state seceding from the state but not the Union, and making a new state. Normally this is done by permission of the state legislature being left, and appeal to the Fed. Congress, READ THE CONSTITUTION.

                      There was NO proviso for secession from the Union itself in the Constitution. A lot of analyses of constitutional issues by patriot militia sorts and neo confederates etc. is not constitutional at all, and generally is based on the Articles of Confederation which preceded it, and which were repudiated.

                      Now, the secession from Virginia was also a rejoining to the Union, and therefore very legal, because it was affirming the US Constitution and the claims of the Union.

                      Finally, the slavery issue, the original seceding states have their statements of secession from the Union (before they formed the Confederacy itself) online, and most of them explicitly list the slavery issue as the primary issue. one of them addresses the gradualistic mode of eliminating slavery seeing an end goal that it didn’t like. Texas alone had a legitimate beef, failure by the fed to protect the borders against Mexicans and bandits, but this didn’t make secession legal.

                      As for the issue of Christianity, BOTH sides prayed to God for victory, and the South lost. Perhaps that should tell you all something.

                      Southern slavery was beyond mere ownership of other humans, it was about a pervasive mindset affecting everyone slave and free, and sexual immorality by whites with blacks even though technically illegal. Not all of it forced by any means, but that is not the point. One of the concepts the white whether owners or not grew up with was that a black woman was fair game for seduction or even rape. Those who maintained a family with one, were despised as “n***** lovers” along with anyone who didn’t like cruelty to blacks and mulattos. The French tradition did not care so much for pure blood and had gradations of blackness, and white was and white looked, the Anglo German concept was one drop of black blood and you are black, regardless of looks.

                      The octaroon, 1/8 black, if female had her career options she was raised with officially including being the mistress of a wealthy white man.

                      Now, you could argue the following about secession: those states that had an existence as entities legal and cultural before the Revolution, i.e., the original 13 colonies might have a sort of “natural law” concept right to secede. Texas did also, because it was a sovereign nation briefly before it joined the Union.

                      But all other states were carved out of federal property, therefore had no right to secede. That includes everything in the Louisiana Purchase.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Justina, close but not quite. Secession was always implicitly understood as legitimate by all states prior to 1865. Some Northern states wanted to secede over the issue of slavery early in the first century but chose not to do so. One New England state wanted to secede over the War of 1812 (“Jimmy Madison’s War) which they thought was being fought to further the interests of Southern states. And during the War Between the States, many abolitionists advocated letting the South secede and form their own country.

                      Why would these states believe this?

                      Because the Constitution was formed by the States! The States preceded the Federal government. Even after the War, the Supreme Court studiously avoided any judicial cases that involved the concept of cessation because it was still widely understood that what the South did was legal. It was only with the passage of time and the success of Republican propaganda efforts in the government schools that the majority has come to believe that cessation was illegal (and that the War was fought to end slavery).

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “To Northerners, fighting against the southern insurrectionists, was a Christian and a moral cause.
      God and the truth, were totally on the Union side, which history has confirmed.”

      To the most crazy, radical Heterodox Christian Northerners sure. Far more were neutral to hostile which is why Lincoln employed marital law and censorship even in the North. Fresh cannon fodder like your ancestor straight off the boats might have happy with swearing “personal loyalty” to Lincoln, and then being sent off to Grant (aka “the Drunk” aka “the Butcher”) in exchange for citizenship, but the native Northerners had far more nuanced views to say the least. My ancestors were Northern (Ohio) Republicans as well, and one them was a German immigrant Union mercenary for citizenship as seems was yours, but they were Republicans with the intention of stopping the spread of slavery to “free” states, and if possible rolling it back peacefully and legally. My family weren’t really “fully on board” with Lincoln’s killing a million citizens, destroying These United States, founding the new The United States, and outlawing slavery almost by accident along the way. If I was forced to say which was the traitor, Lee or Lincoln, I’d to say, Lincoln, because Lee and the South had the intention of the Founding Fathers behind them. As whose side God was on, I don’t presume to know, other than to say victory in civil war between Heterodox isn’t proof of anything, especially not of God being “fully” on the winning side that has gone on to become the baby murdering Sodom of today.

      *First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln on General Grant, “He is a butcher and is not fit to be at the head of an army. Yes, he generally manages to claim a victory, but such a victory! He loses two men to the enemy’s one. He has no management, no regard for life.” Cincinnati Commercial editor Murat Halstead, “Our whole Army of the Mississippi is being wasted by a foolish, drunken, stupid Grant”.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Rd Daniel, I learned from my father a long time ago to substitute the name “Washington” for “Lee” and “Grant” for “Cornwallis,” and “Rebel” for “Loyalist” to see how the perception can change. (And the fact that all Thirteen Colonies were slave-owning for that matter.) My point? A little humility is in order.

      P.S. I seriously doubt your great-grandfather swore personal loyalty to Pres Lincoln. In a Republic the allegiance of a Regular goes only to the Constitution. (Which lest we forget, was created by the several States.)

      • To George and all here who know better than I:
        First of all, all your deluge of attacking comments against myself, and my positions about our complicated American Civil War, are typical of the
        useless-ness of attempting to convince anyone of anything, via comment battles on any blogs on the internet.
        It is a total waste of time, and raising ones blood pressure, as NO ONE’S MIND is ever changed by these battles, and one-up-manship…all motivated by a very negative and argumentative spirit.
        Each commentor is struggling to prove that he or she is smarter, BETTER than the other one .How silly! .
        None of your comments, change what I believe and what I know…so give up trying to out talk me, its useless..
        Also, what sets in, in such comment battles, a certain negative pathology, of which this is a primo example: cycophants of the moderator of the particular blog & to be approved and praised by him, (as here with George), normally agree with that moderator and they merely add their talking sound bites, din to his thoughts…whatever they may be.[ so as to please that moderator]. As too, people who tend to not agree with that moderators stances, tend to not post anything on his blog…or seldom do, or to even seldom if ever read his blog.
        By the way, I have a copy of the document that my Prussian great grandfather signed,[ Johan Peter Kochems,] when he joined the 18th. Ohio Volunteer Regiment, in which he swore personal allegiance to Abraham Lincoln. This is from the National Archives, the Civil War PENSION FILES.
        My great grandfather finally got this Civil War Veterans pension in the 1870’s, and received about 2 or 3 dollars a month.
        Lincoln had assumed, dictatorial powers in that national calamity, saying as he did so: “The constitution is not a national suicide pact!”, and he suspended habeus corpus, civil rights for the duration of the southern insurrection.
        Lincoln would not permit, the destruction of this nation!
        He was born into an anti-slavery family and a small anti-slavery denomination in Kentucky, and was ALWAYS anti slavery, to the core of his Christian being.
        THANK GOD he said NO! to the dividing of the union!, because otherwise the misguided & IMMORAL southern cause would have destroyed this country.
        And, to me the biggest moral issue, and the final good result of that sorrowful and bloody civil war (totally the fault of the civic leadership of the old South, including rich and slave holding Robert E, Lee, ), was: the ending of
        THE MAJOR NATIONAL SIN, OF HUMAN SLAVERY…for which GOD…allowed us to butcher each other.
        This nation, paid the price for that African Slavery, with the shedding of the blood of many many thousands. It was God’ punishment on this nation, the north and the south.
        But of course, many many volumes of books have been written, and still are being composed, to understand and to explain what all in our history lead up to that terrible civil war, what occurred during it, and what were and ARE today, the aftermath effects.
        Today, we still live with the after negative effects of that evil immoral slavery (e.g. all of the perpetual black crime and a permanent black underclass, who always blame, Whitie, ‘the man’, all of us eternally evil ‘White’ folks, for all of their own flaws and woes.)
        Today, as in the past, hardly any two people fully agree as to the details of that horrible civil war, so why should we do so, here, on this blog?
        SO….to my studied perspective: The southern rich class, morally bankrupt, to save their investments and to continue human slavery, started that war. Lincoln stopped them, and Robert E. Lee ( the hero to all of you, it seems?), is among the worst American traitors that this nation has ever been afflicted with.
        To my mind, to bash Abraham Lincoln but to lionize Robert E. Lee, is equal to pure America Bashing.
        But,,,thus is the current illogical mindset of all of you leftist-liberal-progressives, lead now by Mr. Obama, who is rapidly taking this country towards total Marxism, anti-Christianity, pro-Islamicism, and underlying his mindset, is that old sour song, …that we ‘Whites’ deserve retribusion, revenge, payback, for ALL of our White’s past degradation of ‘his’ black people.,
        The after effects of that civil war, and the social problems ensuing from Black Slavery, continue to haunt this country.
        Slavery was THE main issue behind that civil war!
        But enough! I refuse to try to argue with any of you, smarter than I folks, on this progressive America bashing blog.
        Rd. Daniel, a Yankee forever! and a traditionalist Orthodox Christian too.
        P.S. By the way, and a bit off topic here:
        To all of you who believe in Ecumenism, and who actually think that the Stalin founded in 1943, ‘Moscow Patriarchy’…is the actual Russian church of holy Patriarch Tikhon, you whom we traditionalist Orthodox have to label as, “Worldly Orthodox” … WAKE UP!
        We are now in the End Times, World wide Apostasy!
        Flee your heretical bishops and clergy. They are not really ORTHODOX, NOT AT ALL.

        • I think “Rd” Daniel is not on his scheduled medications. Anyone want to bet that this man is a convert to Orthodoxy? Good Lord, save us from such zealots.

          • Dear Silly “Carl” (obviously not an Orthodox baptismal first name?).
            Clearly you have zero to add to this comment battle,
            except some cheap pejorative suggestive …name calling.
            Apparently you are not Orthodox enough to know that the church teaches, that we ALL must convert from our sins, & repent,[which is a life long battle], to be real full members of the earthly church.
            HAVE you become this …convert?,,, because if not, your soul will most likely end in Hell eternal.
            Thus no one can be ‘born Orthodox’, as you seem to suggest that superior YOU are? no matter what blood flows in their veins, or what tongue they speak..
            And, I don’t need your ‘medications’, but perhaps you do?…or two bottles of vodka?
            What a silly person you are, whatever you claim as your nationality or ethnic roots.
            May God help you, to humble down and repent of your own sins and imperfections.
            You are in my prayers, Carl.
            Rd. Daniel

        • lexcaritas says

          Dear to Christ, Rdr. Daniel, much of what you say about the ineffectiveness of internet dialogue is true, but you I doubt that anyone’s blood pressure is rising on this matter–other than, it appears, yours. It is disingenuous to accuse others of heaping criticism on your comments and waging a battle of words–when you started the flame-throwing and continue it–at length here. I doubt that any of your interlocutors on this thread are, as you accuse them, leftist, liberal, progressives. It is more likely they are at the other end of the spectrum, in fact. Nor is any of them, I suspect, seeking to please the Moderator in the least.

          While I disagree strongly with your ill-founded, narrow and overly intense convictions, I will pray for you to find peace and forgiveness for those of us who you wrongly view as traitors to our country in which we have deep roots and family connections going back close to its founding. Frankly, your hostility towards us your countrymen and brothers in Christ is not a cause for joy-but we wish you no ill, but rather blessing.

          Christ is in our midst. May we be in Him forever and always act so as to glorify Him above all.

    • Lola J. Lee Beno says

      Speaking as a descendant of forced immigrants from Africa, and possibly being related to the Virginia Lees, your attitude is why so many Southerners continue to have grievances.

  2. A Christian warrior is not a concept I have ever endorsed with a whole heart. Thou shalt not kill, rings with a far stronger nobility, which most of the of the martyrs exceeded in. There is a time and season, perhaps, when the Victorious Lord Jesus Christ, give a call to arms. The apostles and the Christ never won a battle against men, only the demons.I genuinely honor this courage as far above mortal combat, albeit, the self sacrifice and courage in the heart of some, is seen as a fulfillment of the scripture, Greater love hath no man, than he lays down his life for his friends. I do honor this true American Christian fighting man, but not as much as I honor St Mary of Egypt or Abba Moses the Black.

    • Well, we have a number of warrior saints, of course. And “Thou shalt not kill.” is actually a mistranslation. It means, “Thou shalt do no murder.” Not only grammatically, but logically. After all, God gave that commandment and then turned around and commanded execution for capital offenses and wars of extermination against those who wished to wipe out the Israelites. This is the same God who became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Difficult for some to accept, but undeniably true.

      I’m often tempted to reply to those who tout cute little slogans like, “Who would Jesus bomb?” with the historical record: The Moabites and the Amalekites, to name two. If He really was God from before all ages, He gave those orders, unpleasant for those of delicate sensibilities.

      But I’m neither defending nor condemning Lee. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Misha. What is the word for kill and what is the word to translate as murder, and the word to translate as kill? Do you have the faintest idea, speaking ‘not only grammatically(sic) but logically (sic)? Are you sure you are not, rather, trying to put God into a closet called “consistent?” This is like citing “blessed is he who takes your little ones and dashes them against the stone” at a “pro-choice” rally. Do you think that God’s behavior is a license for our behavior? His ways are not our ways. I think your beliefs must be mostly wishful thinking, rather than the teaching of Christ’s Church.

        • Vladyka,


          “Al tirtsach” is the commandment from the Old Testament Hebrew. It is from the verb stem R-Ts-Ch. There are a number of other words used in Hebrew to express simple killing (Q-T-L, for example). When people were protesting Ariel Sharon years ago for the murders in Sabra and Shatila, they shouted “Sharon rotseach!”, “Sharon is a murderer”. Obviously Sharon was a killer, he was a general. No one needed to point that out. In the bible God ordered capital punishment and prohibited murder. But that’s not all.

          If you own a bible, you can look for yourself and see the full panoply of violence ordered by God. Shouting “Blessed is he who dashes your little ones . . .” at a pro-choice rally would not make much sense now would it, Vladyka? Unless you only believed in killing the babies of your nation’s enemies?

          If God’s actions in the Bible are not the teaching of the Church, it is a false church.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            What does “your ways are not My ways,’ mean, “Misha?” And God never ever commanded, “Do as I do.’
            You seem to believe that if God does something He approves of us doing it!!!!!!
            God’s actions, whether in the Bible or not, for heaven’s sake, are ACTIONS! God’s teachings are teachings. Next, you’ll be saying that since God infected Job with boils, it’s ok for you to inject someone with H.I.V. or some other virus, or that since He had so all those first-born baby boys killed in Egypt that it’s ok for you to kill some, too. Tell me why those Egyptian mothers should not feel that God murdered their first born in the Bible.
            “Thou shalt not kill,” Misha, is not a mistranslation: you are mistaken. You may feel that one must IN
            TERPRET “kill” as “murder,” but that’s your feeling and your interpretation.

            • My goodness, Vladyka, such nonsense!

              First, it is not what God himself did at, for example, Sodom and Gomorrah, to which I was referring. You really must purchase a bible someday. In the Old Testament, God Himself ordered the Israelites (real human beings just like you and me) to engage in the genocidal extermination of certain tribes that threatened their existence. Moreover, he ordered these same Israelites to execute their fellow Israelites who engaged in intentional murder.

              Those are facts regardless of how you feel about them. Now, why would the Lord God order His people to do these things on the one hand, and then order them never to kill on the other. Is He schizophrenic? Insane?

              I would expect something more rational from a bishop.

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Misha! Still waiting to learn what you think the difference between killing and murder is. I believe it’s just a matter of point of view. One man’s killing is another man’s murder. If a Hatfield kills a McCoy, the McCoys define it as murder, but if they kill a Hatfield in retaliation they call it just killing. I’m sorry if you hoped a bishop would agree with you. God’s commandment is: Thou shalt not kill.’ Since you affect a Russian diminutive ‘Misha”, I’m sure you know that in Russian (as in Hebrew, apparently) there is no difference between “kill” and “murder.” Ubit’ Ubivat’ Ne Ubii.
                I’m amazed that you’d consider any possibility that God may be schizophrenic or insane! Now, “Misha,” how about the commandment to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy? After all, the Apostle Paul knew his Jewish religion, yet he tells us to let no man judge us according to a sabbath day. I don’t point out where he says that because you, being expert in the Bible, will know already.

                • Oh, Vladyka,

                  I couldn’t possibly have cared less whether a bishop agreed with me. You know the old story describing how the streets are lined in perdition?

                  If you wish to believe that God ordered the Israelites never to kill and simultaneously ordered them to kill murderers as well as whole tribes, more power to you. None of my business.

                  Yours truly,


                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Oh. Who in the world thought that “Misha” cared whether or not a bishop agreed with him? Does anybody know how the STORY goes about “how the streets are lined in perdition?” Where does it take place?
                    Were the people of Jericho wicked and were its streets “lined with perdition?”
                    I know God gave us the Ten Commandments through Moses, but I didn’t know that he ordered Moses and the Israelites SIMULTANEOUSLY (this means at exactly the same time, Misha) to kill any murderers or whole tribes (or half tribes). Was this a footnote carved into the tablets?
                    And ALL the first born Egyptian boys? I suppose the Angel just killed those kids, but did not murder them?

                    • “I’m sorry if you hoped a bishop would agree with you.”

                      “Oh. Who in the world thought that “Misha” cared whether or not a bishop agreed with him?”

                      You did, evidently. The rest is more irrational drivel.

                    • “Murder:

                      1: the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought
                      a : something very difficult or dangerous
                      b : something outrageous or blameworthy ”

                      That is what Merriam-Webster has to say on the subject. If you propose changes in English usage or definitions, please contact them.

                      I would only elaborate that Christian morality would include more in the definition of murder than just what the state holds to be unlawful. But, that raises another question, “What justifies the existence of a state?” I would suggest that to the extent it propagates Christian morality, it is legitimate, to the extent it contradicts it, it is illegitimate.

                      “Killing without justification” is the essence of the meaning of murder. “Killing” itself simply means to end a life, without any moral judgment attached. Self defense is a justification. Acts of war (if we are to believe St. Basil) are not murder. Execution would not be murder if it was done by the state for some serious offense (such as the most serious offenses for which God ordered the Israelites to kill the offender).

                      The problem you run into if you try to suggest that God meant to prohibit all killing is that you turn God against Himself and end up as a Marcionite. God would be the worst of sinners, the Demiurge of the Gnostics. If you aren’t aware of this early heresy, now might be a good time to investigate it. There really isn’t any way around the fact that the God who became a little Child lying in a manger is also the God who killed the firstborn of Egypt. If He is not the same God, then Jesus of Nazareth was most certainly an imposter since He stated that He and His Father are One and that before Abraham was, He is.

                      Now, the real problem with people who can’t face this truth is that they don’t actually believe in God, or they believe that the Israelites were simply striving crudely toward God, made up the Old Testament, and that Christ was totally different than the God they worshiped. But that just puts us back with Marcion. Prior generations of Orthodox understood this but the peace movement in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, spurred on by two world wars and egged on by anti-Western forces, has taken a semi-Marcionite position on the subject. You see it all the time in Western Orthodoxy. It is actually heterodox, but try telling that to its proponents. They are willing to disown (ie, “spiritualize”) the entire Old Testament to the exclusion of its actual occurrence or historical relevance; to disown most of Orthodox history and the general attitude of the post-Nicene Fathers, all to affirm, well, Mahavira on a cross.

                      I prefer Orthodoxy.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Misha has introduced English lexicography into the Hebrew world, making distinctions that do not exist in Hebrew or the Old Testament, nor the Tradition of the Church until after the Middle Ages in Western Europe. But this is American: straining to explain why Christ is in their opinion wrong in calling 2nd marriages, not enabled by licit reasons of fornication, ADULTERY. Even the masters of casuistry, the Jesuits, do not strive so laboriously and fanatically to distort or rationalize What Has Been Passed On To Us. Some American Orthodox also in our time have adopted the Jesuit theory of the Just War and strain, as Misha is seen to strain, to rationalize away NOT Christ’s teaching on divorce, but one of the Ten Commandments..
                      God reserves to Himself the authority to kill and to order killing, and He underlines this in the Commandment not to kill. How else explain the killing of all the first-born sons of the Egyptians…including children as sinless as fetuses.

                    • Vladyka seems to have lost it. So God issues an order never to kill during the same period when he issues a standing order to kill all intentional murderers?

                      Vladyka asked me to distinguish murder from killing, which I did, then criticizes me for not doing so in Hebrew. Yet God Himself did so in Hebrew. Obviously following His orders in going to war or in executing murderers is not itself murder, only killing. I mean, Vladyka can look up the uses of the different words in Hebrew or Septuagint Greek if he wants to.

                      Or is God a murderer who wants us to murder? Perish the thought. The devil is the murderer, liar and slanderer.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Michael, there are cases which are quite clear. Perhaps the clearest is that of Saint Demetrios and St. Nestor.

      St. Demetrios is even pictured on one of his icons spearing a Persian soldier-not some spiritualized demon.

      There are such people as Christian warriors. Not everyone is call to such a life but they have existed. It is a tough reality to accept and it should be but it is real.

      At the same time many, if not all, became martyrs, some at the hands of non-Christian kings who captured them in battle, some at the hand of their own king when too much was demanded.

      Clearly the lives of the warrior saints point to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all, including the earthly affairs of men.

      If we reject these men and try to spiritualize them, we tip a little toward the gnostic I fear.

    • Yet we have warrior Saints such as St. Alexander Nevsky and St. Dmitri Donskoi and Icons of the All Holy Theotokos who has led Orthodox armies to victories in battle.

      I don’t intend to in any way say that war is a good thing. Nor would I say that killing people to advance a religious cause is anything but a mockery of the Gospel. But there are times when one is attacked, or when one is fighting in a war, that being committed to CHRIST and HIS Church is praiseworthy, even appropriate.

  3. Hieromonk Mark says

    The difference between the spirit that inspired George’s comments about Gen. Lee and the spirit behind the comments of Reader Daniel needs no comment nor clarification; their radically different nature is glaringly obvious. The emerging victory of the progressivist corporatist statism that is destroying our American social and political traditions and leading our nation to economic, cultural and moral impoverishment and slavery to a Godless, Anti-Christ elite is a sufficient testimony to the falsehood of the arrogant Yankee triumphalist mythology that paints American history only in black (the South) and white (the North) and only with broad strokes. The situation is much more nuanced than Reader Daniel seems to have learned in the education he received in the progressivist government schools of his home state of Ohio.

    As for Michael Kinsey’s pietistic, pacifist platitudes, while I, too, understand the conflicts and struggles that Christians have faced throughout history reconciling the highest ideals of love and forgiveness with compassion for the vulnerable (once having been a war resister, myself) and, yes, the high calling of laying down one’s life for one friends, which is equally a teaching of the Saviour, his absolutist ‘moral high ground’ stance might make him feel justified and comfy in his own personal righteousness, but it does not address the gritty dilemma that Christian men must face and resolve when they see their families, their neighbours, unarmed monks and nuns, the young and the old, alike, being raped, enslaved, mutilated and murdered by despisers of the Gospel, and their communities, their nations, their homes, their lands, their sacred temples and shrines being vandalised and desecrated. And, indeed, the Orthodox Church has glorified ‘Christian warriors’ in many Orthodox Christian nations. Is Michael implying that the Church was in error to do so?

  4. Seraphim98 says

    For my part I am very happy to celebrate the memory of Gen. Robert E. Lee, a man of considerable honor and moral vision. As for those who want to brand the Confederacy as traitors together with their leaders, and to claim the story of that terrible war passed down generation to generation among their children is some sort of revisionism…Christian charity is the only obstacle to letting fly some extremely pointed and colorful remarks unsuitable for public viewing or private hearing, but true enough nonetheless. No amount of yankee revisionism will induce me to spit upon the memory and struggle of my ancestors. I have four great great grandfathers who served in the Confederate military (that I know about). One was captured near the very end of the war and nearly starved to death by union soldiers at the prison on Ship Island. The food, such as it was, an in such limited portions as it was came apart in green strings. The guards there were without mercy…even going so far as to shoot an 11 year old boy for standing up at night to shake the sand out of his blanket. And for what it is worth I don’t know of a single ancestor of mine from any branch of the family since our first foot fall on these shores in 1652 that has lived north of the Mason Dixon line. And in that line are at least one Irish indentured servant who was every bit the slave (in fact if not in name) of some English master…and as were many, treated cruelly enough that he ran away in order to be free.

    For those who don’t know, that war was not about slavery, though the question of slavery echoed all throughout it. Granted the south wanted to secede because they thought present politics endangered their way of life…which did depend in large part upon the slave system. But the North did not attack the south because the south wanted to keep and expand it’s way of life. The Northern government cared nothing about slaves and slavery one way or the other in the South. Lincoln’s sole aim was to preserve his vision of the Union. Slavery’s existence was incidental, and he said as much. The “making” the war about slavery was a political stunt that waited halfway through the conflict whose intended audience was the UK and France to give them pause from entering the war on the side of the south. There was nothing purposefully moral in the emancipation efforts of the north. For them it was hardly any different than stealing cattle and horses (at least they did not slaughter the slaves like they did the livestock), but the economic impact was the same. It was all part of destroying the south’s ability to provide for itself and to supply its military forces, and to hopefully initiate a slave rebellion that would see women, children and the elderly slaughtered in their beds while the men were away fighting. We have a word for that today…terrorism. The rest was just propaganda. Freed slaves were not really wanted up north where they would upset the labor market by working for lower wages. Indeed Lincoln, the great emancipator, so called said that there just wasn’t any place for freed blacks in America. It was better for them to go back to Africa. Indeed northern slaves remained slaves even after the war until the addition of the 13th amendment.

    So, this unreconstructed southern boy hasn’t the slightest intention of ever dishonoring the battle standard of his one time nation…the brief nation of his forefathers, and he will honor the memory of men like Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee.

    Here’s a question…given that several native american tribes were treated very badly in the South prior to the Civil war, why did these same nations elect to serve under arms for the Confederacy . Read here why at one of the Southern tribes could not countenance the Northern cause: http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/History/Events/CherokeeDeclarationofCauses(October28,1861).aspx

    Note also, that unlike the US Congress to this day, Native Americans within the territory of the CSA had nonvoting delegates to the Confederate Congress. Sort of forward thinking for such a band of racist traitors.

    And for those who want to see what God thought of the slave question, I suggest reading “God Struck Me Dead”, a recounting of stories by former slaves of faith about being a slave at the time of the Civil War…and they tell stories about cruel masters that twist a knot in your gut to learn of them. But there were good masters too, and there were stories of run away slaves halted in the midst of their flight by a great conviction of heart from the Lord who then turned around to go back to their homes or return to their master’s sides during the conflict. I can’t say the Lord approved of slave keeping as such…but He seemed have another, more irenic course in mind for those who had grown up in its bondage. It would be so politically inconvenient to recount those stories anymore.

    My point is not to glorify slavery by any means, but rather to suggest it was not the universal simplistically conceived evil as it has been portrayed in recent years. It was a mix…and a complicated mix at that. And that that simplistic understanding is a poor substitute for actual knowledge of that time, it’s people and their descendants of all races. The war was not “about” slavery, not about the north wanting to free the slaves, but about the South wanting to leave the union and form its own nation in conformity to its understanding of the vision of the founding fathers. That was the issue over which armies clashed…not slavery. Freeing the slaves was a tactic in the prosecution of the war…not it’s aim.

    So I have not the slightest qualm in honoring the heroes of the Confederacy, most notable of which was the great and gallant Robert E. Lee.

    As an added note…I take a special and grateful note that the first shot fired upon Fr. Sumpter was by the hand of a young lady, the daughter of the then governor of South Carolina, who was baptized in her infancy as an Orthodox Christian when her father was an ambassador to Russia some years before…an unexpected treat of history, so to speak.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I respect Robert E. Lee, and many other Confederate commanders, and I don’t think of the Confederates as traitors. I also agree that Lincoln’s overriding purpose was preservation of the Union. Other than that, I disagree with most of what Seraphim98 says.

      I think that most of the “doctrine” of the Civil War held by Southroners ever since the War is indeed and in fact thoroughgoing revisionism. Decoupling the legalistic argument about seccession from the reason that the issue ever even arose– the institution of slavery and its role in the fabric of Southern life– has always been the leading aspect of this revisionism. This permits the argument to be made that is constantly made: that the War was not about slavery, which was only incidental, but was about the purest constitutionalism. That this is ex-post-facto justification is revealed by the primary Southern sources themselves.

      None of it would matter except for the fact that this revisionism was one of the underpinnings of the Jim Crow system. The argument of the Southroners, which has been explicitly advanced here in the past, is that Jim Crow was in fact the “fault of the North”, because of Reconstruction policy and the hatreds it engendered. Thus the Lost Cause, and its hundred-year (and more) legacy, is “purified”.

  5. Robert E. Lee, M.D. says

    Robert E. Lee was born on January 19th, 1807. How do you figure this is the 200th anniversary of his birth?

    • Seraphim98 says

      It was the date chosen a hundred years ago to honor his birth and legacy. The why, I’ve no idea.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Still waiting to learn what the difference between killing and murder is, “Misha.” I believe it’s just a matter of point of view. One man’s killing is another man’s murder. If a Hatfield kills a McCoy, the McCoys define it as murder, but if they kill a Hatfield in retaliation they call it just killing. I’m sorry if you hoped a bishop would agree with you. God’s commandment is: Thou shalt not kill.’

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Seraphim 98, what you write is true, but the bicentennial of his BIRTH fell in 2007, not 2014.

    • Yippie Yai Yo says

      You are right, Robert E.Lee, MD


      Have fun looking around the website of the boyhood home.

  6. Rd. Daniel says

    Once again! I declare to all arguing commenters here:
    This comment battle centered around Robert E. Lee and the Civil War,
    is a totally useless exercise in futility.
    American history, though quite short compared with European history
    is still very complex, and full of many divergent sources of
    information and many opposing slants and, our Civil War is among the most
    divisive wars that Americans have ever faught.
    It is regrettable that it happened, as is also true with so much of fallen human history.
    But, no one here will change the views of others.
    I know what I know, and others here express what they think is the truth.
    We shall never agree, at least not on the major issues.
    We seem destined to re-fight our Civil War, forever., perhaps…until Putin or
    N. Korea, or our friends, the Islamicists drop the bomb on us all?
    Our American Revolution (what some historians label, our first civil war), and
    our Civil War, were both very bloody, neighbor and brother against brother,
    one region against the other.
    Both sides called upon God and believed that they served His purposes..
    (Which is why, at the end of that war, many turned cold to religion or became fully anti-religious).
    Perhaps, for those of us Americans that consider ourselves to be Orthodox Christians,
    descendants of either the North or the South, we need to pray for the souls
    of our departed ancestors…for God to forgive their sins, and to grant them
    to reside in Heaven, “where the light of God’s countenance shall shine on them”.
    Otherwise, we their living relatives, cannot ever agree about all of that past history.
    Who, in any nation of this flawed planet, does totally agree about any past history of their countries?
    Very few.
    So, you all may on on with this hostile futile spirited debate, but I shall not.
    Rd. Daniel

    • Michael Bauman says

      I say, I say sir: I have been chastised humbled and excoriated by your word of iron sir. Save me from your firey darts that they no longer burn me sir. No more I beg thee.

  7. “I do not have the least doubt, that his miserable soul is now in Hell eternal.”

    Now now Reader Daniel, how can you say such a thing? I think it repulsive for any Orthodox Christian (let alone a tonsured Reader) to adopt such an opinion and borderline curse about any fellow man! I mean, I wouldn’t even say that about the the Dread Destroyer of the constitution Abraham Lincoln! 🙂

    Confederate, Rdr. Christian

  8. Michael Kinsey says

    SAomerbodfy asernt mer as cvieruas taso I unasbler blo

  9. Thomas Barker says

    Can anyone tell me why people feel so strongly about the Civil War and its major figures? Is there more to it than personal ancestral connections and the issues surrounding slavery that drive people to extreme emotional states regarding events of some 150 years ago? Maybe being the first generation of my family in the U.S. blocks my understanding, but I just don’t get it.

    • Michael Bauman says

      Thomas, the Civil War is the defining event of U.S. history and life. It combines within it all our history, our struggles, our triumphs, our failures, our best and our worst. It is, in a way, the beating heart of our republic scared with many diseases. It is the microcosm of how we were, are and hope to be (no matter how it is interpreted). When we stop discussing, debating and excoriating each other about it, our country will be officially and permanently dead or we will all have attained Theosis.

      Like all such history, it is never in the past, but always present and so defies all attempts to create enough distance to provide perspective. It is the deep wound that never heals and the progressive hope that is never satisfied.

      Unlike the American Revolution, the Civil War involved all of our people, all of our resources, all of our beliefs, hopes and dreams. It touches us even if we don’t want it to, it is daily all around us whether we realize it or not.
      For some it is more consciously alive than with others but it is still there. The outcome and after math of the War forged us as a modern nation state

      Of course, one’s approach to and stance on the War reveals more about one’s self than about the War, because no matter where the Devil is perceived to be in the conflict, one thing is certain, that devil is also in our own hearts.

      • Thomas Barker says

        Mr. Bauman,

        Your response to my question is thought-provoking and in fact stunned me with its depth and lyrical cadence. It would be a powerful preface to a good book on the Civil War. For me this war was just another subset of U.S. history, the basics of which I had to swallow briefly, then disgorge on tests in order to satisfy requirements in college. Some serious remedial reading is needed on my part. I am indebted to you.

        With Thanks,

    • ok, why not answer this? says

      Thomas, you ask

      Can anyone tell me why people feel so strongly about the Civil War and its major figures? Is there more to it than personal ancestral connections and the issues surrounding slavery that drive people to extreme emotional states regarding events of some 150 years ago? Maybe being the first generation of my family in the U.S. blocks my understanding, but I just don’t get it.

      I think recent immigration blocks part of this understanding especially because immigrants since the turn of the 20th century often had more rights than descendants of slaves during the same period.


  10. Rd. Daniel says

    To all my fellow conversationalists here on this blog,
    and under this article praising and idolizing Robert E. Lee, etc.:

    Human slavery, one human owning a fellow human being, as if that slave is
    a soulless piece of property, and having total control over his life or death, is
    among the most vile and most immoral and most hateful to God, of any and all human crimes in all of our fallen from God’s, human world history, since the fall of Adam.
    The only other massive social crime in present day America, that also cries to high Heaven for God’s vengeance on us all, are our mass abortions, of the innocents.
    To all the long long years of the countless African slaves, in the old South, DAY and NIGHT, crying to Almighty God for deliverance and for Him to bring down his divine wrath upon their ‘owners’, God allowed our bloody civil war.
    SHAME SHAME SHAME! on all you self-righteous commenters here, who actually praise and revere those who kept those human beings in slavery, and who started that foul civil war, in order to continue that
    monsterous social and human MORAL EVIL.
    Robert E. Lee, to all of you, your hero, and his fellow Southern generals, were monsters.
    But apparently from the wacky comments here, of many of you, you would have wished that African human slavery would still be practiced here in America today?
    And, it would be reality now, had the South won that war.
    And, these astonishing words coming from supposed, ‘Orthodox Christians’ too!
    You here, who not only defend but indeed praise the foul and Godless leaders of that foul pro-slavery confederacy, should be ashamed of your ancestors, who murdered thousands and struggled in order to KEEP SLAVERY.
    ALL of you here, are morally bankrupt, utterly.
    You are typical of the End times, Godless Apostates.
    Slavery, morally, was THE main reason for God, to allow our destructive punitive civil war.
    And what does this nation deserve, for the millions of daily abortions?
    This nation is finished!
    Our sentence is written on the wall.
    Rd. Daniel…sick of all your phony pious sounding claptrap.
    You folks don’t even seem to know or care what is right or wrong!
    YOU DEFEND HUMAN SLAVERY, and those of your ‘heros’ who
    made a vicious bloody unjust war, in order TO KEEP IT???
    ETERNAL: SHAME on you all!

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Tell us how you really feel, Rd.! You keep holding back….

    • “Reader” Daniel,

      Without getting into the merits of this little back and forth between you and others on this thread regarding Lee, have you actually read what Scripture and the Church Fathers had to say about slavery? You might start with St. Paul and St. John Chrysostom, upon whom you might also wish to heap scorn and shame . . .

    • George Michalopulos says

      Would your litany of obloquy also fall upon the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, et al, all of whom owned slaves? Would your obloquy also fall upon the “united States of America” when they were declared free of Great Britain and all of which allowed slavery?

  11. lexcaritas says

    Rdr Daniel,

    Are you incapable of carrying on a conversation? Why do you write at such length, hurling untrue accusation after untrue accusation at fellow Christians, men made like you in the image of God? NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON here has advocated for chattel slavery your calumny to that effect notwithstanding. Nor have any of us suggested that our respect for Gen’l Lee has anything to do with that issue.

    None of us has exhibited t the pride and arrogance displayed in your ceaseless diatribes. You are attacking straw men and have paid little attention to what anyone else has been trying to say. You hurl shame but exhibit shameless conduct unbecoming of a gentlemen, let alone a Christian and an alleged Reader and make it worse with each post which tells any one who reads them far more about you that the persons you criticize.

    It may surprise you to know that some of us also revere Fr. Moses Berry and have learned much from him and his book, The Unbroken Circle, on the Orthodox Christian roots of many brought here as slaves who, rather than cursing their masters, however cruel some of them were, prayed for them instead. Fr. Moses great grandparents were slaves, but he is not bitter as you are. Go figure. Perhaps he hasn’t magnified the problem in his imagination as you have? I wonder if any words can reach you, since every thing anyone here says is typically met with a blast of angry rhetoric with apocalyptic condemnation.

    I think that many of us share your views on the evil of abortion and the whirlwind that our once God-protected land must surely reap for it–not to mention the economy of unbridled avarice, envy and hedonism. But we’ve had little time to talk of that since you’ve continued on your rants. Why not consider how truly ineffective they are and try a little more tranquil approach? Remember that we will have to give an account for every idle word spoken.

    lex caritas
    (Rdr. Leo)

    • Michael Bauman says

      …and Fr. Moses has endured the calumny of others for his refusal to be bitter and politically correct. Still we American Orthodox need to offer up the sins of slavery and all of the associated difficulties for God’s healing of our land. Perhaps praising the leaders of either side is not the way to do it.

      Reader Daniel, forgive me for inducing such a flood of rage in you. I would, however, suggest a trip to Ash Grove, Mo. to stand in the company of those who have forgiven, and are praying for all of us and there perhaps find out that even those who owned slaves were also humans capable of love and mercy and need our prayers to this day.

      Also please pray for Fr. Moses. His brother was recently admitted to hospice in Texas.

      • Archpriest Andrei Alexiev says

        Not venturing to speculate on who might or might not be in hell; but I would venture to state the odds that Hitler and Stalin might be there more so than Robert E. Lee.

        Fr. Moses is a Great-Greatgrandson of slaves. I am a Great-Greatgrandson of slave owners on my mothers side. I have met Fr. Moses, though I’ve never served with him. I would love to visit Ash Grove and do just that, if God ever allows. That would be truly living Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream!

        • Michael Bauman says

          Father, being with Fr Moses in Ash Grove, his ancestral home and entering into the spirit of the place in history and the extent to which Fr. Moses has brought it into the Church is awe inspiring. For you to serve there with him would be a unique and powerful addition to ongoing healing. If you were to make the trek with Reader Daniel it would be even more remarkable.

          I’d love to join you. May God make it so.

          • Yer average American Orthodox Christian says

            I, too, dream of visiting Ash Grove, attending Father Moses’s church and seeing his Slavery museum. Have both slave owner and slaves in my background.

            The Welsh song is here, in English:


  12. Archpriest Thomas Edwards says

    With ancestors who fought on both sides of the War Between the States (most notably Admiral Raphael Semmes C.S.N, ) I have tried to remain objective but realize that since the victors get to write the history, what we have been taught in school has been very one sided I agree with the facts and tenor of the initial article commemorating the Bicentennial of General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A. I am concerned about the tenor
    of Anti-Christian rage that Reader Daniel displays with comments like, ” I do not have the least doubt that this miserable soul is now in hell eternal…” Even if one believed in the sincerity of his heart in the “guilt” of another human being, we are called upon to believe in redemption through The Cross and the Third Day Resurrection. It’s a good thing that God is not like us, not too many of us would make it into the Kingdom of God but could be be condemned to “hell eternal.”

    Glory to God for All Things and in this I believe we can include the life and deeds of Those who in good conscience fought for our Country. We should honor their service, in prayer. We should study their lives and learn form their righteousness and forgive them their sins.

    Fr. Thomas Edwards
    Chaplain-Pennsylvania State Society, Sons of The American Revolution
    Member, Sons of Confederate Veterans

  13. The history of the Confederate States of America is as nuanced as it is brief. There were many extraordinary and honorable men on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line (though primarily on the southern side). Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, had an adopted black son that he raised in his home alongside his own children. General Lee and Stonewall Jackson, the two most prominent confederate generals, absolutely were against slavery and saw it at best as a necessary evil at the time. Certain other generals (Beauregard, Forest), were less noble, and, coincidentaly, less skilled. There were raving racists in the South who mistreated their slaves and there were also men in the Confederate government who were power-hungry racists. But on the otherhand there was a significant contingency of people, including General Lee if I’m not mistaken, who advocated freeing the slaves in the south before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, thereby getting ahead of Abraham Lincoln and stealing the moral high-ground.
    Robert E. Lee was loved by almost everyone during the War Between the States for his honor, integrity and humility. His skills as a commander and leader were un-matched by anyone involved in that most unfortunate catastrophe. In my humble opinion he is the most significant and noble military leader in the history of our nation and I feel it my duty to pray often for his honorable soul.

  14. and the two were wed on June 30, 1831, at the Custis home at Arlington House in the southern portion of the District of Columbia (today in Arlington County, Virginia ).

  15. I was born mid 50s in TX and remember how much local identity was tied up with the Confederacy back then, but has since faded away with successive generations. What northern Yankees don’t understand is that the South was invaded by a foreign power. So called “Reconstruction” which followed was military occupation which often put ignorant African American patsies and puppets in charge over all southern whites, including aristocrats, as a form of “rubbing their nose in it”, vindictive and vengeful punishment. This rabid Yankee hatred of the South followed by carpet bagger opportunism that took advantage of Southerners disadvantage left a huge and very bad after taste in the mouths of southerners that took generations to wash away. Most of the “socialist” projects of the FDR administration went solely to bring the impoverished South more in line with the North so as to reduce income inequality in America.
    Prior to the war, the South was footing the lion share of taxation at a time when the only taxes paid were in the form of tariffs on imported goods. Southerners preferred the better quality, lower priced English manufactures to the shoddy Yankee ones of New Englanders who were industrialist amateurs by comparison and still learning the ropes. More recently, Americans saw similar junk coming out of China in its earlier days of industrialization.
    When it comes to history, Americans today, however, would be wise to consider that propaganda is not a modernist phenomenon and that Alex Carey’s research has shown Americans to be the most propagandized people on the planet. The War for Southern Secession has traditionally been seen in the South as a fight for self-determination while the North has always seen it as a fight against slavery, but reality may not be as simplistic as that.
    Since the “Republican” political party came into being in order to put Lincoln into office, it is possible if not plausible and probable that the whole purpose of the “Civil War” was to bring the South under the hegemony of northern industrialism, rationalized with the pious virtue of “abolitionism” in order to hoodwink the northern populace to its cause. After all, “democracy” requires a constituency, no matter if it’s a deluded one or not.
    Then as now, the Republican political party has always been about big business, which today is corporate America, while posing to be morally “conservative”. This is an American evangelical fundamentalist trait and tradition, which is the heart of the Achilles heel of the American electorate. Read “Fundamentalism and American Culture” by Marsden and weep.
    Until Lincoln, the northern railroad barons had not succeeded in bending any president’s ear in support of their pet project, a trans-continental railroad, a private enterprise that would be built at public expense, the same m.o. as that of “Republican” corporate America today. After the war, the Yankee railroad magnates were “rewarded” with huge land “grants” (corporate welfare) which they platted and sold off by the $billions for the creation of towns, ranches and farms throughout the American West.
    What is truly ironic and so much “stranger than fiction” that it must be true, is that so many Southerners today are as “righteously indignant” and emotionally worked up over “morality” that they will go to war at the drop of hat no differently than their northern counterparts of so long ago. Southerners today have become so blinded by their hatred of their perceived “enemy” that they have played right back into the very hands of them that brought on the “Civil War” and plundered the South to begin with. I think even Robert E. Lee would be chagrined, not fooled, by today’s events, with their latter day “southern” perspective.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Thanks for the clarification.

      [Historical note: Reconstruction ended in 1877, and the last Federal troops were withdrawn from the South in that year.]

      • Yes Federal troops withdrew from the South long ago, and left behind all their damage – all the property senselessly burned by Sherman et. al., all the rape of women, property, land, all the pillage, all the insult of forcing Southerners, especially aristocracy to bow before ignorant black patsies and puppets, all the usual horrors of war that “Republican” political ideology makes light of as “collateral damage” that comes with such upstanding, pious, righteous “moral” ideals. The “Lost Cause” was a reaction to all that to help Southerners psychologically cope with having their whole way of life destroyed by foreigners, outsiders who didn’t share their culture.
        Southerners may have passed the blame for Jim Crow onto such “Reconstruction” like Eve blaming the serpent, but to shame the South over that is the pot calling the kettle black. Northerners would have acted no differently had the shoe been on the other foot because their human nature is the same as that of Southerners, and their “piety” a sham. For all the North’s pious posturing over the “moral” outrage of slavery, history has shown that Northerners were just as much if not more bigoted than Southerners when Southern flight of blacks to the North swelled the black population in the North’s own backyard.
        Southern culture was/is agricultural. As such it’s about ties to the land and her people and God as the creator of all that natural goodness. Southern planters were akin to English gentry – they saw themselves as leaders responsible for the land and her people. They were known to take a bright, gifted “commoner” and school them in the classics like one of their own, otherwise there was no higher education for whites, much less blacks. The Southern aristocracy was far from perfect no different than English aristocracy, but they did not have the modernist, industrial mentality of the North. The South may not have been as innocent and pure as some Southerners would like to make out, but neither was it wholly evil like a lot of Northerners spout either.
        North vs. South, anti-slavery vs. states rights, each is a half truth at best which is to say they are lies when told in isolation. Truth requires empathy, putting self in others shoes, and also examining “means, motive and opportunity”.
        Agricultural vs. industrial, business profit motive vs. social-cultural continuity, modern vs. traditional – these tell the “rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say.
        My parents were family firsts to leave the farm. They grew up poor (Mom’s family were tenants) farming cotton pickers, little different than Southern blacks; my dad attended a one room schoolhouse, and joined the CCC “tree army” as he called it, then the Army Air Corps. They didn’t “suffer” during the Great Depression because their life didn’t change – it remained agricultural and poor.
        WWII changed their situation and presented them with more opportunities. They met in Houston like other farm folks who left the farm for the factories. The “socialism” of FDR helped lift the South out of its agricultural “backwardness” as the North saw it, and unleashed its industrial potential. LBJ helped bring about the Rural Electrification Act in TX. My grandparents finally got electricity on the farm in the 50s, but my grandmother continued to cook on a wood burning stove into the 60s.
        Air conditioning window units became affordable in the early 60s for blue collar working class families like mine. By the 70s, we were being invaded by Yankee snow birds, whose arrogance reigned unabated since the “Civil” War. They still thought themselves superior and entitled to tell Southerners how things should be done, from freeway construction to how words should be pronounced. Some had migrated as early as the 40s after the were and were no different. Now that their numbers had increased, they were just as bold if not bolder.
        The backlash to such Yankee arrogance was the rise of “Native Texan” bumper stickers, just as the backlash to Reconstruction was Jim Crow.
        Southern culture is best expressed in the 12 Southerners and their essays in “I’ll Take My Stand”, especially “Sucking on the Hind Tit” by Nelson Lytle, which was premonitory in the 20s of coming evils of Northern industrialism.
        See – http://www.vqronline.org/essay/i’ll-take-my-stand-relevance-agrarian-vision
        and Don Williams “Good Ole Boys Like Me” for a sound picture of Southern culture.
        Icons of Southern agrarian culture still remain – such as statues of Lee, names of schools, etc. – but the significance of those leaders (dare I say “heroes”) are largely ignored if not forgotten in favor of “civil rights”. The 50s when the South was still alive in the Southern cultural memory have been replaced by the 60s and 70s. But the craziest twists of all are the 80s-the new millennium.
        If the current Southern libertarian “Republican” craze and hatred of FDR “socialism” were actually a movement to return to traditional Southern agrarian culture, that would be more easily understandable. But that’s not what the craze is about. Few to no Southerner has the desire to give up their cars, cell phones, shopping malls, real estate “development”, refineries, etc.
        The craze is indicative of what happens to a people when their culture is destroyed for mammon, and when they allow their passions to be inflamed, their emotions to be played into knee jerk reaction centered on “moral” outrage.
        The South of today is acting similarly to the North of yesteryear, which is to say, it’s being made a fool of.
        Unlike “modern” Southerners, I seriously doubt that Robert E. Lee or any of the other Old South leaders would act such a fool as Northerners did and Southerners today are.
        The Living God is also the fount of Wisdom and Creativity, not foolishness.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Just some random thoughts….

          There may have been a southern aristocracy, if so, it included Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and others of like ilk. I doubt it included planters from, let’s say, Mississippi, for example. Jefferson Davis was brought to Miss as a boy when it was pretty much a wild frontier. I am sceptical myself about radical cultural claims for “cultures” in newly-settled places in North America west of the eastern seaboard. And there were no aristocrats on those frontiers, although there were many people who wanted to be and thought of themselves as such.

          Slavery was the curse of the whole US, not just the South. The nation shared the “blame”. The issue for people such as myself is not special blame for the South, it is the various revisionist dodges about slavery and its role in the Civil War that are spontaneously put forth on discussion forums from time-to-time. Even on this one, which has nothing to do with what appear to be its basic subjects. So, when this happens, what should the response be? I jump into these fights only as a counterpuncher. It would never even cross my mind to initiate one of these squabbles.

          I would lay a bet that the North was, as it is, more agricultural than the South ever was. It just happened to be industrial, as well.

          I live in the Puget Sound area; I was born here in 1948. Lots of people from other parts of the country have been moving here for a long time. Too many of them. I don’t like it. But it just is; nothing to be done about it but lament, I suppose. I don’t consider that it has some deeper purpose to dilute our culture here.

          Would the country be a better place without transcontinental railroads? Personally, I think the whole world would be a better place if it had never gone beyond the era of fighting sail and horsewagon travel. With penicillin being discovered along the way, though…..

        • George Michalopulos says

          while I agree that Jeff Davis could not be considered aristocratic in the sense of the Founding Fathers, the fact remains that an aristocracy was budding in Mississippi. “It usually takes three generations to make a gentleman” according to an old saw. That still takes nothing away from the care that Davis felt for his slaves and the love that his slaves had for him.

          Of course slavery as practiced in the New World (there were ten times as many slaves imported to Latin America as there were in the US), was our original sin. Since we now know that liberal/progressives agree, can we get them on our side now about Amnesty for illegal aliens, the new helots of America?

          [crickets chirping]

    • Simply refuting “simplistic revisionist dodges about slavery” does nothing to further actual understanding of what is perhaps a dividing point in US History. It only reinforces the arrogant northern stance, arrogance that was/is apparent in those Northerners who emigrated to the South nearly a century after the War.
      The North was “industrial”, not in actual acres of factories vs. acres of agriculture, but in its cultural mentality, its spirit, i.e. those who ruled as expressed in the creators of the North’s “Republican” political party. Per Wikipedia, the Republican Party “emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more **vigorous modernization** of the economy.” Under McKinley and T. Roosevelt it emphasized an expansive foreign policy (See “War is a Racket” by career marine brass Smedley Butler).
      You can bet, then as now, that the platform part about “combat the Kansas-Nebraska Act” (i.e. “combat slavery”), was merely an opportunistic posturing over slavery, just as now there is opportunistic posturing over “christian” so called causes. Bush the Sr. wouldn’t have any part of forming a Republican fundamentalist coalition that Bush the Jr. proposed he take advantage of, but Jr. fully embraced that part of American culture. Read Marsden “Fudamentalism and American Culture” and weep.
      Ironically, fundamentalism is rooted in opposition to modernism in every area of culture except (applied, as in technological) “scientific” modernism (other than “evolution” of course).
      The Republican Party dominated until 1932 when FDR formed a winning “New Deal” coalition with “socialist” policies primarily aimed at industrializing the poverty stricken agricultural South.
      The New Deal was dominant from 1932 to 1964, but it “collapsed in the mid-1960s, partly [more like probably, or mainly] because of white Southern Democrats’ disaffection with passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [i.e. bigotry]. The GOP expanded its base throughout the South after 1968 (excepting 1976), largely due to its strength among socially conservative **white** Evangelical Protestants and traditionalist Roman Catholics.”
      And so here we are today, stranger than fiction, right back where we started only with Southern Democrats turned Republican who predictably act just like their Northern counterparts of so long ago – allowing them “Who Rules America” (see G. William Domhoff online publication) to pull Southerners’ puppet strings (just as they pulled Northerners’ puppet strings over “slavery”) and inflame their passions, pouring fuel on their “moral” outrages, in order to manipulate the Southern “constituency” in favor of going to “war” (for reaping big corporate profits; See “War is a Racket” by Smedely Butler), repealing any and all government regulation on (big, corporate) “business”, lowering taxes on upper income strata of the nation, while attacking with aim to abolishing any and all social programs that decrease dollars “business” can co-opt from government, while leaving huge military buildup intact, a military nearly as big as the militaries of all the rest of the world combined, sending the National Guard to fight foreign wars even though a standing army is unconstitutional whereas a national guard is, etc. etc. etc.
      To think that somehow such politics are “conservative” and protecting “christian” society is completely and totally ludicrous.
      That such is so popular among “the Orthodox” in America and that the heirarchy participates in activist protest marching for such “causes” only shows how unorthodox America really is, and prone to prelest (spiritual delusion). If the Orthodox Church really is the fullest revelation about Christ God, and therefore the Orthodox have the surest and greatest access to the Most Holy Trinity for attainment to the very power (grace) of God with all His strength, Wisdom, and Creativity, then the Orthodox Church in America should reflect something other and much, much greater than the usual status quo, run of the mill, heterodox fundamentalism of American “culture”.
      Modernism and modernization are not simply and simplistically technology. Those who oppose modernism do not all merely oppose ideas that humans evolved from apes or that two people of the same gender constitute a “marriage”. Neither are all those who oppose modernism “Luddites” who want to take human civilization back to preindustrial technology times.
      Some who oppose modernism actually do so on the grounds of the “spirit” with which modernism is expressed by its human advocates (spiritual medium), the cultural Zeitgeist (spirit of the age), which is obviously demonic.
      For Real Christians with full access to attainment of grace and all that entails, there are creative cultural alternatives.
      The “only solution” may be “to seek God and, by His Grace, enter the stillness of infinite creation”. But the real issue is how that’s done. Is it done as an appendage to the modernistic lifestyle created by the powers that be “Who Rules America”? Or is that only solution one that is creatively counter-cultural, that calls the world to repentance by its very existence within the dominant mainstream culture?
      It is we “modern” Americans who have changed, not the Amish. Remember that prior to the turn of the 20th century, and especially the 1920s, Americans most all lived like the Amish. But the Orthodox in their “triumphalism” pale by comparison to the Amish, any theological “errors” of the Amish aside.
      Real Christianity is so much more than hollow talk and protest walks. Make it a requirement that those who would stop women from aborting put their money where there mouth is instead of merely protesting, marching and wagging chins. Talk is cheap – instead require adopting a would be aborted child, especially any that would be born defective, to prove how important “sanctity of any and all life” is to a professed “christian” who participates in the fundamentalist American “culture” and see how many shut up then.
      “Amish asceticism is oriented toward the sociological and spiritual needs of the community, not the salvation of the individual. Being old-fashioned has value only if it helps the Amish preserve their community as a pure offering of love for God. Technological lags preserve separation from the world and avoid fractious influences within the community from eroding community solidarity. Amish choices are thus based on a practical, worldly assessment resembling social engineering more than asceticism. They do not limit the use of automobiles, electricity, telephones, and tractors to seek suffering and redemption through hardship. Rather, decisions about accepting modern conveniences are based on the anticipated effect that a new product might have on the community. Changes that might create tension within or between families or open the community to excessive dependence on outside institutions are rejected. Does a machine or service create conspicuous differences between ‘have’s’ and ‘have nots,’ or might it distract members from the community? If so, it should be banned because jealousy and envy tear at a community’s roots, as do outside involvements. New technology is not rejected out of hand. The community constantly struggles with the implications of innovations (217).” — “The Amish and the State” (ed. Donald Kraybill)

      Southern Heritage 411 by African-American H.K. Edgerton –
      Slave narratives with priceless historic photos from the FDR “socialist” Federal Writers Project –

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        It would be impossible to prove, and impossible to refute, almost every single thing you have said, or to figure out how most of it relates to what had been the subject, so I’m just going to rest my case, such as it was.

        • “Rest” a case that can’t be made, against information that isn’t about usual sophistry and solipsism?
          The subject at hand is “moral” example and (as its been made out to be by comments) whether or not the one whose birthday is being celebrated is “great” or another revisionist Confederate rant. I’ve indicated that it’s neither either or but and something more insightful. The War was a watershed for America in turning “modern” which directly relates to what people think they think today when they don’t really think and instead allow their passions to be inflamed with “moral” outrage.
          Then as now morality has an important place in human life and culture, but not as a means of “moving” the masses. Everything doesn’t boil down to “morality”, and “morality” (like “free market”, etc. etc.) aren’t a god worth sacrificing self to.

        • As previously cited in comments, see “Sucking on the Hind Tit” in “I’ll Take My Stand” by the 12 Southerners. Also “Fundamentalism in American Culture” by Marsden, “War is a Racket” by Smedley Butler, works of Anthony Sutton. The rest is general American history and current events – railroads, Republican political party, etc. etc.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Dietrich, no doubt your history is correct, certainly interesting. I’m not sure what your point is though.

        Seeking God’s face in humility and repentance is the beginning, not an end in itself. Clearly our own human endeavors have produced poisonous fruit. As you say, it is not enough to merely seek political solutions.

        Yet some how we must remain or become actually engaged even though the world does not want us to.

        • “Seeking” is an end in itself if it leads nowhere but into the clutches of the status quo American fundamentalist culture and the usual fray of “institutional” church bureaucracy. As far as being sure of my point, try praying over my comments and re reading them.

          • Michael Bauman says

            I am attempting to use the word, seek, in the Biblical manner: Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”

            I would never consciously use that word in the touchy-feely manner of the sixties

            • Then you should know what my point is – concern for what’s “moral” and “morality” usually doesn’t see the forest for the trees. There is no surer way to manipulate large groups of people into becoming a constituency for some mammon interest than to inflame people’s passion for “moral” outrage, whether that’s over slavery, abortion, homosexuality, or whatever.
              Many “believe” they are “actually engaged even though the world does not want” them to be engaged, but they are only being manipulated to mammon interests all the while they “think” they are simply engaging the “culture” over “moral issues”. It’s not that “seeking political solutions is not enough”, it’s that seeking political solutions for “moral” issues is misdirected and ludicrous. Abolitionists were embroiled and embedded in mammon interests that brought about industrialism and modernism in America. The same abolitionists and/or their descendants then turned around to oppose modernism (higher criticism of Bible, etc.) but not modern scientism, except for “evolution”.
              Read “Fundamentalism and American Culture” and notice how it reads no differently way back then than today. For all the politicking what has really, actually changed? Today there is the same polarity of “conservative” vs. “liberal”. What about such beating heads against walls doesn’t suggest that there might be a different, better way? Or suggest that it’s counterproductive and ludicrous to try to change others politically?
              For all the argument over whether or not the Bible is ‘literally”, “fundamentally” “TRUE” and that God created the universe in 6 days, what bearing does any of that have on any one’s salvation? Does the Bible say that when we die we will be asked whether we “believe” the Bible to be “literal”?
              NO, instead the Lord Jesus Christ says in the Bible that we will be asked whether we clothed and fed him, brought him drink, visited him in prison, etc., that everything we do to the “least” of people will be done as if done to Him. That means that when we treat “lesser” people like they deserve to be poor, that we will have done that to Jesus. There is no worse form of blasphemy than to take the name of Christ in vain, to call oneself “christian” (of Christ) while not taking to heart what Christ has said.
              Christ did not juxtapose as a GOD in opposition to the Living God either killing, or sexuality, or anything but MAMMON! This should clue us in on what kind of “moral” issues are a threat to salvation. Christ did not say you can’t serve God and sexuality. He said you can’t serve God and MAMMON. So we should look at forms of immorality as forms of serving Mammon and we should start with the wealthiest of people down to the poorest, NOT from the poorest and NEVER get around to the wealthiest.
              Today, abortion rates are reported to have dropped to 1973 levels, and longer term abortions to have declined in percentage of overall numbers. If only total numbers are being considered, than the actual number per capita of population will be even less since obviously the US population has greatly increased over the past 40 years.
              Yet, those numbers have not declined because of any “christian” action “protesting” or whathaveyou. They have declined because of use of contraceptives, which of course won’t set well with the Papists. But that’s a whole other story, how the Vatican has put its nose and finger into world politics in ways that they don’t belong. (See Avro Manhattan and lots of others).
              That so many of “the Orthodox” behave like fundamentalist heterodox political activists from the turn of the 19th century to 1920s and after is a shame, since that strife centered on Princeton theological seminary and Presbyterians not “the Orthodox” who are a minority among “christians” in America. When “the Orthodox” act like heterodox fundamentalists in the public eye, then witness of the Church is lost to the moralism. The Church is Spiritual Hospital not moralistic juridical law court. Lives don’t change unless hearts are changed. Hearts aren’t changed juridically by passing laws.
              And “the Orthodox” who are culturally American will never understand that or how their “thinking” is a product of American culture which is fundamentalist and secular (“conservative” and “liberal”) unless they humble themselves in order to get that point.

  16. Michael Bauman says

    Ah Tim, the problem with being either a cultural or a technological Ludditite is that one enters an infinite regression that ends in nothing. It is just as false an eschatology as progress and would not exist were it not for the myth of progress.

    The only solution is to seek God and, by His Grace, enter the stillness of infinite creation.

    Rejoice in the Lord always, even as the lions rip you apart.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Don’t disagree….I am neither; except in my daydreams, that is!

    • Too bad the hesychasts aren’t here to evaluate “stillness of infinite creation”. Sounds like more “new age” psychobabble that leads nowhere.
      The problem with being neither a “cultural or technological Luddite” nor a progressive myth maker, is that it leads to nothing more creative and wise than either, especially when it instead ensnares in the clutches of the current “moral” fundamentalist American fad.
      If that’s all there is (as Peggy Lee croons), might as well be Buddhist.
      At least that “nothing” doesn’t culturally express in violent war mongering.

    • Michael, you may recall my impulsive “I’m going to stick with Rome” retort blurted out in a post to you a while back. I recant it. The devil made me do it.

      You may have noticed this blog makes me cranky a lot. Unfortunately ill-considered posts aren’t deletable anymore even before the hour’s up.
      God willing, I do still want to be received into Orthodoxy one of these days.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        I missed you, Mike. Welcome back. Yes, Rome can be sticky. So can Augsburg, so it should be easy to forgive our Grecumenical Philoinstanbullers or Kirilloputinomaniacs.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          And don’t forget Geneva (and Edinburgh)!

        • Mike Myers says

          Thanks, Your Grace. And yes, I hear your exhortation to be patient with the fanboys and not too hard on their partisan passions for contemporary persons. And it’s also hard to resist the temptation to sign up with recruiters for this or that variety of obsolete (and poorly whitewashed) political arrangement and ideology, given the mess all around us. It can be a real challenge to maintain our glimpse of the Kingdom of God above all the smog down here.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Mike Myers, I do remember. It is always sad when someone says such things. It is generally more of a reflection on us than on the person who says it.

        Still, despite all the detritus of human sinfulness that we have collected and continue to collect, God is with us. He is with us in a manner that He is not with others in my experience. That is what is important. That is what gives the Orthodox Church her authority, her moral and spiritual foundation–sinners though all of us be.

        I am fond of noting that in the parable of the Wedding Feast (Mt: 22), the King tells his servants to go out and find the maimed, the halt and the lame and compel them to come in. That is us.

        To really be a member of the Orthodox Church, I have to recognize how maimed I am–in fact I am dead. I have to recognize that only Jesus Christ can heal me by drawing me into His Body and giving me His life.

        The rest of it is the fireworks, screams and protestations of those who are having their souls debrided (or those who refuse to).

        As Archimandrite Zacharias said in his guest homily at my parish last Sunday, we must approach the Cup with a wounded heart: wounded for our own sins and wounded for other’s sins as if they were our own (or at least a little scratch).

        May God bless you and bring you home.

      • M. Stankovich says

        Mr. Meyers,

        Quite brave of you, mate, although I always save a seat for you. Walk toward the light.

  17. Lee and his relatives managed pieces of land in southern Seoul , which was brought up in court in early 2008.

  18. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Well, here’s a good place, I think, to remember Shirley Temple Black, who has just died at 85: