SBC Annual Convention, 2016:

a Tribute to

Social Justice and

Political Correctness

There is little doubt, watching the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention meeting unfold in St. Louis, that the nation’s largest protestant denomination is striving hard towards social justice, political correctness and a kinder, gentler version of Christianity. Clearly, the direction of ship’s rudder as pointed by the former Democratic staffer, Russell Moore, has had effect in shaping the agenda of a newly progressive denomination that is now following hard after other declining mainstream denominations.


A Texas pastor and racist named Dwight McKissic, who has for a long time used the color of his skin to gain a place of notoriety and a position of novelty in the Southern Baptist Convention – who fomented protest against police officers and sided with the Ferguson rioters bemoaning the death of brutal criminal, Michael Brown – submitted a resolution repudiating the Confederate Battle Flag. The Texas pastor’s resolution came on the heels of Russell Moore’s advocacy last year after the Charleston “church” shooting that the flag be discontinued in use among both state governments and by Christians. Albert Mohler, who is responsible for nominating Ronnie Floyd (who is now partnering with the Pope to help bring the next Great Awakening), seconded Moore’s notion. When asked by the Pulpit & Pen polemics blog if Mohler, while demanding a pluralist and secularist government remove the Confederate Battle flag if he would be willing to rename his under-college and various buildings around his seminary campus who were named after slave-holding, slave-beating Confederate soldiers, said no.


Southeastern Seminary Baptist president, Danny Akin – who endorsed and advertised for an anti-Christian atheist group – in a surprise move, also promoted the idea of abolishing the Confederate Battle Flag. McKissic, bounding off the protest of Moore, Mohler, and Akin, and using his ethnicity as an “I dare you to not support this” motif, also found support among rank-and-file Southern Baptist bloggers, like those at SBC Voices. Dr. James Merrit, a Southern Baptist megachurch pastor and father of the homosexual ‘Christian’ progressivist blogger, Jonathan Merrit, lent his voice to the resolution as well.


Russell Moore, who said that Jesus was an illegal alien in his push for amnesty and the non-enforcement of standing immigration law and who suggested Christians attend gay wedding celebrations, claimed that the vote to repudiate the flag made him wipe tears from his eyes. The conversation swirling around the measure was much more akin to what you might find in a meeting for the United Methodist Church or something out of the Huffington Post religion column.


The four million-plus budget for Russell Moore’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has clearly been successful in funding a kinder, gentler, more politically correct Convention. Many hoped that after having successfully and nearly unanimously voted to apologize for slavery multiple times and having elected our first black Southern Baptist Convention president pretty much just because he’s black, we could stop the incessant penance of sackcloth and ashes and public apologies and meaningless, vain aggrandizing grandstanding designed for the sheer publicity of it. But then again, God told Ronnie Floyd we should repent for racism again, so here we go. In an era when Russell Moore softens his tone on homosexuality and tiptoes around its sinfulness, it’s much easier to repudiate racism with grand aplomb and faux-boldness when it’s done to the resounding applause of the secular media.


“Standing strong” against racism is hardly courage in today’s world, but the Southern Baptist Convention does it every single year and acts like it’s ground-breaking and history-making every time. Concerning the great evils of our age however, like topics of human sexuality, one can scarcely find a Southern Baptist leader speaking with even a tiny proportion of the same courage and conviction.


Meanwhile, several brave souls found the conviction at the microphone to suggest that Southern Baptist Cooperative Program dollars not be used to lobby that Mosques be built. (Russell Moore has used SBC resources to fight for a Mosque to be built in New Jersey). Essentially, their argument was not that Muslims weren’t entitled to religious freedom, per se, but that it’s not Russell Moore’s job to expend our resources to help Mosques or other false religions. These common sense-focused souls were eviscerated by the messengers on the floor and also by the Southern Baptist blogosphere as being un-baptist.


The newly elected president of the 2017 Pastor’s Conference scolded them with a wagging, accusatory finger on his blog, claiming that we Baptists are “required to fight for the religious liberty of law-abiding Muslims.” And to that, I and anyone with a cursory understanding of Baptist history going back to the days of Roger Williams, William Clark and Obadiah Holmes, “poppycock.” While Baptists, like our Presbyterian brothers in their 1788 (American) revision of the Westminster Confession, value religious freedom and acknowledge the principle while rejecting the government’s supposed obligation to enforce First Table laws, to say we’ve ever seriously taken it upon ourselves to lobby on behalf of false religions is patently and historically absurd. The four purposes of the ERLC, as on the ERLC website, all begin with the words, “To Assist Churches…” Assisting Mosques is not on the list, but you couldn’t hear that common sense over the loud applause of political correctness and ecumenical syncretism.


The Southern Baptist Convention messengers could have dealt with any number of serious or theological issues. Instead, they settled for fetishizing liberal media attention, comforting their own consciences with politically correct yet altogether meaningless resolutions, and ignoring the real and substantive problems turning the SBC into yet another mainstream, liberal denomination in decline. Of course, SBC leadership is firmly convinced that the SBC wanes in membership because we’re too conservative, too rigid, and suffer from terrible public perception in the press.


I’ll remind you that’s precisely what the mainstream denominations all thought when they also began to make a hard left turn in an attempt to save themselves, and it ended up sending them down the cesspool of obscurity and irrelevancy at breakneck speed.

Just the other day, in a masterpiece of bad timing, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention voted to disassociate themselves from the Confederate Battle Flag. I maintain this was a cloth-headed blunder for three basic reasons.

 

First, it was as though the second story of your house were on fire, and the fire department did in fact show up, but instead of hooking up the hoses and going after the fire, the chief decided to lecture you about the pile of oily rags he spotted in your garage. In the general cultural unstuckness that is going down, including, but not limited to, trannies in all our bathrooms, mandated rainbow marriages in all fifty, genocidal mania against the unborn continuing unabated, with black children particularly targeted, perverted sex ed grooming of children in the government school system, despotic rulings coming from the president’s pen, a gathering move to shut down Christian colleges, what do the Southern Baptists do? Why, they figure out a way to denounce the state flag of Mississippi. Glad somebody found the real problem.

 

The real culprit . . .

Second, there is not one blessed thing in Russell Moore’s statement that does not also apply to the American flag. You strike the colors of a foe that was defeated a century and a half ago, and call it bravery and reconciliation, and refuse to do anything about the flag that is flying over a cluster of abominations now. When it comes to the American flag, you want to say, “oh, its complicated, not that simple, means more than one thing.” You see, taking a stand against the Stars and Bars enables Russell Moore to engage in some trendy virtue signaling, and taking a stand against the American flag would actually cost him a great deal. But explain this to me. If the Confederate flag “stands for” slavery, in what way does the American flag not “stand for” abortion? Roe has executed 13 million black children — what flag represents that? What flag flies at the Supreme Court that decided that?


We are talking about Baptists here, and so we should recognize that they are not very good at the semiotics of ritual. They are clueless about where they actually are, and have no real sense of timing. They are buying their first pair of bell bottoms in 1992. They just now purchased their lava lamps.


If they wanted to denounce old school racism, then they should have done it in the fifties, when it would have done some actual good. But now, just when the secular elites have decided we must abandon all biological givens for the sake of those who want to self-identify as whatever in tarnation they want, we have the Southern Baptists solemnly denouncing the sins of their great grandfathers. There is a time and place for that (Ps. 78:7-8), of course, but people in the middle of a hot grease fire ought not to be lamenting the cold iron of the frying pan in the cupboard.


You can’t really confess the sins of your fathers while stoutly clinging to your own. If Southern Baptists get all their kids out of the government indoctrination centers in the fall of 2016, then they might have something valuable to say about what their fathers should have done back in the day. Until then, excuse me for not getting choked up over meaningless displays.

He who says A, must say B, even if he is a relativist. This remains the case, even if he doesn’t like B very much, or even if he denounces the very idea of having B’s. Trannies can now compete anywhere, and so in principle there is no such thing as women’s athletics anymore. Race is a social construct, and that means there is no such thing as racism. Right? Sex is also entirely a matter of what you believe deep down in your heart, chromosomes be damned, and so it necessarily follows that there is no such thing as sexism.


The unbelieving world is running headlong after the gold medal of incoherence, and they are competing with a will. And professing evangelicals are running after them, our plump little thighs churning. “Wait up, guys!” They have lapped us three times now, but because we are in the same section of the track periodically, we can call it relevance.


Finally doing what the liberals demanded fifty years ago should make you wonder what your great grandchildren will be apologizing for fifty years from now.

Truth-In the Pit of Political Correctness

June 28, 2016

by Ben Thompson


The Confederate flag controversy in the Southern Baptist Convention is based on a misconstrued reading of history with the South getting the wrong end of the deal, writes Rowland Springs Baptist Church deacon Ben Thompson of Cartersville.


The Southern Baptist Convention’s recent vote to repudiate the Battle Flag by the SBC caught me by surprise and left me in shock.

I have long considered our denomination to be socially conservative, prudent, and wise to stay out of issues that do not directly impact the mission of our church. I am a deacon but more importantly on this topic, I am a student of history and the Bible. While I do have ancestors who defended against the invasion of 1861, that does not make me uniquely qualified to make statements based on emotion to defend or excoriate these veterans and their symbols.


I understand fully what they fought for and it certainly was not what some in our leadership have shamefully claimed. Truth and hard facts are the best way to approach difficult issues. We must get this right as a church. Lincoln’s War of 1861 cost our country the lives of 625,000 soldiers and the lives of 50,000 Southern civilians (black and white).


It changed the federal government forever from one that was limited, to one that controls every aspect of our lives, deeply divided this country upon racial lines, and set slaves free only to re-enslave them to another master. The topic of the Confederate Battle Flag, history of the SBC, history of the flag itself, race, and the true topics of importance are too complex to tackle with ad hominem arguments, rhetoric and straw men.


No, we need truth to tackle such issues and to admit this argument is based in political correctness. The truth and only the truth will heal wounds that keep being picked by those who profit from race and division.


“The Truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself”

-Augustine of Hippo


The truth of the SBC’s founding is not one based in Christians wanting to protect slavery. It is one based on differing visions, uneven representation and the authority of scripture. The original American Baptist Home Mission Society had its leadership mostly in the North. Several of its leaders were abolitionists while the Society, as a whole, claimed neutrality on the issue of slavery. Southern churches noticed unbalanced distribution of resources and missionaries to the South that did not fit the proportion of membership. This frustration lasted for several years.


Secondly, both North and South wanted different denominational structures. The North wanted loosely affiliated churches with single focused missions and dues collected from individual members. The South wanted a single organization that focused the church on many different missions with funds being controlled locally. Finally, what pushed the split of 1845 was an act of non-neutrality by the leadership on the slavery issue. James E. Reeves, an elder from a Georgia church, wanted to be a missionary. He was rejected by the ABHMS because he was a slave owner. This decision by a few abolitionist leaders led to the eventual split.


So why now does our current leadership say we at the SBC have a flawed origin?  Does it make sense to anyone that all of the Baptist churches of the South at that time would want to protect slavery when only 20% of the population owned them at all and less than 5% had more than 10 slaves?


The grand majority of Americans (North and South) wanted gradual emancipation to train and educate the slaves for a better transition. This was the practice used in other countries (Spain, Britain, France, Portugal) who ended slavery and the practice used in Northern states who had found slavery to be uneconomical.  It was only a fringe group known as the abolitionists who wanted an immediate end to slavery no matter the cost to the families, the slaves themselves, or society as a whole.


Those who became the SBC believed that there was a Christian duty to care for slaves as the Bible taught. Responsibilities for slave and master alike with the hope of gradual emancipation. Contrast this to the Unitarians/Transcendentalists of the North who had infiltrated some Baptist leadership positions. These leaders embraced a number of Unitarian beliefs, the worst of which refused the authority of scripture. Abolitionists believed in a “higher law” more so than what was in the Bible if it conflicted with the agenda of the day.


This meant anything could be sacrificed for the good of the cause. This was evident in John Brown’s murders in Kansas and failed revolt at Harper’s Ferry, the Nat Turner rebellion that killed over 50 people (mostly women and children), and quotes from Northern ministers, abolitionist groups and Northern newspapers that encouraged such acts.


“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own site.”

-Isaiah 5:20, 21


The truth of the Confederate flag is that it was one of many battle flags with various crosses. It was to celebrate Celtic roots and a common faith in Christ. Why is the one banner of the Armies of Northern Virginia and Tennessee the only one that opponents want to remove? After the war it was used in reverence and memorial for veterans.


Yes, it was misused by some groups like the KKK (the same group who also paraded the US and Christian flags) but that doesn’t change what the symbol truly is. Just because an opponent of the flag says they feel a certain way when they see the flag does not change what the flag really is. Does an opponent get to define the meaning of a symbol?


Would we as Americans allow Iranians to define what the US flag means? Would we as Christians allow atheists to define what the Cross of Christ means to them in the name of political correctness? God forbid! Negative sentiment of the flag can be blamed on history as taught in the school system and those who have misused the flag. The current lack of solid history taught in our schools explains much of the current social ills and a counter culture that is antagonistic to things American, conservative, or Christian. It is up to us as leaders to seek truth in raw form, not something that comes from the media or current text books.


“Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed Veterans as fit subjects for derision.” –Major General Patrick Cleburne, CSA


The Confederate Battle Flag symbolizes hate no more than the US Flag does. To me, it’s not even a symbol of heritage. The battle flag is a symbol of defiance! Before the founding of our country we have had two predominate groups who have vied for control. Ultimately, it can be summed up as Liberty versus Tyranny, but to be more specific it has been: the colonists versus the king, the Jeffersonians versus the Federalists, the Democrats versus the Whigs, the Democrats versus the Radical Republicans, and Conservatives versus Progressives. (Nineteenth century Democrats and Republicans were completely opposite of their current namesakes).


One group has wanted a small federal government with limited powers with the grand amount of rights and powers reserved to the States and their people. The other group has wanted a strong central government with unlimited powers allowing the States and people to have roles only as the federal government see fit. The battle flag captures a true seminal moment in history when the people said they wanted their own government and stood against an invading federal army and nearly defeated it against all odds. Because of this, the Confederate flag will be revered by many and reviled by the victors. It was indeed misused by certain groups and those who opposed the federal government’s push of the 1960’s social agenda. It was mostly in this era that the modern opponents pointed the finger of hate.


The truth on race is, had there been no war, race relations would be just as good as they are in any other country that ended slavery on their own terms. Can you imagine what race relations in the South, in this country and most importantly in God’s church would look like if the South would have been left alone to secede peacefully? Slavery would have been eradicated gradually. There would have been no War, no reconstruction, no KKK, no Jim Crowe, no “Separate but Equal”, no busing, no affirmative action. There would have been no “Flag” to condemn. Blacks and whites would be much stronger together, drawn by what was similar in their lives: their Southern culture and their faith in Jesus Christ.


An honest conversation on race means that we do not target a symbol that is being piled-on in current pop culture and being taken advantage of by those in the race business and PC realm. Let’s talk about how young men in disadvantaged neighborhoods can be reached for the Lord. Let’s talk about the leaders who claim to help these men but, are the same ones who roused violence in Ferguson and teach victimhood, zero responsibility or accountability, and blame all that ails their society on police and anyone that does not look like they do.


Let’s talk about sub-culture rather than skin color. Let’s discuss how this sub-culture glorifies violence, lawlessness, degrades women, and promotes self-destruction. Let’s discuss how the “War on Poverty” became a war on the black family and successfully destroyed it. Let’s look into how leaders at all levels want more of it and the same leaders promote and target abortion at will in the same community.


It would be wonderful and joyous if the SBC resolution would lead to saving more souls. This thought defies logic. Do people of color stay away from church because they think a Confederate Flag is there? Does someone reject the Gospel based on what they have been taught in current day American history? The answer is no! Salvation is of the Lord! Salvation is individual and never corporate. If a man rejects the Lord, then that is his decision based on the state of his own heart.


Let’s be clear here. No man is going to reject the Gospel because he saw a truck roll down the road with a Confederate Flag on it. No man is going to reject the Gospel because he saw a low-rider go down the same road playing rap music. We can say we are about removing stumbling blocks, but be careful what is referred to as a stumbling block. Why stop with a flag when an entire culture can be purged? Will elements of race be demonized from all cultures or just one?

Has anyone ever seen a Confederate Flag of any type inside or on a church? In all my 38 years and dozens of churches visited, I have not. The only place I have ever seen a Confederate Flag is in an older church’s cemetery. They are usually on a veteran’s grave site, placed by descendants or veteran’s groups. Opponents of the flag do not want to stop at removing the flag from public places but from graveyards as well. Removing Confederate Flags from church cemeteries is what this is all about.


The truth of political correctness is that it is a tool of those who are in a minority or fringe group to exact social change and paralyze the public. After the Charleston shooting of unarmed worshipping Christians, there was a fanatical hysteria to blame the shooting on the flag. One photo of one flag and the murderer were posted to start a narrative. Conveniently, none of his other flags were posted. The man was filled with hate, he was filled with Satan, and he chose to commit a terrible crime. The full weight of the State of South Carolina should fall on him and justice served. The crime had nothing to do with any of the symbols he carried in his home.

In 2005, the city council of Memphis took to the issue of purging public places of Confederate symbols. There was enough push back and common sense to keep them from removing a Confederate general and his wife’s grave in a public park. The issue was taken back up this year immediately after the Charleston murder as if it were a new issue. Soon, Memphis will dig up a couple’s remains and remove them in the name of political correctness. This lunacy is taking place in every minority dominated city council across the South. It did not stop there; it has come to God’s church.


“If we were wrong in our contest, then the Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a grave mistake and the revolution to which it led was a crime. If Washington was a patriot; Lee cannot have been a rebel.”-General Wade Hampton, CSA


The Confederate Flag is but a leaf on a tree. It is not the roots of the tree. The roots are this: The first seven Southern States had a right to secede from the Union in 1860 and 1861. The next seven (Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland) had a right to secede after Lincoln said he was going to invade the first seven. Those last States initially voted to stay in the Union, but after Lincoln let his intentions be known to invade, and do so unconstitutionally, they decided it was time to leave. They would not provide troops to his army nor let an army march through their States. Kentucky and Missouri were invaded and their capitals seized before they voted to secede while State leaders in Maryland were simply arrested in the middle of night and held on no charges by federal troops the day before the vote.


“I can anticipate no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union…Still, a Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.”  -General Robert E. Lee


The North did not fight to make men free and the South did not fight to enslave them. The War was fought for money (tax revenue), control of the money and political power. The same reason all wars are fought.  Lincoln was a white supremacist who did not want to extend voting rights to blacks, did not want them to settle up North or out West, wanted to re-colonize blacks in Central America and Africa, and would support an amendment to make slavery permanent in 1861 just so he could keep the Union intact and its revenue flow. The tariff accounted for 95% of all tax revenue and as of 1860, the South payed 87% of the tariff while close to 80% of the taxes went to Northern interests. This is one of many reasons why the South wanted to secede and equally why Lincoln could not let them go!


If slavery had really been the sole issue, the North would have let the South leave. Slavery was used as a tool in 1862 when Lincoln was losing the war. He unconstitutionally set free the slaves in areas not controlled by the North in hopes of starting a slave revolt of Haitian proportion to end the conflict. No revolt ever happened and by and large, slaves stayed loyal to their families. True division did not take place until after the war with Reconstruction and federal laws aimed at causing such hatred in the South.


“Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southern man apologize for the defense we made our own inheritance. Our Cause was so just, so sacred, that had I known all that has come to pass, had I known what was to be inflicted upon me, all that my country was to suffer, all that our posterity was to endure, I would do it all over again.” –Jefferson Davis


It is time for us to gain a basic understanding of history and not think we are suddenly enlightened because we have a Twitter or Facebook account. We are not suddenly enlightened on the flag issue. To the contrary, earlier generations with classical educations understood history and how it mattered to current events much more than we do today. There were more men in that era who were capable of leading and standing up to the winds and feelings of the day than what is seen currently. Those generations closest to the history provide the truest and strongest accounts.


I, as a Christian, will not condemn my Christian ancestors. I will stand up and defend their honor rather than go along with the latest tweet of the day. This act by the Convention will bring in no more converts but will alienate those among the church who are educated in history.


“Those who have no concern for their ancestors will by simple application of the same rule have none for their descendants.” -Richard Weaver


Will the same people who brought this subject forth also ask to condemn all symbols associated with Islam? How about the American flag, as it also supported slavery for over 80 years? Will they ask that we repudiate the Battle Hymn of the Republic? (It was actually written to sanctify John Brown and his terrorists acts in Kansas and Harper’s Ferry.)


Finally, if we are to take up a flag topic as Baptists. Let’s talk about one inside our sanctuaries. Why is it permissible to pledge allegiance to a thing and its government? How are we excused to make such a pledge in God’s house?  Is this idolatry? No matter how deep our patriotic sentiments run, should we hold a flag in the same esteem as the Cross?


The period in our history that was the War for Southern Independence has been referred to as the American Iliad, our great epic. It was a tragedy that we cannot possibly comprehend today. Symbols from either side of the history should be preserved and discussed, not selectively scrubbed for political reasons. That type of action is reserved to tyrants and despots. It has no place in a free, civilized, Christian society. Had we lived in that time, what would we do if we were invaded by a federal army?


“We could have pursued no other course without dishonor. And sad as the results have been, if it had all to be done again, we should be compelled to act in precisely the same manner.”-General Robert E. Lee


This issue of the Confederate Flag should never have been given consideration. I hope that it is more based in ignorance rather than politics. Even then, we must pray that no one in the church will be found “suppressing the truth”, “becoming open to futile thinking” and “letting a foolish heart become darkened”. I do pray true racial unity will come to all. But, that will only come through the destruction of political correctness, and displaying nothing but the truth. Salvation will not come to any group of people because of some political charade. Salvation will come when those close to them share the Gospel, the Gospel alone, with no victimhood or politics attached. Christians planting seeds then praying that hearts turn, and turn to the Lord.


Suggested Reading:

When in the Course of Human Events-Charles Adams

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War-H.W. Crockett

The Real Lincoln-Thomas Di Lorenzo

The Un-Civil War-Leonard M. Scruggs

 

Ben Thompson is a deacon at Rowland Springs Baptist Church in Cartersville

Ronnie Floyd, Russell Moore:
Ignoring the blatant racist agenda in the North prior to, and
during the
War Between the States.

It is unfortunate that those who currently lead our Convention are ignorant of our American history.  A careful examination of the historical facts of our nation prior to and during the War Between the States might have tempered last year's dust up at the SBC, which was filled with racist rhetoric. 

And the SBC has been passing resolutions asking for "prejudice forgiveness" since at least 1995, that I know anything about.  That was when Richard Land who held the Ethics position now filled by Russell Moore, made the resolution; but then had to resign over his own racist remarks!!!!  And now Moore is under understandable criticism for his support of Islamic Mosques!  Time for him to go too!

It's time to stop beating the dead horse called prejudice/racial apology, and move on to more important matters.  Clearly, Ronnie Floyd and Russell Moore are the latest to become sidelined from the most important issue: reaching the lost in this country and overseas for Jesus Christ.

The 1850 Census clearly reveals that 98.8% of people living in the North before the War Between the States were White.  And if you add in the border/slave-holding states that stayed with the Union during that war, the percentage is still 96.5% White.

And what Ronnie Floyd and friends may find to their dismay and shatter their modern sensibilities, is that virtually all these Northerners prior to and during the War Between the States, were "racist."  Any desire for Northern whites in the 1850s to end slavery did not equate with a belief in racial equality.  The Blacks might be freed, eventually, but they would not be welcome to remain.
   

Slavery has long been identified in the national consciousness as a Southern institution. 

The time to bury that myth is overdue.

 

Slavery is a story about all of America:  the nation’s wealth, from the very beginning, depended upon the exploitation of black people on three continents.  Together, over the lives of enslaved men and women, Northerners and Southerners shook hands and made a country.

 

Before the War Between the States, the North grew rich with slavery:

1.    In the 18th Century after the Revolutionary War, thousands of black people were enslaved in the North.  In fact, they made up nearly 1/5 of the population of New York City.

2.    Two major slave revolts occurred in New York City.

3.    The North sold food and other supplies to sugar plantations in the Caribbean.  Thousands of acres of Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island had plantations that used slave labor.

4.    Rhode Island was America’s leader in the transatlantic trade: almost 1,000 voyages to Africa, carrying at least 100,000 captives back across the Atlantic.

5.    New York City was the seaport hub of a lucrative illegal slave trade.  Manhattan shipyards built ships to carry to carry captive Africans with these ships outfitted with crates of shackles and huge water tanks needed for their human cargo.  During the peak years between 1859 and 1860, at least 2 slave ships, each built to hold between 600-1,000 slaves, left lower Manhattan every month!

From my college courses in Colonial and Revolutionary America, I discovered the North's profit from, indeed, dependence on, slavery, has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret.  The "devil is definitely in the details" of this story about the lucrative Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that linked the North to the West Indies, and Africa. 

The reality is that Northern empires were built on tainted profits, run in some cases, by abolitionists, and thousand-acre plantations (yes, plantations in the North) that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. 

A discussion of the slave trade should include information about "The Middle Passage" 1519-1867, which details distribution of transported slaves, but cannot be included here due to lack of space.  Except I will mention that among the 13 original colonies/states, only 1 plunged into the African slave trade in a big way; and that was the state of Roger Williams: Rhode Island.  Rhode Island had no rival.  It controlled 2/3 or more of the colonies' slave trade with Africa.  After the Revolutionary War, it had a virtual monopoly, shipping nearly 50,000 new slaves in less than 20 years.  Remote as it was, Rhode Island transported more slaves than any other of the original 13 states...North or South!

So often Northerners liked to believe slavery in America was strictly a Southern sin, to which Yankees rarely yielded.
"The Northern slaveholder traded in men and women whom he never saw, and of whose separations, tears, and miseries he determined never to hear."

-Harriet Beecher Stowe
("The Education of Freedmen," The North American Review, June 1879.)  Author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

What school children are taught is the South's story is set on a plantation in Mississippi, South Carolina, or some other Southern state, embellished and magnified 10-fold, of overseers brandishing whips over slaves picking cotton. 

By contrast, the North's story is thought to be heroic, filled with abolitionists running that Underground Railroad Train.  The few slaves who may have lived in the North, it has been believed, were treated like members of the family.  And, of course, the Northerners were the good guys in the War Between the States. They freed the slaves. That's not all mythology, but it is a convenient and whitewashed shorthand.

That's where most readers of history go wrong: trying to read the story backward; explaining to our current generation how their country grew to be the way it is. In such a story, slavery is a single chapter in a history book; a background event limited to one region of the country and overwhelmed by the more recent events of Western Expansion, etc.

People who read the military history of the Civil War often have what we historians call the "Appomattox Syndrome."  They start at the end, thinking, "OK, now we know the South surrendered in April 1865, so those folks simply had to live with the outcome they knew was coming."  No.  The South had a very good chance to have won their independence on two occasions: one in 1862 and late 1864; and Gettysburg, contrary to what you may have been taught, was NOT the turning point of the war.

History should be read forward; you always read forward, not backward; pushing slavery into the foreground, inserting it into nearly every chapter.  The truth is that slavery was a national phenomenon.
To read more about the War Between the States history which the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2016 ignored, see the webpage: "The Old South."  There you may be surprised:  Lincoln's plan to remove slaves from the United States and colonize them overseas; slavery was widespread in the North; the North was overwhelmingly White and racist; the first slave owner in America, in Virginia, was Black; many large slave owners in the South were Black; there was a plan for New York to secede from the Union at the outset of the War Between the States; Jefferson Davis was Anti-Secessionist at first, and was invited to speak before a packed house in Boston, Mass.
Dr. Gary Gallagher in an excerpt from a lecture, "The Real Lost Cause," discusses why too many read history from the end instead of at the beginning; why the majority of people in the North were racist; why the Civil War could have ended with slavery intact:

Response to Southern Baptist Convention By SCV Commander In Chief

From Commander In Chief Kelly Barrow in response to the resolution against the Battle Flag by the SBC:

 

The history of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has been inextricably tied to the Confederacy and her heirs for over a century and a half. Great pulpit expositors, as well as seminary professors that left their mark in the area of Biblical thought and world view offered service to the Confederacy, as chaplains and men of arms, as well. Therefore, it was a profound disappointment and excruciatingly disheartening to hear the anti-Confederate Battle Flag resolution that was approved by SBC messengers meeting in St. Louis on June 14.

 

The resolution offended on several levels -- first of all, simply put, it did not adequately deal with the Truth of the nature of the Flag, particularly disappointing as Christians should place a premium on the Truth. The 800,000 men that served the Confederacy held, and always will hold, full title to that banner -- it is a soldiers' flag and their political agenda was nothing more than defense of their home. Furthermore, as the Fifth Commandment compels us to "honor father and mother", those of us who enjoy Confederate ancestry are bound to tell the Truth of our ancestors fight and flag. Finally, the tone of the resolution has the effect of intimidating the consciences of Southern Baptists into holding a terribly negative opinion of Confederate symbols.

 

All that said, the SBC is not a hierarchy; local congregations are in no way bound to the resolution. They may continue on as they have done, in some cases, for many years, in helping their community to retain its history and honoring the men that rebuilt their community after a tragic war and devastating reconstruction. Today, we call upon the great SBC congregations throughout the South to do just that, ignore this distraction and get on with the priorities of Gospel proclamation, building up of the fellowship of Faith and pursuing a witness of goodwill in the community. Untold numbers of these SBC churches, over the years, have cultivated great relationships with SCV camps by opening their facilities for regular meetings and special occasions, not to mention the cemeteries owned by SBC churches where the remains of legions of Confederate heroes lie -- these are sites for numerous memorial services. 

 

Of course, in addition to the historical ties of the Confederacy and SBC, thousands of SCV members are also members of SBC churches. In closing, we call on our camps to pursue"peace with all men" (Heb. 12:14) by cultivating good relationships with all organizations in their community, particularly houses of worship, be they SBC, other Christian denominations or Jewish Synagogues.

 

Deo Vindice!
Charles Kelly Barrow
Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Why Russell Moore’s Race Fixation Sits Uneasy With Us

 

by Pulpit & Pen · December 6, 2014

 

There are more than a few evangelicals who are uneasy with Russell Moore’s fixation on “racial reconciliation” in recent weeks. To be fair, that number includes many of us who are disenchanted with what we have surmised to be – by all discernible standards – social progressivism. Whether calling Jesus an “illegal immigrant” in his push for immigration amnesty, his advocacy of environmentalist “creation care,” his ecumenical worship with adherents of other religions like at the Becket Fund’s “multi-faith” gathering, or his ethical compromise to attend gay wedding celebrations but not the wedding itself, Moore clearly has more in common with Sojourner’s Jim Wallis than his predecessor, Richard Land. And his distance from Land, combined with his commendable attempt to lace his progressivism with Scriptural reasoning (however flawed it might be) is what makes Moore immune to criticism from so many Southern Baptists who were happy to see Land go.

 

In fact, there are a few basic facts surrounding Moore that make him immune to most criticism. First, as stated, he’s not Richard Land. Land out-stayed his welcome at the ERLC and caused much angst in his latter years of tenure. That there would be a long, happy honeymoon with any replacement of Land and Moore is no exception. Secondly, Moore is perceived as theologically Reformed (although a strict “five-pointer” he is not) and is perceived as a protege’ of Dr. Albert Mohler. The sheer influence of Dr. Mohler and their connection has provided enough incentive for most of the “usual critics” to keep their mouths shut altogether. Third, Moore is a stalwart on the issue of abortion (although not so much when he was a Democratic staffer) and believes in the inerrancy of Scripture; in the current climate of the Southern Baptist Convention, those two things are enough to qualify you as a conservative.

 

However, as demonstrated in the links provided by the first year of his service to the ERLC, Moore is not a classical conservative by any means. “Changing tone” has been the repeated description provided by numerous secular press outlets. Many Southern Baptists would prefer to think that the secularists’ perception of a new tone is just a result of Moore’s exemplary handling of the press; Moore has arguably turned the ERLC into the public relations firm of the SBC. Doing so seems to be working. The press often gives glowing reviews of who they call “the SBC’s chief ethicist.” What Southern Baptists need to understand is that Moore isn’t just adding a dose of sugar to our collective Southern Baptist worldview. He’s not just building bridges of understanding by avoiding Land’s habit of firmly inserting a foot in his mouth at every juncture. Southern Baptists need to grasp what the secular media already knows – heck, what the media already is celebrating…Russell Moore is a social liberal.

 

We saw the moral neutrality in Moore’s post on Ferguson, posted minutes after the grand jury verdict and obviously written before the verdict was given (This is standard fair for public relations professionals but rather bizarre for thoughtful theologians). So neutral, in fact, that the verdict itself and the jury’s findings were irrelevant to the view he was intent on crafting for Southern Baptists.


Moore pointed out that whites have a tendency to view a case like Ferguson in its particulars: the facts involved within the individual circumstance. Blacks, Moore asserted, look at situations like Ferguson through a wider spectrum forged through broader historic themes. Moore clearly took the “black” (his argument, not mine) worldview in publishing thoughts that were absolutely detached from the facts of the case but sure to please a secular press predicting a Richard Land-like response.


Dwight McKisssic. a black (and charismatic) Southern Baptist pastor who protested in Ferguson (one who refused to show empathy for Officer Wilson and stated “the day he pulled the trigger on an unarmed man is the day the day [Officer Wilson] made choices about his own future”) said that Russell Moore’s post makes “his chest puffed out” to be a Southern Baptist. Among those protesting in Ferguson, Moore’s moral obfuscation earned rave reviews.

 

And although Moore was not alone in his mad dash to the racial sensitivity finish line, he received some honest criticism from Randy White and others. He angrily lashed out at White’s thoughtful criticism in his December 3 podcast, "Questions and Ethics." His tone was harsh, berating, and unyielding. He spoke of blocking “white supremacists” on Twitter, and I have to wonder how many well-meaning and non-racist Southern Baptists he blocked for criticizing what they perceive to be an unhealthy race-baiting for the sake of popular appeal. Would Moore call Randy White or me, possibly, one of those “white supremacists”?

 

The case of Eric Garner gave Russell Moore a second-wind in his pursuit of the racial sensitivity award. He was going to win this fight, and that’s all there was to it. Moore had not yet won the accolades and applause for which he was destined – the press was championing him, but not the people. Ferguson was too messy, you see. The facts were too hard to ignore (although he somehow managed to ignore them). The public wasn’t quite on his side, what with the image of Michael Brown man-handling a store clerk in a strong-armed robbery fresh in our minds.


The Brown family pathologist, whose autopsy findings suggested Brown was shot in the back with his hands in the air, turned out to be a fraud. Eye witness testimony seemed firm. There was nothing in the Brown case, except for the race of Brown,  to suggest a race-based killing.  Then, the Garner case provided Moore the opportunity to get firmly behind public consensus and bravely lead from behind. In the Garner case, Moore had an incident which would allow him to make a point without all the facts getting in the way.

 

Read the transcript of Moore’s December 3 podcast. (See below). This is clearly a man who feels strongly about racism, isn’t afraid to call a spade a spade, and is willing to speak clearly on why racism is sinful and just plain wrong. Good for him. Racism is wrong. Racism is detestable. Racism is wicked. Racism is sin.

While Moore should be applauded for speaking clearly on the issue of sin, he shouldn’t be applauded for reacting and responding to social issues in presumptive and irresponsible ways.

 

Moore has made the Garner tragedy about race. To Moore, this is a race talking point. Why? Is it because this is out of a page of the social-progressive handbook? Must it always be about race?

 

The Garner case angers me as well. It angers me, as a classical liberal, that selling single cigarettes arouses the attention of the police. It angers me as a libertarian to see the term “police force” turn into a verb rather than a noun; it angers me to see the militarization of our nation’s police forces and their willingness to employ force to resolve conflict as a precursor to violence and not as a response to violence. Frankly, the “police are always right” attitude I’ve seen from some in this discussion is annoying. Why was a man choked to death for resisting arrest? That’s just plain awful. Stun-gun that sucker, hog tie him and let’s go home. But at 350 pounds and with heart failure and asthma (as the coroner said), maybe that would have killed him, too. So, frankly, it’s complicated. It’s so complicated, a grand jury of mixed ethnicity might need to see 50 witnesses and 60 exhibits to sort it all out.

 

But what has this to do with race? Does Russell Moore have some evidence to suggest this was a story about race? Does he have evidence to suggest that because a white police officer choked a black man to death that it was because the man was black? To jump on a bandwagon in absolute and abject ignorance is wrong-headed, but it reaps great rewards in the media. Through these tragedies-turned-opportunities, Russell Moore is quickly becoming the darling of the left-wing media, even receiving accolades in the uber-liberal Huffington Post. Was the grand jury decision equally as race-based as Garner’s death supposedly was? With nearly 40% of the grand jury being comprised by minorities, hearing testimonies from 50 witnesses and seeing 60 exhibits of evidence, does Russell Moore really want to boil this down to race?

 

Yes. He does. That fits his agenda. That earns him accolades. Calling for reason, calling for caution, calling for discernment, that doesn’t make a 24-hour press cycle revolve around you. It’s not sensational.

 

When you listen to Russell Moore talk racism he is clear, direct, resolute, solid, unwavering and unyielding. It is sin and he hates it. You can hear that in his voice. Again, good for him.

 

Why is it when Russell Moore discusses homosexuality all the press can talk about is his “new and softening tone”? It’s hardly a “softening tone” toward racism that Moore is demonstrating. So, why on homosexuality? Do you think that Russell Moore will soon invite racists to an ERLC event to develop a dialogue with them? Do you think that David Duke would be as welcome at his table as Matthew Vines recently was? Would he break bread with white supremacists like he recently did with homosexuals?

 

No. Racists are dead to him. You hear that in his voice. He’s downright angry at them. That’s a popular bandwagon to be on. That’s a popular stance and not at all a brave one. On homosexuality, though, well…he would attend the reception, after all. Do you think that Russell Moore would refuse to attend a Ku Klux Klan rally, but might attend the reception afterward to share refreshments? I can guarantee you he would not.

 

It seems that the degree of outrage Russell Moore has for a particular sin directly correlates to the degree of praise he receives in the secular press for making a stand on that particular sin. Racism? He will scream the loudest! Homosexuality? He’ll soften the tone.

 

Indeed, this is a new tone we are experiencing. Brace yourself, SBC. This is just the beginning of what you can expect from the ERLC.

Race-Baiting and the ERLC: Dwight McKissic Defends Russell Moore and Demonstrates Why Eliminating the ERLC is the Best Course of Action

Here’s how one pastor fought for years to keep the Confederate flag flying in South Carolina

By Tobin Grant June 24, 2015


As Republicans send mixed messages on whether or not the Confederate flag should be flown in the South, a debate has been swirling in the country’s largest Protestant denomination where Southern is core to its name. One South Carolina pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention has served as the public face of those who favor the state’s flying of the Confederate flag, while national Southern Baptist leaders have been calling for the flag’s removal.

Two days after the church shootings in Charleston, Russell Moore, head of the SBC’s policy arm, swiftly condemned the Confederate flag ahead of many political leaders. (Moore permitted The Washington Post to republish his call for the flag's removal.)  And Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called racial superiority “heresy.”


Racial issues play an important role in the SBC, which was created after a split in the 1840s among Baptists over the question of slave-ownership. When the American Baptist Home Mission Society refused to approve slave-owners as missionaries, Baptist congregations pulled out of the association and formed the SBC.

One hundred and fifty years later, the SBC officially adopted a resolution repudiating its own racist past, apologizing to African Americans and calling for renewed efforts to eradicate individual and systematic racism. Moore replaced Richard Land in 2013 as head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Land engineered the denomination’s 1995 resolution on race, but he also stepped down in 2012 after making inflammatory statements on race.


Just because the SBC passed a resolution on race does not mean that all of the churches in its associations agreed with its national leadership. Pastor Bobby Eubanks of Ridge Baptist Church in Summerville, S.C., has led a local effort to keep the Confederate flag flying.


A year after the national SBC resolution on race, the issue of the Confederate flag became the top political issue in South Carolina. The South Carolina Baptist Convention (a state convention of the SBC) responded by distancing themselves from churches who pushed for the state to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol.

When Gov. David Beasley ran for the office in 1994, he advocated for keeping the Confederate flag flying atop the Capitol dome. Amidst a rise in hate crimes and scrutiny from business groups, Beasley changed his position. In November 1996, he  gave a television broadcast to call for the legislature to work out a compromise that would bring the flag from atop the Capitol.


Two weeks later, Eubanks and 14 other clergy circulated a document called “The Moral Defense of the Confederate Flag.” The 1996 letter laid out a case for the Confederacy being a Christian movement that properly understood God’s will and the U.S. Constitution, modeled after “The Address to Christians Throughout the World,” an 1863 letter from 98 clergy who defended the Confederacy. Some of the points of the letter included the following:

  • The Confederate Flag is a Christian symbol.
  • Leaders of the Confederacy are historical examples of Christian character.
  • The Civil War was a fight between Christianity and Atheism.
  • Removing the flag is part of liberal attacks on traditional values.
  • Race relations are better in the South than in the rest of the nation.
  • The flag “represents the noble effort, of South Carolinians and Southerners generally, to resist the federal government’s unconstitutional efforts to subjugate sovereign states.”


About a month after this letter was distributed, the Christian Action Council, an ecumenical group of clergy, held a vigil at at the state Capitol. In November 1997, Eubanks went to the South Carolina Baptist annual convention with a resolution to defund the CAC.  The convention adopted the resolution and stopped all Baptist support for the CAC.


A year later, Beasley lost his gubernatorial reelection, and many believe his flip-flop on the flag issue was a key part of his loss. In that 1998 election, 264 people gave write-in votes to Eubanks.

In 2000, the state legislature took up the question of the Confederate flag. Days before the debate began, a group called the South Carolina Heritage Coalition organized a pro-flag rally at the state Capitol featuring a 4,000-square-foot Confederate flag. Eubanks served as the public face of the coalition, bringing together at least 6,000 supporters who wanted to keep the Confederate flag flying above the Capitol.


It was during the rally in 2000 that South Carolina State Sen. Arthur Ravenel infamously referred to the NAACP as the “National Association of Retarded People.” He then apologized to retarded people for lumping them in with the NAACP.


Ravenel’s comments became a footnote in the Republican presidential contest.  When asked about Ravenel’s comments, then-candidate George W. Bush called the remarks “unfortunate name-calling” and deferred to the senator to decide whether an apology was needed. Shorty thereafter, Alan Keyes challenged Bush in a debate over the comments.


“We’ve got a Republican named Senator Ravenel who has also – among other things in the last couple days — made extremely insulting and derogatory remarks about black Americans, saying in effect that we’re all retarded. Will you join me in repudiating that kind of racial slur?” Keyes asked.

“Yes, I agree with you, Alan,” Bush said.“His comments are out of line, and we should repudiate them.”


Bush did not change his position on the Confederate flag during the campaign. He held to his position that it was up to South Carolina alone to decide whether or not the flag should fly over the Capitol.

Today, Ravenel is known more for a Charleston suspension bridge named in his honor (his efforts secured funding for the bridge). On Sunday afternoon, thousands gathered on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in solidarity with the victims of last week’s shooting. Thousands, including Stephen Colbert, walked hand-in-hand in a “unity chain” across the Ravenel bridge. Ravenel was an independent Senate candidate against incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham in 2014. He finished in last place.


The flag was moved from the Capitol dome to its current location on the grounds. Eubanks is now active in Tea Party politics, though it is unclear whether he is still involved in efforts to keep the Confederate flag flying. When The Post tried to reach his office  Tuesday and Wednesday, a receptionist said he would have no comment.


He appeared to tweet about the issue  Monday:

Slippery slope to communism when you redefine historical emblems such as flags and monuments you do what Lenin and Stalin did in Russia

— robert eubanks,  June 22, 2015


In a talk two years ago, Eubanks reflected on the meaning of slavery and the Civil War.

“I studied slavery. It was not about enslaving a race. … It was not about racism. It was an accepted way of economics throughout the whole world. In fact Islam enslaves more people today than they did then. And the real fault lies with Africa selling their own people to the slave traders. There’s a whole other story.


Southern Baptists practice congregational autonomy, so the denomination cannot do anything to discipline a particular church or pastor (other than disfellowshipping them) for particular views.


Tobin Grant blogs for Religion News Service at Corner of Church and State, a data-driven conversation on religion and politics. He is a political science professor at Southern Illinois University and associate editor of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

 


And then, the public speaks........

 

Letters to the Editor of the Baptist Standard:

SBC’s Confederate flag resolution is PC (Politically Correct)

It seems as though the Southern Baptist Convention has joined the politically correct crowd in getting a “feel good” feeling in regard to condemning the Confederate Battle Flag.


As one person wrote, racism is not in a flag, but in the heart. I take offense that the South and slave owners are considered wicked, immoral people as suggested by the SBC. My third great-grandfather owned slaves, and he was a moral, Christian man.

Even though I don’t condone slavery, I cannot go back and change the fact he owned slaves. We can’t change the past as many are attempting to re-write history. Why didn’t the SBC go as far as condemning the American flag, which flew over slave owners of the North?

 

My church gives to the support of the SBC and will continue to do so, but as for me, I will never refer to myself as a Southern Baptist but just Baptist.


Just a side note in regard to Baylor University.  I am convinced Baylor’s problems began when our Baptists “gave away” their majority vote of regents out of fear of a conservative “takeover.”

F.A. Taylor

Kempner


“Much Ado About Nothing”

How many Native Americans were treated unjustly under the American flag—starved, murdered, enslave, etc.

The issue about the Confederate Battle Flag is “Much Ado About Nothing” (Shakespeare).

I’ll bet that someone is making money out of the issue.

Fred Rosenbaum

Gainesville

Here's what happens when individuals with high-visibility, (like the President of the SBC) continue to "beat the dead horse" in a public forum.....you set a bad example, you incite and invite incivility and vandalism. You ignore the historical truth of the Confederate Battle Flag.

Confederate graves, Gov. Aycock marker vandalized at Oakwood Cemetery

RALEIGH, North Carolina

Robin Simonton, executive director of Oakwood Cemetery, and Raleigh historian Bruce Miller work to cover graffiti painted on nine grave markers and monuments, mostly in the Confederate section. Damage is estimated at $20,000.

Vandals spray-painted anti-racist graffiti on nine monuments inside Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood Cemetery, mostly damaging the graves of high-ranking officers in the Confederate Army but also defacing the stone of North Carolina Gov. Charles Aycock, whose racial views in the early 1900s have found increasing criticism.


The attack caused roughly $20,000 in damage Wednesday night and is thought to be the first of its kind on private property, said Robin Simonton, executive director at Oakwood. Cemetery officials reported the crime to Raleigh police during the weekend, hoping to spare further destruction during the holidays.


“Cowardly acts like this, under cover of darkness, late at night, aren’t perpetrated by decent and thoughtful citizens,” Simonton said. “In these modern times, conversations on divisive issues should be held in person. Midnight assassinations don’t accomplish anything positive. Mature, non-emotional dialogue more often leads to agreement, or at least compromise.”


Damage at the cemetery comes in the wake of a series of similar high-profile incidents that reflect continued, heated controversy over the Civil War, 150 years after its formal conclusion.

These are people’s graves. This isn’t just a monument to honor a cause. There are people resting here.

-Robin Simonton, executive director at Oakwood


On the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in 2014 and 2015 vandals repeatedly have defaced the “Silent Sam” monument, erected to honor alumni who fought for the Confederacy and died during the Civil War. Courthouses in Chapel Hill and Durham also have been struck, along with the Confederate Women’s Memorial at the Capitol in downtown Raleigh, which was spray-painted with “Black Lives Matter” in July.


The damage at Oakwood Cemetery appears to be more extensive, more targeted and better researched.


The Confederate section on a hill along Oakwood Avenue includes hundreds of foot soldiers’ graves, including 137 transported from the Gettysburg. Pa., battlefield in 1871. But the lower-ranking men’s graves went untouched in this attack. Instead the unknown vandals went after targets including:


 The marble obelisk over Gen. George B. Anderson, who died of a wound he received at the Battle of Antietam, was painted with “Slavery” in large red letters. Red drops were splashed high up the marker.

 The tall marker to Randolph Abbott Shotwell, a lieutenant who led sharpshooters in Pickett’s Charge, had “KKK” painted in black across its bottom. Shotwell was jailed after the Civil War largely because of his involvement with the Ku Klux Klan and later was pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant.

 The bronze plaque and granite marker dedicated to the crew of the CSS H.L. Hunley, the Confederate submarine sunk off Charleston, S.C., and the first to sink an enemy ship, had “Not Heroes” painted across its back.

 The monument to Aycock, governor from 1901 to 1905, whose name has been removed from dormitories at Duke and East Carolina universities, had his grave painted “White Supremacist” in black letters. During the 1890s, Aycock led a move to suppress black citizens in North Carolina, calling them unfit to govern or vote.

“He’s not even Civil War,” said Raleigh historian Bruce Miller, who regularly leads tours through Oakwood graves.

Raleigh police continued to investigate the vandalism Sunday.


The cemetery of Oakwood forms part of a picture of Raleigh’s role in both the Civil War and slavery in the 19th century. A few decades ago, grass stood knee-high in the Confederate Cemetery and many of the graves had sunk into the ground.


Charles Purser, a researcher in Garner, tracked down the identities of the soldiers there and arranged for new markers, including one for a Union sharpshooter from Minnesota mistakenly buried there. In Raleigh’s City Cemetery a few blocks to the south, one quarter was reserved for slaves and free blacks, and nearly all of these graves are unmarked. The city erected a monument to them in 1991.


Simonton and Miller spent much of Saturday taping strips of burlap over the graffiti, but the red blotches rose up to 20 feet high on some markers and were impossible to cover. It wasn’t yet clear whether the paint could be removed without further damage to the markers. Oakwood hopes to rally support to repair the damage.


“These are people’s graves,” Simonton said. “This isn’t just a monument to honor a cause. There are people resting here.”

Though private, Oakwood Cemetery is open to the public and can be accessed by pedestrians even when the front gate is locked. Maps of notable graves, including many of those damaged, are available online. Joggers, bicyclists and walkers are welcomed on its sprawling grounds, which also include the graves of N.C. State men’s basketball coach Jim Valvano and Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the former N.C. senator and presidential candidate.


Oakwood has hosted an uncommon number of events on its grounds, not only the regular tours but others involving sunrise yoga and coffeehouse chats on subjects relating to mortality. Simonton said the cemetery hasn’t been vandalized since the 1980s. As he helped to cover the graffiti at Anderson’s marker, Miller noted with some satisfaction that one of the vandals had stepped in a large anthill.

Several Confederate stones have portions covered in burlap to hide the places where vandals recently spray painted racial comments on them at Oakwood Cemetery.

The individual who vandalizes someone's tombstone is the real racist.....with no concept of history......why memorials were and are established.  It is also the desecration and disrespect of an individual's resting place.

"Confederate flag burning doesn’t actually do anything to stop racism. It’s a complete sideshow. And once we’ve blown up every confederate statue and smashed every tombstone with Confederate marks and erased all evidence of the Confederacy from our roads, we’ll still have the scourge of racism and every other sin with us."

-Mollie Ziegler Hemingway

My turn................
I have several Confederate Soldiers and Sailors on my family tree and have no intention of renouncing my love and respect for them.  One of them was awarded the Confederate Medal of Honor. One of them became the first Doctor/Surgeon on the Texas A&M Faculty, College Station, TX. One of them became a Presbyterian missionary to Native American Indians in what was then called Indian Territory (Oklahoma). They are part of my heritage.  In all my years of preaching, I never once found it necessary to bring politics into the pulpit.  This was sound advice to me as a young man, from my preacher-father, who said on more than one occasion, that there was enough in the Bible to preach on without bringing in politics.

It seems that several pastors I know, and now it seems, some of the SBC leadership, seem to think otherwise....and it is very unwise to politicize theology and political issues of the day, in a public forum, whether it be in a church or at the annual Southern Baptist Convention.  One can only hope that things will be different at the 2017 SBC meeting in Arizona.

There is a need for a return to civility amongst the SBC clergy.  There is a need to return to the main business at hand: Reach, Teach, Win, Develop the people of God.  Too much of the culture, politically correct, entertainment, etc., has been dragged into the church house.....it is no longer the Lord's House....it has become a fun house.  The pastor has forgotten that preaching the Word of God is his primary business....not the social gospel and certainly not politics.

Many of my Confederate ancestors went on to do great things for the Lord....working in the vineyard of the lost and unsaved multitudes....witnessing, preaching, and winning souls for Jesus.  I once heard my Mother pray for my Father, saying, "Lord, give him souls for his hire."  Isn't that what we should be about?


-Rev. Joe Hughes