America at War with Herself

I’ve been there twice. Once in the summer. Another time in March, spring break. For a tourist, it is the essence of peace. Or it was–until last week.
Charlottesville, Virginia, is now a place we will remember for hate.
The haters gathered to protest the proposed removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Part of a series of removals eliminating Confederate monuments.
Communities began removing monuments and Lee’s battle flag–often considered the Confederate flag–after Dylann Roof’s slaughter of African American Christians at a Bible study in 2015 in South Carolina.
Beyond the protest of monument removal, Saturday’s rally was intended to “unite the right.” But there was more.
They came to shout their hatred for African Americans. They came to shout their hatred for Jews and LGBT’s and immigrants. Historically, they’ve hated Catholics too.
Saturday’s fiasco/riot resulted in the deaths of a counter-protestor and two state police officers. Numerous others were injured.
Some have argued that the monuments and the flag stand for freedom from an oppressive federal government. If that were ever true, it no longer is. The haters have co-opted symbols that once may have been innocent souvenirs from Gettysburg, Vicksburg, or Antietam.
No longer. No more.
Some will equate the hatred of Charlottesville with Christianity–especially conservative Christianity that does not agree with gay marriage. To do so distorts a faith that intends to speak only in love.
And haters who claim Christianity as their own–as many supremacists do–distort the faith. Their faith is in themselves and their hatred, not in a merciful God who seeks to redeem us all.
True Christianity rejects relative morality. A morality that tells us it’s okay to act on anger and hate and selfishness. To act on feelings rather than principles. The danger of relative morality is that it leads to a relative view of people.
It leads us to not see the value in everyone. It leads us back to a time we were at war with each other.
It has led us to now.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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0 Replies to “America at War with Herself”

  1. The deaths of 600,000 back in the 1860s demonstrates enough violence to put it all behind us. While I was born in the South, I did not lose the war as I was not in it nor my father or his. I am an American and time to put the old behind. Nazi Germany is also history, but I don’t need a constant reminder of it. Sad, but I believe this hate will grow and spread across this country. It is time to press forward, not go backward in time to preserve a cause that was a bad one for all.

  2. “The haters gathered to protest the proposed removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. Part of a series of removals eliminating Confederate monuments.” – It seems there were haters on the other side on Saturday as well. Of course, the mainstream media portrays liberal protestors as innocent of any violence. Attend one of these protests as an observer. Then you will see for yourself who normally initiates the violence.
    Why not condemn hate and violence wherever it is found, and whoever is promoting and/or participating in it?

    1. Violence is appropriate in justifiable war and self-defense. There was clearly violence on both sides. Only the man driving the car used deadly force. I condemn all the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday. Actually, some coverage showed violence on both sides..
      If such a demonstration happened in my town, I would be marching with the Christians protesting the hate.

  3. Hmmm! As a student of history I am always interested in how modern day viewpoints and morality are applied to life 150 or more years ago. If we are going to judge all history using our current morality we are in trouble! Rome and Greece cannot be held in esteem for literature, philosophy, democracy, art, medicine, and science. They conquered innocent people, took saves, and murdered their way through history. The aggressive war like actions of the Crusades will forever condemn Christianity. America cannot exist understanding the land grab and murder of Native Americans – abolish it. The Revolutionary War or the rebellion of the colonies is not a Star Wars episode but an unlawful armed uprising of malcontents bent on overthrow of the legally ordained power of 170 years. Don’t forget Texas. It will have to go back to Mexico, Sorry Texas, we have to make history correct. World War II saw our nation imprison people for being Japanese. No trial, no hearing, no legal representation – just camps, with guards and barbed wire. That alone should condemn us. Give California to Japan as compensation.
    The American Civil War or The War of Northern Aggression as it is known below the Mason Dixon line holds a very special and unique place in our collective history and culture. Without taking sides, I get what both sides are saying in the argument. When I see the Confederate flag or statues I understand the meaning. These items commemorate what would have been a very bad outcome should the South have won the war. I have no problem explaining to my kids and grand kids the causes the North and South were fighting.
    Maybe the problem isn’t the statues and flags, it is what we are saying about them when the opportunity arises. This sounds like a heart problem. It will not be cured by moving or removing flags, statues and monuments.

    1. When people who flaunt their hatred adopt a symbol, modern people associate the symbol with the hatred. I’m not sure it has much to do with what it once meant.
      It’s a shame to have lost history. But we must acknowledge it’s gone. It left when schools stopped teaching it seriously.
      So it’s a heart and mind issue. We don’t understand the value of living in a country based on the rule of law because we can’t appreciate history for what it was instead of what we wish it had been.
      I don’t get what the supremacists are saying because they act like their “solutions” are feasible and fair. Or they don’t care if they’re fair; they’re looking out for themselves.
      They just destroyed any chance that any child black or white will ever see a CSA monument twenty years from now. And the other side has harmed the rule of law by ripping a statue down today without impunity. (
      We enjoy a trip to Gettysburg every year and are talking about taking one to Antietam with grandkids. We don’t teach them to hate. We teach what both sides thought. But I would not encourage a kid to buy a flag Lee fought under.
      Something we all need to do if we ever hope to get along again is the idea of walking a mile in another’s shoes. When I get pulled over, I’m afraid I’ll end up paying a fine. It’s much more than that for a black person. We need to get that.
      And people who can’t get a job on their own need to stop blaming the ills of immigration and quotas and go work harder.
      Nut jobs speeding their cars into people for whatever reason (He’s going to argue he was provoked) is not part of a just society.
      People pulling statues down on their own isn’t part of a society run by the rule of law either.
      None of this bodes well for a free and safe America going forward.
      Thanks for the great discussion.

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