Archive for the ‘south’ tag
The International Humanist and Ethical Union has determined in a recent report that nonbelievers can be killed for their nonbelief in seven states. If you think religion is bollocks, you may want to avoid these: Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
Of course, as this article from Slate points out, the hostility toward nonbelievers does not just persist in radical Muslim theocracies. Right here at home, seven states — what is it with religious people and their fascination with the number seven? Yahweh‘s favorite number, no doubt! — ban atheists from holding public office. These bastions of reason and logic include Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Many of these, as you will notice, were, unsurprisingly, in the old Confederacy, including my home state, which can pride itself on being the first to leave the Union and the last to rejoin.
Just out of curiosity, I did a little fact checking on Tennessee, and as plain as day, here is the statute right there in the current state Constitution (ARTICLE IX. DISQUALIFICATIONS):
§ 2. Atheists holding office
No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.
I think it’s also curious that not only does a person have to be a believer to hold public office, belief in a future state is also required. Why would the latter part be included? Perhaps so that if and when this public servant inevitably fails his constituents in some way or another, he and they can take comfort in the thought that they will one day walk on sunshine with Jesus, free from the trappings of this world and its tough decision-making. No, the state wouldn’t want any nonbelievers in office approaching life on the notion that they had better get it right the first time and that there are no cop out solutions like prayer if, by chance, they happened to make life for millions of blacks a living hell for generations after they were supposedly emancipated, or if they allowed hordes of KKK members and other racists to run rampant in the South, scarring innocent women and children for decades. No, they might say: “It’s all permissible as long as we teach those people about the good news of the gospel; my mistakes as a racist, oppressive public servant in the South and their misery and the misery of their children can all be scrapped because one day we will be reconciled under the warm glow of heaven.”
As if I needed more books that I may never get around to reading:
The literature anthology at the top and “Perspective on Culture” were in the free bin. The others were no more than $4 apiece. Thank you, McKay Used Books, CDs, Movies, & More, and of course, my obscure reading tastes.
Earlier today, I decided that this post would speak for itself, and I should say nothing more on the issue of Confederate History Month, which is in April, but as I thought through the issues and as a child of the deep South, I thought it would behoove me to say more, as this topic touches, not only on heritage, but as we know, on the legacy of hate, racism and a lot more.
As I noted in the earlier post, the Confederacy was a failed mutiny against the United States. The South, of course, wanted to protect its “necessary evil” and its “peculiar institution” of slavery because its economy was so critically dependent upon it. Not to mention, Southern slave holders and politicians (Not the least of which was Ben Tillman, a key player in the founding my own alma mater, Clemson) used the Bible to validate the seemingly relentless oppression they leveled against an entire race of people.
Yet, Web sites touting thoughts such as these are still evident:
April, as you probably do not know, is Confederate History Month. In less politically correct days, Southern governors had no more problem proclaiming it than they did in proclaiming National Pickle Week. Nowadays most governors are too yellow.
its (sic) unfortunate that a few demagogues and hate-mongers insist on associating the Confederate battle flag with racism, but, hey, you don’t exactly expect knowledge or reasoned debate from racist bigots. …
It fought for a good cause — independence and the right of self-government and the rule of law. Those are such good things so worth fighting for it’s no wonder Yankee propaganda keeps repeating the lie that it was fighting to preserve slavery.
In 1860, of 7 million non-slaves in the South, only 384,000 owned any slaves at all. That means that 6.6 million Southerners were non-slave owners, and if you think that they would leave their homes and farms to fight for the planters’ right to own slaves, you don’t know much about Southern culture. — The Confederacy Project, http://members.cox.net/polincorr1/conpro4.htm
So, the South defended slavery, yet this person says folks who associate the Confederate battle flag with racism are “racist bigots?” Astounding. He/she even said, “you don’t exactly expect knowledge or reasoned debate” from these people.
Well, here’s a hard dose of reason: To celebrate the Confederacy is to celebrate a failed attempt. The fight was not for a good cause. The fight was to attempt to maintain the institution of slavery in the South and to perhaps further its propagation in the West. Hiding behind the causes of “independence and the right of self-government” does no good. Why would it fight for self-government if not to protect slavery? Were there other, more compelling reasons to fight for self-government? I know of none. The issue was not about states’ rights. That was a guise. The Southern states were arguing for self-government so they could more easily further the institution of slavery, on which the vast majority, if not the whole, economy was built.
Thus, as I argued in the previous post, if we as a country are going to have a day to honor Southern heritage, let’s call it what it is. Given the rich culture here, particularly among the numerous great authors that have called this place home, let us simply have a Southern heritage month.
It should not be a Confederate History Month, for on the Confederacy’s watch, some of the worst atrocities to humankind in this country have taken place. Let’s, instead, call it Southern History Month, or something similar. Again, the Confederacy failed, and that battle flag summons nothing but ill will among our black brethren and nothing but ill-will among many of our white brethren, including your’s truly. That flag should be banished to the annuls of history. It’s done. It signifies failure, not heritage. The war is over and has been over for 1 1/2 centuries. Get over it. Slavery is abolished. The South failed and could not sustain itself without slavery. We must move on.