Category Archives: Christianity

Another Murder By Immigrant

Christianity, Crime, IMMIGRATION, Islam

In the days ahead, expect The Rule to kick in for murderer Emanuel Kidega Samson: If the shooter is black (check); he’s mentally ill; if he’s white; he’s a hater.

But the main thing you need to know about 25-year-old Samson is that if immigration authorities had not welcomed him with open arms (“diversity is strength”), two decades back—39-year-old Melanie Smith of Smyrna would be alive. Six other parishioners of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, in Nashville, Tennessee, “all of whom were aged over 60,” would not have been injured and traumatized.

The surviving victims [of this church shooting] include Minister Joey Spann, who is in critical condition, and his wife, Peggy Spann, 65, who is in stable condition. The other victims are all in stable condition: Linda Bush, 68; William Jenkins, 83; Marlene Jenkins, 84; Katherine Dickerson, 64; and Robert Engle, 22, the usher who stopped the gunman, police said.

(When the story broke on TV, I checked Drudge, the Washington Times and the New York Times, but found news of the shooting on BBC News only, which still covers The News.)

The Universality Of The Confederate Cause

Christianity, Democracy, Europe, Federalism, Founding Fathers, History, Political Philosophy, States' Rights

Dr. Boyd D. Cathey’s
SPEECH for CONFEDERATE FLAG DAY, LOUISBURG, March 19, 2017

Thank you. I appreciate that kind introduction. I always like being over in Franklin County. You see, my mother’s was a “Perry,” and although my branch remained up in Perquimans County for about eighty years after the first Perrys came to this part of North Carolina, I have been assured by family genealogists and by  my own research that I’m kin to most of the folks with that last name in this area. So, in a way, I’m a Franklin County boy, and I also count many good folks out this way as dear friends.

Today is a special day, and it is special not just for the citizens of Franklin County. It is special because here—right here in Louisburg—156 years ago, the first Confederate flag was designed and flown. Here, on this spot, began the epic of Americans attempting not only to keep and preserve the republic handed down to them as a legacy by their grandfathers, but also the effort by force of arms to repel the broader attempt by what Europeans have called “the Revolution,” or, what I call global progressivism, to overcome and defeat one of the last remnants of true Western Christian tradition. That remnant was the Confederate South.

Let me explain with some historical context.

I begin with the French Revolution. The intellectual currents that produced that upheaval were already percolating during the early 18th century. In its eventual aims that revolution was not just a violent effort to destroy the French monarchy. No, its intellectual leadership and its practical executors were intent on dethroning the power of religious tradition and, in effect, rejecting the belief in a God Who was Lord of all Creation. In His place they would enthrone what they called “the goddess of Reason” in the heart of Paris, in Notre Dame Cathedral.

Of course, these were the extremists; not all the revolutionaries would go quite so far or advocate such radical measures.  But all of those who soon denominated themselves as “liberals” would accept the primacy of reason and place man at the center of the universe, in effect, displacing God. I think we should keep that fundamental point in mind as we look at subsequent history on into the 19th century.

It is true the Founders of our American republic were familiar with the French radicals, and, although a few read them and expressed a mild enthusiasm for a few of their ideas, most of the Founders of our old republic rejected the radical democracy and the extremely destructive ideas of that revolution.  In a real sense, the formerly loyal colonists left Great Britain and declared their independence to vindicate their traditional rights and duties as patriotic Englishmen. That is, to use the words of the great historian, Bernard Bailyn, ours was a “revolution averted, not made.”

Our Constitution was configured as a very conservative document.  The paramount rights of the various states were fully recognized. And what we might call “liberal democracy” and across-the-board equality were avoided.

What do I mean by that?

First, the Founders set up a system that was balanced, based deeply in English law. Three branches of government were established as check-and-balance safeguards against tyranny. Only those citizens who really had an interest in the new commonwealth would have a real voice in its governance.  It was up to each state to decide the qualifications for voting and for holding public office. And most states had a religious qualification for elected office holders.  For instance, in North Carolina up until 1868 you had to be a Christian to hold elective office.  As for voting, most states required voters to hold some kind of property—that is, they had to have some actual and real interest in the country. Our forefathers figured that only if you had an interest—an involvement—could you be truly trusted to cast a vote.

Let me point out, parenthetically, that the Supreme Court never declared such conditions and qualifications illegal or unconstitutional in the 19th century. Only in our benighted modern era have such decisions been made. But it is equally evident and clear that the Founders had no intention whatsoever to in any way impede religion or the states’ establishing Christianity in their respective territories. To make that assertion is to reveal an abysmal ignorance of history.

Let us jump forward to 1860. Up until that time the general consensus had been that the old republican system established by the Constitution of 1787 was and should be the basis for American life. But beginning early in the life of our republic there were a few voices—not many, but a few—that advocated greater centralization and more radical changes. Even in the Northern states, those voices were a minority for most of our ante-bellum period. Yet, those voices who thought that way were loud and boisterous.

Certainly, the issue of slavery entered this discussion, beginning in 1820 with the debates over the Missouri Compromise. But even then, the issue for most members of Congress was not slavery itself, but the power, both economic and political, of the states. It was the great Nathaniel Macon, North Carolina’s only Speaker of the House of Representatives, who saw clearly what was brewing.  For him the issue boiled down to the power of the Federal government to dictate to the states the disposition of their property.  If the Federal government could do that, he said, then a war between the states—that is, between those who believed in states’ rights and those who did not—would be the eventual result.

In 1861 North Carolina very reluctantly left the Federal union, but only after the Lincoln administration had demanded troops to invade South Carolina.  As members of the North Carolina Secession Convention declared, if a free state, a former colony, had freely entered the Federal union, then it could, with justice, freely leave that union if there were serious and grave reasons.  Indeed, many of the original thirteen colonies actually said so in the acts of joining the union.

When North Carolina seceded on May 20, 1861, it did so on the anniversary date of its 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Our state declared that the bond of union was dissolved and that as a free people we were re-vindicating our rights as citizens under the original American Constitution and not the one abused and scorned by the Lincoln administration.

Now let us return to my earlier discussion of what I termed “the Revolution.” And let’s examine how the actions taken in 1861 and our Southern crusade were viewed worldwide. The efforts of the Southern Confederacy on the battlefield, 1861-1865, were seen by many traditionalists in Europe as part of a global counter-revolution—the resistance—against the revolutionary poison unleashed by the French Revolution.

When I studied in Spain for my doctorate and later in Switzerland, I began to read and examine documents in various archives detailing the enthusiastic support that many persons, writers, even sovereigns, in Europe gave to the Confederacy. Thousands—yes, thousands—of volunteers came to the South to fight for the Confederacy.

Let me give some fascinating and incredible examples.

First, probably very few Americans know anything about the old Kingdom of Naples.  It ceased to exist in early 1861, after the forces of the liberal Kingdom of Piedmont-Savoy defeated it, thereby establishing the modern Kingdom of Italy. The Kingdom of Naples was hated with a passion by European liberals. For them it was backward, too bound to tradition and custom, too undemocratic, too hierarchical.  After an heroic fight the last Neapolitan army was defeated in February of 1861.

And then, guess what happened?  As many as perhaps 2,000 of those soldiers of the old, traditionalist Kingdom of Naples got on boats and sailed for New Orleans to volunteer to fight for the new Confederacy. Many of them formed the Italian Brigade that fought valiantly in Louisiana, along the Mississippi, and most notably at the Battle of Mansfield. Many lie buried in Southern soil, honored by our SCV compatriots down in Louisiana and Mississippi. Some returned to Italy.

Back in 1977 I visited a museum and revered historic site outside the city of Naples. There, over the hallowed memorial to Neapolitan Confederates, flew side by side a Third National Confederate Flag and the Royal Standard of the old Kingdom of Naples—gone maybe, but not forgotten.

That story is not well known, but it is not unique. In Spain I discovered that as many as 1,000 Spanish Traditionalists, or Carlists, who rose up against Liberalism in their own country under the motto, “God, Country, our Regional Rights, and our King,” came to Texas to volunteer for the Confederacy. They came by way of Mexico and fought in Confederate ranks at Sabine Pass and at other battles. According to Spanish military historian, David Odalric de Caixal, some enlisted in the Louisiana Tigers. Others found their way as far afield as the 34th and 41st Tennessee regiments. A few even ended up in the Army of Northern Virginia, where General A. P. Hill called them “his rough, tattered lions sent by Providence.”

In Spain one of my dearest friends, the Baron of Montevilla, had an ancestor who traveled to Texas to fight for the Confederacy. When his ancestor returned to Spain, an acquaintance asked him: “How can you justify fighting for two lost causes?” To which my friend’s ancestor replied: “A lost cause is never really lost if the fight is for what is true and what is right.”

Additional volunteers for the Confederate cause came from France and other European countries. We all should remember the great Prussian officer, Johann Heros von Borcke, who rode gallantly with General Jeb Stuart and distinguished himself throughout the war. Returning to Prussia after the war, he continued to fly our flag at his estate until his death. And who can forget Major General the Prince Camille de Polignac, from an old and noble traditionalist French family, who came and on the death of General Alfred Mouton, assumed command of Mouton’s division at the Battle of Mansfield? Among his troops were Texas frontiersmen, and apparently many of them could not pronounce his last name. So they called him “Gen’ral Polecat.”  But they loved him just the same, and would have followed him to the gates of Hell. Interestingly, the Prince de Polignac was the last surviving Confederate Major General, passing away in 1913.

In recent years it has been our Battle Flag that has flown as the people of East Germany tore down the Berlin Wall.  And today in the centuries-old Russian-speaking area of Ukraine—the Donbas—as those valiant people attempt to secede from an oppressive, centralized and imposed Ukrainian state, they fly a replica of our Battle Flag as a sign of the defense of their liberties and their belief in their Christian and Russian heritage.

What I am saying, my friends, is that our cause, the cause of the Confederacy, the cause symbolized by that flag that flies here today, was and is a cause that has universal meaning.

In the eyes of European traditionalists the Southern Confederacy represented the finest of Western Christian heritage. They could identify with leaders like Lee, Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, Stuart, and others. Of course, most of those European supporters were Catholic, not Protestant, but they shared a fundamental world view of an order under God, a belief in Divine and Natural Law, an understanding that society is composed of families in communities, and an allegiance to the idea of states’ rights, which they called subsidiarity.  That is, what can be done on a lower level of government, very simply should be done on that level closer to the people, and not on a higher level.

But those Europeans also saw the heroic virtue of the South, and it was an heroic virtue based in the chivalry and honor of Christian tradition.  It was opposed to the growing Liberalism in the North.  That Liberalism advanced a progressivist view that history was an unfolding evolution of human perfectibility, throwing off older beliefs and what they called the “myths” and chains of tradition. Whether those boys in butternut and gray who sank deep in the cold mud trenches at Petersburg completely realized it or not, they were defending Western Christian tradition against Liberal Modernism. And thus they stood with their traditionalist brothers in Europe and elsewhere who also rejected the progressivist vision of history.

My friends, for 152 years we have watched as the results of Southern military defeat have metastasized like a voracious cancer. Sixty years ago many Southerners felt that we had reached a real understanding with the Progressivists. We were mostly left alone; we had a thriving literature with America’s greatest writers in our midst. Hollywood made films that treated us at least with some sympathy. Our colleges taught real history. Although still suffering the deep economic consequences of military defeat, our people had made giant strides of recovery.

All that changed beginning in the 1960s. Since then, not only here in our beloved Southland, but in America generally, the Progressivist revolution has taken aim, and the targets are many: our politics—-our entertainment industry—-our educational system—-and our churches. It is as if a giant infection and subversion have taken place. Indeed, I would assert that they have taken place, and, sadly, most of our fellow citizens have been lulled by the false victories by politicians who promise us one thing, but once in office, go along to get along with a powerful progressivist establishment.  And that establishment will accept no dissent.

We are at ground zero in this cultural and political war.  And although our particular conflict concerns basically our Southern heritage, our legacy, and our symbols, it also involves, as I said earlier, a broader battle for Western Christian civilization, itself.

When I was in Spain pursuing graduate studies, my good friend called the Southern soldiers who gave their lives at Gettysburg, Bentonville, and other battle sites—he called them “Paladins of Christian Civilization.” I think that is very true.

Remember fifty years ago when Raleigh’s Channel 5, WRAL-TV, would sign off by playing “Dixie”? The times have changed radically.  The Revolution has made a lot of progress since then. Now our flags and precious relics are hidden away in dusty museums, our songs are banned, our symbols are labeled as “hateful.”

So it is for us, under that flag, to redouble our commitment to those principles that our ancestors held dear and for which they bled and died. That may mean that we lose friends or even lose positions. It may even mean that we must spend years, perhaps decades, in a kind of dark catacomb. But if we are faithful to those principles and to that memory—if we are faithful to the precious inheritance that we have received—-if we are faithful to that flag and what it stands for—-then we shall have done our duty.

For our principles are timeless and they only fall if we relinquish the field of battle. We cannot and must not.

As I grow older, the words of my Spanish friend’s ancestor resound constantly in my ears: “A lost cause is never truly lost if the fight is for what is true and what is right.”

That is our obligation before the long shadow of our ancestors and before the judgment of Almighty God. We can and should do no less.

Thank you, and God bless the South!

*****

References:

David Odalric de Caixal, in the Spanish journal, La Santa Causa. Accessed online at: http://www.geocities.ws/boinasrojas/impresa.html.

M. Estella, “Un historiador investiga la presencia de carlistas en la Guerra de Secession,” Diario de Navarra [Pamplona], December 9, 2011. Accessed online at: http://www.diariodenavarra.es/noticias/navarra/tierra_estella_valdizarbe/un_historiador

_investiga_presencia_carlistas_guerra_secesion_57393_1006.html

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~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

‘Conservatives’ Fail Litmus Test As Defenders Of ‘Western & Christian Tradition

America, Britain, Christianity, Communism, Conservatism, Constitution, History, Left-Liberalism, Neoconservatism, States' Rights

By Dr. Boyd Cathey (who, as is his wont, has covered it all—except for one other defining issue on which conservatives have failed miserably: Their gushing support for Mandela and his ANC).

You can tell a lot about a person by the friends he cherishes, and you can intuit much about how a writer thinks on one topic by how he thinks on another, related topic. This surmise is not always true in every case, but, I think it applies in a great majority of situations. Tell me what a person—a distinguished author, a political leader, a cultural icon—believes, his perspective, on this or that significant historical event, and you can usually gather a valid impression of his world view and overarching philosophy.

A few years back I created my own measure, my own test, as it were, to determine on which side of immense and fundamentally unbridgeable divides various writers and authors, politicians, and others come down. It seemed to me that we could take, historically, several major conflicts and wars, that fundamentally shaped not only subsequent history, but also, indelibly, the consciousness, thinking and cultural outlook of succeeding generations, and utilize them as markers.

I came up with the following five:

1)     The  English Civil War, 1642-1651;

2)     The French Revolution, 1789-1799, also including the Napoleonic Period, 1799-1815;

3)     The War Between the States, 1861-1865;

4)     The Communist Revolution, 1917-1920; and

5)     The Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.

I won’t dwell at length on my reasons for selecting these conflicts as measures—I will save that discussion for another time. But I will say I believe how we think about them clearly illustrates where a person stands in relation to the accumulated inheritance—that great continuum—of Western and Christian tradition. Respond correctly on all five (as I see it), and you are a staunch defender of that heritage and most probably have been able, in some fashion, to understand the fundamental connection those conflicts have in the context of our civilization and our willingness to defend it.

Obviously, for most self-described “conservatives,” there are at least two “giveaways” in my list, that is, two of the five questions they would very likely answer correctly: about the French Revolution and the Communist Revolution. Most “conservatives,” if queried, would have certainly opposed them.

It becomes harder after that, and, I suggest, even more critical to a determination. Not that many current “conservative” writers or politicians are intimately familiar with the history, causes, and issues surrounding the English Civil War.  Yet, I would state most vigorously that issues debated then were, in microcosm and incipiently, some of the issues we continue to debate today, and that a faithful and thinking defender of the continuity of Western tradition must, necessarily, come down on the side of the Royalists, as opposed to Oliver Cromwell’s authoritarian experiment in democracy. King Charles, for all his mistakes and bad decisions, nevertheless, represented the traditions of his country and, as he stated at his famous trial, represented “more the people of England” than the rump “democratic” dictatorship of the Cromwellians and Roundheads.

Back in the 1960s, back when William F. Buckley’s magazine, National Review and Russell Kirk’s journal, Modern Age, were arguably truly conservative, the question concerning the Spanish Civil War would have, likewise, been a giveaway. Almost all conservatives would have viewed that conflict in the light of a much larger, universal conflict between international Communism and those forces opposed to it, and this despite the fact that the anti-Republican Nationalist forces led by Francisco Franco did receive some support from Fascist Italy and Hitler’s Germany (while the Soviet Union not only supported the Republic, but eventually via the Spanish Communist Party eliminated most of its opposition in Spanish Republican ranks). But not today; indeed,  many of the dominant “conservatives” of 2017—the Neoconservatives—come down passionately on the side of the socialist Republic, and, employing the linguistic armor of the Left, they attack the Nationalist, Catholic and traditionalist forces that fought against the Republic, as “fascists.”

Finally, there is the War Between the States, and it is here, in this case, where we indeed can separate the true traditionalist conservatives who comprehend and accept the continuum of Western Christian civilization, its virtues, and its authority, and those who have, in reality and to varying degrees, severed themselves from that continuity. It is here that we can range on one side those who accept and participate in that “great chain of being”—that fundamentally religious and hierarchical structure of all matter and life, decreed by God, Himself, and present in our historical consciousness, and those who do not accept it. For support, in some form, of the Confederacy becomes that crucial measure that determines not just a political outlook about states’ rights and the original meaning of the American Constitution. It also demonstrates a vision of reality and of our existence as human beings created  by and subservient to God as part of an organic whole, a Creation which must continually be protected and defended against those who would seek to puncture it,  or distort its meaning, if not, eventually, to subvert or destroy it.

Certainly, there are those of good will and, let us call it, “invincible ignorance” who have been educated to think that the primary issue in 1861 was slavery, and that Abraham Lincoln was simply reacting to those “rebels” who wished to destroy “the sacred bonds” of Union, while advancing the great humanitarian cause of “freedom.” So much for the caliber and character of our contemporary educational system, not to mention Hollywood’s ideologically tendentious (and mostly successful) attempts to influence us. Yet, that mythology surrounding the Southern Iliad of 1861-1865 will not stand serious cross-examination.

Consider these popular myths and shibboleths:

The War was about slavery!” Not really accurate: the war aims cited repeatedly by Lincoln and Northern publicists were that the War was to “preserve the Union.” Indeed, if abolition of slavery had been declared as the principle war aim in 1861, most likely a great majority of Union political leaders, not to mention Union soldiers, would have recoiled, and the Northern war effort would most likely have collapsed. It was difficult enough to gain wide support in the North, as it was. Remember, Lincoln was elected with less than 40% of the vote in 1860, and barely gained pluralities in most Northern states.

“Lincoln freed the slaves!” Not so; Lincoln freed not one slave. His Emancipation Proclamation, issued first on September 22, 1862 and finalized on January 1, 1863, supposedly “freeing the slaves,” only applied to those areas not under Union military control or occupation, that is, territory of the independent Southern states. It did not apply to the “slave states” within the Union or controlled by the Union military, including Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Thus, Lincoln’s proclamation “freed” slaves where his action had no effect, but left it untouched where he could have “freed” them. Not only that, exactly one month prior to his initial proclamation he had been interviewed by Horace Greeley, editor of The New York Tribune, where he forthrightly stated: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it… What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union….” [August 22, 1861] The amendments to end slavery came after the conclusion of the war and after the death of Lincoln.

And most recently this charge: “Robert E. Lee and other Confederate military leaders who had been in the US Army committed treason by violating their oaths to defend the Union, and Confederate leaders were in rebellion against the legitimately elected government of the United States.”

It is this accusation that has become the ultimate weapon of choice—the “ultima ratio”—for today’s fierce opponents of the various monuments that honor Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, P. G. T. Beauregard, and other Confederate military leaders, and for the belief that they should be taken down. And most especially, it is spewed forth as unassailable gospel by many Neoconservative writers, publicists, pundits, and their less distinguished camp followers in much of the NeverTrump elites of the Republican Party.

Most recently, we have witnessed the spectacle of Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, apparently “channeling” (!) Robert E. Lee and declaring that if Marse Robert were alive today he would gleefully join in the chorus to bring down those monuments honoring Confederate soldiers and leaders. Tell us, Rich, so the great general would be there right beside the “antifa” Marxists and Black Lives Matter vandals, that is, those “new” friends you have made over on the extreme left?

Even more obtuse views come from Mona Charen, a long time Neocon publicist and NeverTrumper, who fears that the GOP is “being taken over by Trumpists and Neo-Confederates”! Perish the thought, Mona!

But it is from the foul mouths of “conservatives” Andrew Bacevitch and Max Boot that the worst venom emits, and, fascinatingly, it could have just as well come from a member of the communist Workers’ World Party as from Bacevitch (who writes for The American Conservative, but voted for Obama twice) or Boot (who was John McCain’s foreign policy advisor during McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign).

Just a few quotes from Bacevitch:

“My complaint about Lee—I admit this to my everlasting shame—was not that he was a slaveholder who in joining the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery. It was that he had thereby engineered the killing of many thousands of American patriots who (whatever their views on slavery and race) wished simply to preserve the Union. At the beginning of the Civil War, Lee famously remarked that he could not bring himself to take up arms against his home state of Virginia. This obliged him to take up arms against the very nation that as a serving officer he had sworn to defend? No less than Benedict Arnold, Robert E. Lee was a traitor. This became, and remains, my firm conviction.”

And then this from Boot:

“…what is it that we are supposed to be grateful to the Confederates for? For seceding from the Union? For, in the case of former U.S. Army officers such as Lee and Jackson, violating their oaths to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”? For triggering the most bloody conflict in American history? For fighting to keep their fellow citizens in bondage?” 

Now, these individuals are, supposedly, well-educated, with valuable university degrees, writers of some (I would submit, undeserved) repute. I do not believe they fall into the category of invincible ignorance; I do not believe that will suffice as an explanation or excuse for the hatred-laced and furious animus they demonstrate against a Lee or any other faithful military leader of the Confederacy. Rather, they fall clearly on that other side of my unbridgeable divide—they implicitly, through this major indicator and precisely because they are educated, reject the continuum of Western Christian civilization. They may protest not, but, in effect and through their views, they effectively do so. And, as such, they are the enemies of those who do defend that great chain of being, that European inheritance of those who went before us, the legacy of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. Thus, they must be called out and their vision denounced for what it is: the “Fifth Column” of the progressivist Revolution that seeks to radically remake the world and man…and that remade image is not one that comes from God.

Two years ago, in 2015, in response to the hysteria (including the actions of the invincibly stupid Nikki Haley) concerning the display of Confederate flags after the criminal acts of Dylann Roof, I authored a long essay, first published in the Confederate Veteran magazine, and then picked up by the Abbeville Institute. Much of the ludicrous reasoning offered by Bacevitch, Boot, Lowry, and Charen (and other Neocons) I attempted to answer back then, in particular the utterly ridiculous charge that General Lee somehow violated his oath to defend the Constitution as a member of the US Army. Accordingly, I reproduce portions of that essay today.

Lastly, Dr. Lee Cheek has written a shorter, but fine, defense of General Lee, and I pass that on as well.

Once again, I ask your indulgence: there is much here, but in these critical times, it is incumbent upon us to be informed…and prepared for the battles ahead.

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~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.

There Can Be No Unity With Those Who Desire Your Extinction

Christianity, Constitution, Democracy, Federalism, History, Nationhood, Racism, Reason, Republicans, States' Rights

Dr. Boyd D. Cathey

All over the news these days you hear various anguished personalities, political and otherwise, with pained expressions on their faces, voices trembling, even a furtive tear or two, pleading for national unity. “Can’t we all get along,” they mumble, echoing words uttered decades ago by Rodney King. (Remember him from the violence in the streets of Los Angeles?).

But I have a question, and it seems to me to be absolutely central: “Unite around what?” What is that principle or foundation of beliefs around which we should unify? If we posit a series of beliefs, a credo, which we hold as fundamental, and if we hold that those principles and vision for a just society come to us as a precious legacy from our ancestors and from our Western Christian traditions, will there be—can there be—any agreement, any unity with those who openly and forcefully reject that foundation and those essential principles as irretrievably laced with and poisoned by racism, sexism, homophobia, and “white privilege,” not to mention hints of “fascism” and other not-so-pleasant “isms”?

The American republic was formed through a kind of understood compromise between the colonies; the Authors of our constitutional system fully comprehended that there were diverse elements and interests that must be balanced to make the new nation at all workable. But in 1787 there was enough essential agreement on fundamentals that a seemingly miraculous result was possible. Yet, those far-sighted men also feared what might happen should that which they created be perverted or turned from its original propositions. The central Federal government was counter-balanced and limited by newly and fiercely independent states which jealously guarded a large portion of their own sovereignty.

Voting was universally restricted to those considered most qualified to exercise the franchise. Universal suffrage was considered by the near totally of the Fathers of our Constitution to be a sure means of destroying the young republic: absolute democracy and across-the-board egalitarian views were considered fatal for the future of the country. Such views were sidelined to the periphery, without practical voice in the running of the commonwealth.

The American republic was, in all but name, a “Christian” republic. Certainly, the basic documents of our founding did not formally state as much. There was no formal national “religious establishment,” as existed in almost all European countries. Yet, despite that lack of national confessionality, the new nation, while demanding freedom for religious expression, professed de facto the Christian faith as a kind of understood basis of the new nation. As is often pointed out, almost immediately after adopting the Bill of Rights in 1791 (authored, ironically, by slaveholder James Madison), including the “freedom of religion” First Amendment, Congress provided for paid Christian chaplains in the new Northwest Territories. Even more confirming is the fact that nearly every one of the original thirteen colonies/new states had a “religious establishment” or religious test of some sort on the state level, and those establishments were left completely untouched by the First Amendment, which was understood to mean only the formal establishment of a national supported state church.

Above all, there existed amongst the new Americans the ability to converse and communicate with each other, using the same language, and employing the same symbols and imagery that had brought them together originally as a country. Appeals to traditional English law and the historic “rights of Englishmen,” the belief in a God of the Old and New Testament whose prescriptions found in Holy Writ informed both the laws of the state and the understanding of justice and virtue, and an implicit, if not explicit, agreement that there were certain limits of thought and action beyond which one could not go without endangering the republican experiment, formed a kind of accepted public orthodoxy.

That modus vivendi—that ability to get along and agree on most essentials—continued, sometimes fitfully, until 1861. The bloody War Between the States that erupted that year might have been avoided if the warnings of the Authors of the Constitution had been heeded, if the Federal executive in 1861 had understood the original intentions of 1787 and the precarious structural balance that the Philadelphia Convention had erected. But that was not the case, and four years of brutal war followed, with over half a million dead and thousands more maimed, and, most tragically, that essential “via media” between an increasingly powerful central government and the rights of the states and of communities, and eventually, of persons, distorted and perverted.

The resulting trajectory towards centralization, the growth of a powerful Federal government, has continued nearly unabated for 150 years. With it and with the gradual destruction of not just the rights of the states, but also of communities and persons, came the institutionalization of a large and mostly unseen permanent bureaucracy, a managerial and political class, that took upon itself the role of actually ruling and running the nation. James Burnham and the late Samuel Francis have written profoundly on this creation of a managerial state within the state. Indeed, in more recent days we have come to label this establishment the “Deep State.”

Concurrent with this transformation governmentally and politically, our society and our culture have equally been transformed. It is certainly arguable that the defeat of the Confederate states in 1865, that is, the removal of what was essentially a conservative and countervailing element in American polity, enabled the nearly inevitable advance of a more “liberal” vision of the nation. At base, it was above all the acceptance by post-war Americans of nearly all persuasions of the Idea of Progress, the vision that “things”—events, developments in thought and in the sciences and in culture, as well in governing—were inevitably moving towards a bright new future. It was not so much to the past we would now look, but to the “new” which always lay ahead of us.

And that future was based squarely on the idea of an “enlightenment” that always seemed to move to the political and cultural Left. While loudly professing and pushing for more “openness” and more “freedom,” liberation from the “straightjacket” of traditional religion and religious taboos, and propounding equality in practically every field of public and private endeavor, ironically, the underlying effect and result of this “progress” has brought with it in reality a severe curtailment of not just many of our personal liberties, but of the guaranteed rights once considered sacrosanct under our old Constitution.

I would argue, as well, that this long term, concerted movement, and eventual triumph of nineteenth-century liberalism and twentieth century progressivism, politically, culturally, and in our churches, not only placed into doubt those essential and agreed-upon elements that permitted the country to exist in some form of “unity,” but also enabled the growth of ideologies and belief systems that, at base, rejected the very foundations, the fragile creed, of that origination.

In one of the amazing turnarounds in history, the fall of Soviet Communism in 1991—hollowed out and decaying after years of boasting that it would “bury” the West—witnessed almost concurrently the exponential growth and flourishing of an even more insidious and seductive version of Marxism in the old Christian West, in Europe and the United States. A century of the ravages and termite-like devastation by liberalism and progressivist ideology had debilitated the foundations—and the requisite will—to resist the attractions of a cultural Marxism that eventually pervaded our culture, our education, our entertainment industry, and our establishment religious thought.

Older and gravely weakened inherited standards and once-revered benchmarks of right and wrong, of justice, of rights and duties, were replaced by what the Germans call a “gestalt,” or a kind of settled overarching Marxist view of society and culture which had no room for opposing views. Dr. Paul Gottfried has written extensively on this phenomenon.

That dogmatic vision now pervades our colleges and public education; it almost totally dominates Hollywood; it controls the Democratic Party and large swathes of the Republican Party; it speaks with ecclesiastical authority through the heresiarchs who govern most of our churches; and, most critically, it provides a linguistic template—an approved language—that must be accepted and employed, lest the offender be charged with “hate speech” or “hate thought.” Its goals—the imposition of a beguiling but ultimately phony democracy not just in the United States but across the face of the globe—the legislation of an across-the-board equality which is reminiscent of the kind of “equality” the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm “legislated”—the perpetuation of a largely unseen, unanswerable, unstoppable managerial and political class, secure in its power and omnipotence—the proclamation of the United State (and Europe) as an “open nation with no physical borders”—have been and are being realized.

It is this overlay, this suffocating ideological blanket, with its dogmas of multicultural political correctness, its anathematization of perceived “racism,” “sexism,” homophobia,” “nativism,” and other characterized forms of “bigotry” as unforgivable sins, that now has assumed near total dominance in our society. The older forms of liberalism were incapable of offering effective opposition, for cultural Marxism utilized liberalism’s arguments to essentially undo it, and eventually, absorb it.

Yet, there were and are still millions of Americans—and Europeans—who have been left behind, not yet swept up in that supposedly ineluctable movement to the Left. They are variously labeled the “deplorables,” or perhaps if they do not share completely the reigning presumptions of the Mainstream Media and academia, they are “bigots” or “yahoos,” uninformed “rednecks,” and, increasingly, maybe “white nationalists,” or worse. The prevailing utter condescension and contempt for them by the established Deep State would make the most severe witch-burner of the 17th century envious.

So, again, I ask: unify around what? Unite with whom? On what basis and on what set of fundamental beliefs and principles? Can there be such unity with those who wish your extinction and replacement?

Frankly, I don’t think so…unless millions have a “road to Damascus” conversion, or some major conflagration occurs to radically change hearts and minds.

******

~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.