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Why not destroy American monuments?

Slavery, war and the artifacts left behind

Christ Church in Alexandria, Va. — an Episcopal parish where George Washington and Robert E. Lee worshiped — is depicted here. The parish vestry announced on Oct. 26, 2017, that it would remove and relocate memorial plaques in honor of both men, citing a desire to provide a “welcoming” worship space. (Wikimedia Commons)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Destruction of historical statues, icons and documents appears to be one of the latest fads of the Left. This idea seemed a bit quaint for the “hate America” fringe until it caught fire with the Leftist establishment. The removal of the George Washington memorabilia so proudly displayed by Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, convinced many Americans that this fad has joined the leftist orthodoxy and is now a force to be reckoned with.

The primary objection seems to be that many of the most famous Americans were on the wrong side of the slavery issue. Not only does this accusation include the entire Confederate States of America, but also many of the original generation of the American Revolution. It is a serious objection and deserves an answer.

The short answer is that these historical statues and writings can teach us much about the long road our country has traveled in its quest to achieve its fundamental ideal, as stated in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Yet the writer of these words, Thomas Jefferson, and many of the signers of that Declaration, were themselves owners of human slaves. How can that be?

That answer starts with the observation that people do not always live up to their ideals. For civilization to advance, however, we must seek the best ideals and try to live by them. The most important standard we as Americans have adopted and by which we define the advancement of civilization is the Christian ideal — which has become the foundation of American orthodoxy – namely, that “All men are created equal.” Few Americans would disagree with that ideal. But most of us would have to admit that our actions have not always reflected it.

So, now we come to the most notorious violation of that ideal in American history, namely, slavery. In the New World – though not in Arabian, African, Chinese, Native American and many other cultures — slavery was limited to people of African descent. This reality led to the intermingling of slavery and racism, a factor which has complicated the issue throughout our history.

The slavery of Africans was the most contentious issue of the Continental Convention. Then, as now, there were extremists and pragmatists. The extremists on the side of maintaining slavery were Southerners, whose entire economy was built on slavery.  They had also built a whole mythology to justify their use of slaves. It included, as dogma, that the Negro race was inferior to the European race, and was therefore unable to care for its members in a civilized manner. The mythology was very detailed and so stupid, insulting and demonstrably fallacious that it will not be repeated here.

Nevertheless, there were many delegates from the Southern states who were prepared to remain under British rule rather than abolish slavery. The extremists in favor of abolition were from the Northern states and they would rather remain under British rule than found a new country that recognized slavery. Everyone at that convention wanted to revolt against Britain, but the North could not hope to win a war against the British without the South. The South could not sustain its economy if the British tariffs and taxes continued. Besides, men like Virginia Gov. Patrick Henry’s slogan, “Give me liberty or give me death” had swept the South.

In the middle were the pragmatists. Their primary goal was rebellion. Some Northerners were already known for their sentiments and their personal futures were at stake. It was clear to everyone that the two most powerful states, Virginia and Massachusetts, had to be included or there was no chance for an American Revolution to succeed. The Convention was committed to rule by majority vote, but the rural South had fewer white people than industrial New England. If the Negro slaves were not counted, the South was outnumbered and clearly was poised to withdraw from the Convention. The North sent a delegation to Canada to see if they could be induced to join the rebellion, but found no interest. In the end, they did what all politicians do, they compromised. They “kicked the can down the road.”

The issue of slavery haunted the new United States of America until the North became powerful enough to challenge the South in the Civil War. But, all that accomplished after 650,000 deaths was to establish the legal basis for abolition. The problem was far from settled. In fact, with the black migration to northern manufacturing centers in succeeding years, their competition with the white working class provided a new battleground for the racism component of slavery. The old Southern mythology gained new converts.

So, what does all this have to do with the destruction of historical monuments? Keep Reading

INSIDE: THE EARLY YEARS (a Catholic youth searches for his place in the sun)

 

Hi Everybody, 
Announcing the publication of my new memoir, telling the story of  my adventures in getting from a Catholic seminary to a happy marriage, with many stops along the way, some funny, some surprising. Like how I ended up a cabaret singer in Europe, a clothes model in Paris, a quasi-legal pedler in Denver, and other questionable activities. There is also the serious side of leaving the seminary and heading to  Trappist monastery.  Another little sidelight: much of my seminary experience is reflected in my poetry.
 Another description might be: “A love story which begins in a Catholic seminary (of all places!)
My columns, along with recent media interviews can be found on my website: 
As always, comments welcome. Thank you for your support.
Larry Fedewa
 Copies available in Kindle aand paperback at Amazon:

 

Rebuilding from the Hurricane Devastation

Hi Everybody,

Another guest blog by Dr. George Seiler. In a former life he served as a brilliant Air Force engineer. Among many challenges he faced in the line of duty was the planning and supervision of massive rebuilding projects from weather, war and
epidemic. Here is his suggestion for rebuiding from the hurricanes .

This column and many others , along with recent interviews can be found on my website:

http://www.drlarryonline.com

 

As always, comments welcome. Thank you for your support.

Larry Fedewa

Keep Reading

Habitat for Humanity helps D.C. mom of 3

 By Lawrence Fedewa – – Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“It was a great gift to be able to own something like a house and be able to be surrounded by people willing to help me reach this dream.” The speaker is Andrea, a mother of three, one of whom needs 24-hour care. She was giving a tour of her new house, which she with her friends from Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C., had built with her own hands.

Andrea and her children had previously been paying an unaffordable rent for a tiny apartment with no room for her son’s wheelchair and other equipment, among neighbors who complained about her son’s disability. She was facing an impossible situation which every day threatened to get worse if she was evicted. The new home felt like a gift from heaven.

Keep Reading

The Conservative Side of Weene with Lawrence Fedewa

It Matters Radio
Published on Aug 29, 2017

Host Kenneth Weene welcomes writer of The Washington Times, Lawrence Fedewa to speak about his thoughts on politics and why he is a conservative.
Interesting – no matter what political affiliation you may have.Ok9rq7g0″>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnqOk9rq7g0

Free Market Healthcare?

Hi Everybody,

As long as the future of Obamacare is still undecided, we still have time to discuss alternatives. The debate thus far appears to center on how much government subsidies should be included in the final package. Today we look again at how much government involvement is necessary (rather than how much can we afford) to achieve our national goals. With a $20 trillion national debt, a “government lite” approach seems to be in order.

So, let’s look again at what a truly free market healthcare system might really look like — without the hang-ups of past assumptions.

(This column is edited from a version originally published on January 6, 2017. Unfortunately, we haven’t progressed very far since then. )

As always, comments welcome. Thank you for your support.

Larry Fedewa

____________________________________________________________________

What a free-market health care system could look like

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – – Friday, January 6, 2017

As long as we are repealing and replacing Obamacare, the starting point should be setting our goals. American health care should be:

1, High quality, state-of-the-art
2. Available to all — which means
• Affordable
• Abundant
• Well-funded

What are the principal obstacles to these goals?

a. The first and most obvious obstacle is the shortage of medical personnel. This shortage has two facets: not enough medical professionals are produced in the first place, and of those who do enter practice too many drop out before their time. There are whole areas of inner cities and rural America, for example, which have no physicians at all. Why? Because our medical schools do not graduate enough doctors to serve the population of the United States. Why not? Lack of intelligent students? Lack of students who are motivated to give their lives in service to their fellow man? Not at all.

The reason is lack of money

Keep Reading

President pulls right, Pope Francis pulls left

 

FILE – In this May 24, 2017, file photo. U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican. Some evangelical supporters of Trump are seeking a meeting with Pope Francis over a recent critical article

Is Pope Francis I attacking American Christians? Steve Bannon targeted with ‘apocalyptic geopolitics’

By Lawrence Fedewa – – Friday, August 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A controversial article in La Civiltà Cattolica, a Vatican-approved publication, by editor-in-chief Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, an Argentine Presbyterian pastor who leads his country’s edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has attacked the American Christians who supported Donald Trump for the American presidency.

Singled out for special opposition are the so-called “conservative” Catholics and the evangelical Christians and their alleged representative in the White House, Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon is accused of advocating an “apocalyptic geopolitics.”

Taken by itself, the article is long, confusing, wildly inaccurate in its interpretation of American Christianity, and an unremarkable critique by uninformed foreigners of a “straw man,” that is, an opponent created by the authors for the purpose of attacking it (not unlike the “fake news” of America’s media stories).

What gives the article importance is the presumed association with Pope Francis I. Although the Pope has not commented publicly on the article, the publication is published by the Jesuits, the Pope’s religious order, sponsored by the Vatican, and the authors are well-known associates of the Pope. At several points in the text, Pope Francis’ positions are cited as differing from those of the supposed opposition. This context strongly suggests that this article speaks for the Pope. If so, it speaks poorly for the Pope.

In summary, the essence of the piece seems to be that conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants have formed a political alliance in the United States to create a theocracy, based on an Old Testament-oriented, fundamentalist ideology, which seeks to establish the literal interpretation of the Bible as the basis of American law. Adherents to this view are called “value voters.” As their means of promoting this view, they are full of “gloom and doom” scenarios about threats to the “American way of life.” The need for drastic changes is therefore urgent. It is not surprising that the authors liken this movement to the jihad of radical Islam. To top off their point of view, they describe the vehicle for this domination of American life as the Trump administration.

They contrast this terrifying threat of apocalypse with traditional Catholic (and biblical) belief that the Kingdom of God is not of this world. Here they are a little ambiguous (to say the least) because the Bible clearly sequences the Last Judgement as part of the apocalypse. Nevertheless, the authors accuse their opponents of seeking a “heaven on earth” which can only be achieved by winning the “war of religions.” The true Christian message is to treat everyone with love as preached by Pope Francis, “Love not war!” How all this ties together is not made clear by the authors..

What to make of all this?

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The Death of Democracy and “We the People”

By Colonel George Seiler, USAF (ret.), Ph.D., (Thursday, August 10, 2017)

We have elections to let the people, the US citizens, voice their opinion in the form of a vote.  For many years I have professed that we overthrow the current government with ballots, and not bullets.  The US was one of the few countries where the loser did not have to get out of town.  The loser could even still display the bumper sticker of his losing candidate, and not worry about his windows getting shattered, or his car burned and vandalized.  It was OK to express your opinion, and after the election, the two parties blended together to make America flourish, make a better life for the kids and grandkids, expand the family living quarters, save up for a new car, or college. Become a journeyman at a trade, like electrician, HVAC, auto maintenance, new buildings, new roads and bridges. Politics was at least 2 years away, and the Presidential election was 4 years away.

In the interim, people respected the office of the President.  It was taught in our schools to do so.  We rallied for or against policy, legislation bills, changes in treaties, new treaties, American involvement on the world front to keep us safe.

But in 2016/2017 something appalling happened.  Keep Reading