15 April 2010

Exclusive: History Textbook Excerpt

Recent controversies in the Commonwealth of Virginia and elsewhere suggest that some Americans need to go back and study their history a little more closely — with particular emphasis on one specific chapter. I’m here to help, but unfortunately, the only reference I could find is a forthcoming high-school textbook that meets all the latest stipulations of the Texas State Board of Education.

There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair. Look for it only in Texas-approved history textbooks, for it is no more than a dream re­mem­bered. A Civilization gone with the wind.

Causes of the War of Northern Aggression
Northerners, who were not gentlemen, believed in intrusive federal government and the suppression of states’ rights. Southerners, who had superior table manners and always removed their hats indoors, disa­greed with these beliefs, seeing them as incursions on personal liberties, including the right of self-determination and the right to hold private property.

These are rights that the Founding Fathers had agreed to be “inal­ien­able”; now the North proposed a radical rewriting of the basic contracts on which the federal government had been established.

Specifically, the Northern states — like many Socialist governments in more recent times — wanted to restrict the kinds of property that could be owned in the South, and these restrictions in turn would have limited the size of farms and plantations owned by Southerners, with disas­trous consequences for the region’s economy and for the social fabric as a whole. No compensation was proposed, even in cases in which the property had been passed down from father to son, or paid for at auction.

Moreover, in an attempt to impose its belief system on the states in the South, the North deployed an unofficial, private army of political agi­ta­tors (called “abolitionists”), thieves (see Chapter 5, “The Under­ground Rail­road and Other Systems of Robbery”), and even terrorists (see Chapter 6, “John Brown’s Jihad”). This led to frequent disruptions in the economy and daily life of law-abiding Southerners. Meanwhile, Northern newspapers and even preachers endorsed such illegal poli­cies, which made their practice increasingly widespread.

Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the North struck the people of the South in ceaseless blows of rage, and the federal government held the Southern states in an angry grip of unrelenting tyranny. (See Isaiah 14:6)

In our own time, no state would be expected to tolerate this kind of illegal interference by foreign powers. Just so, the states of the South were forced to take certain measures to ensure their national security, to protect their liberties, and to restore the peace.

Going forward, the Southern states trusted in the word of God: they believed that their new Confederation was established in right­eous­ness; and if they prevailed, they would be kept far from Northern op­pres­sion. They did not fear, and terror did not come near them. (See Isaiah 54:14) They also upheld, as never before, the Constitutional right to bear arms.

In the coming chapters of this book, we will see how gallant leaders and individuals across the South joined forces to defend their homes and communities. They endured great sacrifices and bravely faced the enemy’s superior numbers and resources.

Topics for Discussion
  1. Why were the Southern freedom fighters so admirable and heroic? How can we be more like them? In what ways did they act on the word of God?

  2. Why is it so difficult for the federal government to understand and address the needs of individual states? When there are differences of opin­ion, should the interests of the larger group prevail? (See Chapter 38, “Socialism.”)

  3. If the government tried to take away your property, what would you do?

  4. Why should we pay federal income tax? What has the federal gov­ern­ment ever done for you, anyway?

  5. Why are lost causes the only ones worth fighting for?

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