Defending American Veterans’ Monuments in Virginia — Deo Vindice

Why am I reblogging this? My parents were born in the midwest, Wisconsin and Indiana.  As far as I know, none of my ancestors had anything to do with the enslavement of blacks, the Civil War, or the outrages that followed.

I am American. American history is the history of my country. To understand my country, I need to know its history, and those monuments, even the ones that are racist, help us all to understand what has gone before so that we can learn from our nation’s past.

Monday, February 3rd 2020, the Virginia Senate Committee on Cities consolidated three bills into one to allow cities and counties to remove American Veterans’ monuments. The intent of the bill is to remove Confederate monuments and continue the cultural cleansing of all things Confederate and Southern from Virginia. Unfortunately, the bill passed and will go […]

via Defending American Veterans’ Monuments in Virginia — Deo Vindice

27 thoughts on “Defending American Veterans’ Monuments in Virginia — Deo Vindice

  1. These monuments have been in place for many years now as have many monuments representing the Union part of the “Two Americas” argument (Confederate vs Union). Here’s the thought I have: If we go about destroying the confederate era monuments, why will the time not come when somebody will get the idea to dispose of all the Union monuments also? Is one more representative of a moral evil than the other? I know that slavery is inexcusable but I also believe that trying to kill half the American Population in a Civil War over a political question is just as much inexcusable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @John

      We can only guess what excuse somebody would use, but logic won’t have much to do with it. This is all about being confronted with uncomfortable reminders of the past that humanity is quite capable of bloody stupidity and malice.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. @John

          When people give monument over to the government to manage, the government has one basic job, keep that monument safe as a memorial. The idea is that government should be the most reliable protector, but politicians can’t be trusted.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Unfortunately, the politicians have the power to influence the government to the point that even the Grand Canyon could be turned into an amusement park if it struck their fancy. We need a law to absolutely protect all monuments from destruction by interest groups and their allies. In come cases, I think it might even be possible to consider the Lincoln Memorial as racist, given proper application of the correct inversions of reasoning to make it so. For example, some nut case might come up with the fact that the Lincoln Monument celebrates one of the darkest periods in American History … or some other nut case might decide that The Lincoln Monument might be a pro-African-American and Anti-Caucasian statement … there is no telling what kind of mindset could cause such anomolies … but the danger is always there. I say leave the damned Monuments alone because, right, wrong or indifferent, there are many Americans with their emotions and their ancestry tied up in them. The Confederacy, whether right or wrong, is an indelible part of our common heritage and I do not believe it can be erased … nor should it be …I don’t think it can be done, actually …. as long as there are living descendents of the period with access to any information about it.

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  2. Tom Tsalmon, Micheal

    Discerning this post and you two brothers comments and Michaels post inspired me to write a post.on my opinions on the truth of this issue of cultural cleansing..

    I doubt it will make a difference, but I believe you three will comprehend the truth of the issue and message of my post.

    If interested,

    https://rudymartinka.com/2020/02/09/king-solomon-blog-blind-men-cultural-cleansing/

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All monuments are not created equal. I would think that each monument has its own value in historical heritage and it’s own historical context (either to honor valor, or as an emblem of white supremacy, or as a monument to complex mixed motives). It would seem that what a given community wishes to honor and promote about itself on its own most prominent public spaces should be factored in as well.

    Rather than sweeping laws that either mandate the complete preservation of the most awful and ugly monuments to hate, or instead to force the mass removal of important historical artifacts, why not lay down some specific due process procedures under state law and then let the community that governs the public space decide what they want to preserve or renew or put into better context?

    The law is not always good at providing perfect answers to complex and emotional issues where citizens feel that their interests and rights are in conflict. We hope to get perfect justice from God, but often the best we get out of the law is a more or less imperfect process.

    It tickles me, however, that the same folks who don’t believe that minimal education or minimal health care or freedom of sexual partnership should be a God given government protected right, strangely want to afford the progeny of rebels (and even in some cases, terrorists) an inalienable right to have monuments to those ancestors preserved on our public spaces. The intellectual contradictions of our current stupid culture wars often astound with their absurdity.

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    1. @tsalmon

      The law is not always good at providing perfect answers to complex and emotional issues where citizens feel that their interests and rights are in conflict.

      What a monument does is memorialize a person or event. What a monument means depends upon the beholder. Time will soon enough tear down any work of man, especially if what was memorialized does not deserve it. (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46565/Ozymandias)

      It tickles me, however, that the same folks who don’t believe that minimal education or minimal health care or freedom of sexual partnership should be a God given government protected right, strangely want to afford the progeny of rebels (and even in some cases, terrorists) an inalienable right to have monuments to those ancestors preserved on our public spaces. The intellectual contradictions of our current stupid culture wars often astound with their absurdity.

      The purpose of putting a monument on public land is to protect it. Great idea? No. Unfortunately, previous generations have made this unwise choice a great many times. Given this particular experience, I have no idea why you want to entrust anything you don’t have to entrust to the government to the government. Yet, you keeping insisting upon it. Effectively, you just want to entrust something you care about to the whims of public opinion. Today the people may have the right ideas. Tomorrow? Probably not.

      Since government-run programs lack competition and the same people both operate and regulate government-run programs, failure is almost inevitable. So, yes, I must agree with your sentiment, “the intellectual contradictions of our current stupid culture wars do astound with their absurdity”. However, I don’t share your conclusions. When we don’t have force idiotic government programs upon our neighbors and become responsible for screwing up other people’s lives, I do not think we should.

      Please contemplate this old quote.

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions. — Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153) (https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions.html)

      Like

      1. “Effectively, you just want to entrust something you care about to the whims of public opinion. Today the people may have the right ideas. Tomorrow? Probably not.”

        True enough. But I still get chills at the changing of the guard at Arlington.

        Notwithstanding your arguments about whether or not to have a public commons, or if we normatively should or should erect monuments on them, or about the inexorable entropy of the material, people have dedicated monuments on public spaces in the past and they are likely to continue to do so in the future. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the issue of your post seems to be what to do about that.

        Using the usual standard democratic institutions of our republican form of constitutional government is unlikely to always provide the perfect process for resolving such disputes, but I’m not sure that I understand your better alternative to, as you say, trusting to the “whims of public opinion” as long as those whims are tempered by the usual institutional due processes that define our republic and the Rule of Law.

        No doubt the laws that govern such placement and removal of monuments can be refined to temper the emotions of the mob, to be inspired by a deeper historical context, and to appeal to the our more eternal better angels. No argument there. But then we are just arguing about improved (but necessarily imperfect) processes, not any given minority’s or majority’s pretentiousness about their own black and white eternal omniscience on the value of every single such monument.

        Even under the best process for resolving such disputes and weighing rights and interests, somebody will be unhappy. Perhaps for the best of compromises, everyone will be a little unhappy. The question is whether we value our ability to compromise within these amazing processes we’ve inherited more than we do our own polarized immutable opinions on every single little issue these days.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @tsalmon

          The best compromise is to let people run their own lives.

          You see a monument. It has been there so long that people have forgotten exactly why it was built. You pull out your cell phone and search the Internet. You see several different historical explanations. That’s a problem? Only for snowflakes.

          On the other hand, you see a monument. You are a busybody snowflake. That monument must be sensitive to your feelings or removed. And the reason why? Doesn’t everyone understand that the world revolves around your sensitive feelings? You need an infinite safe space. You deserve it. You have been told that over and over and over again, and wise and caring demagogues have told you how much they care about you over and over and over again.

          Meanwhile, while we worry about statues, the demagogues in Richmond, VA are discussing: how to make lawyers richer by making it easier for the sexually confused and shameless to harass people who don’t approve of sexual relations outside of traditional marriage, raising taxes, canning support for private schools, denying second amendment rights, creating illegal immigrant sanctuaries, killing the unborn, and so forth.

          Yep! Ain’t empowering wise and caring demagogic politicians fun? Just hand over your responsibilities, and they will make all your ethical decisions for you, keeping you blissfully ignorant in your safe space.

          Like

          1. Ha! I’m the snowflake? And yet you’re the one who is whining because you can’t get everyone to do everything you want all the time.

            Like

          2. Apparently, you would impose upon the citizens of other localities to preserve certain offensive idols. Apparently, you want to enforce your religion’s taboos on who can legally contract to marry whom. Apparently, you also want to tell other women what they can do with their own body’s also because of your particular religious view of when a fetus deserves legal criminal protection.

            In your eyes someone is only a busybody if they wish to counter your view of rights, not if you are trying to impose your peculiar religious vision of rights upon them. And someone is a snowflake only if they are outraged by your wish to dominate them while your side howls like a child if anyone else’s beliefs become law.

            At least the abortion debate has very serious consequences at law for both the privacy rights of the mother and for when the growing fetus has right to continue to live. One has to really be a snowflake to whine in outrage over the stupid statues that you don’t think ought to exist in the first place.

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          3. @tsalmon

            Taboo? Funny word. What is a taboo these days? What is the connotation of the word? How is the word always used? Well, thanks to the artsy crowd we now associate taboos with irrational rules. The sophisticated and with it crowd know better than to take taboos seriously. They make their own rules.

            You want to define marriage as something it isn’t. Why? So everyone has to participate in the unhealthy fantasies of the LGBTQ. And I am imposing a taboo? Actually, what you are doing is helping to create a taboo. That taboo would be calling a sexual relationship outside of traditional marriage a sin.

            Marriage is between a man and a woman. There is no logical reason to call anything else a marriage. The state’s interest in marriage is in protecting the rights of children. Government has no other compelling reason to be involved.

            The LGBTQ crap has nothing to do with anything except “recreational” sex. The only reason those people want the “right” to marry is so that they can shut up the people who call sex outside of traditional marriage a sin. It is a about their consciences, not their rights.

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          4. @tsalmon

            Word games. Call it a fetus and it is not a human being. Meanwhile, our governor here in Virginia is a pediatrician who perfectly willing to let a baby die — after it has been born — if the mother does not want it.

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          5. “Marriage is between a man and a woman. There is no logical reason to call anything else a marriage. The state’s interest in marriage is in protecting the rights of children. Government has no other compelling reason to be involved.”

            Don’t you know that nowadays one does not have to be married for the state to enforce your responsibilities to your progeny? Besides that fallacy in your argument, my own kids are grown and on their own. My wife and I are too old envision having more. I would love to be a witness, however, to your telling Kate that after 40 years together there is no compelling reason to call what we have a marriage anymore or for the state to enforce the numerous other legal rights and responsibilities implied in our marriage contract. I would also like to be there when you inform your wife that your long marriage lost its relevance after the children were raised.

            Anyway, why are you such a busybody about wanting to judge other consenting adults’ “recreational sex”? What happened to:

            “The best compromise is to let people run their own lives.”

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          6. @tsalmon

            Don’t you know that nowadays one does not have to be married for the state to enforce your responsibilities to your progeny?

            The point of the marriage ceremony (having the ceremony really is not enough to make people married) is to get people to accept their responsibilities up front.

            I would love to be a witness, however, to your telling Kate that after 40 years together there is no compelling reason to call what we have a marriage anymore or for the state to enforce the numerous other legal rights and responsibilities implied in our marriage contract.

            We can take any idea or concept and find things that don’t quite fit. We call a certain type animal a dog. There exists a huge range of different breeds. Some leave us wondering. Still, most people can readily distinguish between a dog and a cat. Similarly, I seriously doubt you think a marriage between a man and woman is the same as two males sodomizing each other.

            Anyway, why are you such a busybody about wanting to judge other consenting adults’ “recreational sex”? What happened to:

            “The best compromise is to let people run their own lives.”

            That is the problem. You don’t believe in letting people run their own lives. When you insist that two people of the same sex can marry, you are using the force of law to impose your fantasy upon people who disagree.

            There is virtually no disagreement that men and women can marry and have children, that marriage is a positive benefit for children. There is huge disagreement about same-sex marriage.

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          7. “Similarly, I seriously doubt you think a marriage between a man and woman is the same as two males sodomizing each other.”

            The way that you phrase that sort of gives your silly semantics game away for what it really is – it belays that you really don’t want other people to have types of sexual relations that you consider taboo. From a legal standpoint at least, a marriage between anyone, including a man and a woman, does not rely upon what kind of sexual acts that they like to perform on each other afterward, or even if they choose to have no sex at all. Procreation is not enforceable at law in the marriage rights and responsibilities. I fail to see how any married couple is forcing you into any particular style of sexual relations yourself simply by having the law enforce the implied rights and responsibilities of the marriage contract for married sodomites of any sexual persuasion. On the other hand, you seem to be wanting to get into everyone else’s bedroom, to say that if they don’t procreate sexually, then they cannot be married. It is not only legally nonsense words, I can’t think of anything more busybody than that.

            Finally, even if it were true that a happy opposite sex marriage provides the most benefit for children, who are you to impose that supposed social good on every other possible family arrangement? If it were determined that Mormons make the best parents, are you going to say that only Mormons can get legally married and raise children? Wouldn’t the inferiority of every other religion’s parenting submit those poor kids raised under those conditions to a form of child abuse? You seem to want the government to involve itself to an extraordinary level in socially engineering families, you busybody you.

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          8. @tsalmon

            If they are married, members of the LGBTQ crowd won’t perform perverted sex acts upon each other? Since when has that ever stopped them?

            The reason marriage is an issue is the simple fact that people like you are demanding that people who don’t approve of things like sodomy approve of it. Would not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, would we? Unless, of course, they are a Christian Conservative.

            Fact is you risk not standing for anything. You know you cannot justify calling two guys sodomizing each married. So you attack me, and you come up with a bunch of twisted arguments to justify calling something that isn’t a marriage a marriage. It is as dumb as a judge using his “power” to declare that a cat is legally a dog because that cat wants to be a dog.

            Courts cannot change the truth. They can, however, perpetuate a lie. And you are trying to justify a lie.

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          9. Not meant as an “attack” so much as a good humored demonstration that the name calling is a pretty adolescent form of debate. 😉

            So you say you are interested in “truth”? Ok, let’s start with some words. I guess you brought up “sodomy” for the shock and disgust value. However, I seem to have wrongly assumed that you knew that “sodomy” in the (mainly arcane) legal sense covers a range of common sexual acts, all of which can be also enjoyed by happily married heterosexual partners. (I advise you to be careful googling such sexual variations because both you and your computer may have a stroke). But it occurs to me that you only seem to be focused on anal sex, a sexual practice that I understand is not even preferred by perhaps as much as half of gay men, and I assume, few gay women, but also practiced by some heterosexual couples. If you are interested in the complex “truth” about human sexuality you may want to broaden your horizons with some academic books on the subject.

            I’m no psychologist, but it seems to me that “perversity” is very much in the eye of the beholder. I’ll leave it to better experts to explain the degree to which any particular sexual practice is physically or psychologically unhealthy, but I would imagine that emotionally unhealthy sexuality has more to do with overly obsessive behaviors and repressed drives than with the type of sex act. Even a good thing can be taken too far.

            At the other end of the spectrum, it would also seem to me that there is something particularly perverse about people who feel the need to judge and enforce their peculiar sexual restrictions on other consenting adults. If you are actually interested in the “truth” about our actual motivations, then you may wish to take a cold hard look at that inner reality. Why does anyone have to “justify” to me or you or to anyone else what they do in the privacy of their own bedroom in order for them to choose to assume with the legal rights and responsibilities implied in the marriage contract?

            The “truth” about human motivation is that sexuality is an important path to finding out our deeper drives for many of the odd and irrational things we do, including those that shape our society, our religious taboos (menstruation, circumcision and yes, sodomy) and our laws. However, what makes humans most unique among animals is our ability to be sentient about our animal sexual nature and to understand when it is irrationally too much in control of our lives and when it is irrationally driving us to control others. That “truth” is really what sets us free.

            Besides, which sexual “perversity” do you think actually provides more moral damage: private sexual acts other than the missionary position solely for procreation or a leader who was married to three wives and openly cheated on all of them, but who is judging? Yes, who is judging?

            This has gotten far afield of the matter of monuments, but you chose to take us here. It’s been interesting journey through the hidden libido though. We are off to visit with the oldest of our mutual siblings. Love to you and yours.

            Like

          10. @tsalmon

            You are making this absurdly complex. Marriage exists because there is a profound difference between men and women. To say that two people of the same sex can marry is to say that difference does not matter. To the LGBTQ, the difference does not matter. What matters is what they want to believe. As Romans 1 says, that is not good.

            It is the Truth that sets us free, not devout beliefs in lies. Yet it is a lie you insist upon affirming. What good does it do to be able to think if you cannot discern the Truth? You will just spend your days stumbling over reality.

            The sex act is something we still do not understand well. Think about Paul’s words.

            1 Corinthians 6:18-20 English Standard Version (ESV)
            18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

            When we have sex with another person, we share more than we know.

            If we have anal sex with another person, we risk knowing and understanding all too personally why sewage treatment is so important.

            Like

  4. I’m a bit curious about the idea of how to learn about history from memorials. I have found a list on wikipedia listing 223 Confederate monuments in Virginia.. How many of these have explanations on site, putting them into the historic context of slavery?

    And how many monuments and memorials in Virginia are dedicated to the rememberance of slavery/slaves/emancipation/civil rights? I was unable to find a similar list, maybe you can help me out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @marmoewp

      You say there are no monuments to slavery so no Civil War monuments are allowed. I guess that means we have to take down the monuments to Union side too. Otherwise, we have to make them politically correct?

      We memorialize the past in more than one way. Following the success of the civil rights movement in the 60’s, a movement lead by blacks, blacks began an examination of their origins. That included building statues to heroes like tennis player Auther Ashe and celebrating Martin Luther King Day. It also includes going to almost anything that looks remotely like a museum in this country and hearing about the black experience.

      I live in Northern Virginia. Go to Jamestown, VA or to any of the presidents homes, and you will hear something about how black slaves lived and their struggles. Should we condemn that as racist or just accept the fact that the historical record is not independent of race?

      I am almost 70. I have watched as people unearthed a past that previous generations chose to bury, and I have noted a bit of hypocrisy. In the process of unearthing one bit of the past, those with an agenda want to bury other parts.

      Who paid the price for slavery? Lots of people did. Generations of blacks suffered, but so did generations of whites. Hundreds of thousands of white men were wounded or died on civil war battlefields, and the South was left a burnt wreck.

      We need to remember the whole story, not compete for victim status. Because so many Slavs were made slaves, we derive the word “slave”, for example, from Slav. Unfortunately, the experience of slavery is not unique to blacks.

      Like

      1. Is my English really this bad? I ask, because I do not recognise my comment in your reply.

        Anyway, thanks for reminding me, that white people also paid the price for slavery, and suffered to a comparable degree, as the generations of slaves did. I keep forgetting that.

        Like

        1. @marmoewp

          I expect sarcasm in a second language is difficult. Never tried it, but you do seem to be having trouble. Perhaps it would help if you wrote the comment you seem to think I should have written.

          Like

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