Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let's keep this in perspective, shall we?

Governor Bob McDonnell's decision to honor "Confederate History Month" has caused quite a stir in the news, and it's mostly the result of his proclamation contains no mention of slavery.

And of course, the controversy has brought out the usual litany of crying and whining about just about everything to do with the Civil War, from the NAACP and other "civil rights" groups complaining about the lack of mentioning of slavery (as though that was the sole reason for a war which killed 600,000 Americans on both sides, including thousands of black soldiers in both Union and Confederate armies) and angry Southerners rehashing old "Lost Cause" arguments about Yankee war crimes and Southern honor (as though every single soldier who wore blue was a bloodthirsty murderer unworthy of honor, and every soldier who wore gray was a paragon of virtue and honor who would never hurt a fly).  Perhaps I'm oversimplifying things, but it seems that's the whole controversy boiled down in a nutshell.

But let's get a grip.  The controversy is not about either.  The real controversy is that whining victim lobbies on both sides are allowing history to be twisted to suit their agendas.  The NAACP and other groups are allowing the history of slavery to be twisted to suit the agenda of victimhood lobby, whilst Southern Lost Cause adherents are allowing history to be twisted to portray their Northern neighbors as descendants of butchers and thugs.  History is rarely so simple, and the truth about the Civil War is much more complicated than either side will want to admit.

It's time to stop letting folks like these frame the entire debate.  The Civil War ended over 150 years ago.  Further arguing about who was right and who was wrong is pointless.  Our country is one again, as it should be, and it's time to start acting like it.

Pax Christi.

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