Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.
The Confederate flag and statues to confederate generals are strange, though.
Why would Americans glorify those who waged war on the United States?
Why name military bases after failed generals who lost wars?
Are you going to name the next battleship the USS Bin Laden?
History matters . . .
In the great cathedral at Como, Italy, there are two large statues: one of Pliny the Elder and the other of his nephew, Pliny the Younger. Despite calls from some in the church to remove them, the images of these two pagan writers have stood in Como Cathedral for 500 years.
When told that neither man had been a Christian and that the nephew had been a persecutor of Christians in the province of Bithynia, the citizens of Como fought to preserve the statues of these two favorite sons. Both Plinys were an important part of their history. Pliny the Elder was one of the most prolific Latin writers on history and science, and Pliny the Younger was an important historian, the only person to leave a firsthand account of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The real heresy was the attempt to rewrite history by removing all references to anyone who was "pagan."
Pliny the Elder at the Cathedralof Como (Photo credit: Wolfgang Sauber)
It seems that Italians have more common sense than some Americans. The removal of hundreds of Civil War monuments, including the recent removal of a statue of Jefferson Davis and an attempt to remove the imposing image of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, are part of a similar attempt to suppress an aspect of our history that some now see as offensive.
It does little good to note that many southern leaders before and at the time of the war, including Jefferson; Madison; Clay; and Robert E. Lee himself, who assisted slaves moving to the free colony in Liberia and provided emancipation for his slaves in his will, had serious moral qualms about the institution of slavery and hoped it would eventually be eliminated, regardless of the outcome of the war. Although they owned slaves, Jefferson and Madison both spoke of slavery as an evil that must be abolished. Henry Clay, who authored the Great Compromise of 1820, sought to preserve the union by maintaining a balance of slave and free slaves. In his funeral oration for Clay, Abraham Lincoln said, "Such a man the times have demanded, and such, in the providence of God was given us."
Even those like Jefferson Davis, a strong defender of states' rights, should be seen as an important figure in American history. The removal of his image, along with those of all who owned slaves or fought for the Confederacy, is an attempt to rewrite history in a way that is extremely unhealthy. It would erase much of our national history and, for that matter, world history. But it is dangerous to avert one's gaze from whatever is troubling or unpleasant. It creates the false impression that evil does not exist. Those who are not willing to live with their past are likely to repeat its errors.
No one today would defend the idea of slavery, but slavery was once universally practiced. Before and even after the Civil War, slavery existed in one form or another in most parts of the world: throughout Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Russia (via serfdom), in parts of Europe, and even in the northern colonies and states of America. The Plinys, whose images still stand in Como cathedral, were the owners of dozens of slaves. Benjamin Franklin once owned slaves, as did the family of America's first female poet, Anne Bradstreet, along with Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Marshall, and Lincoln's wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Nearly every important figure in early American history can be tied to slavery either directly or through the actions of his ancestors. As an attorney, Alexander Hamilton negotiated the sale of slaves, while Lewis and Clark were accompanied by Clark's slave York on their western expedition.
But of course, Leftists feign outrage in their situational hypocrisy . . .
I've said the same way before all this started. Davis, Lee, Hood, Beauregard, etc., turned their backs on the US, just because they were being 'loyal' to the state where they were born.
They were Traitors, period. That's why there's no fort or city named after Benedict Arnold.
History matters . . .
In Ancient Rome the heads and hands of the statues were interchangeable, as they had so many assassinations.
If history matters, then why have statues devoted to those who declared war on the the US?
And why have military bases devoted to people who lost wars?
Jenifer (Zarknorph) said...
History matters . . .
Learn ours if you wish to avoid looking like a down under Karen . . .
Of course, it's not really about history or freedom . . .
Cervantes, famously, was a slave himself- captured by Barbary Pirates, and enslaved in the galleys of Algiers for five years before being ransomed
Cervantes wrote this about freedom. The ones who tagged his statue, of course, never read it.