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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Confederate Memorial Day in Ashville

Today is the day set aside as a day to remember our Confederate ancestors.My family and I attended a local memorial service. Here are some pictures/video from the event.
Bill Macrae played the "Bonnie Blue Flag" on the bagpipes to commemorate Scotland's contribution to the Confederacy

The commander of our local SCV camp, Benjamin Hestley, stated that in 1923, the statue, on our courthouse square, was dedicated to the confederates who had died from St. Clair county. On the day of its dedication, two thousand people were in attendance. Today, there were barely seventy. Mr. Hestley asked, how is it that only 85 years later, there are so few people who care about their heritage? Mr. Hestley could not understand how the vision had been lost in so short an amount of time. Was it because fathers passed their responsibilities to government schools? Could it be that government schools, the education choice for most Americans, are teaching revised history?

Pastor Mark Liddle, of Dominion Baptist Church in Birmingham, gave an excellent lecture during the memorial. As a homeschooling father, he knows that there is no neutral ground. Here are some excerpts from his speech:

Today there are more than just a few who think that we need to abandon all the convictions and principles of the past because the great majority believe that man is evolving upward, and that we must therefore abandon all principles and conducts of the past in order to be loyal to the present. But our duty to the present is to be faithful to all the principles and convictions which are grounded in the truth of God. Our duty is to know the truth, to tell the truth, and to preserve the truth. If it’s wrong to remember our forebears, if it’s wrong to recall their faith in God, if it’s wrong to recall their love for the truth, if it’s wrong to recall the persecution they endured by holding fast to truth, if it’s wrong to do all this, then it’s wrong to read the scriptures, which recall the faith and love of believers in the past, who persevered in the face of opposition and oppression. We are disloyal to the present when we are disloyal to the past.

That our Confederate fathers were on the right side of the struggle is obvious, and every year it becomes more and more obvious to us. They feared a powerful, centralized government; we live under a powerful, centralized government. They feared the loss of local control; we live under that loss of local control. They feared the loss of liberty; we are living under greater and greater loss of liberty every year. The freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to assemble, right to a trial by jury, is embezzled from us more frequently and boldly as the years go by. Our daily experience proves they were right. We live under a police state, citizens held without being charged, foreigners and felons with greater privileges than citizens, Christianity banned everywhere, and an education monopoly indoctrinating socialism throughout the land. Not only is state sovereignty despised, but now national sovereignty is despised, which is just the next logical step. In our ‘modern, progressive, forward thinking day,’ a one world government is promoted. Our Confederate fathers were right in their cause. Their cause was founded upon the truth. They defended their hearth and homes from tyrannical rule, from the suspension of constitutional law, and they had a distrust of man, and his lust for power, which is what we ought to have as well. They had faith in God’s word as absolute truth, and their world view was unashamedly Christian. Their society was not utopian; it was made up of saints and sinners, and the saints in that society looked for a city whose foundation and building was of God. They understood; they well knew that there was no utopian society upon this earth, and that heaven would be their perfect and abiding home, the place in which there is no sin or sorrow. We remember men like Jackson and Lee just as the scripture remembers the dead saints of old. Hebrews 11:13 says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed they were strangers and pilgrims in the earth.” This, men like Lee and Jackson did as well. The fullness of the promises of God had not come to fruition in their time. They died in faith, not having seen the final end of the cause, and yet they died believing their cause was on the side of truth and right. They were aliens; they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth then, just as we are aliens and pilgrims on the earth now. They were alien to the principle that ‘might makes right’. They were alien to acting by feeling rather than principle. They were alien to acting according to political expediency rather than principle, or selfish interests rather than duty. Duty to God and duty to man was all important to them.

We must rightly understand the cause of our Confederate forebears. We must study history. That’s why I stand before you today. I was born in Buffalo, New York, and trained in the public school system, but when I began a serious study of history, I began to understand the truth concerning the 2nd War for Independence. This is what you must do if you are going to understand the cause. Study history and study the Scriptures, which is the plumb line of all books; by which all books and all men shall be judged.

The cause of the South was the cause of liberty. What we have now is tyranny, which is the result of the eventual success of Lincoln’s war.

If you understand the truth you will not be ashamed of the cause, and you will be willing to sacrifice the smiles of your fellowmen for the cause of truth. Be sure in the midst of all this, that you seek the glory of God. If you do not seek the glory of God in all of these things, all of your work and all of your labor will be in vain.

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