Written upon the occasion of the banning of the Confederate flag upon the grounds of the museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox, Virginia.
By Dr. H. Rondell Rumburg
Past Chaplain-in-Chief SCV
with closing remarks by Rex Miller
“He that is not with me is against me,” declared Jesus Christ the Son of God (Matthew 12:30).
The classifying of neutrality as a myth is not a popular way of speaking in our day. Jesus Christ the Lord declared neutrality to be a myth. The apostle Paul warned, “In whom (Christ) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge…. Beware lest any man spoil you through vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world” (Colossians 2:3,8). Consider Paul’s assertion that “all … wisdom and knowledge” resides in the person of Christ and this includes the war of 1861-1865, the splitting of the atom, the laws of logic and every thought. “Casting down imaginations … and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Paul stipulates that it is impossible to be neutral. The danger of neutrality was a concern of God’s revealed truth. No person can be neutral towards the Lord. God the Father declared that He was/is not neutral:
“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running mischief, A false witness that speketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). No the Lord God is not neutral, just consider the list of things He hates.
Many people do not want to be put on the spot so as to challenge their neutrality. Perhaps the mascot for those who believe in neutrality should be the jellyfish. There are so many who do not want to take a position on doctrine, history, morality, ethics and yet they take their strong positions against those with real convictions.
Often the position taken relative to neutrality is not as consistent as we are led to believe. What neutrality usually means is the embracing of the sacredly held political correctness of the day, which also means the repudiation of righteousness, godliness, true Christianity, Biblical morality, academic honesty, historical accuracy, etc. So, there is no real neutrality! Like so much of modern thought and behavior neutrality is a ruse. The leftists have a pseudo sanctimoniousness and parade themselves to the proverbial street corner to make their long prayers, for mere public effect, or in other words phariseeism. Paul warned, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).
Recently (April, 2012) a branch of the Museum of the Confederacy was opened in Appomattox, Virginia. While construction was still going on my wife and I attended a meeting at our local library. Here we met the director of the museum who was looking for volunteer help from the local citizenry. In a discussion I asked some questions which must have been construed as not neutral or too Southern. Anyway the director responded in an un-neutral way, “This is the Museum of the Confederacy not the Museum for the Confederacy.” This was the most animated remark to that point in the meeting. I had no trouble understanding where this was headed. One thing is certain, the Museum of the Confederacy is not neutral toward the Confederacy, but is in reality against that which represented the bellum South. The thousands who suffered and died for the Confederacy whether they were soldiers or babies or women or the elderly were destroyed under the guise of the pagan concept of total war; their memory is being besmirched. How? These friends of so-called neutrality or left-wingers or politically correct who have taken the position against the Confederate flag being displayed on the grounds are very inconsistent. How are they doing so? They say the Confederate flag is inflammatory because there was slavery in the South. The flag might upset some people; is this not the same argument used in Texas and other places for not displaying the American flag? Yes, there was legal slavery under the U.S. flag for over eighty years. Should the museum be flying the American flag? No one should be surprised that not long ago there was an attempt to change the name of the museum by dropping the word Confederacy from the Museum of the Confederacy. Why do these people have their hands upon artifacts and the blood stained battle flags of the CSA?
These folks are not even true to the word “of ”. Noah Webster in An American Dictionary of the English Language of 1828 (first edition) said of the preposition “of,” “from or out of; proceeding from, as the cause, source, means, author or agent bestowing. ‘I have received of the Lord that which I have also delivered unto you’ I Corinthians 11:23…. From is then the primary sense of this preposition….” With the proper use of the preposition “of” we could call it the Museum proceeding from the Confederacy or the Museum as agent for the Confederacy. On the basis of the use of this preposition in The Pocket Oxford Dictionary it could be called the Museum being derived from the Confederacy or the Museum belonging to the Confederacy. I’m sure these folks know the proper use of the preposition “of,” but have created their own connotation for “of” so it will be the opposite of “for”? Are we in need of correction? After all, these rules and values have no meaning to the lords of correctness. Mr. S. Waite Rawles, III, President of the Museum of the Confederacy, spoke of his approach to educating the public, and noted that it was different than the Sons of Confederate Veterans, “We have” he said, “122 years of experience in doing it. They don’t.” One has to wonder if Rawles actually thinks that the museum has been run on the fumes of political correctness for 122 years or even before political correctness. His condescending attitude and revisionist view of history may be acceptable to many, but he must one day, at the judgment, answer for his position and misrepresentation as must all of us. He has engaged in trying to spoil us “through philosophy and vain (in Greek meaning devoid of truth or futile or empty) deceit…”
A warning should be given to the people now holding the Museum of the Confederacy hostage with the excuses of not wanting to offend, when they are radically offending the descendants of the people whose personal effects they control and seek to use for their own end. Also, the most remarkable confession is that the present leadership has sold out to the North. Why do I say such? We have been informed that they must consider or remember their Northern donors. Our Lord warned, “No man can serve two masters….Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Remember the warning from the Lord Jesus, “He that is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:12).
Rawls said, “Appomattox is a metaphor for reunification of the country.” Does he really hold to the Bolshevik concept that the subduing of a people at the end of a bayonet is unification or liberation? He also noted, “To put the Confederate flag into that display would be a historical untruth.” Since the flag was present historically how can displaying it be historically untrue. This sounds like Karl Barth’s statement, “The devil is an unreal reality.” Little do these folks realize that the Confederacy was the last Christian Nation in this hemisphere and to belittle her self-defense is an incrimination of those whose head is Christ. Self-defense is a Biblical and Constitutional right! Thus to imbibe the politically correct repudiation of the Lord is to declare war on God – “know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4). As one has warned, “Neutrality is nothing short of immorality.” It is rebellion against the faith and a war on God! Who do you suppose will ultimately lose that war?
Dr. Rumburg’s remarks cannot be improved upon but permit me to address an ancillary issue brought about by those same double-speak Bolsheviks who foster political correctness: Toleration. The Museum’s fear of offending someone by flying a Confederate Flag seems amusing at first until you realize that these people are serious.
Where, in this present culture, are men who will stand on principle? As a people we have had trillions of dollars taken from our pockets by the government to improve education and alleviate poverty. What has resulted is our government schooled graduates are sublime in their worthless knowledge while attentive to orders and fifty percent of our people are on some type of government dole with no incentive for improvement of their lives. It was G. K. Chesterton who rightly said, “Toleration is a virtue of men who no longer believe in anything.” And Thomas Jefferson observed, “ It is error alone that needs the force of government. Truth can stand by itself.” Taken together we are witness to the results of government into every fiber of our lives. It has produced men whose souls are dwarfed, without moral fiber or a moral compass, a people who willingly give up the Blessings of God for some temporary satisfaction or security, how sad.
Imagine, if you will, an entire people rising up in righteous indignation. Willing to sacrifice everything for a principle, even to die. This is what the South unanimously did when the 16th President called for the Sovereign States to provide troops for his war of conquest. They instinctively knew the lie, they knew their legal and Constitutional rights, they, as one people, did what was right. Twenty-five percent of Southern men gave their lives for the principle of self-determination and the rule of law while facing odds of 4 or 5 to 1. Winning battles to exhaustion only to lose the war by attrition. Four years of total war was devastating but the horrors of twelve years of re-construction were nothing more than grinding salt into the gaping wounds. The South became robbed of every asset, every sacred thing. Once the Union was knitted together with bayonets Southern folk did only what they knew and that was their best. They produced monuments (which our enemies wish removed), they wrote histories (which our enemies edit or leave unprinted), they founded organizations (which our enemies either corrupt or stifle), and they built museums.
To those spineless men who would move wither the wind bloweth I would ask the admonition of David as found in I Samuel 17: 29 “… Is there not a cause?”
And here’s what some men intolerant of lies said that the handlers of their blood-stained artifacts need to recall:
“All that the South has ever desired was that the Union, as established by our forefathers, should be preserved, and that the government – as originally organized – should be administered in truth and purity.” – Gen. R. E. Lee
“…and the time will come when all the world will realize that the failure of the Confederacy was a great misfortune to humanity, and will be a source of unnumbered woes to liberty.” -Gen. Bradley T. Johnson
“You repent when you have done wrong, and the South obeyed the Lord and the Constitution. Out of the dark hours of reconstruction, better called deconstruction, the star of liberty set to rise no more because the Republic was dead.” – 1st Lt. Randolph H. McKim
“I hope the day will never come that my grandsons will be ashamed to own that I was a Confederate soldier.” -Pvt. A. Y. Handy, 32nd Texas Cavalry
“If I die for liberty, be honorable, remember me: if not forget me.” – Lt. Archibald Grinnan, who died within days of making that parting remark.
“ We have no need sirs, to be ashamed of our [Confederate] dead; let us see to it that they be not ashamed of us.” – R. L. Dabney, DD, LLD
And finally, U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant stated emphatically, “If I thought this war was to abolish slavery, I would resign my commission, and offer my sword to the other side.”