Please accept my last letter on this subject. My problem with most — if not all — of the Confederate memorials is that their actual effect is to glorify and exalt a “cause” whose only apology is naked greed, and whose only descriptive title is: evil. Their actual message is continued defiance, and their presence today is divisive. If there is to be a memorial to the common soldiers of that Lost Cause, then let it be in the form of a mausoleum symbolically housing the souls of tens of thousands of Confederate dead, with inscriptions lamenting their loss to an evil cause. Let us be honest with ourselves regarding the facts of the past.
The “cause” of the Confederate States of America was not lost at Appomattox in 1865, nor at Fort Sumter in 1861. It was lost in the streets, fields, and shorelines of Judea and Galilee two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth and the apostle Paul said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” John 13:34-35, and, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows,” 1 Timothy 6:10.
Yes, with many, many sorrows felt to the present day. What could be more hateful than a system of stolen lives, torn families, and children treated like cattle in the marketplace? The poisoned root of this system was the spiritually blinding love of money.
I close my part in the exchange with this quote from John Rutledge of South Carolina during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787: “Religion and humanity have nothing to do with this question. Interest alone is the governing principle with nations. The true question at present is, whether the Southern States shall or shall not be parties to the Union. If the Northern States consult their interest, they will not oppose the increase of slaves, which will increase the commodities of which they will become the carriers.” (from Farrand’s Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, Vol.2)