12 November 2008

Yes, Same Ole, Same Ole

Why is Confederate CW art (especially depictions of Christianity) so often the subject of Civil War historical artists?

Because it has a market. It really is that simple.

Why don't we as often see Union soldiers depicted in prayer or other Christian images associated with the Union?

Because it doesn't have a market. It really is that simple.

Why doesn't it have a market?

Could it have anything to do with reality and the historical record? Yes. Many of the mockers have obviously spent little time studying the theological and cultural differences between the South and North leading up to the Civil War and many of those differences which continue to this day (though some deny the obvious).

The South was, and remains, more religious than the North. That's not a judgmental statement, just an observation. Don't make the issue over CW art more complicated than it is. It's really not difficult to explain. Of course, the reasons for this are more complicated than what can be addressed in a blog post.


Gil said...

In Brinsfield's 2-volume The Spirit Divided, sermons quoted from Confederate chaplains are filled with the love of God, exhortations to repentance and faith, and hope for the future. Sermons quoted from Union chaplains are filled with hate-filled denunciations of the South, justifications for the North's aggression, and exhortations for vengeance against Southerners.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks for the input Gil. I've got both books. I'm part way through the Confederate chaplains, but haven't started the Union one yet.

While I don't doubt your observation, I want to make sure folks understand that I believe there were good, God-fearing men who fought for the Union. Certainly there were. That being said, the intensity and prominence of orthodox Christianity was much more widespread (and still is) in the South than in the North. Volumes of statistics could be cited to prove this. I know you understand this as well. I just want to make sure readers do.

I also hasten to add that I'm descended, in part, from a very long line of New Englanders. Many of those persons, including Roger Williams, were very devout Christians. This post was simply in response to some snide comments about Christianity depicted by popular artists.