27 November 2015

St. Paul's Episcopal Church Takes a Seat on American History

Will they remove the pew?
Surrendering to political correctness is not "taking a stand." Taking a stand involves going against the tide, doing something very few others are doing - even if unpopular. That is not what is happening at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, though one Civil War blogger states:

"What we do need to dispense with are the tired cries that history is being erased or that the St. Paul’s community is judging the past by modern standards or values." 

Suggesting that the church's decision to remove "many of the objects that venerate the Confederacy" is "taking a stand" is a classic example of Orwellian doublespeak. It is the exact opposite. And dispensing with the "tired cries"? Yes, I'm sure the criticism is tiring to those pushing their agenda of eradicating the landscape of any Confederate symbolism. These Puritan-like moral reformers would prefer to silence their critics, like they're doing on college campuses. They want their critics to just shut up and stop exposing their hypocrisy and silliness. They want to limit opposing views and speech. That does seem to be all the rage these days now doesn't it? More groupthink. Fortunately, we do have real examples of folks taking a stand against PC groupthink:
A group of Princeton University students is pushing back on campus protesters, saying that their demands will “contribute to the politicization of the University and facilitate groupthink.” . . . “If we cease honoring flawed individuals, there will be no names adorning our buildings, no statues decorating our courtyards, and no biographies capable of inspiring future generations,” they wrote.

By acquiescing to current faddish trends involving American history (which is being driven by extreme political correctness and the accompanying agenda ) and removing artifacts from what is certainly a historic setting in this church; erasing history and "judging the past by modern standards or values" is exactly what is going on here

The church's idea of erecting a memorial to honor slaves in Richmond is an excellent one. (I've personally sponsored, financed and written text for two similar projects myself - the first one over 14 years ago. I'm glad to see others joining the effort. See here and here). But there's no need to erase the church's existing history in order to do so. Of course, as I've predicted, this fanaticism has moved beyond attacking Confederate symbolism to calling for the removal of Thomas Jefferson's statue. So all this comes as no surprise. And I suspect Honest Abe is at risk as well.

Dress it up and call it whatever you want. I'm sure those involved in the incestuous conversations of academic historians will all agree. Many of the rest of us see this for what it is. 

And to further illustrate for those who are "historically challenged", the soldiers driving the tanks in the iconic image below are not the ones "taking a stand." Got it?


Jubilo said...

Dear Old Dom.,
Richmond is slightly over half non-white which reflects this decision. Same condition in every southern city with Confederate icons. Moving to the suburbs created this situation .

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

I understand that Dave, though I'm not sure that demo fact holds true for this church. But that is beside the point. Many of these icons are, as in this case, in a historical setting and have significance in their own right. I believe my point remains valid.