Sunday, April 07, 2013

Politicized Sons of Confederate Veterans disagree with President Obama about secession as part of a political agenda

The pretense that the Sons of Confederate Veterans are some type of historical remembrance organization instead of a political organization with reactionary political agenda is demolished with Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) Commander-in-Chief (C-i-C) R. Michael Givens' recent editorial about Obama's rejection of the secession petitions.

In the March/April 2012 Confederate Veteran, pages 4,5, 24, official publication of the SCV, the "Report of the Commander-in-Chief" by R. Michael Givens is a political editorial.

After an initial paragraph about his parents visiting him in Los Angeles, Givens' first complaint is "Hollywood has recently lambasted us with two major motion pictures featuring the antics of Abraham Lincoln (one only slightly more whimsical than the other)," and "The Country has enthusiastically embraced the false notion of Lincoln's benevolence ad nauseum and swallowed the propaganda dawg -- head, legs, and all." (Italics in the original.)

The two movies I think he is referring to is Spielberg's Lincoln and the movie, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Further he is dismayed that a relative, a retired school teacher, who he regarded as "Southern to the core," very much liked the recent Lincoln movie and had a negative reaction when he tried to explain the neo-Confederate view of Lincoln.

This acceptance of Lincoln is to Givens a symptom of "Aesculaparian proportions," and writes, "I am personally beginning to embrace the mindset that we are dealing with a disease." This disease he sees as turning the nation away from liberty.

He also asks, "Have I become merely a crotchety old man who sees the sun approaching the horizon, still hoping for better days for my children?". His answer, "No, I think not."  Some of the readers of this blog may beg to differ with Givens.

Givens then gets to the theme of his editorial, "Since the defeat of 1865, every imaginable and unimaginable Marxist experiment has been pressed upon the American people," which he sees as having been forewarned by Jefferson Davis in 1881, quoting him "'.... the contest is not over, the strife is not ended. It has only entered upon a new and enlarged arena'" and "'The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert it's self, though it may be at another time and in another form."

Given then refers to reports by the Conservative Heritage Foundation,, and Reporters Without Boarders to assert that the United States has suffered a major loss of freedom.

Now I am not going to express any opinion regarding freedom in the United States. It isn't an area where I have expertise and it isn't relevant to the point of this blog posting. I do think it is a nearly universally held view that being concerned and protective of constitutional freedoms and freedoms in generally is a good thing, though exactly what they are is often disagreed upon.

The point is that Givens' and the SCV can't claim to be non-partisan, or a non-partisan group eligible for special tax considerations or to be a charity. Givens' editorial isn't about the Civil War, or historical remembrance but is a political editorial. Certainly anyone has a right to write a political editorial, but in writing a political and publishing it in the Confederate Veteran, the SCV can no longer claim to be non-partisan.

The SCV has become a reactionary political organization. I question whether it should be an eligible charity for the Combined Federal Campaign, the charitable fundraising organization for government employees.

Then leading into a discussion of the secession petitions Givens' writes, "The power-hungry elite will certainly continue to push their agenda, but the repressed will just as certainly reach a saturation point and begin to resist." This is the context Given's gives for the secession petitions writing, "Before this new push to eliminate liberty," referring to gun control proposals, "petitions from every state in the union were sent tot he White House requesting the right to secede."

Given's rejects that the Union is perpetual and the White House's arguments against secession, in particular not caring for their quotation of Lincoln.

Given's then in his essay defines the purpose of the SCV as to pursue a specific neo-Confederate political agenda, that is the purpose of the SCV is to be a neo-Confederate political organization pursing a neo-Confederate political agenda. Givens' explains he isn't advocating secession, but that he sees present political controversies as being the same as those in the Civil War:

... but my head would be deep in the sand if I did not recognize that President Davis' words have proven quite prophetic. The contest is not over; the strife has not ended. Whether it's the Tea Party or the recent petitions, the fight is the same: Liberty.
With that asserted Givens' defines the Charge to the Sons of Confederate by Stephen D. Lee, a document which is held up by the SCV as to their entire purpose, as defining the SCV as a conservative political action organization. Givens' writes:

I firmly believe the ideals fo the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the cause as spelled out in our Charge are the very definition of patriotism. I am proud of our Confederate ancestors and pray that our own posterity will know we did our duty, and we, like our Confederate forefathers, never crouched down or licked a hand. ... But as the 19th-century pastor Charles Spurgeon put it. "Praying without working is a bow without a string ... If the the man desired that which he pretends to pray for, he would be eager to labour for it." 
In short, true SCV members, who are worthy of their Confederate ancestors, will fight for a conservative agenda and that is the agenda of the SCV.

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