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Saturday, March 24, 2007
(11:10 PM) | Stephen:
The Truth About the Confederate Flag

From Chuck Baldwin Live, we get this interesting sermon, "Truth about the Confederate Battle Flag." I don't want to say that it's worth reading, because the word worth implies value, and I would hate for anyone to misunderstand and think that I'm applying any level of positive value to this, well, he calls it a sermon so I suppose that it is a sermon*.

The opening is instructive, however, for anyone that would like to see theology by proof-texting in action. One verse after another, each of them quoted either by themselves or only in part so that the particular word the preacher wishes to note is brought out, with very little explanatory commentary in between. Numbers to Psalms to Isaiah, each snippet given its little place and no more.

The point of his proof-texting is that flags (standards, banners, ensigns) are important, they "represent our theology." Within a few sentences, the Bible is left behind completely, verses whose recitation formed the introduction are never mentioned again, and whatever story or exposition in which the verses appeared is not mentioned at all. The point has been made sufficiently for the preacher to claim that this is a Biblically based sermon, and most of the original audience would agree.

Once we get past the obligatory Abraham Lincoln-bashing, the interminable explanation of the different Confederate flags and the trotting out of various black personages who can be quoted as "not having a problem" with the Confederate Flag (some of my best friends are black!), we finally get to the real point of the sermon. It's not really a defense of the Confederate Flag, or the Confederacy itself. Any deductive sermon, whether the preacher is a proof-text partisan or not, is going to make its most important point toward the end of the sermon, usually in the penultimate paragraph. A deductive sermon sets up the main point by establishing the evidence and then arguing the point in increasingly focused ways so that the congregation is ready to hear the main point and, by virtue of its development and placement in the sermon, to remember it when they leave. The last paragraph is just a conclusion, a way to end the sermon by rephrasing the main point and possibly giving the congregation a way to concretely apply the point.

So what should really interest us, since most of the sermon is typical boilerplate Confederate apologetics, is the following:
Now let me try to answer a question for you. Why attack the Confederate Battle Flag? Why attack Confederate symbols? Let me tell you something. Whenever the Confederate Battle Flag is attacked, and the attacks are so vicious and so ferocious, it is because it is an attack on the truth. Because the South was not fighting as a racist nation or as a slave holding nation, they were fighting for constitutional rights. They were fighting for State's rights. . . . To attack the flag is a attack on political incorrectness. The flag represents those who are opposed to unlimited federal government. The flag represents a limited Constitutional republic. A view of government opposed to the powers that be. Let me tell you something folks, all one has to do is to look at present day Washington, D.C., to know exactly what our forefathers fought against. Two hundred and fifty thousand Confederate soldiers gave their lives to prevent from having what we have today! The extension of government into every area of our lives is a result of the fact that the South lost the war. . . . . The Confederate Flag represents truth against error, freedom against tyranny, light against darkness and the Kingdom of Christ against the Kingdom of Governance. You see, we have forgotten the fact that the War of Northern Aggression was a cultural war. It was a religious war and the North was predominantly Unitarian and humanist, while the South was predominantly Christian. And in reality, the War was an attempt to crush Christianity and Christian culture.
You may need to read the final few sentences again. Never mind that the south fired the first shots of the Civil War. Apparently the righteous Confederacy would not be so righteous if they could not cast the war as a case of "Northern aggression."

Consider, rather, that to this man and to many others, the Civil War was an attempt by the "predominantly Unitarian and humanist" North to "crush Christianity and Christian culture."

There are some who compare the Confederate Flag to the Nazi Swastika. Indeed, both of them stand for hate and fear. Both of them represent cultures of false victimization. The real difference between them is that the Nazi Swastika is flown over no state capitols, and forms no part of a nation or state's flag. The Nazi Swastika is not defended by state and US Representatives and Senators. In Germany, the Nazi Swastika is not plastered on bumpers or hung in bars and people's homes. The whole world over it is reviled by all but the fringes of society, people readily identified as hate-filled monsters. But the Confederate Flag has no shortage of defenders, respectable members of American society.

What an indictment upon us that such a situation is tolerated at all.

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