by Al Benson Jr.
I remember, years ago now, at one of the first meetings of the Confederate Society of America that I attended, there was a young man present that was incredibly impatient because he felt the Confederate Movement was not accomplishing more right now. He just couldn’t see why everything had to take so long and why the Movement wasn’t more busy exerting power and influence right now! After all, we had the truth–why weren’t we out there exerting political power and influence right now–why weren’t we out there shouting the truth from the housetops so everyone could soak it up immediately? I doubt if he would have listened if someone told him it just doesn’t work this way–at least it hasn’t in the over four decades I’ve been writing and talking to people.
He brought this question up in one of the sessions that had a guest speaker, and the speaker asked him pointedly if he really wanted to exert some power and influence. The impatient young man said definitely yes. Whereupon the visiting speaker told him to go out, get married, and raise a family. That was not the reply he wanted. He was seeking some magic formula that he could work to make happen right now, today, immediately if not sooner. The long-term concept of marriage and raising a family and taking the time to instruct them in the history and culture of the South was totally unappealing to him–all that just takes too long. He wanted his results now, or, at least, before noon tomorrow. He had not yet grasped the fact that life doesn’t work that way. God’s Kingdom, of which all Christians are a part, doesn’t work that way. Of course this young man made no pretentions to Christianity–if anything, he was hostile toward it. Later on when someone mentioned the Christian culture of the Old South to him he stated: “I’m fighting for a flag, not a religion.” Little did he realize that the flag he was fighting for had its foundations in the Christian faith. He didn’t want to hear that.
How many are there in the Confederate and Southern Movements today that suffer from the “instant gratification syndrome?” They want Southern independence no later than tomorrow afternoon (morning would be better) at the latest. Many of these folks seek Southern salvation in political candidates and political programs. Just get the right pro-South politicians in place and move your agenda right along–as soon as they are sworn into office. Again, neither secular life or God’s Kingdom work this way.
Let’s be honest. The vast majority of politicians exist only to get elected and re-elected. Once they find out how good it is to feed at the public trough, they get to liking it and they want more (all at our expense). So if we think politicians are going to be the salvation of the Confederate Movement we will, as Khrushchev said, years ago, “wait for a shrimp to whistle.” Folks, as the man says “it ain’t gonna happen. In the first place, politicians are no one’s salvation. The only salvation there is comes through Jesus Christ, who truly said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, No man comes to the Father but by me.” That includes the politician, who needs Jesus Christ every bit as much as anyone else.
If the Confederate and Southern Movements are going to be preserved, we must start with the culture, not with lying politicians. In all honesty, how can anyone look at these lying charlatans in Washington and many of our state capitals and believe anything they say? They will promise you anything to get your vote–even to the point of telling you if you like your current health insurance you can keep it, when they know it’s all hogwash. We’ve had too many years of all that and yet we don’t seem to learn. Our public school “educations” have not been noted for bestowing discernment on those forced to participate in them.
We have, with the Lord’s help and guidance, got to rebuild our own Southern (and Christian) culture, and in the economy of God’s Kingdom, that won’t be done overnight. If we are faithful and persevere with what we need to do daily, our grandchildren may live to see some benefit, but we, ourselves, will live to see precious little of the fruits of our efforts. Doesn’t sound overly glamorous does it? No adventurous cavalry charges or hoards of grey-uniformed men marching in the streets of our Southern capitals. God’s Kingdom seldom works that way. The Lord works a little at a time, often in ways we don’t even notice, but if we are faithful each day with what He gives us to do then we are helping to construct a foundation that others can build upon. If we hadn’t done that, they would have nothing to build upon, so what we do in God’s Kingdom is important even though it may seem small and we don’t see results. That doesn’t mean the results aren’t there. It often means we are too impatient to recognize them.
However, there are certain things we can do as individuals and families and know that what we do is right for our families. We can begin to secede from the Yankee culture around us. There is a lot there, from the drivel on television to other things we can flat-out refuse to take part in. We don’t need television for the “news.” We don’t get it there anyway! You can get the weather report on a local radio station and we can begin to search out alternate news sources, some of which will give us some accuracy. This may require a bit of discernment, but if you work at it you can learn how to do it, and how to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to what you see. There are excellent publications out there that will give you real news and valid opinions rather than watching Walter Crankcase or Dan Rather-biased. And without television you can actually teach your kids to read good books, and there are a lot of them out there today.
Even more importantly, you can begin removing your children from the educationally lobotomizing programs that pass for “education” in the government indoctrination centers we charitably refer to as public schools. Teach your children at home (it’s not all that difficult. We did it) or find a good Christian school, one that reflects your worldview. Search out good history material to teach them from. There is more good material out there now than there was when we home schooled. The last year we home schooled our daughter, I used Rev. Steve Wilkins’ excellent tape series America–the first 350 years for her American history course that year. I believe this series is now available on MP3. Our daughter learned solid American history and last year, taught that same course to her children. That is a covenantal, biblical approach. This is how you exert influence for God’s Kingdom–one student and one family at a time. It takes longer, and there are no instant rewards except the knowledge that you have been faithful to the best of your ability. By doing this work diligently, both your faith and Southern Christian culture are preserved and God’s Kingdom is extended–even if you fail to notice it.
Ah, patience, the least glamorous of virtues, and the one I possess the least of!
I agree with what you have written, but I do think we need to do more outside of the family. We need to start businesses, especially schools and alternative media, and create a separate society outside of the mainstream. We need cultural institutions that aren’t beholden to the gov or some nonprofit org (looking at you, UDC!) and our own gatherings. We should look to the Amish, Jews and other tight knit groups for ideas.
I have been looking into an online radio station through Live365 with the idea of looking for independent Southern artists to play in addition to well known and classic artists. Online tv along the Hulu model would also be doable, but we’d need writers, directors, actors, etc. There are already publishers, who owns a bookstore? The time has never been better for sub cultures, all we need to do is take advantage of what’s out there and “put our money where our mouths are”.
On another note, the most active SN group, the League of the South, has been holding demonstrations recently, but unfortunately they are crafting a new image that bears little resemblance to Southern nationalism. They have quit using a recognisable Confederate flag instead crafting their own “activist” flag and judging by commentary on the blogs, they are morphing into more of a generic white nationalist group. Very disappointing. At a time when anti federal government and anti immigration sentiment is growing, Southern Nationalism could seize the moment and make real gains.
I don’t disagree with your suggestions at all. If such can be done I am all for it. I think we need to try to influence the culture at large, but using some of these means to do that I think is a good idea.
I doubt we have the clout to influence the larger culture much until we have a more visible unity. Our cities and state governments are being over run by liberal carpetbaggers, no offense, and we are slandered in the American media.
I see a fractured Southern culture losing it’s institutions.
We’ve got the LoS, Confederate Society of America, a Provisional Confederate government, an interim Confederate government and a thousand other groups all vying to be the focal point of a Confederate renaissance. Mass culture is what unifies society, not internet debate (as fun as it is!) . All it takes is a few people to create an outlet and it will open the floodgates of identity.
A Southern political party wouldn’t hurt, either.
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