by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
A little review of the 14th Amendment shows us that it accomplished certain ends consistent with Yankee/Marxist revolutionary aims for both the War of Northern Aggression and for the period after that revolution. We ought to get used to referring to it as a revolution for, in truth, it was the first American Revolution.
It was a revolution in which God-given liberties were exchanged for “privileges and immunities” granted by an all-powerful federal government in Washington. After the shooting phase of that revolution was over the United States played the part of Esau on a national scale. We traded our God-given birthright for a mess of federal pottage, and now we weep, as did Esau, because we do not have God’s blessing. In fact, if you read Patrick Henry, a case might be made that we did the same thing in 1787 in Philadelphia. At any rate, we don’t have God’s blessing because, in our apostasy, we don’t deserve it.
Instead of enjoying the blessings of God, we now labor under such apostate vehicles as Thaddeus Stevens’ 14th Amendment.
How many even realize that the 14th Amendment redefined citizenship in this country? Up until the War, a man was considered a citizen of the United States due to his first being a citizen of the state he lived in. A man was a United States citizen because he was first a citizen of Texas, or Louisiana, or New Jersey. His state citizenship gave him his status as a U.S. citizen.
After the adoption of the 14th Amendment, however, a man became foremost a citizen of the United States rather than of the state he lived in. His state citizenship was, to all intents and purposes, at best secondary, if even that. This was consistent with Northern revolutionary aims and opened the door for future federal intervention in the various states in areas the federal government had no business being in.
The Kennedy Brothers, in their book The South Was Right, noted the political gyrations of Thaddeus Stevens and his Yankee/Marxist cohorts. They observed: “To secure enactment of the amendment, the Northern Congress had to accomplish the following: Declare the Southern states outside of the erstwhile indivisible Union. Deny majority rule in the Southern states by the disenfranchisement of large numbers of the white population. Require the Southern states to ratify the amendment as the price of getting back into the Union from which heretofore they had been denied the right to secede.” Did you get all that?
But they continued: “The third point could be turned into a Yankee brain-teaser. The North, in 1866, removed the Southern states from the Union. This was the same North that in 1861 refused to allow the South to secede from the Union. This same North now declared the Southern states to be non-states. To get back into the Union (that originally the South did not want to be part of anyway, and from which it had previously been denied the right to secede), it was required to perform the function of a state in that Union, while still officially no longer a part of that Union, by ratifying an amendment that previously as states in the Union it had legally rejected! Words alone fail to meet the challenge of such pure Yankee logic.” Almost makes you wonder what brand of revolutionary weed Stevens and his pals had been smoking!
Some have, upon reflection, observed that the adoption of the 14th Amendment opened the door for the adoption of the 17th Amendment, the direct election of Senators by popular vote. One can, almost in overview, see an evolutionary process in this, whereby we first lose our state citizenship, then, eventually, even national citizenship, until we all finally become “citizens of the world” much like Karl Marx’s “workers of the world.” Don’t supposed there might be any connection do you?
So Thaddeus Stevens was a moving force in helping to bury the concept of state citizenship in favor of national citizenship. The naïve might be tempted to be charitable and feel that Stevens didn’t fully realize just what he was doing. Sorry, but I have a suspicious mind. Stevens, the professional South-hater, knew exactly what he was doing!
Stevens and his crowd were apostate revolutionaries of the first order. Their main agenda was to alter the American system of government, taking care to maintain the forms while changing the real substance. Unfortunately their revolution succeeded. We today are living with the results of what they did. Whatever its faults, and they were numerous, the system of government the founders gave us died with the Southern loss of the Marxist/Lincolnist Revolution of 1861. Those who fail to recognize this have missed the boat. We hear so much talk today from sincere folks who have not been on the firing line long enough to know the difference. They shout about “taking America back.” Back to what??? What most of them fail to realize is that what they want to take us back to is what they grew up with–the “good old days.” Won’t happen, because their “good old days” happened way after the revolution had been accomplished. They are 150 years too late! You hear the same refrain from them regarding the public school system. They want to take it back to where it was when they grew up, not realizing that it had already been in revolutionary mode back in the 1830s in his heyday. When something has been bad since day one, what do you “reform” it back to–pre-existence? That might not be a bad idea!
When Stevens introduced the 14th Amendment, some of the more cautious Republicans threatened to remove his third section of it, dealing with the ineligibility of former Confederate leaders to run for Congress until at least 1876. Stevens wasn’t having any of that! Through political maneuvering, at which he was a past master, he put together a coalition of radicals and Democrats to prevent that change. He pled with them to fully retain that third section. His vindictive anti-Southern nature clearly showed as he pleaded: “It is too lenient for my hard heart. Not only to 1870, but to 18070, every rebel who shed the blood of loyal men should be prevented from exercising any power in this government.” A true example of Northern charity and forgiveness. Had Stevens been able to shape his vindictive attitude to conform to Biblical standards the country might have been better off.
However, Stevens lacked such capacity. Long after Stevens’ death, an old political opponent, Jeremiah S. Black, noted of him that: “When he died he was unequaled in this country as a lawyer. He said the smartest things ever said. But his mind, as far as his sense of obligation to God was concerned, was a howling wilderness.” So noted Fawn Brodie in her biographical work on Stevens.
God stated in both Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:19 that vengeance belongs to Him, that man is only to execute that which God entrusts to him, and he is to leave vengeance to God. Stevens, in a manner so typical of most revolutionaries and apostates ignored this, as he did most of the rest of Scripture. With his revolutionary mindset, and for his own twisted reasons, he sought vengeance on all whites in the South, the vast majority of whom had never done him any harm.
The 14th Amendment, in its final form, dealt with four different areas. In the first, it made the radical departure of redefining citizenship as a national rather than a state matter. This was an important first step toward making the states mere vassals of the federal deity in Washington. The second section reduced representation in Southern states to a basis of the voting population only. The third section excluded Confederate leaders from office indefinitely, barring a two-thirds vote by Congress. The fourth section repudiated the Confederate debt and upheld the Union’s national debt.
Attempting to explain all the implications of this radical amendment would take more space than I can spare here and if it got too in-depth most would just quit reading. Hopefully these brief comments will give some the incentive to dig into the 14th Amendment, as well as the second 13th Amendment and the 15th Amendment to see what implications these have for us today, especially in regard to our modern “civil rights” movement.