One year ago today, Allen Armentrout took a rebel stand in Charlottesville, Virginia (see part 1). The world deemed his peaceful and principled actions as racist and traitorous. Like cultural-Marxist clockwork, the politically correct ramifications (see part 2) immediately began unfolding for the unReconstructed Southerner.
Armentrout knew he couldn't overcome these trials and tribulations by himself. So he leaned on the cornerstone of his life: Jesus Christ.
“What got me through it all, honestly, was I knew what I had done was the light of the Lord," the 22-year-old said during our recent two-hour chat. “If God has a will for our life, we better do it."
"In the end, God’s got a bigger plan and something way better for us. And if we don’t receive rewards or blessings … in this life, we will in the next.” Wise words from such a young man.
The rebel remnant
God's favors did begin to manifest for Armentrout in the here and now. He experienced an outpouring of support, monetary and otherwise, from a slew of Southern-without-apology compatriots and even a few Northerners.
One of his favorite correspondence (as well as a generous donation to his college fund) came from a lawyer in New York City. “Good job, young man," the letter read. "Even though I’m a Yankee, I respect your integrity and your character.”
The tremendous encouragement of like-minded folks who dare to oppose the cultural genocide was a feeling reminiscent to his days flagging overpasses in Pensacola, said Armentrout. Sure, there were always a few loud and belligerent people, who castigated him from their sense of self-appointed moral superiority.
"But at the same time, you’ve probably got four or five as many people going under the bridge, giving you salutes and thumbs up and honking their horns," he recalled of his early activist days. "I’m telling you, it makes you feel free.”
He also got the backing of numerous SCV camps, received an award from the Military Order of the Stars and Bars, and was flown around the country for pro-Southern speaking engagements. The accolades were greatly appreciated and spurred in him hope for the Southern cause.
To defy the status quo is a rarity these days. But to do so in such a gallant and solitary way is almost unheard of. It struck a nerve with Southerners and non-leftists of all stripes. People who said, "It's about damn time somebody stood up!"
Armentrout's act of allegiance to ancestry, real history, and patriotic principles was even immortalized in a music video and his image made into pop art (as seen above). "I'm very thankful there’s a remnant of people still left that respect the old-time way," he said humbly.
From Russia with love
Armentrout's blessings continued when he was contacted on Instagram by a woman from Moscow, Russia. “'You’re a hero,' she wrote. 'You’re a celebrity in Russia.'"
At first, he was distrustful and thought the message was some sort of publicity stunt. But as it turned out, she worked for the largest non-government-controlled media in Russia, Armentrout told me, and this free-press news channel wanted to interview him.
“For an American to actively stand up against the liberal movement and to experience what I experienced, to them, I’m a folk hero," Armentrout commented. "I don’t consider myself a hero … but that’s how they saw me.”
So, he prayed about it and finally agreed to the offer. A Los Angeles correspondent and news team from Moscow flew into North Carolina, and Armentrout met them at a park near his house.
He specifically chose a public meeting place. “Last thing I want to do is get abducted, thrown into a van, and wake up in Russia somewhere,” he remarked with a chuckle.
When The Last Patriot of America segment aired, "I had hundreds of people from [former] Eastern Bloc countries and Russia contact me, and telling me, 'We’re proud of you. Russia backs you up!'"
”People who lived under communism know how precious freedom is and they see the leftist direction America is going," Armentrout assessed. "They’re screaming ... ‘Don’t give up your rights! Why are you giving in to these liberals? Why are you letting them take over this country? We’ve been there, done that. It doesn’t work!'"
Still today, some in the Russian press will refer to Armentrout as “one of the few traditionalists” left in America. Funny that the most honest assessment he got from any TV news network or newspaper came from people who once lived under Bolshevism.
“It showed me the condition of America," he said matter-of-factly. "The truth in American journalism is just dying out. It’s all fake.”
Triumph over tragedy
Another happy point for Armentrout was that he and Pensacola State University came to an amicable agreement, and he eventually got accepted to a new school. All his college credits transferred, and he'll be graduating in May 2019, just one year late and debt-free.
During the interim, Armentrout got a job with a tree company, which offered him a short-term but adventurous opportunity to work out in California with the sequoias. He also bought a house in North Carolina, which he's now subleasing, so he could accept a career-advancing position out of state.
This Proverbs reference was recently tagged on Charlottesville’s Beta Bridge, which serves as a “tradition of expression” for locals and UVA students. The verse is “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” and was painted along with the words “Love thy neighbor as thyself” from Mark 12:31. This display of humility and hope covered Antifa’s message, “Still here, still fighting,” as well as their socialist-paramilitary symbols. Guess what, comrades? We rebels are still here and fighting, too
"The reason that good things happen in my life is because the Lord’s good to me," Armentrout affirmed. "I don’t take a bit of credit for any of it. It’s all Him.”
He sees too how God used his seeming misfortune to open other doors. "I was able to witness to some people that the Lord put in my life through this ‘set back.' I know that ultimately through my suffering … I was able to share the Gospel."
When asked if he'd do Charlottesville all over again, Armentrout replied with an adamant "yes." He's simply not consumed by the rage and the debasement that so defines the leftist mob and their sinister “social justice.”
He holds no animus toward the people who screamed obscenities at him or lied about him. He's not angry about the disruptions that were needlessly caused in his life.
“As Southerners, we invest emotionally in what we do. When we believe, we put our heart and soul into it. When people attack us ... it hurts," Armentrout admitted. Yet this Southern son overcame. He perseveres by holding tight to his faith, praying for his enemies, and clinging to heritage.
"You can’t change history," he said. "You can rewrite it. You can author it. You can brainwash millions of people, but it doesn’t change what actually happened. And people that stand up for the truth are always and will always be in the right.”
"Duty ... is the sublimest word in the our language. Do your duty in all things ... You cannot do more, and you should never do less."
"There is scarcely anything that is right that we cannot hope to accomplish by labor and perseverance. But the first must be earnest and the second unremitting."
— Robert E. Lee
"Just put a foot down. This is your blood."
To the willfully uninformed, Armentrout was some loony kid who wanted to play dress-up on that fateful day in Charlottesville last August. Or perhaps a "Nazi" who aimed to stir up trouble. Or maybe just a backwoods yahoo with bad timing.
Charlottesville was "not my first rodeo," Armentrout said. In fact, ever since he took that life-changing ancestral pilgrimage to Keezletown and witnessed those unkept veterans' graves, he had become a quiet but confident Dixie activist.
It first began with Armentrout attending city council meetings and tending to a Confederate cemetery in his hometown of High Point, North Carolina, where he'd clean the markers, rake pine needles, and fly his Battle Flag. Then “I would play Dixie on my phone and I would stand there and salute."
"I didn’t care who was watching," he explained. "I just knew that what I was doing was right."
“I would do it by myself, unfortunately,” he remarked, adding that there were always people who’d promise him they’d be there next time. But they never showed. “I’m not waiting on any other person."
"Part of being Southern is being able to lead yourself, being able to govern yourself. Being able to say, ‘This is important to me, and I’m going to make it a point to go out and do something for what I believe and love.'"
Proving grounds of a patriot
The camp's membership were “older gentlemen, who were not as zealous and, in my opinion, were kinda burned out," he said. Armentrout was told on several occasions that if he kept flagging, he needed to represent himself as an individual, clearly distinguishing himself from the local SCV.
“Isn’t that what I joined this camp for?" he asked rhetorically. "I broke out my suit and started going to city council meetings as an ‘individual.’ I got super-active.”
His Dixie advocacy was well known in the Florida Panhandle. He was asked to lead the re-dedication ceremony (photo seen at top) of a once-public Confederate statue and flag, which had been returned to a local by the City of Crestview.
The Pensacola SCV "came after me and even attacked me, saying I was capitulating" to the Southern-symbol removers. Armentrout said. "I had had about enough of it.”
"There is no more dangerous experiment than that of undertaking to be one thing before a man's face and another behind his back." — Robert E. Lee
Although an SCV member in good standing, Armentrout understands the struggles of "Southern heritage" organizations trying to exist and do battle in our prickly post-modern world. Many Confederate descendants aren't even willing to try to take the hill, much less die on it.
The Big Sleezy
Monuments to three of the Confederacy's most notable heroes – Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Louisiana's own P.G.T. Beauregard – were under threat by quisling extraordinaire, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a sinister Soros-backed band of carpetbaggers known as Take 'Em Down NOLA, and all the usual suspects. These statues have all since come down.
Antifa "want to see the destruction of this country," Armentrout affirmed. “I saw them disgracing and tagging the monuments … and I said, ‘Where are the good guys?’"
"The only opposition the TV shows is people making fools of themselves ... some guy doing something stupid with a Confederate Flag or saying something that makes him sound idiotic.” He wanted to counter that narrative and be a good guy.
“The SCV is a very valuable asset ... (but) some members are not that good at actively taking up a Battle Flag and marching into a threat." He was, so he did. And did so solo yet again.
Up to now, Armentrout had received his share of disapproving looks when caring for tombstones in High Point. In Pensacola, the full-time student and employee and part-time activist had been told to "get a job," called a "dumb ass," and given pretentious lectures by guilt-obsessed people who claimed to have Confederate lineage.
He had even had a jar of peanut butter thrown at him while on a Florida overpass. So, when a black preacher cursed at him in New Orleans, it wasn't that shocking – just another step in the social devolution he was experiencing firsthand as a resistor against it.
But seeing the stunning statues doused in red paint and covered with sticky foam did take him aback. And the city's foot soldiers were even more jarring.
“I saw a fire truck roll by and a fireman got off the truck wearing a mask and a riot helmet, got a crowbar, ripped the plaque off of this monument … and threw it in the back of the truck and sped off." The "goons" flabbergasted Armentrout.
“So many people are not natural leaders, they’re natural followers."
“In the South today, you have to understand, the Reconstruction and living under 150 years of Yankee occupation is going to have an effect on the inhabitants," Armentrout said of anti-Confederate groupthink. "150 years of deluded history and eventually rewritten history, the implication of apathy in schools, where kids are taught not to care, is going to take its toll.”
“They’re just a product of the environment that the Yankees created." It's a gracious stance that many people, including some fellow Christians, would have a hard time taking: Lord forgive them for they know not what they do.
"I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South its dearest rights. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and I have never seen the day when I did not pray for them." — Robert E. Lee
He continued, "It gives the police dispatcher a forewarning and the police officer a prelude to understanding what’s going on before he pulls up to the scene.” It can help to dispel misinformation and fabricated claims of violence, as well.
Armentrout also had close friends of the family act as his advocates, phoning the police third-party, simply communicating that he’s "on point and not crazy." All necessary precautions when entering as hostile an environment as Charlottesville.
He told me the cops were utterly professional, both the ones who talked with him en route to Lee Park and once on site. “The police sergeant came up to me and was like, ‘Sir, you have every right to be here. We are here for you public safety because we know what can happen.”
The officer told Armentrout they had other things going on in the city and that his being there was tying up law enforcement resources. He added, “But we don’t expect you to leave.”
“Sir, I definitely respect other people’s public safety," responded Armentrout. “I just came up here to respect my ancestors and pay my respects to Lee, and I just wanted to see this monument in the event it was taken down.”
Armentrout also noted that he'd driven far to honor Lee and needed a few more minutes, but did request a police escort back to his vehicle. "I wouldn’t feel comfortable walking out of here," he said. So he whistled "Dixie" in his head, gave a final salute, and then nodded to the police.
"We should live, act, and say nothing to the injury of anyone. It is not only best as a matter of principle, but it is the path to peace and honor." — Robert E. Lee
Armentrout's .45 remained holstered while he rode in the front of the police cruiser, and his AR-15 just laid in the backseat. "'This guy has a handgun on his side in my patrol car' was probably the last of [the cop's] concerns. He was probably like ‘I need to get this guy out of my town before another Saturday happens.”
"He’s by himself with an AR at a Confederate monument that’s been at the seat of controversy. He’s going to do something … and we’re going to get it on camera.”
But “I didn’t, and it blew their minds. That’s what made those people yelling at me even madder," he added. "I hope that me doing that … maybe they could see what Christ was like in that small moment. I had faith."
"We must be very careful how we are influenced by hearsay." — Robert E. Lee
Wanting to set the record straight, Armentrout answered questions from a few newspapers, but the so-called journalists turned out to be hacks who wrote predictable hit pieces. Of course.
He said an English reporter wrote article with “a huge slant, basically saying I was condescending of women because I would pay for their dates or hold doors for them. I said, ‘I’m proud of that. I’m a gentleman.” So he stopped giving interviews.
Unfortunately, Armentrout was also "released" from his upcoming senior year at Pensacola State University, which was supposed to be free. Not a good place for a young college kid to be, especially one who believes that "debt enslaves a person."
Armentrout used GoFundMe to try to raise money for finishing up his undergraduate degree. But the website shut him down – twice! - due to alleged "hate speech" violations.
"You've got to be a man, you gotta take command of your own life, you gotta make choices that are tough," he tells compatriots who may find themselves in these same dire straights. "You gotta decide what you want for you and your family, you gotta be willing to protect them."
It takes earnest labor and unremitting perseverance, just like Lee wrote. "One day the Lord might call them to take a stand," Armentrout said. "It’s not easy, but it’s worth it."
Be sure to check out part 3, "Humility and hope."
Original blog posted at DissidentMama.net.
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Raised right, educated in true history, and nourished in the God of the Bible, Armentrout's also a fearless resistor to the Southern cultural genocide. To me, he serves as a much-needed light in these dark and dangerous times. I hope you will agree.
The Cloud and the Darkness
“She actually whispered in my ear," Armentrout told me in my recent two-hour phone interview with him (click here for full audio). The "she" he's referring to is the black woman seen in this video and the link above.
"It was kinda eerie. I can still hear it. She was like ‘We’re going to find you, chop your body up into tiny pieces, and people aren’t even going to know.'" That'd be peak social justice, I suppose.
The most well-known image from that Tuesday in Charlottesville, Virginia, is at top, a picture in which Lara Rogers, a middle-aged mother of three shoves double-birds in Armentrout's face. To cultural Marxists, Rogers is considered a "middle-fingered hero," who's just resisting "white supremacy."
They're Jacobins who resort to vitriol and bully tactics while claiming the moral high ground against a young man who simply wants to defend his hearth and heritage against a fashionable and utterly dangerous cultural genocide. They claim unity, but seek to conquer. The claim victim status, but revel in schadenfreude.
Stand Unflinchingly By Your Post
“Can you imagine what they might have done if I didn’t have a gun, if that was how volatile they were with me having a gun?” continued Armentrout, who came to Charlottesville open-carrying an AR-15 on his left shoulder and a holstered .45 handgun on his right hip, wearing a Confederate kepi and jacket, and holding a large Battle Flag.
Simply exercising his God-given and legal right to self-defense threw some emotive apparatchiks into a tizzy, of course. Leftists simply cannot fathom the concept of self-defense because they childishly equate guns with murder.
It also tweaked some of Armentrout's supporters, who thought the weaponry sent the wrong message, considering the violence that had unfolded in Charlottesville just three days prior. He admitted he almost left the rifle in the trunk of his car.
But with “all this hating on the ARs,” he opted to prove that the maligned gun can be used in a peaceful way and as a deterrent to harm and criminality. “Every time an AR-15’s been put on the news, it’s ‘Oh, it’s killed somebody.' This time, it’s not going to be that way."
“People nowadays do not value life," he added. "How hard do you think it’d be to kill a kid with a Confederate flag at a controversial monument? It’d be nothin’."
When in the Conflict of Life
En route, a man brandished a weapon and made veiled threats, and a few cops approached him. Undeterred, Armentrout steadfastly marched onward, weapons visible and flag flying high. Such are the battle lines in this 4th-generation war and Lee Park was the beachhead.
This kind of puritanical purge of all things Southern is one of the many reasons the Unite the Right (UTR) rally had even taken place in city the previous weekend. The 26-feet-high bronze sculpture simply came to represent resistance to the leftist status quo because the Charlottesville barbarians made it so.
The horrific event, as described by my friend who attended the rally, didn't occur because the city is a "place fractured by racial history and racial wounds," assert the social-justice shills. The calamity was caused by these very hand-wringers who now cry foul and proved what dissidents of all stripes have been saying all along: we live under anarcho-tyranny.
And the cultural Marxists' cleansing of Confederate symbols and subsequent celebration of evildoers only proliferated post-UTR, amplifying that ugly reality. In fact, it was the razing of the Confederate veteran statue in Durham by a legion of lunatics which inspired Armentrout to head to Virginia.
“There does come a point where morally what they believe in is completely wrong and threatens my way of life in some cases," Armentrout said of the Reconstructed masses. "And that’s when you have to stand up for what you believe in.”
Charlottesville is a case study in peak democracy. It's the bitter pill that there's an outright state-enforced, media-pushed, corporate-collaborated war against freedom of conscience, civility, and federalism. And Dixie is its emblematic whipping boy.
"It is history that teaches us to hope."
— Robert E. Lee
“There once was a group of people who said, ‘Enough’s enough,’ and took up arms against" central authority, he continued. "The federal government doesn’t want people to know about that.” He's absolutely correct: that's what this is about.
“They can tear down every monument. They can kill every Southerner. They can burn every history book. They can dig up every Confederate grave. It doesn’t change what happened. The truth cannot be destroyed, ever.”
“With Christ, comes freedom, and with Christianity, comes free will," affirmed Armentrout when critiquing America's spiritual and social degradation. "We can fight. We can complain ... but until we turn our hearts over to the Lord, it’s not going to change anything.”
Faithful to the Discharge of your Duty
His maturity in faith and unwavering courage in his beliefs are the blessings of God, Armentrout said. How else could one remain so undaunted in the face of such vile chastisement?
This self-control he exhibited is what astounded people. "How could you be so calm? I would’ve knocked her upside the head," Armentrout said were some of the most common comments regarding Rogers' infantile aggression.
“Yeah, well, I wanted to, but that’s not the Christian thing to do ... you can turn the other cheek when people are cussing you. Through just that one character trait alone, I showed Christ in me ... (but) it does take some restraint from the Holy Spirit.”
"My chief concern is to try to be an honest, earnest Christian."
— Robert E. Lee
But when the maniacal mobsters ambushed him, he "clammed up." Attempting to have a civil exchange with uncivil and miseducated people is "a lost cause," he said.
“This is our town!” cried out a person, who was probably not even a native of the city, much less of Virginia. “Racist go home!” chanted the blood-thirsty gaggle. "You're not welcome here!"
The South is his home.
The Armentrouts constructed churches, grew their families, cultivated community, fostered freedom, and continued defending Virginia during both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Continuing the patriotic lineage, his fourth great-grandfather served in the Confederate Army in the Stonewall Brigade during the War Between the States.
"I’m just very proud … of the sacrifice they gave so that I can live in this country," he said of his kin. I'm "thankful that even though we were defeated, that my ancestors stood up to the Yankees and the invaders and tried to fight for our independence there, too.”
"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today."
He decided to clean those neglected veteran gravestones “of men who died for our rights and our freedoms hundreds of miles away from their families.” Many of their “descendants probably don’t even know where they are. For all I know there might be an Armentrout in Missouri or Texas, somewhere far away from me that hopefully a fellow compatriot out there might clean.”
"I learned a lot from my dad and those two pictures."
"My dad taught me as a young man to revere those individuals and taught me what they believed, showed me what to stand for and what not to. I was taught that I have rights and freedoms. I was taught the truth and I was taught to care.”
"I think it better to do right, even if we suffer in doing so, than to incur the reproach of our consciences and posterity."
— Robert E. Lee
Just like we Orthodox look to the saints and use their stories to help grow us in faith, Armentrout looks to the enigmatic Lee and Jackson. Just like we Orthodox are called upon to pray for our dead Christian ancestors, Armentrout honors his.
Just like the traditional Orthodox fought against iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire, Armentrout resists the destruction of his symbols and traditions. This all gives him a sense of purpose. Pride in a people.
“A man’s life is always trying to seek things to fill the void in his heart and respecting those who fought and died for you completes you in some way," he said. It's about time and place. Identity and meaning. Ties that bind. And being a grateful Southern son."
Be sure to check out part 2, "Take my stand."
Original blog posted at DissidentMama.net.
Liked it? Please consider supporting DM on Patreon.
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
— “The Pledge of Allegiance,” September 9, 1892
With Independence Day just a few weeks ago and all the statist fervor that’s displayed annually around the holiday, I’m reminded of why I don’t say “The Pledge of Allegiance.” Let’s begin with the sordid inception of this American ritual.
The Pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a 19th-century Christian socialist and member of the Boston-born movement known as the Nationalist Club. The organization urged for the nationalization of private property and exponential growth in social services, especially public education.
So, what we’re talking about here is not the kind of nationalism that seeks political independence for a regional people who share a distinct culture, language, and religion. Rather, this was more about “economic democracy.” In other words, socialism.
Enter Francis’ cousin, Edward Bellamy, a then-famous author of socialist-utopian novels. Edward’s “Looking Backward” was the third best-selling book of the day and greatly influenced none other than progressive public-school advocate, John Dewey. The book also inspired the proliferation of more Nationalist Clubs, where Bellamyites would gather to study Marxism and disseminate anti-capitalist ideas.
The blue-blood’s brand of nationalism coursed its way through the veins of America’s body politic and into many cities beyond Boston. The movement found common cause with reformers of the era, such as the People’s Party, the Social Labor Party, and the Social Democratic Party. And at the club’s height, there were chapters as far away as Washington, D.C., Chicago, Canada, California, and New Zealand.
Back to Francis: in the late 1880s, he was fired from his New England pastoral job for incessantly preaching that Jesus was a socialist. But he went on to become the founding vice president of the Society of Christian Socialists and a frequent contributor to its circular, “The Dawn.”
Francis was then hired by “The Youth’s Companion” (YC), a leading children’s publication that also featured works by Americana greats, like Jack London, Mark Twain, and Booker T. Washington. As content creators in the magazine’s premium department, Francis and James B. Upham began a promotion in 1888 that solicited subscriptions from public schools with the bonus of receiving a U.S. flag.
Up until this point, flying the stars and stripes wasn’t a common custom most anywhere. Remember, this was prior to the country’s ascent into foreign-adventurism during the Spanish-American War and subsequent role as global-policeman via propaganda pushed during both world wars.
But despite 20-plus years of Reconstruction, people still largely identified with their community, state, or region at this time. It’s not that folks weren’t proud of their home, it’s just that their home wasn’t the “nation.”
Plus, Unionism wasn’t (and I would argue, still isn’t among loud and proud Dixie natives) the instinct of most homegrown Americans, so shows of patriotism weren’t really necessary. Hell, Congress didn’t proclaim the 4th of July an official holiday until 1870, and Southern cities, like battle-worn Vicksburg, Miss., didn’t even celebrate it till the early 1900s.
But in just a few short years of YC’s promotion, approximately 26,000 flags had moved into public schools through this ingenious marketing concept. As with most business strategies, though, demand began to stagnate. So in 1892, Upham had another grand idea: increase magazine sales and the numbers of flags into schools by couching the promotion as a way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus coming to the Americas.
A new flag pledge was published in the September 8 issue of YC. Students were encouraged to memorize and recite it, as well as participate in a novel flag-raising ceremony to observe the upcoming Columbus Day in October.
Francis spoke at a national meeting of school superintendents in support of the gimmick, er, I mean, patriotic program. Of course, the educrats were seduced by the campaign and happily obliged at utilizing government education to work the Pledge into the consciousness of the masses.
“Our public school system is what makes this Nation superior to all other Nations,” Sherman Hoar, U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts, told Francis in support of the pledge campaign. Pompous populism was at a fever pitch.
The National Education Association became a sponsor, and U.S. Congress and President Benjamin Harrison also participated in the excitement, making a national proclamation about the Columbus Day pledge-and-flag event. And so was born a new American covenant.
Interestingly, the pledge was originally recited while raising a stiff right hand upward. Due to its similarities to the Nazi salute, this practice was discontinued during WWII and replaced with placing right hand over heart. At the urging of the Knights of Columbus, “Under God” was added by Congress and President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 as a stance against the threat of atheist communism. Oh the irony.
So, controversies over the Pledge’s words have become an all-encompassing straw man: while leftists fight to have the Pledge taken out of schools (even though they’re the ones who put it there), godly limited-government folks think they’re being both patriotic and faithful in promoting the Pledge’s public prominence (even though it’s a socialist screed). The discombobulation is baffling.
The terminology of the now-lionized Pledge echoed the sentiments that was – and still is – the vanguard of New England meddlesomeness, which spread like wildfire throughout the Progressive Era. It ramped up in the late 1800s and hammered home the wrath of Reconstruction, planting the creeping seeds of post-modern socialism that slowly but surely befell 20th-century America and is today in despondent, dark bloom.
“Republic … is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove,” Francis explained of the terms he used in crafting the Pledge. “To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as [Daniel] Webster and [Abraham] Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches.”
He also wanted the political vow to be “an intensive communing with salient points of our national history … [including] the meaning of the Civil War” and viewed his Pledge as an “inoculation” against radicalism. And as a puritanical populist who once ran for New York governor on the Prohibition Party ticket, you know the “virus” of subversion to which he was referring was states’ rights.
There’s a reason “Happy Secession Day” was trending on social media this 4th of July: many people are coming to realize that Revolutionary colonists fought to break from the British by severing their relationship with the crown. Indeed, These United States were born of divisibility.
Secession, not oneness, is our heritage, no matter what progressive pundits or public-school propagandists say. Questioning “the republic” and “the flag for which it stands” is as American as apple pie; it is truly in line with our founding as a people of freedom and faith. Our legacy is not that of soulless automatons and empire worshippers.
“I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has ‘the freeborn mind,'” C.S. Lewis said. “For independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs and asks nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology.”
Now I know Lewis is a Brit, but I think it’s important to have a strong Christian counterpoint to Francis’ social-gospel message. Lewis may have been a mutton-and-turnip-eating Irishman, but he surely had his Anglican finger on the pulse of what it means to be faithful and free-thinking – an often difficult task for some Christians to accomplish, much less one who adheres to the tenets of socialism and its imperial aims.
Government that’s smaller and closer to home is always better for liberty, and Dixie has been living under an antithetical system for way too long a time. As an unReconstructed Southerner, I see the Pledge’s “one nation” and “indivisibility” mantras as simply reinforcing the central authoritarianism which my Confederate ancestors fought against.
Take the experience of Francis Key Howard, grandson of Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Key composed what came to be the lyrics of America’s national anthem when witnessing the U.S. flag waving in Baltimore harbor after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812.
Fast forward not even 50 years to the War of North Aggression, when Howard was arrested without warrant in accordance with the federal government’s policy of jailing dissenters of Lincoln’s wartime policies. Howard’s crime? He had written an editorial condemning Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, implementation of martial law in Baltimore, and imprisonment of the city’s mayor, its police commissioners, the entire city council, and a sitting U.S. Congressman – all without charge.
By imprisoning so many of his political enemies, Lincoln prevented Marylanders from ever having a vote on secession. After all, people can’t challenge the unrestrained power of the nation-state and its usurpation of authority, if their leaders are all locked away.
Howard was originally held at at Fort McHenry, precisely where Key had experienced his pivotal patriotic moment and penned the reverent words honoring the flag and fortitude of his young, struggling country. Obviously, Howard wasn’t feeling the same warm-and-fuzzy sentiments as did his grandfather.
“The flag which then he [Key] so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed.”
— Francis Key Howard, 1861
To me, the Pledge is either a socially sanctioned habit that few question at best, or a forced loyalty oath of subordination at worst. Why vow allegiance to something hellbent on crushing self-determination, promoting tyranny, and propping up oligarchs who pay for their socialist schemes on my dime just because it’s the status quo? It’s all just a bit too totalitarian for this rebel.
But I’m not a barbarian, for goodness sake. I respect my family and friends who do participate in the Pledge. After all, I know they see it as a simple act of publicly displaying love of country. But I also see my small resistance as patriotic.
There’s a line in an old Ani DiFranco song that goes, “I am a patriot. I have been fighting the good fight.” I, too, am fighting the good fight for a homeland where “liberty and justice for all” (not special rights for some) and a republic that embraces (not crushes) divisibility can again take root, and against the reconstructed socialism that has foisted ruination and colonization upon my nation: the South.
As author Edward Abbey once wrote: “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” I am that kind of patriot. Deo vindice.
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This “Faces of History” research paper is part of a curriculum we use called the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). I referenced the assignment in my last blog because of my displeasure with a few source-texts for some of the other American-history-based lessons within the writing-intensive program.
Honestly, the main reason my husband and I decided to homeschool our sons originally was to counter the statist propaganda taught by race-class-gender fetishists and pushed as “history” in government schools. I mean,we were on the home-education train well before we were Christians … or even birthed children! So, yeah, resisting Lincolnianism is kinda our thang.
Hence, my kiddo and I were on a mission to set the Southern record straight with our five-paragraph Jackson biography, which had to include the following format: introduction, three sub-topics, and conclusion. We decided that “soldier,” “faith,” and “legacy” would be fitting subjects to encompass the inscrutable Jackson.
We also opted to use only adult sources. Too many children’s history books, especially ones about the “civil war,” are simply not worthy of the time and energy of folks who aren’t interested in revisionism. Thus, my son required quite a bit of my help parsing, digesting, and organizing the intense, but high-quality materials.
Moreover, IEW encourages what is called “hand holding” – a parent taking lead on some aspects of an assignment but with the child remaining fully part of the process. The methodology asserts that the student will learn to emulate the skills through modeling the adult. And it works. I know because I’ve seen it. And this paper is proof.
Before completing this assignment, my son and I already thoroughly respected Jackson. Over the years, the family has visited his home, place of work (Virginia Military Institute), and grave in Lexington. We’ve stopped traffic by taking a family picture while waving both Battle Flags and the Virginia state flag in front of his grand statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond.
Later this spring, we’re camping at Stone Mountain, Georgia – home to the largest bas-relief carving in the world, which just so happens to feature Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. Down the road, we plan to make pilgrimages to some other important Jackson sites, including Manassas, Chancellorsville, and Clarksburg.
We understand that time is of the essence. We grasp that the memorials to Jackson and other Confederate dead are under siege.
We get that we must embrace and celebrate Southern heroes before the puritanical progressives move them to “contextualized” museums or just raze them altogether. Hell, the latter is what Jackson’s quisling great-great-grandsons aim to do. Sickening. We can deduce that this iconoclasm is a vital battleground within the ongoing cultural genocide.
But after diving into the details of this valiant, noble, and godly man, my son eventually wanted to title his paper “Stonewall Jackson kicks ass!” Being that our co-op is Christian and my allowing that racy title probably wouldn’t have been the best parenting ever, we opted for something a bit more academic but as historically accurate.
Still, we think this paper speaks to our overall contentious contention: that if more people were like Stonewall Jackson, the world would be a better place. You read and decide for yourself.
On his deathbed, Jackson’s final words were “Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.” So while this son of the South is at peace dwelling in the the eternal, we unReconstructed rebels continue to fight in Jackson’s stead for his honor and for his cause: hearth and home.
And there’s no better way to raise unReconstructed resistors than by homeschooling the next generation. As Proverbs 28:18 says, “Instruct your son, and he shall love you; and he shall give honor to your soul, lest he follow a lawless people.”
“Stonewall Jackson: The Indispensable American Patriot”
It was once said of “Stonewall” Jackson that “A braver man God never made.” But Thomas Jonathan Jackson was an unlikely soldier with humble beginnings. In 1824, he was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, when the state was still part of Virginia, and was an orphan at a young age. He attended West Point not to become a soldier, but to sharpen his character. Having ranked last on his entry exam, Jackson graduated 17 out of 59, proving his dogged determination. And by the Mexican War, he had earned a reputation as a “fighting man.” Interestingly, Jackson hated war and was not a secessionist. But he loved Virginia and considered the invasion of his homeland acts of war, aggression, and tyranny. It’s a popularly mimicked moral misjudgment that Jackson and his Confederate brothers fought only to keep slavery intact. However, Jackson, who was lionized for his kindness by many blacks of the time, either freed or hired out his six slaves at the onset of the war and brought many slaves and free blacks to Christ before his death. In 2005, a black Southern pastor gave an honest account: “Thomas Jackson, like Jesus, was willing to cross real boundaries for the sake of the Gospel.” Because he was such an exemplary man, more people should aspire to be like “Stonewall” Jackson.
Jackson was a pure military genius, whose fearlessness made him and Gen. Robert E. Lee a near invincible team during the War Between the States. To try to shorten the conflict, he was ready to raise the “black flag.” “Shoot them all,” Jackson stated in June 1862. “I do not wish them to be brave.” As a general, he aimed to wage an aggressive, punishing war on the enemy by taking the bayonet to Yankee territory. Surprisingly, Jackson exhibited calmness in battle. In fact, that’s how he got the name “Stonewall.” “There is Jackson standing like a stonewall,” yelled Gen. Bernard Bee of South Carolina at the First Battle of Manassas. “Let us determine to die here and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!” It was at this battle that Jackson’s “foot cavalry” saved the day, as they were known to do. Jackson was able to move large armies at unheard of speeds. These forced marches averaged 20 miles a day with each soldier carrying 40 to 50 pounds of gear. Because Jackson consistently beat overwhelming odds, even when the Yankees had double the troops, he had become the most famous general in the world by the spring of 1862. By flanking the Union and pulling off unfathomable sweeps, the formidable “Stonewall” always turned up the heat. “Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy,” Jackson explained, “and when you strike and overcome him, never let up in pursuit.” Understanding human nature, Jackson took advantage of the “fog of war,” so together with Lee’s direction, the two incredible generals never lost a battle.
Because Jackson was a “man of arms surrounded by tenets of faith,” he was known as the “Confederate Joshua.” Like the Biblical soldier, Jackson believed he was the Lord’s instrument on earth. “Duty is ours. Consequences are God’s,” he uttered on his death bed. Courage. Leadership. Divine guidance. These were the attributes that followed Jackson into battle, making him the “sledgehammer of the war.” Jackson was an enigma. He was the model Christian and soldier, a Calvinist who questioned predestination, and a slaveowner who ran a Colored Sunday School for slaves and free blacks. Additionally, Jackson did not support slavery as a choice because he considered it ordained by God: slaves were given this burden and that he must be a compassionate master. Similarly, Jackson thought the Union had violated the principles of the Founding Fathers, the principles of Christianity, and the principles of civility, as well. The North was “attempting to create a new society that lacked order and cohesiveness … (and) seemed to be striving to alter basic American structures,” explained historian James I. Robertson, Jr. “If the South did not resist, it would stand in failure of God’s will and become subservient to Northern domination.” And he was right. Jackson’s Christianity was his lamp in all that he did. The general, who knew death wasn’t his choosing, was as prepared for it in peace as in war. Fighting by the Old Testament and living by the New Testament, Jackson was truly a soldier of the cross.
After Jackson was shot by friendly fire on May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, his death a week later was a fatal blow to the Confederacy and stunned, appalled, and astonished North and South alike. His military partnership with Lee was one of history’s most adept. “You have lost your left arm, I have lost my right,” Lee mournfully wrote to his ablest lieutenant whose arm had been amputated because of the wound. The legacy of this team is second to none, and the South’s winning strategies were dependent upon it. “So great is my confidence in General Lee that I’m willing to follow him blindfolded,” stated Stonewall of his fervent loyalty to the general. Commenting on Jackson’s resolve and devotion, Lee remarked, “Straight as the needle to the pole he advanced the execution of my purpose.” Since Lee attempted to divide the army and flank the enemy at Gettysburg without Jackson, the system failed. Boldly, Lee even declared that a complete Southern victory both at the famous Pennsylvania battle and for Confederate independence would have occurred if Jackson had not been killed.
Isn’t it shocking that this amazing man is not respected anymore? Jackson was once mocked as “Hilljack,” yet became one of history’s most celebrated generals, who was adored, respected, and exalted by his troops. “His fights were our fights, his victories were our victories,” a Georgian soldier explained. “My individuality, with that of thousands of others, was represented in the power wielded by that great military chieftain.” Honestly, to talk of Jackson while leaving out his Christianity “would be like undertaking to describe Switzerland without making mention of the Alps,” remarked Dr. Moses D. Hoge, who was a fellow Presbyterian. He prayed before everything. On Sundays, he didn’t read newspapers. He prayed in his tent and even during battle. People felt so reverently about Jackson, even in the North. When a Confederate boat called “Stonewall” fell into Union hands, the enemy kept the name out of admiration for Jackson. Crushing all hopes of Southern victory, his unfortunate death shocked everyone and destroyed the winning Lee-Jackson alliance. Stonewall Jackson was an irreplaceable American patriot, not a traitor.
Bedwell, Randall. May I Quote Stonewall Jackson? Cumberland House Publishing Inc., 1997.
Gwynne, S.C. Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. Simon & Schuster, 2014.
“Jackson’s ‘colored Sunday school’ class.” The Washington Times, 2006, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/may/5/20060505-083815-2779r/. January 16, 2018.
McClanahan, Brion. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes. Regnery Publishing Inc., 2012.
Robertson, James I., Jr. Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend. MacMillan Publishing USA, 1997.
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Truth warrior, Jesus follower, wife, and boymom. Apologetics practitioner for Orthodox Christianity, the Southern tradition, homeschooling, and freedom. Recovering feminist-socialist-atheist, graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and retired mainstream journalist turned domesticated belle and rabble-rousing rhetorician. A mama who’s adept at triggering statists, so she’s going to bang as loudly as she can.
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