By Freethought Almanac Contributor R.J. Evans
As the last visible vestige of the old South withers and dies with the retirement of the Confederate flag from southern statehouses, the New Union rejoices. It’s a victory nobody expected, but it came at the expense of nine lives, lost in a pool of blood on the floor of a southern church, and at the hands of a man possessed by the ghosts of the Old Confederacy. While the victory is bittersweet, the ramifications have yet to be thoroughly examined. While the banner of bigotry may have been captured and retired to history, the thread used to stitch it together is still strong and enduring. It’s nearly invisible most of the time, shrouded by the proletariat with plastic smarmy smiles of southern charm and hospitality. But, occasionally it’s visible, brought out into the open by New Generals of the Old Confederacy and given just enough fresh air and moisture to keep its fibers strong and supple. It’s a lifeline for The Resurrection, a hoist that will help the South rise again.
Modern Problems from Old Ideals
The week of June 21st through June 27th will go down in history as a victory for a black president and civil rights. The Supreme Court of the United States gave the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and gay Americans, blanket endorsements through judicial mandate. Health and well-being, dignity and legitimacy. Modern problems solved by discarding old ideals. But, in the aftermath of these groundbreaking decisions by the court, the dissenters – those whose old ideals created the modern problems in the first place – are hoisting a new flag, sewn together by the thread of bigotry they so carefully tended, and the New Generals of the Old Confederacy are preparing to lead the charge. Their weapon of choice? The same weapon the old South wielded that led to the Civil War. Nullification.
The New Generals of the Old Confederacy
Who can forget Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, or Nathan Bedford Forrest? These Confederate Generals are permanently etched into the minds of southerners practically from birth. They are heroes to some, and villains to others, simultaneously, having been at the forefront of the bloodiest domestic dispute in American history.
Today’s New Generals of the Old Confederacy bear little resemblance to their ideological brethren. They are clean-shaven, tidy, wear expensive suits, and prefer to work their craft from the confines of offices, or from bully pulpits provided to them by their corporate and political constituents. They would likely crumble on a bloody battlefield filled with the corpses of their madness. They are masters of manipulation and admonishment, leading the charge on a battlefield of ideas. But, their ideas are less than noble, filled with rhetoric, bordering on incitement and treason, and littered with the telltale signs that the South holds a permanent grudge.
The Theory of Nullification – The Linchpin for a Civil War
The idea is simple, but very potent and extremely divisive. (Remember the last word of that sentence). In the 1790’s a man from Caroline by the name of John Taylor gave birth to the idea of nullification as a result of his fear of national governmental power. Then, in the 1820’s John C. Calhoun turned to Taylor’s idea and molded it into a constitutional theory that would eventually lead to Southern State secession, and the Civil War. Nullification is the ideology that the States are the final word in interpreting the U.S. Constitution, and that the States have a duty to disobey the Federal Government anytime they feel the Federal Government has violated constitutional limitations. In essence, any time the States don’t like anything the Federal Government does, the States can reinterpret the U.S. Constitution anyway they see fit, therefore nullifying any Federal Government interpretation they disagree with. In the case of the Old Confederacy, the Southern States utilized this ideological doctrine as the linchpin for slavery and their secession from the Union.
The New Generals of the Old Confederacy – Nullification Revisited
The New Generals of the Old Confederacy have taken the nullification page from John C. Calhoun’s book of treason and are using it to further their divisive agendas. It seems that everywhere one looks, the telltale signs of nullification are present. Today’s issues are rehashes of issues that have plagued the United States for decades. The 2nd Amendment, a woman’s right to an abortion, LGBT rights, science, religion, economics… The list is long, undistinguished, and globally embarrassing for a country that supposedly prides itself on being a “free” and “welcoming” nation, and the “best in the world”. But, at the core of these unresolved problems is the scourge of nullification. The New Generals of Old Confederacy use it to seize control and hold solutions at bay. Just short of secession – which many Southern States have threatened to do many times since the Civil War – the nullification ideology is being implemented with great effectiveness, and few outside of academia have bothered to take notice.
Nullification and the 14th Amendment
After the Old Confederacy lost the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was ratified in disapproval of the nullification doctrine, creating a Constitutional bunker from which any future attacks of nullification could be defended against.
14th Amendment – Section 1:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
While the 14th Amendment to the Constitution is solid and precise, it is also a prime target for retribution from the New Generals of the Old Confederacy. Their tactic? Attack the 14th Amendment with the 10th Amendment, reinterpreting both to the satisfaction of whatever a particular State requires to forward that State’s agendas. Discriminate against anyone? Sure. Just let the States decide who they can deprive of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, or who they can deny equal protection of the laws.
Nullification, the GOP, the Tea Party, SCOTUS, and Religious Fundamentalism
It’s easy to spot nullification in the GOP, the Tea Party, SCOTUS, and Religious Fundamentalism. Below are some recent examples of dissent on SCOTUS’s decision on Gay Marriage from New Confederate Generals (supposedly Constitutional scholars), and long-time members of the Old Confederacy. Some are blatant in their nullification and others more cryptic.
The New Generals of the Old Confederacy
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee
The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.
This ruling is not about marriage equality, it’s about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny.
The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the law of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states’ rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.
This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty.
The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies. That would be a clear violation of America’s long held commitment to religious liberty as protected in the First Amendment.
I will never stop fighting for religious liberty and I hope our leaders in D.C. join me.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum
Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people’s opportunity respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.
But leaders don’t accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path. Marriage, the family and our children are too central to a healthy society to not fight for what is best. I realized that fact early on and that is why I lead the charge against some in my own party in 2004 to ensure the Federal Marriage Amendment received a vote and I continue to stand for marriage, for families, for freedom.
As President, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright- to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home. I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges “has been with us for millennia.
In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas.
As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
I join THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s opinion in full. I write separately to call attention to this Court’s threat to American democracy.
The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me. Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best.
But the Court ends this debate, in an opinion lacking even a thin veneer of law. Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its ‘reasoned judgment,’ thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.
The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality’ Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.
New Fundamentalists of the Old Confederacy
Bryan Fischer, American Family Association (Tweet)
“June 26, 2015: I saw Satan dancing with delight, the day the music died in the United States of America.”
Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (Tweet)
“How many millions of voters were disenfranchised by #SCOTUS declaring, in its folly, a fundamental right to “marriage” based on perversion?”
Todd Starnes, conservative fundamentalist commentator (Tweet)
“If you thought the cultural purge over the Confederate flag was breathtaking — wait until you see what LGBT activists do with Christians.”
Nullification – The Scourge to a Free Nation
Nullification is the single most effective assault on our republic. It is the scourge to a free nation. It gives latitude to bigotry under the guise of States rights, and it casts the U.S. Constitution to the dogs of Civil War. If given enough latitude by the electorate, our politicians, and our judicial system, we can truly expect to see the Old Confederacy rise from the ashes of their treason and crush our national union. United we stand, divided we will indeed fall. Nullification does not further the ideals set forth in our Constitution. It seeks to confuse and then homogenize discrimination and bigotry under the banner of an inhumane and bitter past… One nation under the auspices of a tyrannical god, separate from the humanity of man, in service to the indulgences of white christian privilege, and the whims of an electorate that can easily be manipulated to condemn anyone or any group they choose.
Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach (1804) On this date, July 28, 1804, the German philosopher Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach was born in Landshut in Bavaria. As a young student of Hegel at Heidelberg, Feuerbach wrote to a friend, "Theology I can bring myself to study no more. I long to take nature to my heart, that […]