I think it's very important to fight the efforts of those who war against Southern heritage. What I said was that the Southern Heritage Preservation Group does not have the power or influence of, say, the SCV, which has tens of thousands of members, a treasury, and a legal arm for use of the courts. The SHPG is a Facebook group. It has officers, but no legal status, no dues collected from members, no treasury... and it takes money to fight the powers and principalities arrayed against us, make no mistake about it. Individual members of the group may be very effective in fighting those who war against Southern heritage; they may be members of other organizations that are also effective. But the SHPG itself is for the dissemination of information and sharing of opinions.
I've also stated that that my own personal efforts -- this blog and my proSouthern novels -- also have little to no power or influence. I'm just one person. I also don't have a lot of money. My outside activism is restricted, as I cannot walk or stand except for very brief periods. I do what I can online, and with my writing. Thus far, my writing has had little effect.
So why do I perist? Because I have faith. I may never accomplish great things for Dixie -- but who knows but what something I write will inspire someone who can, and will, accomplish great things for the South?
Years ago, when I was more involved in Southern nationalism, I frequently wrote about it in my e-zine, 180 Degrees True South -- the forerunner of this blog. In 2002, I wrote an article about the importance of having faith in the cause, when independence for the South seemed relegated to some cloudy and indistinct future. I repeat it now, because faith is equally important in the battle to preserve our heritage.
I dunno --it may be a case where only people of faith can understand the importance of faith. In any case, here's the article.
Seeing from a distance, by faith...
by Connie Chastain Ward
When I was growing up, I learned in Sunday School that a parable was "an earthly story with a heavenly meaning." As an adult, I have noticed that the reverse can also be true. A great many spiritual principles can, and frequently do, have purely earthly applications.
Take, for instance, Chapter 11 of the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament. It's about faith; specifically, it is about the faith of people who never lived to see the fulfillment of the promises they had been given. Of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah, verses 13 and 14 say:
"These all died in faith, without having received what was promised them, but they saw it from a distance and welcomed it, confessing that they were foreigners and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it plain that they are looking for a homeland..."We know this is talking about a spiritual homeland, because the same passage goes on to say, "But now they are longing for a better, that is, a heavenly country; accordingly, God is not ashamed of being called their God. In fact, He has prepared a city for them."
This spiritual principle has an important earthly application for those of us in the Southern independence movement. Our quest for an independent homeland is just beginning. Nobody knows how long it will take; perhaps those of us working in the movement today will not live long enough to see the fulfillment of that quest. That is why we must have faith -- the kind of faith that lets us see our free homeland from a distance, and welcome it -- because we must believe it will happen or we will not put forth the effort required to bring it about. And without effort and work and dedication, an independent South is not a distant vision but a self-delusion.
Alas, it sometimes seems that in our movement, faith is in short supply. In a way, this is not surprising. Faith isn't something you come by easily, even in the spiritual realm, with divine assistance. It's bound to be hard when you're dealing with temporal and material issues, as well.
Yet it is imperative that we develop faith of both kinds, and that we help each other keep that faith strong and vibrant.
Back during the summer, news came that the Edgefield Journal was ceasing publication. A farewell editorial by Virgil Huston posted on the Aw, Shucks Southern Links page explained a little behind the cessation. The main cause for the demise seems to be that it didn't make any money.
It is most unfortunate. Dixie needs all the proSouthern publications it can muster.
But what was even more unfortunate to me was the further complaints Huston expressed, and the tone behind them. Perhaps some of the complaints had merit, I don't know. They deal specifically with South Carolina politics and may only be Huston's opinion. However, I believe some deserve further examination and discussion.
The Southern movement, Huston said, came into existence with Bill Clinton, and began a decline before he even left office. Huston said he didn't know where the movement will go from here but it needs changes in leadership if it is to survive.
Is this an accurate assessment? Perhaps to a point. I think Bill Clinton had a lot to do with the movement's birth. But is the movement really declining, now that he's no longer in office, or is it that those who joined merely in response to the Clinton regime are now leaving? If that were a significant number, it might be a death blow to the movement. However, I don't believe it is.
Besides, if negative motivation is what's necessary to keep our movement going, the regime of the Texas scalawag (or is he a carpetbagger?) who occupies the imperial palace on the Potomac is providing gracious plenty of it.
I believe, however, that an ever-growing number of Southerners coming to our movement aren't merely anti-Clintonians or anti-Bushites, but Southerners who long for their own free and independent homeland; not just reactionaries to the negative, but those who long for a Southern homeland they see afar, by faith...
As for changes in leadership, perhaps Huston is right about some quarters of the movement. In others, the leadership is just fine -- it is the followership that needs tweaking. But overall, considering the age of the movement (still in its infancy) and the circumstances (an abundance of powerful and ruthless opponents and critics), it is showing great liveliness and doing remarkably well. So I can't help but be optimistic about its future.
The events in South Carolina Huston alluded to, though, have revealed some areas where our movement could use a little work.
Hopefully we will never become a savvy but bloodless political machine, like those that hold sway in the Empire -- but the fact remains that we do need to learn about political realities. We must realize that things like the defeat of proflag candidates in South Carolina, a mere 2 1/2 years after the flag came down, are not some kind of death knell for the movement.
It took 20 years for Kay Patterson to get the flag off the dome. If our people work for 20 years and it's not back up, then I'll say we've failed. Maybe. But in only two years? No, that's not failure; that's just an excuse for giving up, for those who are so inclined.
There's a lot more we still have to learn -- how to pace ourselves; how to reframe the debate on our terms; how to take the wind out of the other guy's sails; how to protect our hot buttons and remain cool under fire; how to rise above temporary setbacks and build on our victories; how to reach the Southern sheeple.... And that's just for starters.
So let us learn what we must, and learn it well. But most of all, let us remember the example of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah who longed for a homeland and saw it from a distance. Let us have faith in God and belief in a free and independent Dixie. Make it a faith so strong that even if we do not achieve our goal in our lifetime, we will be able to see our Southern homeland in the distance, and welcome it.
And then let us work like the devil to make it happen.
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