Is Southern Pride and Identity Consistent with Enlightened Thinking?

Some of my readers who know my dedication to equality and reconciliation, and my opposition to the baggage that characterizes much of southern religion, might be a bit surprised by this post. I have been a strong civil rights advocate for 45 years and for years was a member of the NAACP. I am also an advocate for LGBT rights and full acceptance in our churches. I believe in equal rights for everyone.

Yet I am somewhat concerned with recent discussion about the removal of various Confederate monuments around the South.

Stone Mountain monument

Stone Mountain Carving near Atlanta

My Southern Heritage and Pride

I am a Southerner. In fact, I am a 9th generation Southerner. My Chastain ancestor came to Virginia in 1700. My lineage moved from there to Tennessee (before it was a state), South Carolina, Georgia, and then to Alabama where I was born. In 1955 we moved to Florida (when Florida was still very southern).

My first American ancestor, Pierre, was an immigrant doctor who helped establish a Huguenot refugee town in Virginia. My distant grandfather, John Chastain, was a pioneer in bringing the Baptist movement to the South in the late 1700s. And I am proud that my direct grandfather in Alabama, Edward Chastain, actively supported the Union; and his sons fought for the Union–not the Confederacy—just as many Southerners did from almost every state.

My native language is a northwest Alabama Southern Appalachian dialect that is heavily influenced by Scots-Irish, though I now speak standard English (but with an accent and a few words and expressions I refuse to give up).

I have a strong sense of Southern pride like many people do for their home regions. Southern pride is pride in a culture with a long history, which is about far more than just cotton and the dark story of slavery. To me it is sweet tea, and corn bread and milk, and fried okra, and banana pudding, and watermelon. It is southern ballads and bluegrass music. It is majestic Live Oaks, Spanish moss, southern heat, coastal beaches, and a slower-paced lifestyle. It is George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Daniel Boone, Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Martin Luther King.

For me it is also supporting civil rights, learning to accept evolution, abandoning generations of Baptist fundamentalism, watching rockets going into space at the Cape, and eagerly embracing the future.

For my generation, Southern pride was also sharing an identity with other Southerners against the common condescending arrogance of northern folks who assumed that everyone knows, including us, that Southerners are a backward, ignorant, and conquered people.

How could I be conquered when my family was Union?

When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Southerners were often seen as a homogenous group, all of whom were complicit in slavery and the 1860s secession from the United States. This attitude is not as pronounced as it was decades ago, but it is still recognizable.

The Confederate Flag

This is why the Confederate flag was a precious symbol to me, because it represented my culture as a unique shared experience–it had nothing to do with racism. But 30 years ago I noticed the flag increasingly being used as a symbol of prejudice, hate, and hostility by those who vehemently opposed equal rights for Black citizens, as it had been used similarly generations earlier by the Klan, who were now but a memory. As resistance to Black equality became more aggressive, the Confederate flag was co-opted to serve this horrid mindset.

Though it was a great emotional loss to me, I abandoned the Confederate flag because its meaning had changed, and it was used primarily to hurt and marginalize people. It was no longer seen as a symbol of Southern culture but of a Southern hate that did not represent me and many other true Southerners. So I said goodbye to my flag.

In recent discussions, I have heard a lot of mention of the Confederate ‘Battle’ Flag. I don’t ever remember hearing it called that. It was just the Confederate flag; the battle was long over, and for many the flag symbolized only a shared general Southern culture. But, indeed, in recent decades the flag has become a ‘battle’ flag once more, and because of that I believe the Confederate flag should come down as it did in South Carolina, and come down quickly, from all government facilities where it yet remains; it is now an affront to many of our Southern citizens, both Black and white. And it is an embarrassment to us for outsiders to witness such displays in government spaces.

Let’s remove it now. Of course, private citizens will continue to display the flag as is their right. Let them do so; it still means different things to different people–but if they are haters they do not represent the rest of us.

Confederate Monuments and Roads—Let’s Have Some Balance

Not all Confederate soldiers fought for slavery. Many were defending their homelands that were being invaded. Others were impressed into service against their will. In fact, every Confederate state, except South Carolina, had at least one unit in the Union army.

Many southern towns and cities have monuments honoring their fallen soldiers in various wars, and I have noticed that it is common to list both fallen Confederate soldiers and Union soldiers on the same monument. Shall we take them down?

Robert E. Lee is an important historical figure for many reasons; shall we remove such a person from street names and memorials? There are some monuments that should be removed; those of Nathan Bedford Forrest are candidates because of his leadership role in the Ku Klux Klan. Southern states might want to review statues of Confederate heroes they have contributed to the National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol Building to see if they might have more appropriate citizens to feature there.

But there must be a limit to erasing the history and culture of a people by destroying their historical monuments. They mean much more than celebration of white supremacy. I don’t want to cause pain to people who are offended by them, but who cares about our pain? Do we no longer matter?

It is sometimes said that conquered people are not allowed to keep their monuments, but did we agree with the Taliban when they destroyed the historic Buddhist monuments? They thought the monuments were evil and idolatrous, and Buddhists had been gone for centuries, why should the Taliban not have destroyed them? Of course this is misguided thinking–they were historical monuments.

This is pertinent to the demands of some that the Stone Mountain Monument (see graphic above) be destroyed. That massive monument is historical and can be used, along with the related park, as an artifact through which we can explore all aspects of the Civil War. To deface it or destroy it would be as uncivilized as the Taliban actions.

Let me be clear that I have no admiration for the three generals depicted on the mountain. The case would be the same if it were a memorial to Union General Sherman who burned Atlanta and brought it to its knees. It would be the same if it were a memorial to the Cherokee who were removed from the area. These are all part of Southern history, and such significant historical monuments should not be destroyed.

Confederate monuments should be considered on a case-by-case basis, but an alternative is to recognize the worst of them as relics of an unfortunate past for educational purposes. Those who give them a higher meaning are growing fewer and less influential.

My driving mission in life is to spread love and acceptance to all people as Jesus taught us by word and example. I agree with opposing active symbols of hate and violence against any person or group, but most Southerners are not haters—is there no love for us? No empathy? Must we be stripped of our history and identity even as we support the rights and deep feelings of others? Are we to be punished just because we are Southerners and respect our heritage?

Or is there a balance?

I have shared my heart, and I am prepared for heavy push-back; just be as respectful as possible.

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30 Responses to Is Southern Pride and Identity Consistent with Enlightened Thinking?

  1. Edie Taylor says:

    Your comment is heartfelt, but it doe have a “poor me” tone that seems a little inappropriate; no one is suggesting we do away with pecan pie. But in analyzing the role of these revered heroes I think their part in maintaining the slave-based way of life should be acknowledged. Schoolchildren in both north and south should should be exposed to a more comprehensive American history — because slavery benefited some in the north as well. When racism is papered over it festers.

    Look at Quebec in Canada: a defeated and often bitter minority has maintained its traditions; the fleur-de-lys is prominently displayed on the provincial flag, and if you want a federal government job you’d do well to be fluent in both French and English. Is there still some bickering? Yes of course, but two past referendums indicate that both sides recognize their interdependence. The obvious difference? Old Quebec did not rest on pervasive exploitation of an underclass, so the histories could be more open and both sides could learn from each other.

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Edie, I thank you for your comment. One thing it demonstrates is that I was not clear on the reason for retaining the Stone Mountain Monument and other selected historical monuments. I am opposed to racism and to the slavery that was once so prevalent in the South.

      Let me be clear that I have no admiration for the three generals depicted on the mountain. The case would be the same if it were a memorial to Union General Sherman who burned Atlanta and brought it to its knees. It would be the same if it were a memorial to the Cherokee who were removed from the area. These are all part of Southern history, and such significant historical monuments should not be destroyed.

      I do have a bit of a ‘poor me’ tone in the article, but it is not because the South lost the war; I am glad they lost. However, there are all kinds of prejudice, and one aspect of prejudice is that Southerners are all rebels at heart–this is not true. I am an American with a Southern history. I agree that American history should be taught more comprehensively in our country but, if you are under the impression that schools in the South portray the Confederacy sympathetically, you are mistaken; we understand history. Even though there are some individuals and groups among us who romanticize and try to revise history, they are a minority even in the South.

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      • Edie Taylor says:

        I understand that you do not wish to destroy historical monuments. I didn’t even like them tearing down all the statues of Saddam Hussein or of Joseph Stalin.Because both those men in the beginning did something important for their county. I don’t think they should be glorified and they don’t need to be everywhere, but some recognition of their part in history should be acknowledged, good and bad. What about Hitler? I’m not a Jesuit, I don’t argue fine points very well. Maybe they should all be in museums, but that ‘s not practical either.
        They say the worst wars are civil wars; because the fears and suspicions and bitterness on both sides linger. But it seems to me that all this discussion of the Confederate flag has opened things up a little, that people have been able to turn their back on past history and acknowledge each other. Not just the flag, of course; those brave Christians in the AME Church church taught us all something.

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        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Edie, you have some very good thoughts here.

          I think the AME incident did open things up a great deal, and it had a very good impact on the discussion of the Confederate flag at government facilities–including removal of the flag in South Carolina. We need to continue these discussions of reconciliation–we must continue them.

          I think you are right about civil wars, but ours was 150 years ago; we should have been healed of it long ago–especially those in the South that glorify the Confederacy. By this point it should all a matter of historical interest. The Confederacy does not continue among us, and some white Southerners should stop living in the past.

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  2. sheila0405 says:

    The flag is of the Confederacy, right? So it came into existence after the secession? And, the South seceded to maintain its way of life, which included making money for beautiful plantations off the backs of slaves. I’d like to see South Carolina fly its official state flag over the dome of the state house. After the Civil War, the South rejoined the Union, so Old Glory is the official flag. The flag of the Confederacy belongs in the museum. Flying it on public land made me feel as if the state was endorsing seceding from the Union. I’m a lifelong NJ resident, so I’m a Northerner looking at it. It goes beyond mere slavery to me–the Confederate flag represents a thumb in the eye to the Union. Kind of like taking one’s marbles and going home if the game is going against you. A national tantrum, so to speak, but with serious consequences. Now, when I see the SC state flag, I see what you described–sweet tea, gentle accented voices, hospitality, etc..

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Sheila, I agree with you: the Confederate flag does not belong on public land and should be in a museum. It has already been removed in most Southern states, and I am glad it was removed in South Carolina; I hope all remaining states do the same.

      At the same time, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, for many Southerners the flag is not a thumb in the eye of the Union. I know this is difficult to understand (and I have personally abandoned the flag) but most people I know who display the flag are also the most patriotic of Americans. However, it should come down from all government facilities.

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  3. Pablo Correa says:

    Would that mean that any historic representation, be it the American flag, the bald eagle, the anthem, or whatever, if it is used wrongly by haters, should then be taken down? After all, that is the logic used to support the removal of the confederate flag.

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      You make a very good point, Pablo! I think citizens should be able to use the Confederate flag, but I also think it should not be used on government facilities.

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  4. Thank you for this perspective. My family hasn’t been in America long enough to know the meanings of these symbols, however, I do notice that there is a certain stigma about the South. I’m speaking as someone who’s always lived up North. Whatever the conflict, there is always a tendency to depict people on either side as good and bad, as if it were really that simple. It’s good to hear about what these symbols mean to you, from a standpoint that has nothing to do with racial hatred. Thanks for that.

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Marisol, I agree with you that people often tend to exaggerate and over react to those with whom they disagree. This is why striving for balance is always so necessary. Thank you for reading my story and for responding. I hope you can visit the South someday; for the most part it is a very pleasant place with nice people of all racial backgrounds.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dan kiessling says:

    It is my opinion that most all of the opinions regarding flags and monuments come from individuals that have little or no historical knowledge, including your most recent blog. For instance the reference to Gen. Forrest’s monuments and actually his grave site. First of all Gen. Forrest is a U.S. Veteran with all rights of any other U.S. Veteran. While he is often credited with his involvement in the beginnings of the KKK he condemned that organization and called for its disbandment in 1869 as soon as he saw the direction it was taking. Please research and read a transcript of his speech in 1871 to a black civic organization that he was invited to speak to. While he was indeed involved in the KKK as an organization opposed to the carpetbagging aspects of reconstruction he publicly rejected the methods and means that that organization was developing. Calling for the disbanding and publicly rejecting their practices amounts to asking for forgiveness which he was granted by the ex-slave population in Tenn. My religious beliefs also follow that pattern in receiving forgiveness for sins that I may have committed. I find it hard to believe that 160 years after the fact we will judge Gen. Forrest for actions he may have taken for a very short period of his life.
    You stated that you abandoned the Confederate Battle Flag. I would agree that the flag did not abandon you. Yes, it has been hijacked by a very small group of misinformed racist nut cases. That is not the flag’s fault it is our fault to allow that to happen and I as a southerner am ashamed that I let that happen, but I do not condemn the flag for that.

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Thank you for your comments, Dan. By the way, I did not suggest removing Forrest or his monument from his gravesite. If there is an appropriate place for such a monument, it is certainly at the deceased’s gravesite.

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  6. Scott Hill says:

    Thanks for these thoughts and this forum for dialogue. You have deepened my understanding. As a Great Lakes native, I have experienced regional bias as well as discovering my own Southern stereotypes.
    Facing the power of symbols is important, but too easy. It often leads to a self-righteousness in which we neglect the log in our own eye. Getting racism out of the US system is a long project in which all regions must take part.
    I did celebrate taking down the Confederate flag, but cringe at some of the suggestions about roads, monuments, etc. In most cases, I think contextualizing the site with an interpretive sign or additional monuments would be healthier.

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  7. dan kiessling says:

    Clarification of the removal of the Confederate Flag at the S.C. State House. While I read about how the flag should be reserved for museums or memorials and should not fly over the State House or on public property, or should include interpretive or contextual information, be aware that the flag did not fly “over” the S.C. State House. The flag of S.C. did and does. The Confederate Battle Flag flew over a confederate memorial on the grounds. Likewise on the grounds of the same state building is a memorial to African Americans and their slave history. Both memorials were constructed in the late 1990’s and early 2000. If that does not meet the thoughts on contextualizing then I do not know what does. Should all historical museums, monuments, and memorials be removed from any public properties?

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      You are right, Dan, that the Confederate flag was recently flying on the Capitol grounds, but not over the Capitol building itself. I don’t think the Confederate flag should be removed from all public properties; many museums are public property. But I do think they should be removed from governmental grounds.

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  8. Lee Reed says:

    Like the writer of the article, I, too, I am a Southerner with pride in my state and region. In particular, I am proud of its public civility, its storytelling literary tradition, and its strong sense of family and community. Unlike the writer, however, I am appalled at the support for all the emblems and icons the South used to rally racial discrimination. Among them are the Stone Mountain bas reliefs.
    The article’s author believes that the Confederate battle flag and the military statuary prominent throughout the South merely represented regional pride until about”30 years “ago. More accurately, these emblems, along with the metaphor “states rights,” came into prominence after World War II and during the 1950s as the civil rights movement kicked into high gear following the return of African-American troops who fought in World War II. With Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, and the Southern standing in the schoolhouse door mentality fostered by the States’ Rights Party (Dixicrats), there arose a need for segregationist icons.
    Historians agree that since the Civil War, the Confederate battle flag has always chiefly represented iconic opposition to racial integration, just as “states rights” primarily represented the right of the South to maintain slavery and, later, racial segregation. (In fact, the South supported federal supremacy and opposed states’ rights when it came to the Fugitive Slave Act passed by Congress in 1850, which required officials in the free states to arrest runaway slaves and return them to their owners upon pain of substantial fine.)
    The Stone Mountain reliefs of Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis reveal a similar segregationist history. The reliefs were first conceived by the founder of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan began ceremonially on Stone Mountain with the burning of a cross. The actual construction of the reliefs languished until the state of Georgia, at the behest of its strongly vocal segregationist governor Marvin Griffin, purchased Stone Mountain in 1958, and the reliefs were finished in an atmosphere of “segregation now . . . segregation forever.”
    The article’s writer revealingly compares anti-discriminatory opponents of the Stone Mountain Confederate celebration to the Taliban. I think the comparison speaks for itself, but I do point out that the Taliban was destroying religious statuary, whereas the opponents of the Stone Mountain reliefs merely wish to take down . . . well, perhaps Jefferson Davis has a type of religious significance for some.
    I have a modest proposal. Let’s keep the current three figures on Stone Mountain, but add a fourth. Let’s add an MLK figure of similar size, knelt in prayer, forgiving these Confederate icons for what they represent.

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Lee, I feel I have been misrepresented at a number of points. I know the Confederate flag has been used to glorify the Confederate South and to promote white supremacy since the beginning. My contention was that for me and many others–it did not mean that but something else entirely. When the flag was fully and publicly co-opted during the civil rights era, I began to distance myself from it publicly until I abandoned it even in my private home some years later.

      You are correct about states rights. It is often code in the South for supporting racial discrimination and opposing other civil rights actions such as the recent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage. I also know the history of Stone Mountain, but the importance of the carving is not what it meant or how it came to be but what it is to us today and what it will be for us tomorrow.

      However, your solution to Stone Mountain is what floors me. I proposed almost the same thing in another venue where this article is being discussed–that we, if need be, add Martin Luther King and a few other civil rights leaders to the mountain. So I agree wholeheartedly with you on that point!

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  9. Chas says:

    Tim. Your summary of what being Southern represents to you agreed remarkably well with that of a certain black American comedian who has become resident in UK over about the past 10 years. Recently, a UK TV company used his experience while travelling through Southern USA in making a 3-part documentary in which he told us what he was feeling and of his memories of living in the South as he traveled through it, stopping off in various places to talk to people. Although he had suffered a lot of prejudice during his earlier life there, he still found a strong commonality with the people he met, and this too featured the pace of life, the food and the music.

    In regard to what we retain by way of history and historical artifacts, there was an excellent UK TV program a few weeks ago in which an historian was examining the wanton destruction of artifacts from Babylon by the self-styled ‘Islamic State.’ What emerged from the experience of history was that groups wishing to destroy another country/state/people first destroyed their history. Another program shown recently revealed to me that nationalism tends to lead to genocide of those who are seen as not being part of that nation. (For nation, it is possible to read tribe, people or sect). As examples, we can see Nazi Germany, Ruanda, former Yugoslavia, present day Myamar and various locations in the Middle East where Sunnis seem to be trying to eradicate Shiites.

    There is ongoing debate in UK at present regarding free speech. There has been a tendency for free speech to be dampened in recent years by ‘political correctness,’ in which people have used accusations of e.g. racism to quell debate on immigration, or ‘right-wingism’ to quell debate on the Health Service. However, we clearly have to put some limits on what we define as free speech, as incitement of others to commit violent acts might lead to suffering. To a large extent, our society is tolerant and this is our main strength, however tolerance can be undermined when some parts of society see themselves as superior to the rest and so try to separate themselves from it. This can lead to resentment by those whom they consider inferior. This type of behavior can be minimized by maintaining contact and dialogue by all the communities in the society. The more that we know about other people, the more we realize how much we have in common with them. From this side of the Atlantic, it appears that US society is becoming increasingly polarized, so that it will soon be difficult for rational debate to take place. If that happens, then violence will surely follow. We must learn everything that we can from history, even if that makes us feel uncomfortable about our own ancestors. Many things in UK history make uncomfortable reading, yet it was through those things that we arrived at our present fairly tolerant society.

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Chas, I agree that far too often majority populations try to oppress minority populations who have different history, culture, or religion. This is such a sad thing; and, as you say, it sometimes results in attempted erasure of history or even genocide.

      I am intrigued with the Black American comedian you mention. Can you share his name?

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      • Chas says:

        Tim, you might not have heard of him, as I don’t think he made it big in USA, and I don’t think you would appreciate some of his humor, but it is Reginald D Hunter. It seems that one of his sisters is a Baptist Minister somewhere in the South.

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        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Thanks Chas. I watched several of his comedy sets on racism, and he is funny but somewhat crude as comedians often are. I also watched his first one-hour episode of Songs of the South–the music I grew up on; it was quite nostalgic for me. I plan to watch the rest of the episodes later.

          Thank you so very much.

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          • Chas says:

            Tim, yes crude is probably the best way to describe him, as he tends to use the ‘n’ word, but I usually find him funny too. He gets over a strong message against racism, no doubt because he has a lot suffered from it. It is surprising how pervasive it remains, even here where we think we have almost overcome it. A black guy at church yesterday was telling me about a recent experience when the police pulled him over in his car. He asked them why they had stopped him. They said ‘we think that this car has been stolen,’ so he kept his cool and said ‘well it is my car and it hasn’t been stolen!’ The police have a computer database containing all car taxation, insurance, compulsory mechanical test records and theft records and also driver licence details, so they could easily have checked if the car had been stolen. They were ‘fishing’. Seeing that the driver was black they seem to have thought there was a chance he might have some cannabis or other drugs in the car, but having no excuse to stop him (the law requires them to have good reason for suspecting that a misdemeanor is taking place) they invented one. However, this one is going to be backfiring on them, as the driver has written to the Chief Constable of the area, to inform him of the incident. The incident should be on CCTV record too, as one of the constables should have been wearing a camera!

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          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Chas, a Black person being pulled over by police for no reason is a common experience in the USA. It is atrocious, illegal, and must be stopped.

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  10. Stephanie says:

    As a Christian, the concept of Southern Pride is hard for me to understand in spite of the fact that I’ve been married to a proud Southerner for almost 24 years now. My Christian perspective is that I may be in the Southern USA for now, but I am a foreigner, temporarily passing through on my way to eternity. This world is fading away, Southern heritage is fading away, the world to come is not. Therefore, I do not hold onto the things of this world that fade away, but grasp onto a heavenly eternity. I don’t believe heaven will be segregated into North and South, but that it will be united, and there will not be Northerners and Southerners there, but there will be those from every tribe, tongue, and nation. I am not of this world, I am not being conformed into the image of a Southerner, I am being conformed into the image of Christ.

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Stephanie, in my opinion Southern pride is not in contrast to an appreciation of Northern or Western cultures; it is simply pride in our culture. Are you not somewhat proud of the city, state, or culture where you were born or raised? Most people are.

      Are you proud of America? And does that mean you despise other countries? Were you proud of your school sports teams or perhaps your regional sports teams? Some Americans are proud of being Italian, Irish, or Canadian. I don’t think there is anything wrong in being proud of your culture.

      At the same time, I also look forward to the world to come.

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      • Stephanie says:

        I’ve been in the south a little over a year now. In my opinion, southern pride is above and beyond anything I have ever seen outside of the south in regard to normal cultural pride and seems more like idolotry to me. I have watched southern pride consume some southerners to the extent that it has crippled them in regards to not being able to love neighbor as self, and in that many have intermingled The Lord Almighty, who is no respecter of persons, with southern pride. I have seen southern pride treat others with arrogance and disrespect and quite frankly, I have seen southern pride create more division within the culture than unity. While those things may be evident in cultures outside of the south, the fact that these things are very prevalent in a southern culture that claims to be Christian has been quite disheartening to me. I like where I am from, it’s a part of God’s beautiful creation, but I am not “proud” of where I am from. Taking pride in a sinful earthly heritage seems quite dishonoring of my Lord and Savior who did not ever put an emphasis on being proud of his Jewish heritage as the Pharisees did. With that being said, I enjoy all that the south has to offer, thank God for every joyful blessing in any particular southern thing that He might bring happiness to me through, but I will not equate that with pride nor will I take pride in any of it. Romans 2:27-29

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        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Hi Stephanie,

          Sorry for the delay; I was away from my computer for a WEEK! Can you imagine that?

          I am very aware of the expression of Southern pride you mention–and it is really ugly. And, of course, that is what most people notice because it is loud, hateful, and evil. But that is not the pride I am talking about; I am describing a pride of being part of a culture. I detest the ugly side of that culture (and wish it would die out faster than it is doing) but that is not what the South is all about.

          My sort of Southern pride is not ‘pride’ in the sense that I think it is superior to anyone else’s culture. It also does not define my allegiance. My first allegiance is to the kingdom of God–and I really mean that. Being American is only my secondary allegiance. Being Southern is no allegiance at all–it is only an appreciation for my unique culture.

          I know Southern pride will always be dismissed by others as long as extremist Southerners continue to act up–but they do not represent most of us. Thank you for your comment.

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          • Stephanie says:

            I understand the kind of pride you are talking about, been married to a southerner for a long time now. I’m not necessarily talking about ugly southern pride. I am talking about the kind of southern pride that can be elevated above God to the point that all things southern seem more important than the Lord which is something all Christians need to keep an eye on. I have seen “good” southerners take the pride thing a bit far and in so doing have been not so nice to outsiders. Thanks for permitting me to share my view.

            Like

          • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

            Thanks for the clarification, Stephanie. I have witness the very same thing about being more of a Southerner than a follower of Jesus. That’s not good. I thank you for sharing your thoughts!

            Like

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