Jay Baggett 
Member since Sep 16, 2015


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Re: “Is this pastor, speaking at Turning Point Open Bible Church Oct. 1, totally racist?

With a "suffice it to say," Daniel Walters presumes to stain the Confederate battle flag with the sin of racism and prove the South fought the war to preserve slavery. Perhaps much of what Pastor Weaver is said to believe can be so easily dismissed, but on the Confederacy, "suffice it to say" will not suffice.

As to the war being over the institution of slavery, the South simply did not need to fight to "preserve" slavery -- the institution was not under threat in the South.

Slavery was practiced in all 13 of the original colonies, still legal in most of them when the Constitution was ratified in 1787. That Constitution recognized the legality of the institution and the enforceable property rights of slave owners, even in states that exercised their right to ban the practice for those residing within their borders. Everyone, North and South -- and the states that subsequently joined the United States -- were voluntary members of a covenant that recognized and protected slavery, an institution just as odious in 1787 as it was in 1860. All hands were dirty.

The only legal means to end slavery nationally was to pass a constitutional amendment. There were not the votes (nor, do I believe, the will) to do so. So, the South did not have to "preserve" slavery against an amendment.

Politically, there was little for Southerners to fear for slavery within their borders. Lincoln and the Republicans did not target slavery in the South, only in the new territories in the West. Lincoln himself said he did not believe he had constitutional authority to do anything about Southern slavery. He endorsed the Corwin Amendment, passed just two days before his first inauguration, that guaranteed slavery in perpetuity in those states where it was currently legal. If the South was concerned about "preserving" slavery and avoiding a destructive military invasion, it merely needed to reject secession and return to the Union.

Four of the 11 seceding states provided Declarations of Cause which mention a variety of issues, but all mention slavery. Their grievances have nothing to do with "preserving" slavery. Their grievances center on the North’s failure to abide by the Constitution to which all bound themselves in 1787. Contrary to its requirements, the North was refusing to return runaway slaves, it was failing to protect slave owners passing through their states with their property and it committed acts of violence that went unpunished against slave owners or their agents attempting rendition of their legal property. Further, even though Southern states were full and equal members of the Union and even though their citizens had contributed men and treasure in the expansion of U.S. territory westward, the North was resisting Southerners’ right to move to those territories with their property just as Northerners could settle with their property.

The South was not fighting to "preserve" slavery -- that issue was legally settled in 1787 -- the South fought to preserve the Constitution that the North had since rejected.

It should be noted that, in seceding, the South surrendered all legal expectations that the North would ever return another runaway slave under the hated Fugitive Slave Act. For the South, preserving its liberty was primary.

Despite those pesky Southerners no longer being in Congress after secession, Northerners didn’t get around to passing the 13th Amendment ending slavery nationally until two months before Lee surrendered Appomattox and didn’t ratify it until December 1865. National slavery ended in the North and South at the same time.

And the Emancipation Proclamation ... neither here where you would expect it, nor anywhere else, did Lincoln ever say he was prosecuting the war to free slaves. Indeed, the proclamation exempted the four border states AND much of the Southern territories under Union military control. It declared liberty to slaves in Confederate-held territory, where Lincoln had no authority, and exempted slaves from emancipation in all the places he did. It didn’t even free slaves still held by Northerners. But here’s the stinker -- if the South would abandon secession and return by Lincoln’s Dec. 31, 1862, deadline, it would then be under Union control and its slaves would be exempted from freedom. Nothing would change for enslaved blacks. No harm, no foul, tote that barge, lift that bale!

If the the North fought the war to end slavery, then someone forgot to tell Lincoln's generals. The Union Army -- with its top-knotch quartermasters and endless storehouse of supplies -- was overwhelmed by the flood of slaves streaming toward its advancing lines. Seems that the president who prosecuted the war to free the slaves forgot to send food and provisions to care for them after Sherman burned the crops that had been keeping them alive. Grant had been a quartermaster in the Mexican War - how could something so obvious as food for the people you were fighting to free be overlooked? Instead, hopeful blacks were forced into "contraband" camps to be held as property where tens of thousands died.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/16/slavery-starvation-civil-war

So, if Mr. Lincoln wasn’t fighting to end slavery, the South did not need to waste precious lives and scarce resources to preserve it. That war came anyway strongly suggests slavery was not its cause.

It is a mistake to assume the result of the war -- a good one -- was its cause and purpose -- a bad one.

1 like, 10 dislikes
Posted by Jay Baggett on 09/16/2015 at 9:46 PM

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