Confederate Monuments aux Temps des Assassins

We have thought of writing an essay of our own on this subject of tearing down Civil War historical monuments – but this piece by another blogger raises some thought provoking issues (individual virtue, collective guilt, etc.). Like it or not, the Civil War is part of US history and we ought to try to learn the lessons of history rather than trying to erase or cover up distasteful parts of that history.

Aquilon's Eyrie

R E Lee Monument

Reading Fultin Sheen’s Treasure in Clay offers the reader many great insights.  One of the best comes in the following quote:

The curious would like me to open healed wounds; the media, in particular, would relish a chapter which would pass judgment on others, particularly because, as a French author expressed it: [n]ous vivons aux temps des assassins–“we live in days of assassins”–where evil is sought more than good in order to justify a world with a bad conscience. (310)

This idea is salient on the question of social justice vs. individual justice, over which Sheen claims Vatican II was debated.  Moderns have in large part discarded individual for social justice.  In doing so, they can see the collective guilt of societies, but not the guilt of their own souls.  To them, righteousness is something gained by being on the right side, not through individual deeds.

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  1. Thank you for posting this and linking to “medievalotaku”. I cannot understand any society that destroys its history. These monuments are not a dominant cultural feature and have stood as part of the southern landscape for years. Robert E. Lee was not even a strong advocate of slavery, he only really fought for the south because Virginia seceded. If my memory serves, Lee was active in helping freed blacks after the war. So, without even knowing anything about the people whose statues they are destroying, the cry of racism is all it takes!

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