We Have Only Just Begun to Redact

I don’t know how you feel about the removal of Confederate personalities from the pages of history and town squares of southern cities and commons of southern colleges, but it is proceeding apace. I am conflicted. Historically these things happened. These men did not begin fighting in defense of slavery but in defense of home and hearth, but once the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, the casus belli became slavery. Also, true Jesus’s words: “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. Consequently, you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs” (Lk. 11: 47-48).

Recently two others have provided more grist for my mill, small though the mill be. Michael Medved is an Orthodox Jew who is an author, radio host, political pundit, and shrewd commentator on pop culture. I commend to you his 1992 book Hollywood vs. America. Interviewed in 2017 on NPR he pointed out two things: 1) Historically, the losers of a conflict don’t put up statues commemorating the event only the winners do. 2) The statues and other commemorative art were not put up by the generation who fought in the conflict, but by the generation representing Jim Crow South, and they were in celebration if not furtherance of that racism.

Take the monument at Stone Mountain, Georgia. It is a 3-acre depiction of Confederate Generals Lee and Jackson and Confederate President Davis on horseback cut into the face of the mountain. Stone Mountain since 1915 has been a site of KKK activity. Initiations into the Klan for hundreds was held at the foot of this mountain in the 1920s. The United Daughters of the Confederacy was part of the group that oversaw the carving getting done. It wasn’t completed till 1972. I can see why blacks would take issue with things like this. But Andrew Young, one-time marcher with Martin Luther King with him when he was assassinated, has a take on these matters that blew me away. He doesn’t think they should be removed. It’s too costly and too great a price has already been paid in trying to bring people together. When he was asked specifically about Black Live’s Matter, he said, “’I’m saying these are kids who grew up free, and they don’t know what still enslaves them – and it’s not those monuments’” (Dean, Jamie, Monuments Men, WORLD Magazine, September 16, 2017, p.42).

However, the removal of statues, changing of street and school names, the barring of the Stars and Bars is nothing compared to what we will have to do to history to redact the negative view of LGBTQism.

Look up the original lyrics to Dire Straits 1985 song “Money for Nothing.” It was played on the radio this way. It isn’t today. Or read William L. Shirer’s 1960 magistral work Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of a Nazi Germany. Who but a certifiable homophobe would write the following?

After considerable difficulties the S. A. [the Brownshirts; stormtroopers] was reorganized in an armed ban of several hundred thousand men to protect Nazi meetings, to break up the meetings of others and to generally terrorize those who opposed Hitler. Some of its leaders also hoped to see the S.A. supplant the Regular army when Hitler came to power. To prepare for this a special office under General Franz Ritter von Epp was set up, called the Wehrpolitische Amt. Its five divisions concerned themselves with such problems as external and internal defense policy, defense forces, popular defense potential and so on. But the brown-shirted S.A. never became much more than a motley mob of brawlers. Many of its top leaders, beginning with its chief, Roehm, were notorious homosexual perverts. Lieutenant Edmund Heines, who led the Munich S.A., was not only a homosexual but a convicted murderer. These two and dozens others quarreled and feuded as only men of unnatural sexual inclinations, with their peculiar jealousies, can (page 120, emphasis added).

A few things. Shirer was a first-person witness to the Third Reich. He is not writing about persons and events only from secondary sources. He was there to witness the rise of Hitler. Second, would any public school high school or college allow the above quote without censure? Wouldn’t the author of a paper, presentation, thesis containing this quote be required to get counseling?

The 21st Century under the “leadership” of “men” like Obama. “women” like Hilary Clinton, and “churchmen” like Bell, Spong, and Robinson have forged a brave new world that is beyond the pedestrian confines of sexuality determined by anatomy or heterosexual sex. And in that world the above paragraph is wrong on so many levels. At first you think the phrase “notorious homosexual perverts” implies there is a homosexuality that is not perverse. But then he mentions “unnatural sexual inclinations.” But what will ultimately get this book banned and/or burned are the words: “quarreled and feuded” linked to “unnatural sexual inclinations” and finished by referencing “their peculiar jealousies.”

Shirer is referring to what at one time would have been styled “typical gay behavior”; what virtually everyone still means when they say, “that’s gay.” But you are a homophobe if you say such things today. You will certainly lose your job if you’re in the public sector, and quite possibly be sued if you’re in the private. But what to do with the volumes and volumes of books from ancient times to the 20th century that express such thoughts (Read Thomas Hubbard’s Homosexuality in Greece and Rome.). Ban them, burn them, redact them, but they must be silenced. Those who bemoan the fact that they had to live life in closets are intent on pushing heterosexuals into them.

About Rev. Paul R. Harris

Ordained pastor of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
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