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150 Years After Appomattox, the GOP Revises Their Views

The more things change, the more things change.

Consider, for example, the remarks of a rather well known Republican leader, speaking in 1865 on the eve of the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox:

Both [sides] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other . . .

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Fast forward 150 years, and imagine how Republican leaders of 2015 would react to these words. It’s hard to believe that they’d be comfortable with delivering them as written, you know, so a re-write is obviously needed . . .

Both [sides] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, but only our side reads the Bible right. . . .

With malice toward some1, with charity for none2, with firmness in the right since God gave it to us to see the right3, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to ignore the nation’s wounds4, to turn our backs on him who battled against us and his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting victory over those who dare to stand against us, here at home and around the world.5

Welcome to the 2016 presidential campaign, in which I fully expect someone from the GOP to propose a return to Plessy v Ferguson to defend religious liberty, and a restoration of the states’ rights attitude that caused Mr. Dred Scott a bit of inconvenience, and a repeal of the 19th amendment to the US constitution, because in the eyes of the GOP of 2015, it’s a man’s job to take care of the women. (Sorry, Carli.)


1 LGBTs, for instance: see here and here (Santorum warning).

2 especially the lazy and shiftless poors, and most especially those who are blah

3 See Brownback, Sam; Graham, Franklin; and all the presidential hopefuls, with a special shout-out to Bobbie Jindal

4 See the GOP and the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Head Start, . . .

5 From Unconditional Surrender to American Jihad, Ted Cruz edition. But remember: it’s Never About Race (h/t Mr. Pierce)


h/t to Joey Gannon for the photo above, and used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect.

And Preview is my friend.