Unity and the Confederate Flag
Erin and I attend the local Unity church. We use to go to the UU in town because they have a Pagan group associated with them, but we almost never heard the minister give a message, and the messages we were hearing weren’t spiritual to us, they were humanist (and we’re not very humanist). We wanted the Gods’ energy in our lives, and we weren’t getting it there. Then we found out we can go to the Pagan meetings without being a member of the church, so we stopped going.
I’m a member of the Earth Spirit group at the UU church, just not the UU church itself, but we haven’t been to any of the meetings, mainly because I can’t ever seem to figure out when they are and then I don’t know what the topics are, so we just haven’t really gone. We’ve been meaning to, though, and we probably will at some point. We attend the Pagan Pride event every year that’s held at that church though, and we enjoy it.
But we absolutely love Unity, and Unity accepts us as not only a lesbian couple, but also as a Pagan one. We aren’t the only pagans in attendance, and I’m in the possible early stages of starting a pagan spiritual group within in the church itself. We’re also looking at possibly starting one or two services a year to specifically celebrate pagan holidays… There’s lots of exciting things happening.
Before Erin moved down here, we attended Jubilee in Asheville and the UU here, but we felt more connected at Jubilee. Unity is definitely the closest thing in the area to Jubilee, and it’s even more earth/spiritual based than Jubilee was because Jubilee read from the Bible every week. Unity doesn’t do that, so we are even more at home. It’s the perfect place, and I get everyone I can to go. We’re growing, and it’s wonderful.
I’m in charge of the Youth Education there and the kids learn stuff about the Bible, but starting next month, they’re going to start learning other traditions too, which I am really looking forward to. It’s an extremely strong program that I’m very proud to say I was a part of.
Anyway, I’m saying all of this because while we were on the cruise, something wonderful happened: Nikki Haley ordered the removal of the Confederate Flag from the state house grounds and have it sent to a museum, which is where a piece of history belongs anyway. Erin and I were lucky enough to watch it from our cabin because we happened to have television at the time, so we got to watch it live.
The entire time, I was whooping and clapping and cheering from the couch. Finally, Nikki Haley did something I didn’t disagree with and South Carolina isn’t fully being shit on for its choices. The response on my Facebook feed about the entire thing has been really one sided on my side of the issue. I guess this means one of two things: I’m not friends with any racist idiot assholes OR they’re just being smart for once and not saying anything.
Since I’ve started going to Unity, I’ve begun working on only focusing on the positive and letting go of all the negative around me. Unity keeps itself out of politics for the most part, which I appreciate (because the UU can get overly political from time to time and it zaps all of my spiritual energy away when it does), but the church fully preaches that all life is part of the divine energy. It teaches that there are certain spiritual laws or Truths, but that everything else is debatable and changeable and that they shouldn’t try to force their specific religious thought patterns on each other, and this is what I kept thinking about the government when that flag was coming down: South Carolina’s government as become slightly more neutral. They’re not longer publicly supporting something that represents such a bad part of history. They aren’t preventing others from flying the flag, but as a neutral government, they are no longer openly taking sides on the issue.
The Confederate Flag in South Carolina has an interesting history. The Stars and Bars is actually a Confederate battle flag for the state of Virginia. It has little to NOTHING to do with South Carolina in the first place, and it didn’t start flying on State House grounds until 1961. Originally it was put up to commemorate the Civil War, but there was never a date to bring it back down, so it just kept flying ever since then… but something else was going on in 1961 too: South Carolina was being forced to integrate their schools, something South Carolina wasn’t really happy about. It may just be a coincidence that the flag went up then and never came back down, but it’s a pretty interesting one….
On top of that, the flag has been used by the KKK as a symbol of white power, which is really racist. Flying the confederate flag in the South is the equivalent of flying a Nazi flag in Germany… It represents a bad part of history, and it needs to go into a museum where it belongs. You don’t see many Germans running around with Nazi flags, do you? No. Because they know better than to be that outwardly racist.
The Confederacy was formed because South Carolina started to get upset that non-slaveholding states were granting their escaped slaves freedom, which then denied them of their property. They were worried that the federal government was going to continue to make antislavery laws that would cause them to lose their slaves and this ticked them off so they left. Yes, it was about the states having the right to govern themselves, but it was because of slavery that the issue even came up.
If you don’t believe me, read the “this is why we’re leaving” article from South Carolina written in 1860 here. Here’s a couple of highlights from it though if you’re curious:
- “they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery”
- “They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.”
- “A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.
This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.
On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.”
There is zero… absolute zero… support that this so call “Confederate Flag” is a symbol of Southern Heritage and not racism or hate or slavery when the whole reason it exists in the first place is because the federal government said “Slavery bad” and the Southern States said, “Fuck you, we’ll leave so we can keep our slaves.”
It’s hate not heritage and I am SO glad it has come down!