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Guest column: Resist intolerance, preserve nations history and heroes despite flaws
Monument supporters collect their flags before the removal of a Confederate monument to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard in front of City Park in New Orleans on May 16. Workers in New Orleans took down a Confederate monument to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard early Wednesday. - photo by Sophia Germer

Since the statue of Confederate President, U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis has now been removed in New Orleans by intolerant leftists, ostensibly because he owned slaves, how many other statues of American leaders who owned slaves (and some owned far more than Davis) will be torn down under cover of night, too?

Indeed, especially since so few folks defended Davis’ statue, why won’t leftists now be all the more emboldened to try to obliterate all monuments to U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, James Polk, Zachary Taylor and Ulysses Grant?

Similarly, why won’t the monuments to all other patriots who owned slaves be primed for removal? Why, a tiny list would include Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, George Mason, Edmund Randolph, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, John Jay, Sam Houston, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Robert E. Lee, Alexander Stephens and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

Only leftist firebrands who have never cared for this country in the first place think we honor any of these great Americans for having participated in the horrific evil of slavery. As William Faulkner understood: “You don’t love because: you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults.”

Every American patriot on this list is revered for his record of having risen above his many sins and weaknesses to still achieve great feats for our nation that ultimately blessed us all.

America is not a nation of perfect people, but a land with more liberty than any other has ever known, motivating us to reach our greatest potential free of excessive government restraints. All achievers make many mistakes, but we honor their successes all the more for the fact that they were accomplished despite often great personal flaws. That can inspire the rest of us, sinners all.

God doesn’t choose perfect people to do His will, for ours is a loving and forgiving God. Adam and Eve violated the one command He gave them, yet God still let Adam live to be 930. When he was older, Noah was a drunk, yet God still chose him to build the Ark that would save humanity from the flood.

Moses was a murderer, yet God still put His hand on him to lead the Jews to the Promised Land. David was an adulterer who manipulated Bathsheba’s husband’s death, yet God still permitted him to be the king of the Jews. All the disciples ran away in fear at Christ’s death, and Peter — Christ’s favorite — even denied his Lord thrice. Yet God would not abandon any of them.

But many secular leftists can be an angry, merciless lot who put religious fanatics to shame when it comes to genuinely unforgiving fanaticism. See the Jacobins, who waged le Terror in the French Revolution, as well as the communist revolutionaries of Russia, Eastern Europe, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Indeed, as Karl Marx understood: “A nation or generation that does not know the history of their nation is a nation that lost its identity, and can be easily manipulated.” And that is precisely the whole purpose of the extremists now bent on eliminating our own history.

George Orwell explained this situation best when he observed that, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Brother and sister American patriots, you and I will decide whether we lose our glorious national heritage. Either we stand tall and endure all kinds of vicious personal slanders against our good names to preserve the entire record of our country’s past — including its warts, in the interest of full truth and to learn from our sins and mistakes — or we will lose our own history, our understanding from whence we came, and our very identity.

Today’s Red Guards have declared war on our American heritage. Will we stand up to them, armed with the truth?

Dr. Douglas Young is a political science professor at the University of North Georgia.

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