Christian Theocrat and Slavery Apologist Defends Confederate Flag

Douglas Wilson, a Christian Reconstruction and slavery apologist from Idaho, has jumped neck deep into discussion about the Charleston shootings and the Confederate flag, offering up an unsurprisingly appalling opinion on the whole matter. He explains why he wants that flag to remain up (other than the obvious fact, which he won’t admit, that he is a racist asshole).

First, as I explained in another post after another shooting, it is unseemly to politicize these horrors when the families are still weeping. Whether the issue is gun control or something else, whenever a hard sell comes in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, the only thing it makes me want to do is wonder at how boorish some people can be. If this the case when the political issue is arguably connected, as with gun control, how much more is it the case when it is so obliquely related? Did the alleged shooter even know about the flag? Boorish behavior can be exhibited by either side. If one man starts a roaring debate in favor of gun control the same day of the shooting, the situation is not improved if an advocate of open carry does the same thing the next day. The families involved, who include godly Christian people calling for repentance and a turn to Christ, ought not to be distracted by apparatchiks trying to make some political hay out of their grief.

Oh yes, of course, we must not relate the murders to any issue at all. It happened in a vacuum. How convenient.

The issue of taking the flag down, or leaving it up for that matter, is an issue of symbolism. And as this kind of controversy demonstrates, we don’t understand symbolism very well. We don’t know how it works. We don’t know how the meaning of symbols gets assigned, we don’t have any clear way of determining what groups have a right to be offended by a particular symbol, who has a right to speak for those groups, or how we balance competing claims for the right to use the symbol. The Confederate flag can mean that you are at a KKK rally, that you are looking at a truck decal in a NASCAR rally parking lot, that you are at a Skynyrd concert, that you are looking a commemorative calendar painted by a memorabilia artist, that you are driving by a car dealership in rural Virginia, or that you saw a photo of Kanye West taking his confusions to a whole new level.

And if you don’t understand how the battle over symbols is being conducted, the chances are excellent that the flag at the state capitol will be taken down, a rainbow gay flag will replace it in a couple years, and the shootings will continue apace.

At least a rainbow gay flag does not exist solely because it was created as the battle flag of an army raised to defend the cause of slavery. This is something that Wilson knows a lot about, since he has long defended it himself. In a pamphlet he published called Southern Slavery, As It Was, he wrote that “slavery produced in the South a genuine affection between the races that we believe we can say has never existed in any nation before the War or since.” That pamphlet was co-authored with the co-founder of the League of the South, a white nationalist group still longing for the good old days of the 1850s.

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  • John Pieret

    slavery produced in the South a genuine affection between the races that we believe we can say has never existed in any nation before the War or since

    Dem plantation owners so loved der darkies that de tried to save them from hell by offering dem the Christian love of chains and whips and prisons. It be a wonder why the fags don’t accept da love of Christians now.

  • raven

    Douglas Wilson is a Christian Reformed minister and theologian at St. Andrews college of hate in Moscow Idaho.

    He is an all around hater and horrible human being. Wilson, once again proves that xianity is not a source of morality. If it was, no one would get near him.

  • dingojack

    “And as this kind of controversy demonstrates, we don’t understand symbolism very well. We don’t know how it works. We don’t know how the meaning of symbols gets assigned…”

    Well there’s always the academic field of Semiotics, but that actually requires some intellectual rigour… probably a little beyond your limited capacity, Dougie.


  • scienceavenger

    Did the alleged shooter even know about the flag?

    Are you fucking serious? There are multiple pictures of him waving it proudly. I guess aquiring even the most basic facts before shooting off your mouth is just too damned much trouble for you.

  • theDukedog7 .

    The murders most certainly didn’t happen in a vacuum. I detest the Confederate flag and it should be torn down. It represents slavery and hate and violence, and the war it symbolizes killed 600,000 Americans.

    Let’s not stop with the Confederate flag. The Confederacy ended in 1865, but segregation, Jim Crow, the KKK, lynching and all manner of vile racism persisted de jure for a century after. The symbol of that atrocity is the Democrat Party, which should be shunned with even more vigor than the Confederacy (which was a wing of the Democrat Party). It was Democrats, not Confederates, who passed Jim Crow, who lynched blacks, who created the KKK.

    Why pin the scarlet letter on the Confederacy, and not also on the Democrat Party, which was the predecessor and successor of the Confederacy? And it is not merely Southern Democrats who are to blame. Northern Democrats, including FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ courted and suckled and slept with Southern Democrat racists to gain and hold power.

    “Oh”, my tap-dancing Democrat friends will say, “that was the old Democrats, pre-1964. We’ve changed”. Well, I reply, the Confederacy has changed too, but we still appropriately hold it to its ugly history. We must do the same for the Confederacy’s party- the Democrat Party.

    All Democrats are responsible in a very real way for the atrocities of the South. So get rid of the Confederate flag, and get rid of the political party that bears even a greater and more recent responsiblity for racism.

  • dingojack

    Run along and play with your blocks Lil’ DookieDawg, the adults are talking now!


  • psweet

    Dukedog, have you heard of the Dixiecrats, or how most of them jumped ship to the Republican party when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Voting Act? Or Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy?

  • caseloweraz

    The penultimate paragraph in Douglas Wilson’s essay:

    So is the American flag out? No, I don’t believe so. This kind of symbol doesn’t function this way. The American flag represents what it used to represent, it represents what it ought to represent, and it also represents what it does in fact represent — what it currently covers and protects, which would appear to include the slaughter of infants, high levels of gender lunacy, insane levels of taxation, and unlimited porn on your smart phone. The interplay of all these factors are (sic) admittedly complicated. But I am reluctant to join in a stampede that would appear to me to solve nothing.

    IMO Wilson’s essay boils down to “Yes, the Confederate battle flag can represent slavery, but it can also represent many good things. The American flag represents freedom, but it also now represents a number of bad things.”

    Or, in other words, both sides in the argument over the Charleston shootings are equally guilty.

  • John Pieret

    [Stepping carefully around Dukedog’s latest sidewalk deposit]

    Gee, then, I wonder why conservative (often Christian) Republicans were the ones that leapt to the defense of South Carolina flying the Stars and Bars? Got any Democrats who did?

  • dingojack

    Lil DookieDawg‘s just hoping against hope, ’cause although he’s lost this exact same argument before, he’s hoping that this time the outcome will somehow be different …

    “Nothing up my sleeve…”



  • Artor

    Big surprise. Dukedog knows jack shit about history. Who could have guessed such a thing?

  • NYC atheist

    Go home, doggie, you’re drunk.

  • Modusoperandi
  • Modusoperandi

    theDukedog7 “Northern Democrats, including…LBJ courted and suckled and slept with Southern Democrat racists to gain and hold power.”

    “We’ve won the South for a generation!” ~ LBJ, famous Northern Democrat, 1964,

  • theguy

    And here I was hoping that ShitDog had taken a long walk off a short pier. Nope, here he is, indulging his pathological need to hate the Democratic party. It’s like an emotional dependence with these people.

    The parties have changed; who would have thought that the (former) party of Lincoln would defend the flag of treason? The conservative Dixiecrats of the south have become today’s conservative Republicans.

  • theschwa

    Duke is right. And after we get rid of the “Democrat” party, we can get rid of all Christian crosses, like the ones the KKK burned.

  • kantalope

    You all don’t understand doggie very well. For him labels are very very important and they never ever change. If you peeled the label off his bottled water doggie would die of thirst because he wouldn’t know what was in the bottle. He imagines the republicans of today throwing down if a state wanted to overturn a federal law or ruling. He stopped reading the papers in 1860.

  • colnago80

    Gee, ole Egnorance is back trying to prove that Goebbels was right. When one is going to tell a lie, make it a big lie, tell it loudly, tell it ofter and eventually people will come to believe it. So far, it has been a complete failure on this blog but Egnorance ignores advice attributed to Einstein. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    Re kantalope @ #17

    Egnorance who is a climate change denier, evolution denier, and DDT denier is a numbnuts who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

  • dingojack

    Hey Lil Dookie – and a portion of the Republican Party was the Know Nothing Party*…



    * Anti-immigration, anti-Catholic, anti-Irish, anti-German and (in east-coast cities, particularly) anti-Semitic…

    Just change some of the racial epithets – and it’s got a familiar ring, to those following the current Republican candidate’s rhetoric

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Wilson: “Symbols! How the fuck do they work?”

  • busterggi

    Nothing says, “I’m a patriotic American” like flying the flag flown by traitorous slaveholders.

  • The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Fuçking God, you’re an idiot, Egnor. Are you the one smelling up Orac’s joint as “See Noevo”? I’m willing to bet you are.

  • theDukedog7 .


    You lose the bet.

    It’s hard to imagine Orac’s joint getting stunk up any more than it is.

  • whheydt

    Back, at–or at least close to–topic… The BBC has an article up this morning about the governor of Alabama having the battle flag removed from their statehouse grounds. The BBC includes a line it has used in other stories covering the overall subject..

    It is seen by some as an icon of slavery and racism while others say the banner symbolises their heritage and history.

    Now, personally, I don’t see any conflict between those two sets of sentiments.

  • Donnie

    In a pamphlet he published called Southern Slavery, As It Was, he wrote that “slavery produced in the South a genuine affection between the races that we believe we can say has never existed in any nation before the War or since.”

    So, you are willing to switch places with your Slaves and let them be your Master if the affection was so great?

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #19

    Case in point, the 1884 election was won by the Democrat, Grover Cleveland because a supporter of his Rethuglican opponent, James C. Blaine (known as Blaine, Blaine, James Blaine, continental liar from the State of Maine) because a supporter of the latter was overheard referring to the Democratic Party as the party of Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion. This cost Blaine the State of New York where Roman Catholics came out in droves to vote for Cleveland.

  • The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    Egnor: Eat shıt and die, you cretinous, acephalic maggot. I’ll take that as a confession, anyway.

  • dingojack

    SLC – evidently they were part of Blaine’s ‘47%’… :)


  • wreck

    @ doggie #5

    Thank you for your comments. We are all now a little more stupid for having read them.

  • nickrud

    I was a bit taken aback by the comments responding to that blog. There were the usual ‘if we ban the battle flag over slavery, why not ban the american flag over xyz’, but there were some very thoughtful discussions about why it was right to remove the flag from government buildings. Couched in Christian theological terms, but still, surprising.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    dukedog has a valid point. The Democrats are far, far more racist toward blacks than the Republicans, which is why Obama is a Democrat and why blacks support the Democratic Party over the Republican Party in vast numbers.

  • Lady Mondegreen

    No, no, people. You all misunderstand Dukedog. His point is perfectly cromulent:

    The Democratic Party used to stand for slavery. Sure, the party has changed, and in the last 70 years or so it has been moving steadily toward its current position as the more pro-equality of the two major parties, but–

    The Confederate flag, which stood for slavery and treason, has also changed in the last ohfuckingchristnowhatastupidanalogy.