Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Is Roy Moore a Yankee?

Judge Roy Moore of Alabama has been center-stage politically in the States, but one thing he said recently (9 Nov.) has gone by largely unnoticed:

I believe you and I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values!

Our nation is at a crossroads right now — both spiritually and politically.

Mr Moore has taken it upon himself to lead a moral crusade upon evil in the nation, intent on wiping it out in Washington City, and presumably in the other States as well using the power of a ‘regenerate’ federal government.

But ‘the nation’ is none of Mr Moore’s business.  It doesn’t even exist.  It is a fanciful, but dangerous, daydream of the Puritan Yankees, a fair bit of whose ideology has infected Southerners like Judge Moore.  Since there is no single, monolithic nation, but rather a voluntary union of sovereign States/nations, each with its own unique history and folkways, neither Mr Moore, nor Hillary Clinton, etc. may rampage across State borders with impunity to implement their plans for moral renewal and such like.

The South has always had a different view of moral crusading than the North.  Henry Hughes of Mississippi states it this way:

Charity ought to begin at home. As long as it can find there, anything to do; it ought to stay and do it. It may travel when its work is done; it may use its feet, when its hands are idle. The whole power of the society, ought to be applied to its ends. After they are perfectly realized it may help other societies. It must not be generous to others; while unjust to itself. It must perfect itself, before it perfects others. There is little room for charity abroad; if there is much room for charity at home. Home duties are highest. If one community tries to better another before it betters itself; it worsts both. It does a wrong. It wrongs those who are nearer and dearer. That wrong is atrocious. If our state or family are not perfect; they need our means. They must have preference. If there is any giving or helping; it must be for them. Everything must go to them. If they have no needs, the surplus may go to others; but the first needs must be first answered.

 . . . Progress deliberates. It must be patient. It is slow. Agents must be habituated, before actions can be habitual. Hurry disorders: it is not wise: haste is anarchy. Progress does not sweat; it does not run; it walks with a lame heel, and handles with a sore hand. It hastens slowly.

Henry Hughes, Treatise on Sociology (1854), Book I, pgs. 74-5, https://archive.org/stream/treatiseonsocio00hughgoog/treatiseonsocio00hughgoog_djvu.txt, opened 18 Nov. 2017

Is Alabama perfect?  Is she even well enough that Mr Moore can ride off to Washington with righteous fervor to heal those he sees as being sick?

Are 6,642 abortions performed in Alabama in 2016 proof of her wholeness?

Or 748 suicides in 2015?

The third highest obesity rate amongst the States?

The highest opioid prescription numbers amongst the States (5.8 million prescriptions in 2015)?

It would appear that there is still some work to be done in Alabama.  Mr Moore and the other Yankee-style moral crusaders in the South would do well to follow the older Southern tradition articulated by Mr Hughes and tend to the people of their own States before they go bossing others around. 

‘Physician, heal thyself’ (St Luke 4:23).

A last thought on this for now:  If Mr Moore et al. feel that being in the Union is having a bad effect on the souls of the citizens of their States, wouldn’t it be a better show of manners (and a quicker and more effective remedy) for their States to leave the Union than to force all the other States to submit to their views?


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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