Thursday, June 29, 2023

Remembrances for July – 2023


Dear friends, if you have time, please pray for these members of the Southern family on the day they reposed.  Many thanks.

But one may ask:  ‘What good does it do to pray for the departed?’  An answer is offered here:

Along with prayers and hymns for the departed:

July 3rd

John Crowe Ransom, one of the leaders of the Vanderbilt Agrarians and a leading 20th century writer and teacher.

July 6th

Paul Hamilton Hayne, one of the South’s best poets.

July 9th

Sir William Berkeley, a colonial governor of Virginia whose influence is felt within Southern culture to this day.

July 9th

Pierre d’Iberville, Canadian soldier and explorer, the founder of the first permanent French settlement in Louisiana.

July 9th

Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, one of the great figures of Southern literature for his comic work Georgia Scenes, but also an active preacher and a leader of four universities.

July 10th

Gen Henry Benning, from the Georgia Supreme Court to a successful general in the War and back to practicing law afterwards.

July 17th

Gen James Johnston Pettigrew, a good example of a Southern gentleman.

July 23rd

Eudora Welty, one of the South’s best writers.

July 25th

Wilmer Mills, a gifted Louisiana poet who died young.

July 26th

Sam Houston, one of the most influential men in Texas history the arc of his life also touched other States and tribes.

July 29th

John Slidell, an important diplomat during the War.

July 30th

George Fitzhugh, a helpful critic of the pure capitalist economic system.

July 30th

Gen George Pickett, a soldier for most of his life, he is best known perhaps for his part in the Battle of Gettysburg.

July 31st

Randolph Shotwell, a gifted writer, and a microcosm of the suffering South as she went through the War and Reconstruction.

Also, to celebrate some of the saints of July from the South’s Christian inheritance of various lands, follow these links:


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

Anathema to the Union!

Monday, June 26, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘What Will It Take to Revive Hollowed-out Cities?’


Our spiritual eyes have become rather clouded here in the West, so it is not much of a wonder to find causes and effects being confused in Sen. Conrad Appel’s recent essay about reviving New Orleans and other cities in the US.  He expresses his belief that economics and politics are the main drivers of the well-being of cities:


'Somewhere at the intersection of two great political-economic principles lies the future of America’s cities. The United States is a nation that long ago achieved stability and faith in government because it is a constitutional republican form of government, a form of government whose leaders are democratically elected. It also is a nation whose embrace of free market capitalism underpinned by a reliance on the precepts of western legal tradition propelled it from an economic sideshow to the world’s strongest democracy, a nation in which opportunity and prosperity are co-equal.


'For most of America’s history cities were the epicenter of accomplishment. The underlying reason was that these two powerful principles, political stability, and economic freedom, co-existed in a balanced steady state, in a form of political and economic harmony evolved through a millennium of Western trial and error. The vitality of cities, conceived in the balance of political and economic interests, spread nationwide and became the progenitor of good fortune for all the people.

'In our times we are seeing the advent mainly in cities of a rapidly evolving social democratic philosophy of government, a system contrary to what Americans have known, one that Americans are only slowly coming to terms with, one to which America’s response may be for good, or for worse.'

Then we get the clincher at the end (bolding added):  ‘History is replete with numerous examples of the brutal reality of nature; a city does not exist unless there is an economic reason for it to exist. There is no reason to think that American cities are immune to the forces that determine whether a city is vital or not, and government support is not the path to self-sustaining vitality.’

So, again, the main point is that a city comes into being and remains in existence mainly for the sake of economic activity of men and women.  This is where our spiritual blindness comes in, for, historically speaking, it is not commerce that has been at the center of city life but worship, religion.

One of the oldest archaeological sites confirms this.  Gobekli Tepe is a vast complex in southern Turkey, older than the pyramids of Egypt, consisting of giant pillars and other artwork.  What was the reason for building this large urban center in the middle of nowhere?  To engage in trade and politics?  No.  It was constructed so that religious rites could be performed there.

Think of other cities.  What was at the heart of Jerusalem in the Kingdom of Israel; what was her defining feature?  A trading market?  A parliament?  No, it was the Temple of Solomon.

Jump ahead to the Christian era.  What dominated the magnificent city of Constantinople/New Rome for 1,000 years?  The sublime cathedral of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), one of the wonders of the world.

And many other cities throughout Christendom grew up around churches and monasteries.  The monastery of St. Finbarr is illustrative:

‘. . . But the man of God’s main achievement was the foundation on the river Lee of his most important and influential monastery, on the site called Cork, which in the tenth century would become a thriving town. Now it is a very beautiful city in the south of Ireland. In effect the city of Cork grew and developed around the saint’s monastery. Thus, Finbarr, the first Abbot of Cork, was one of many early saints of the British Isles and Ireland who contributed to formation of future large settlements with their churches or monasteries at the center of the community.’

We see, then, that religion, rather than commerce or politics, is the beating heart of the city.  The latter two are subordinate, outgrowths of the first, and subject to its commandments.  Religion is the cause of city life; commerce and politics follow as effects.

A look at New Orleans gives further confirmation that something more defines a truly good and vibrant city than wealth and politics.  Grace King, a loyal daughter of New Orleans and a fine writer, wrote about the essence of this city just after the turn of the 20th century in 1902 in her book New Orleans:  The Place and the People:

 . . .

The rest is at


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

Anathema to the Union!

Friday, June 23, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘Philadelphia Is Where the Problems Started’


Just as it did in 1865, Appomattox Day (the day when the South became a conquered colony of DC, a day that should be remembered by Southerners with mourning and fasting and prayer each year) will fall on Palm Sunday in 2023 – April 9th (following the Orthodox Church’s dating; the Protestants and Roman Catholics will be celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on that day).  Because of this conjunction of the days, it is fitting to reflect once again on the narrative surrounding this War – its causes, its effects, the people and issues involved.

Unfortunately, prominent conservatives continue to extol President Lincoln as the embodiment of a just and far-sighted political leader.  Sohrab Ahmari, for instance, is in agreement with a new documentary ‘that Lincoln is the ideal thinker-practitioner of the American constitutional tradition’.  The tradition in Mr. Ahmari’s and his fellow-travelers’ view is that the federal government is justified in trampling the sovereignty of the States to eradicate what it views as moral evils, constitutional limits and other niceties notwithstanding.

The Southern historian Rod O’Barr, who has written some excellent essays at the Abbeville Institute lately, sees lots of problems in the Lincoln-as-crusading-anti-slavery-hero narrative.  In reviewing the work of Dr. James McPherson, he writes,

An example of this suppression of evidence in McPherson’s work is his discussion of Lincoln’s 1862 offer of compensated emancipation to the slave States. He mentions the July 12 meeting Lincoln held with the border slave State representatives where Lincoln attempted to convince them to accept his offer. It serves his “crusade against oppression” narrative. But McPherson conveniently omits in the discussion where Lincoln says it is a strategy to win the war and not a crusade to free slaves. And McPherson omits where those representatives tell Lincoln that the seceded States did NOT secede over slavery, and as a “fact, now become history,” were offering to end slavery if European powers would aid in the war to gain Southern independence. This is an obvious intentional sin of omission on the part of McPherson to spin a false narrative.

Such revelations make it possible to discern the real cause behind the North’s war against the South:

McPherson has to spin the narrative in this fashion to somehow make palatable a war that was in reality a crime against humanity. For if ending slavery was not the ultimate justification for the war, then all that is left is a war to “preserve the Union,” which certainly has no redeeming moral value. How could it, in a Union whose founding organic law was based on a Declaration of Independence that asserted the fundamental human right to a “government by consent of the governed?” Preserving the Union did not necessitate forcing the Southern States to remain in it. The Union could have continued minus those States. But the Northern section would have been economically famished without those Southern States. Preserving the Union” was nothing more than a euphemism for forcing the Southern people to remain under a government to which they no longer consented, and for what? So that the North could economically exploit the revenue generated by “King Cotton.”

The conquest of the South by the Yankees stripped the limited government façade from DC, destroyed the decentralizing inertia left from the era of the Articles of Confederation, with the devastating consequences still unfolding and compounding today:

“The South’s concept of republicanism had not changed in three-quarters of a century; the North’s had. With complete sincerity the South fought to preserve its version of the republic of the Founding Fathers–a government of limited powers.” Professor James M. McPherson, Antebellum Southern Exceptionalism.

 . . .

McPherson, while admitting the North was the section that abandoned the Founders, is a nationalist who approves of the Lincoln led revolution against the Founders. Of the war he applauds that Lincoln forced,

“the several states bound loosely in a federal union under a weak central government into a new nation forged by the fires of war…

…. the old decentralized federal republic became a new national polity that taxed the people directly, created an internal revenue bureau to collect these taxes, expanded the jurisdiction of federal courts, established a national currency and a national banking structure. The United States went to war in 1861 to preserve the Union; it emerged from war in 1865 having created a nation. Before 1861 the two words “United States” were generally used as a plural noun: “The United States are a republic.” After 1865 the United States became a singular noun. The loose union of states became a nation.” James McPherson Battle cry of Freedom Oxford U Press.

What those like McPherson with nationalist sentiments cannot grasp is the loss of freedom and the creation of crony capitalist corruption that the Lincoln led North imposed on all Americans by force of bayonets. The Founders had carefully constructed a confederation in which power was intentionally decentralized and dispersed among the States as a means of avoiding centralized tyranny. Lincoln’s war created the very monster the Founders so rightly opposed.

Mr. O’Barr’s work here and elsewhere is generally beyond reproach, but he is wrong in one particular:  It was not ‘Lincoln’s war [that] created the very monster the Founders so rightly opposed.’  That monster was birthed in 1787 during the constitutional convention in Philadelphia.  The Anti-Federalist writer Federal Farmer explains (via TJ Martinell):

 . . .

The rest is at


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

Anathema to the Union!

Monday, June 19, 2023

Offsite Post: ‘The True City on a Hill’


Contemporary Western man, through his technological wizardry and political alchemy, believes he is the pinnacle of human development.  A couple of statements from prominent Westerners illustrate this:

Josep Borell, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, compared Europe to a garden – and most of the world to a jungle – in a speech last Thursday at the European Diplomatic Academy in Bruges, Belgium.

‘ “Europe is a garden. We have built a garden… The rest of the world… is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle. The jungle could invade the garden. The gardeners should take care of it,” Borrell said.

‘ “The jungle has a strong growth capacity… walls will never be high enough in order to protect the garden. The gardeners have to go to the jungle, Europeans have to be much more engaged with the rest of the world. Otherwise, the rest of the world will invade us, by different ways and means.” ’  (Jerusalem Post)

President Ronald Reagan, echoing the New England Puritans/Yankees, compared the United States to a ‘city on a hill’, a borrowing from St Matthew’s Gospel (5:14-16):

‘I have quoted John Winthrop's words more than once on the campaign trail this year—for I believe that Americans in 1980 are every bit as committed to that vision of a shining city on a hill, as were those long ago settlers ... These visitors to that city on the Potomac do not come as white or black, red or yellow; they are not Jews or Christians; conservatives or liberals; or Democrats or Republicans. They are Americans awed by what has gone before, proud of what for them is still… a shining city on a hill.

‘ . . .

‘I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.’

Despite their use of two of the most potent archetypal images for the human soul – the primordial garden of Paradise where man began his life, and the eschatological city of the New Jerusalem where the faithful will dwell when the eternal eighth day dawns – their vision rings false and hollow.  There is something greater than the materially pampered, cyborg, individualist, machine-man who is mechanically linked with the other deracinated, atomized individuals of the utopian technocratic democracy:  a better community, a superior way of life.  And it is found in the Orthodox monasteries.

Everywhere in the world one sees the same exalted life being lived within them.  St Enda of Inishmore (+530), whose main monastic center was on Ireland’s Aran Islands is illustrative:

‘The holy Abbot Enda and his brethren led an extremely austere ascetic life, imitating the Desert Fathers of Egypt. Each monastic community comprised a church or chapel with a number of monastic cells. On Inishmore monks practiced manual labor and devoted most of their time to fasting, prayer and studying the Holy Scriptures. Apart from tiny stone ascetic monastic cells, the monks lived in separate caves or isolated sketes, as many of them chose the ascetic traditions of the ancient fathers. Under St. Enda it was not allowed to kindle fire in monastic cells of Inishmore even in very cold weather, the monks’ clothing was very humble, and they normally refrained from any conversations during their meal in the monastery refectory. The diet of Inishmore monks was very simple and consisted of bread, cereals, and water. Fish and milk were a rarity, while wine and meat were a luxury and allowed only in extreme cases (occasionally on great feasts or during illness). St. Enda and many of his close disciples did not taste meat at all. In addition, the climate of Inishmore was too cold to grow fruit.

‘The brethren slept on the bare ground of their cells or laid down a bundle of straw. They had a flock of sheep which provided them with wool to weave their clothes. They toiled on the land, grew barley and oats, baked bread and did many other things with their own hands. In spite of these austere customs, hundreds of ascetics settled on this holy island, and Inishmore became a shining light of holiness in Western Europe for many centuries. Notwithstanding the coldness of the monastic cells, the ascetics did not feel cold as their hearts were glowing with ardent divine love. A cloud of future missionaries, who studied in this island monastic city, absorbed its spirit of love, community, sanctity and prayer, disseminating this radiant light to many foreign lands that had before been pagan.

‘The fame of St. Enda spread far and wide. The loving care of the holy abbot was directed not only toward monks, but also at the poor, the oppressed and suffering. According to tradition, he ordered the monks to build “eight places for refuge” on the island, where all who had nowhere else to go could find shelter and care. St. Columba who had visited Inishmore in his early youth was so impressed by its atmosphere that he described it as “the second Rome for pilgrims”, “the Sun of the West” (the Aran Islands lie to the west of the westernmost country of Europe) and witnessed that the glory of Inishmore was so bright that “even the angels of God descended from heaven and worshipped in its churches.” It was said that Columba went into mourning on the day he had to leave Inishmore. For many, Inishmore was in some sense like an image of Paradise. Many wanted it to be the site of their resurrection so they dreamed of being buried on Inishmore.’

In these monasteries, great works of literature from the ancients have been preserved. 

From these monasteries have come the greatest artistic achievements of mankind:  illuminated manuscripts like the Lindisfarne Gospels and holy icons like St Andrei Rublev’s Hospitality of Abraham depicting the All-Holy Trinity.

 . . .

The rest may be read here

Or here


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

Anathema to the Union!