would it have been possible to be a confederate and a devout catholic?

I'm proud of my southern heritage and I'm a fan of state rights. Unfortunately state rights justified slavery I of course disagree with slavery. I know the constitution says we the people have the right to stand up and defeat the government if it no longer represents the people. This in my opinion is what the south was fighting for. And this is what I'm proud of as a southerner. But I'm also a devout catholic there's not anything wrong with that is it?

I'm not sure whether the Church has an official position on that issue, but the way I see it is that the Civil War and the American Revolution were very similar. If the Southern states had been able to secede from the Union successfully, they would probably see look at it in the same way as we look at the American Revolution. Likewise, if America had lost the Revolution, it would have just been a civil war between Britain and its colonies, and no new nation would have been formed. So basically, in my opinion, both wars were a group of people fighting for their independence because they didn't think the government was representing their interests. During the American Revolution, there were Catholics on the American side, so I don't see any reason why there couldn't have been Catholics on the Confederate side during the Civil War.

[quote="Odell, post:1, topic:184348"]
I'm proud of my southern heritage and I'm a fan of state rights. Unfortunately state rights justified slavery I of course disagree with slavery. I know the constitution says we the people have the right to stand up and defeat the government if it no longer represents the people. This in my opinion is what the south was fighting for. And this is what I'm proud of as a southerner. But I'm also a devout catholic there's not anything wrong with that is it?

[/quote]

From a religious-historical perspective the war between the north and the south was predominantly one set of Protestants conflicted with another set of Protestant about which side's beliefs should prevail. The Catholic Church had many centuries earlier taught against slavery. It was a tension between individual freedoms, morality and who gets to decide. Without a central religious spokesperson this was an inevitable conflict and it seems that Protestants of the north essentially elected to rest their leadership in secular presidents - heads of state. From a political perspective it was federalism vs states rights (the North was fearful of the South's rising clout and economic power and their getting way too cozy with the British without their permission). From an economic-social perspective the north knew the south was in a position to define their own currency and barter goods with the entire world and become the dominant culture in the Americas if they were not placed into a subordinate relationship to the north (an economic and political slavery). Ironically, Lincoln tried to run on a moral platform 2 times before and was defeated. It was only much later when the South was really becoming a threat to the visions of northern states leadership that the "union" got its "religion" and suddenly found its morality and voted in Lincoln on a moral platform. Again, this was predominantly a war between Protestant Philosophies. The Catholics (Irish immigrants in the north mostly) were force conscripted and used as combatants by The North on the front lines in the most dangerous battles (not unlike the convenience of King David in his day using Uriah, the Hetite in the same way).

The history we read in the Protestant controlled and influenced secular school history books (mostly published by northern publishers) is fantasy and paints the north as having the moral high ground while it paints the south as universally ignorant and abusive to blacks. The truth is while there were abuses many of the blacks were treated by their owners with compassion and became like family members. Many were much better off in the South than they ever were under the harsh conditions where they came from. Most people don't realize it but many of the blacks were NOT originally free to begin with and lived in squalid conditions in Africa. That is, the blacks in Africa were being enslaved in mass by the Muslims who were conquering Africa and funding their empire by selling those they did not want to convert to Islam as mere chattel to the Protestant England with the head of the Protestant Church's (the King/Queen) full consent. It's easy to see that the war between the North and the South was less about slavery than it was about economics, control and power among competing Protestant dominant secular cultures.

To answer your OP let me say there were almost no Catholics in the South in a position to influence the Southern Sates political position or policies. Those in power were all Protestant. Southern Catholics were quite scarce in these times. My opinion is that any Catholics who fought and died for the south did it not to defend the practice of using slave labor at all. They fought only because the north was trying to enslave the south by attacking its economy and by subjugating the south to a Federalist vision for the country that would completely trample on the southern culture and way of life. Any Catholics who participated did so to defend their homes from "Yankees" who under a very thin veneer of morality really wanted to subjugate the South and make them toe the line to the Federalist view for the country (pure politics). Apart from the slavery issue that was mostly practiced only by the relatively few wealthy Southern large-plantation owners the South's congeniality and rich social fabric and self-sufficient spirit -- it was economics and states rights and the sothern way of life that most southerners fought for. What a tragic loss to replace all that for what we have now - an onerous and largely corrupt Big Brother governemt, collapsed econic system and slavery to large federal debt, corrupt big-corporations and bankers and a complete lack of any endearing culture.

James

[quote="Odell, post:1, topic:184348"]
I'm proud of my southern heritage and I'm a fan of state rights. Unfortunately state rights justified slavery I of course disagree with slavery. I know the constitution says we the people have the right to stand up and defeat the government if it no longer represents the people. This in my opinion is what the south was fighting for. And this is what I'm proud of as a southerner. But I'm also a devout catholic there's not anything wrong with that is it?

[/quote]

I'm not sure how much history needs to enter into this question. The issue of slavery is settled, and likely would have been settled by now with or without the Civil War.

In short, I see no problem with your being a devout Catholic AND an advocate of States rights. I too am an proponent of States rights, though not to the point of seccesion.

The reason is simple. Each state has a better chance of passing legislation that reflects their own particular desires and needs than a single government does. In addition, by having the various states enacting their own legislation, other states can look at what is being done and see what works best in a given circumstance in a particular region. A single central Government simply cannot do that as well - Not in a country as large as the US.

If there needs to be revenue sharing - for instance there is a high number of retirees in FLA and ARZ, then the federal government is the logical place to look for the mechanisms to provide for such sharing. Schooling and many other programs should be kept as near to the local level as possible.

Peace
James

[quote="Odell, post:1, topic:184348"]
I'm proud of my southern heritage and I'm a fan of state rights. Unfortunately state rights justified slavery I of course disagree with slavery. I know the constitution says we the people have the right to stand up and defeat the government if it no longer represents the people. This in my opinion is what the south was fighting for. And this is what I'm proud of as a southerner. But I'm also a devout catholic there's not anything wrong with that is it?

[/quote]

There is nothing wrong with it at all. Although I am from NJ I believe greatly in state rights and believe the Confederacy had every right to secede. As for being Catholic, there were quite a few Catholics in the Confederacy. I am a History major and I study the American Civil War extensively. General P.G.T. Beauregard of Louisiana was a devout Roman Catholic. General James Longstreet, although he converted later in his life, was also a Catholic. Confederate Naval Admiral Raphael Semmes was a Catholic. Aside from those many military leaders, there were countless Catholic soldiers in the CSA armed forces. Don’t forget while there was the famous Irish Brigade from New York, the Confederate’s had there own Irish regiments that were devout Catholics.

Now, I’d like to address the issue of slavery. Yes, it was a BIG issue in the War Between the States. However, I think people miss the main point of the Southern Secession Movement. The South was fed up with the Federal Government raising tariffs, they did not want to industrialize (they relied heavily on their agrarian lifestyles), and states’ rights (which did extend to slavery). I really do not like when historians, teachers, or anyone for that matter claim slavery was the “be all, end all” reason for secession. Robert E. Lee, although he owned slaves, was actually opposed to slavery.

In this excerpt from an 1856 letter to his wife, Lee’s opposition to slavery can be inferred:

“In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.”

Robert E. Lee was offered the senior command of the Union army. He declined the offer. When asked by a soldier whether he indented to fight the Union, Lee said, “"I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty.”

So as you can see, the main point in fighting and seceding was in defense of their home states. While the Union threatening slavery was part of it, it was most definitely not the main focus of the war. As a matter of fact, President Lincoln once said, “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.”

Joe :tiphat:

[quote="Odell, post:1, topic:184348"]
I'm proud of my southern heritage and I'm a fan of state rights. Unfortunately state rights justified slavery I of course disagree with slavery. I know the constitution says we the people have the right to stand up and defeat the government if it no longer represents the people. This in my opinion is what the south was fighting for. And this is what I'm proud of as a southerner. But I'm also a devout catholic there's not anything wrong with that is it?

[/quote]

yes states rights was a legitimate concern at that time and many southerners were fighting specifically to protect their reading of the Constitution and against fears of Big Government (yes there is an echo in here). Not all southerners were slave owners, nor were they fighting to protect the rights of slave owners so yes there is a possibility a southerner could also have been a good Catholic, in much the same way as someone today might in good conscience vote for a politician who is in their prudential judgement the lesser of two evils when it comes to a critical issue like abortion, and hope for further change down the line. Not all northern politicians were campaigning on an anti-slavery platform, and not all norther soldiers were fighting for that cause, either.

[quote="JRKH, post:4, topic:184348"]
I'm not sure how much history needs to enter into this question. The issue of slavery is settled, and likely would have been settled by now with or without the Civil War.

In short, I see no problem with your being a devout Catholic AND an advocate of States rights. I too am an proponent of States rights, though not to the point of seccesion.

The reason is simple. Each state has a better chance of passing legislation that reflects their own particular desires and needs than a single government does. In addition, by having the various states enacting their own legislation, other states can look at what is being done and see what works best in a given circumstance in a particular region. A single central Government simply cannot do that as well - Not in a country as large as the US.

If there needs to be revenue sharing - for instance there is a high number of retirees in FLA and ARZ, then the federal government is the logical place to look for the mechanisms to provide for such sharing. Schooling and many other programs should be kept as near to the local level as possible.

Peace
James

[/quote]

Good practical personal reasons for advocating states right since they resonate well with the Catholic principal of subsidiarity. This principal permits both a benevolent and supportive central government (as opposed to controlling central government) without stepping on the rights of the local communities, The Subsidiarity principle sees the clear truth that the best solutions to problems and needs come from those closest to the problems who then petition the higher authority for help when it needs and wants it as opposed to being forced to conform to mandates by the higher governance.

James

I don't have any documentation at hand, but as I recall the pope at the time was quite sympathetic to the Southern cause of States Rights. I think he sent a letter stating this to President Jefferson Davis.

Hi Odell,

Here's an article about the Confederate South and the Catholic Churh which you will probably find interesting: angelusonline.org/print.php?sid=80

Jean

I wouldn't. Imagine if New York seceeded today over abortion. Imagine if New England seceeded today over abortion.

[quote="Odell, post:1, topic:184348"]
I'm proud of my southern heritage and I'm a fan of state rights. Unfortunately state rights justified slavery I of course disagree with slavery. I know the constitution says we the people have the right to stand up and defeat the government if it no longer represents the people. This in my opinion is what the south was fighting for. And this is what I'm proud of as a southerner. But I'm also a devout catholic there's not anything wrong with that is it?

[/quote]

Well, the Diocese of Charleston (SC) has issued an apology for owning slaves back in the day.

Just though I'd throw that out there.

[quote="Jean_1958, post:9, topic:184348"]
Hi Odell,

Here's an article about the Confederate South and the Catholic Churh which you will probably find interesting: angelusonline.org/print.php?sid=80

Jean

[/quote]

Thank you for sharing that...it furthers what I was saying about Catholicism and the Confederates. It was a very interesting read...I enjoyed it thoroughly! :thumbsup:

Thanks for all the replies I will get into reading the article posted

And just as an afterword, the Louisiana regiment included a fair number of Catholic soldiers, and they weren't wholly absent from other Southern states' armies.

Correct me if I'm misremembering on this, but more than a few Southern Catholic bishops were stern in their prewar condemnations of slavery and even threatened excommunication in the case of a few influential apologists. Still, I don't believe that they particularly encouraged or discouraged Catholics from enlisting in the Confederate military.

My great-great grandfather immigrated to New Orleans from Bavaria during the war, and enlisted right off the ship. His origins and choice of port at least suggest that he might have been born Catholic (though if so, he'd certainly fallen away by the time he married--war's end left him high and dry near Atlanta, where he married a local girl and conducted himself thereafter as a good Southern Baptist, albeit one with a Kaiserish accent).

The American Civil War was not fought over slavery. It just became associated with slavery because of it was one of the achievements reached during the War.

The Civil War was fought over money. The North, being industrialized, had been heading towards a depression. The South, being agricultural, was prospering. The North had deemed that the prices it was getting for raw materials from the South were too high, and being politically in control, began enacting laws to lowering the prices the South could sell them for, as well as who it could sell to.

Now at this time, the South had been getting really good deals for their products to Foreign Nations, particularly the Europeans ones. After being screwed over by the North for several years, they began the secession of the states.

The point of freeing the slaves in the war, was to help weaken the South, and to gather support from the former slaves. Originally, even if a slave had managed to escape to the North, it had to be sent back to their owners. This was decided in the Dred Scott case. So just escaping to the North meant nothing, because even if they were caught, they still had to be sent back. By freeing them, it offered them a place of safe haven in the North, weakened the backbone of the South, and provided civilian support for the war.

In short, the Civil War was not a war between a Just body and an Unjust one. It was in fact between two bodies who had both sinned against their fellow man.

Archistrage

[quote="Le_Cracquere, post:14, topic:184348"]
And just as an afterword, the Louisiana regiment included a fair number of Catholic soldiers, and they weren't wholly absent from other Southern states' armies.

Correct me if I'm misremembering on this, but more than a few Southern Catholic bishops were stern in their prewar condemnations of slavery and even threatened excommunication in the case of a few influential apologists. Still, I don't believe that they particularly encouraged or discouraged Catholics from enlisting in the Confederate military.

My great-great grandfather immigrated to New Orleans from Bavaria during the war, and enlisted right off the ship. His origins and choice of port at least suggest that he might have been born Catholic (though if so, he'd certainly fallen away by the time he married--war's end left him high and dry near Atlanta, where he married a local girl and conducted himself thereafter as a good Southern Baptist, albeit one with a Kaiserish accent).

[/quote]

I am not a historian but knew that Louisiana, previously a Fresh territory was in fact highly Catholic. But what I don't know are the numbers that participated outside of simple policing and harassing maneuvers on the Mississippi waterway to prevent union forces from blockading Southern supplies or using it for their own transport. I believe there was a small regiment sent to General Lee to support him though.

The Catholic Bishops tried very hard to not get torn by the politics of the war since they did not want to split the church along political lines or force Catholics to support one side over the other since it was not seen fully as a moral war at all but rather a constitutional matter. This proved to be very wise since the Baptists and some other Protestant Churches DID make it into a moral war and divided over it even to this day. Lincoln's men tried to FORCE the Catholic Bishops to say prayers for Lincoln and the union to prove their allegiance. But they refused to get drawn into a forced religious blessing for one side over the other and one was jailed for years until Lincoln had him released.

Catholics were in a very difficult position over this entire matter since it was overwhelmingly a Protestant Nation and Catholics were under a lot of persecution and contempt as it was.

But yes some firebrand Bishops did want to make it a purely moral issue and no doubt did threaten excommunication. And this would have been very hard for individual Catholics who had relatives on either side of the Mason Dixon Line and there were different opinions among Bishops on what was proper here. In the Catholic Church Bishops are the supreme authority for their dioceses when the pope has not voiced his sentiments for the entire Church and it would have been entirely possible for a southern bishop to support defending the just principals of state rights (a Catholic principal of subsidiarity) over the slavery issues since oppression of freedoms applied to entire states could easily be seen as a greater evil than the much lessor incidents of slavery. Overall the Catholic Church desired to convert the blacks to the Catholic Church and of course get the southern states sentiments changed over time to give them their freedom.

James

[quote="Timbothefiveth, post:10, topic:184348"]
I wouldn't. Imagine if New York seceeded today over abortion. Imagine if New England seceeded today over abortion.

[/quote]

As I recall the first state to consider secession was Massachusetts. They claimed the right and threatened, but didn't exercise it as events evolved. I think it was in regard to the War or 1812. [It was a long time ago I encountered that in a history class. My memory of it is very fuzzy.]

If the south had the money how did they lose? Was it because the north was so industrialized and could make near bout anything?

[quote="Odell, post:18, topic:184348"]
If the south had the money how did they lose? Was it because the north was so industrialized and could make near bout anything?

[/quote]

President Lincoln, General Sherman, and General Grant believed the only way to defeat the Confederacy was through the concept of a total war. They needed to destroy everything to cripple the South's economy and that's exactly what they did. Grant devised a plan where the Union forces would attack the South from all different directions. Eventually Texas was basically cut off from the CSA, and the railroad supply lines were disrupted. Sherman decimated the South through his march to the sea and that crippled them drastically. If the CSA had won the Battle of Gettysburg, Great Britain would have pledged their support of the Confederacy and they would have won. The fact that that did not happen was a major factor in the South losing the war.

[quote="jtoth, post:19, topic:184348"]
President Lincoln, General Sherman, and General Grant believed the only way to defeat the Confederacy was through the concept of a total war. They needed to destroy everything to cripple the South's economy and that's exactly what they did. Grant devised a plan where the Union forces would attack the South from all different directions. Eventually Texas was basically cut off from the CSA, and the railroad supply lines were disrupted. Sherman decimated the South through his march to the sea and that crippled them drastically. If the CSA had won the Battle of Gettysburg, Great Britain would have pledged their support of the Confederacy and they would have won. The fact that that did not happen was a major factor in the South losing the war.

[/quote]

What the North did to the South was UNPRECEDENTED in Christian against Christian wars. The Union RAPED the South - burning homes. crops, stealing or slaughtering farm animals - total devastation. Man, Woman, Child - no mercy was shown to any who stood in the way or could not get out of harms way. What the north did to the south makes an utter mockery of the notion that the north was at war over moral principals. Slavery is morally wrong but mass extermination and a scorched earth policy that made civilians all equal targets for suffering was barbaric and utterly inhumane. It was an "any means justify the ends" mentality and a shameful moment in American History that is only paralleled by the savage atrocities and taking of lands committed against the native Americans.

James

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