Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Removing Lincoln

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Destroying statues and monuments has escalated to the point where ordinary folks speak about it in hushed tones out of fear, while radicals run the streets of our cities "beheading" or completely toppling statues and monuments that don't "feel right" to them.

Christopher Columbus has been in the crosshairs for some time, now there's a petition drive to remove Abraham Lincoln from Boston.

Yes. That Abraham Lincoln.

Why? Because Tory Bullock, a black man, doesn't "feel right about it."

Be informed.

But first. On the radio today I will have some follow-up thoughts to my comments yesterday regarding the Supreme Court decision which usurped the role of Congress and revised Title VII in favor of the homosexual agenda---featuring Justice Gorsuch's defense of the indefensible ruling. As we mentioned yesterday it would, it has become a major concern among conservatives and Christians.

About removing Lincoln from Boston.

Calls to take down a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Boston's Park Square are growing.

A petition to remove the statue was spearheaded by an African-American man from Boston who says he's been looking at that statue since he was a kid.

So, why would he want Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, removed? Most of us understand why the angry actor John Wilkes Booth wanted him removed, but why Tory Bullock, a black man?

He says:
"It's a statue that's supposed to represent freedom. but, to me, it represents submissiveness. It represents: Know your place, because that's where you belong."

The statue depicts Lincoln the Great Emancipator standing with a slave kneeling beside him.

Does anyone know how the statue was put there in the first place?

I do. I took 5 minutes and looked it up.

The memorial statue was designed and sculpted by Thomas Ball and erected in 1876.

The funding drive for the monument began, according to much-publicized newspaper accounts at the time, with a $5 donation by a former slave, Charlotte Scott of Virginia, who was, at the time, living with the family of her former master in Marietta, Ohio.

Hearing about her $5 donation, The Western Sanitary Commission, a St. Louis-based volunteer war-relief agency, joined the effort and raised $20,000, then announced a new goal of $50,000.

According to the National Park Service, the monument was paid for "solely" by former slaves.

And about the sculptor Thomas Ball: He was one of the best known, most celebrated sculptors in America at the time. He was also an accomplished musician and painter. And. He was a white guy, commissioned by the former slaves who wanted the best representation of what they had just experienced expressed in a way that could explain the joy and gratitude they were experiencing from the "Great Emancipation" they had just experienced.

There is a conflicting account that claims that the statue is a replica of Freedman's Memorial in DC and was donated to Boston in 1879 by a Moses Kimball, however, the people I spoke to yesterday in Boston are certain that Bell sculptured it and the former slaves paid for it.

Now back to Mr. Bullock, who doesn't feel good about their statue when he drives by; and his 7000 signers on his petition.

WCVB 5 ABC, a local TV station reports that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is willing to talk to Mr. Bullock about removing the statue.

Mayor Walsh's office told the TV reporters that the Mayor is "interested in recommissioning the statue into one that recognizes equality."

As Pilate did not know what Truth looked like minutes before he had Him crucified on a cross, these people seem just as uninformed regarding what equality looks like.

They look it in the face, wash their hands and tell themselves if we just tear down one more statue or monument, everything will be better.

But where does it end?

If the former slaves could rise, return and explain, as Jesus did, perhaps the mayor and the anxiety-ridden citizen would understand---or perhaps they would ignore them. We'll never know because the ex-slaves can't return---perhaps it's better that way...for them.

Searching for Truth.

Slavery was and is a moral blight on our history, but lest we forget--- more than 600,000 men and boys died to right the wrong.

What place in history, and in granite, marble, and bronze should we give those who lived that history---especially Abraham Lincoln who ultimately gave his life for his conviction that "no man can own another man."

And what place in history should the former slaves who gave their money to build a memorial to their profound gratitude for a man who gave everything, including his life to emancipate them.

Should the statue or the story be "repurposed" or "recommissioned" into an image of our liking, because a man who has never personally known "submission" in the way those who commissioned the statue knew submission because he feels the image makes him "feel" like submission?

Condoleeza Rice, former Sec. of State in the Bush 43 administration, has argued against removing any historical statues. She, a black woman, says to her the key is to "keep your history before you...when you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it's a bad thing."

It's a matter of the heart---not the color of your skin.

This story of emancipation and ultimately freedom has a component of sacrifice, whether we recognize it or not.

Tearing apart our history, seeking to marginalize the greatness of our Founding Fathers by focusing on their human failures and faults is misguided.

I have never been a slave owned by another man, nor has anyone in my family. But I know there was a price paid for abolition and emancipation.

A well worn Bible lays on a desk in our home as a reminder. I'm told that it was carried through the Civil War by one of my relatives who believed as Abraham Lincoln believed. And as I and my family believe today. The Bible was sent home when my family member died during the War.

The greatest emancipation.

Regardless of the color of our skin, all of us are born into a form of slavery---the bondage of sin. We can deny it, but it doesn't go away. We can hope it gets better, but it doesn't. We can fight it, but we never win. No matter how angry, or how much we deny, strive, weep or destroy, shout or demand, it takes someone who believes in our freedom and sees our worth and pays the price to truly emancipate us.

Pilate looked Jesus Christ in the face and asked, "What is Truth?" He never knew emancipation. At best he may have felt some relief from his anxiety after the Man from Nazareth was laid in the tomb and the rioters left the streets.

We too are looking Truth in the face while rioters of all skin color pillage and burn and demand and deny. We too can attempt to repurpose, revise or recommission Him into an image that makes us feel better---a lot of churches are doing that now---but until we repent and receive Him as Lord of our lives---our Savior, emancipator---we will never be truly emancipated.

This is something each of us will deal with now, or later.

We will take a knee now or we will take a knee later---not in solidarity with one another and our griefs, but in submission and solidarity with Jesus Christ. The Bible says we will submit to Him as Savior or as Judge. It's our call.

Kneeling before Christ now is the true path to reconciliation. Now and for eternity.

Be Free. Be Informed.