Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Heritage, Pride, Racisim, What is this?

As of recent I have been thinking about a few things for various reasons. I am going to solicit your help, and hopefully conversation will take place. I have feelings that I have about what I am going to post, but I want to be open as to those feelings being changed. Now don’t expect me to have feelings one way or another regarding the image I am going to post. If discussion takes place I will then talk more about it and likely give my thoughts. This will be a controversial discussion if it takes place so please be respectful.

Here is my question and I am going to keep it as simple as possible, but here goes. I want you to tell me what you think when you see the image I am going to post. What does it represent to you? What should the view of people of faith be towards the image? Does the image affect some people more than others? Is there any good represented in the image? Should this image be revered? What if someone wore this image on a shirt to church what would your thoughts be? Does this image mean something different for African Americans? What would Jesus response be to the image? And of course, you may think of other issues related to the image I am going to post.

I really appreciate your thoughts, and now the image.

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Anonymous said...


Interesting questions you pose. I will give you view on it as a 36 year white male raised in the Midwest. Please take them for what they are worth.

The first image honestly that came to my mind was the Dukes of Hazard, one of my Favorite shows of my youth, the second thought was the "south" in general. Third were images of the civil war. Finally was the thought that this flag would offend someone.

To me a symbol represents something different to everyone and that belief is molded from a variety of things; personal experience, historical understandings or lack there of, personal influences (parents, friends, etc...) For me I listed my first impressions, but I am sure they vary from person to person. You pose the question "? What should the view of people of faith be towards the image?", In all honesty who am I or you or anyone else for that matter to tell anyone what their "view" should be? That image was not created out of hate, but rather become associated with in later years. The question is, is every issue about slavery? The answer for me is no. But, I can see how many African Americans would be offended by this image. I do not think they are wrong nor would I ever tell them they should not be offended. That is what is great about this country we are entitled to different views. Although I think that is slowly slipping away. As for faith, the first question for me if I were in a church where it came up would be "Why are we talking about this flag in church in the first place?".

Does this image affect people different? I would say yes. For many Blacks in America, it symbolizes slavery and hate. For others is represents a time and place in the country. There were other reasons the Civil War was fought other then slavery. Taxation and Tariffs being one such example. Also, many of the southern states were opposed to a larger centralized Govt. in their view this was going against the whole reason we fought in the Revolution. So, yes the images represent different things to different people in my opinion at least.

Would I be offended if someone whore this on a t-shirt? Not at all. Would I understand if someone else was offended? Yes, as I said each person has a different view. I do think it is scary that we as a society rush to erase things from our history. We can learn a lot from history. Your post here is a good example of encouraging healthy debate around a historical symbol. For many they have no Idea that the war was fought for more issues etc... Many do not know that Gen Robert E. Lee was opposed to slavery and yet the North's U.S. Grant was a slave owner.

In the end almost every world flag can be associated with Slavery, why just say one is bad?

Finally how would Jesus respond? My question is; would he need to? People make a big deal about it; I would say that Jesus would understand the correct history and educate people to understand the reality vs. what people have attached to the symbol.

Anyways those are a few of my thoughts sorry if the appear to be weird ramblings :)


Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

Thanks for your well thought out and reasonable response. Hopefully others will add their comments.

Anonymous said...

I see it as History. I know some say it represents racism, slavery and so forth but I don't see it like that. The flag represents an important part of American History, and it represents the south.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

Thanks for the comment. There are many other comments at www.myspace.com/mikefurches in the blog section on my page and in various groups the question has been posted in. Thanks for your input.

maw said...

Mike, as a recent move-in to the South, I was interested in peoples comments. Growing up in the great state of OZ, this was never an issue for me. Having experienced the southern way for about 6 months, I've found the South likes to honor its tradition and politely sweep under the rug those embarrassing moment. And while this symbol can represent darkness and horrific acts, to some of us it might just represent an old orange charger and a bunch of country boys running moonshine (or as I got older a good looking gal in short shorts!). Not to make light of the issue, but a symbol has no power if we don't allow it to. Hip hop culture has introduced several symbols in recent years that I find offensive, but that doesn't mean that everyone who displays these symbols represents the evil, or inappropriateness that some people believe those symbols represent. I don't believe in flying this flag for the purpose of intimidation or the spread of hatred is correct, but make sure you know the reasoning behind it's display prior to passing judgement.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

MAW, thanks for your interest, over at www.myspace.com/mikefurches you will see the blogs listed on the right side of the page, and from there, many, many comments, they are also posted at several other places, from groups at MySpace to various wrestling groups. A large number of responses has come in and it is certainly causing me to focus on several areas for the respons article I am going to do. Thanks so much for your comment and willingness to respond.