Saturday Night Live!

As we slip into the evening hours, I thought I’d share with you this observation from one Mike Griffith, the moderator of the Yahoo Discussion Group “civilwardebate”:

Many have wondered why God intervened to help the Patriots defeat the British but did not intervene to help the Confederates beat the Yankees. Why didn’t God help the South win its independence?

My theory is that God knew that America would need the South, that America would be a worse place without the South. Without the South, a great deal of harmful legislation would have been passed by Congress, legislation that was either tabled or blocked because of Southern resistance. Without the South, we would have had Hubert Humphrey, Al Gore, and John Kerry. Etc., etc., etc.

I confess I don’t know where to start with this one, but it brought a smile to my face.  For example, what federal legislation was often blocked by southern opposition?  Oh, that’s right, legislation protecting African Americans and the civil rights of Americans. 

Of course, that suggests that God should have let “the South” (meaning the Confederacy) win in the first place, because that would have meant that there would have been no need to protect black equality given the triumph of the Confederacy.

God sure works in inscrutable ways … at least in Mike’s mind.

Then again, millions of southerners would have believed that if anything, God was on their side, and that Confederate defeat delivered them from slavery and Confederate oppression of white Unionists.  That “South” won.

And I thought we had Humphrey, Gore, and Kerry, simply not as president.  Humphrey, for example, was a major crusader for civil rights.  I never knew God was against that.  Must have missed the memo.

Nevertheless, something for all of you to think about this weekend.  After all, “many” have wondered about these issues, according to Mike.  Are you among the “many”?

29 thoughts on “Saturday Night Live!

  1. Al Mackey July 9, 2011 / 8:07 pm

    Oh, good grief! In his mind, God obviously liked slavery but simply wanted to prevent “problems” in the 20th Century. I’m speechless. Or, more accurately, typeless, because if I typed what I thought it would violate your standards for your blog. Obviously he regards Democrats as not only dangerous but in fact destructive. What’s his explanation for LBJ, Carter, Clinton, and Obama as presidents?

  2. Lyle Smith July 9, 2011 / 10:13 pm

    Hubert Humphrey was a son of the South in a way; he was partially educated in the Deep South. Went to William T. Sherman’s ole war skull.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 10, 2011 / 2:17 pm

      Yet no one says that when I observe that I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. 🙂

      • Tony Gunter July 11, 2011 / 8:42 am

        Virginia is not in the SEC, therefore it is a northern state.

  3. Ray O'Hara July 9, 2011 / 10:25 pm

    My short flirtation with that group showed me Mike was the closest to being sane over there.

    And someone should inform Mike Al Gore is from Tennessee which is considered part of the South

    and does god dress like a Valkyrie when engaging in a war?

    • Charles Lovejoy July 10, 2011 / 10:45 am

      Don’t leave out Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, LBJ , Huey Long , Al Gore’s father, and a host of other southern liberals. Even “southern liberals’ including me 🙂 If I remember correct didn’t Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and LBJ serve as US President ? All three from the South and liberals.

      • Brooks D. Simpson July 10, 2011 / 11:36 am

        Mike might say that the existence of white southern liberals is evidence that God has a sense of humor.

        • Charles Lovejoy July 10, 2011 / 2:09 pm

          In my case that might be true 🙂

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 10, 2011 / 2:19 pm

      Charles Lovejoy is sane (that’s the best I can do for now, Charles). 🙂

      Ric? I’ll leave that to others to figure out. He’s inconsistent and scattered, as well as hard to follow. He reads this blog, but he doesn’t always comprehend it.

  4. Roger E Watson July 10, 2011 / 4:53 am

    ” Why didn’t God help the South win its independence?”

    That’s an easy one. God was an abolitionist !

    • Sherree July 12, 2011 / 2:21 am

      No, God didn’t let the South win because God is a woman. After all, it was a little woman who wrote the book that started the big war.

      Ha ha….seriously laughing on this one. How many people throughout history have claimed that God was on their side as they blew each other to eternity? I would think that God is quite tired of this human preoccupation and activity and that She and Hubert Humphrey are attempting to work out a bipartisan solution to the problem.

  5. James F. Epperson July 10, 2011 / 6:25 am

    It certainly is true that “Why did God let us lose?” was a question many ex-Confederates asked. They sincerely thought God was on their side, and his apparent abandonment of their Cause led to a lot of soul-searching in the post-bellum years. But this construction is simply bizarre. There are many people who think the country would be a lot better off if Humphrey, Gore, and Kerry had been in office instead of Nixon and Bush, so MG’s argument begins with an unwarrented assumption.

    • Charles Lovejoy July 10, 2011 / 4:24 pm

      As a Southerner here is what I think, I can’t say with 100% certainty the country would be better off if Humphrey had been in office > But I feel I can say with certainty it sure wouldn’t be any worse off if Humphrey, had of gotten elected. I feel I can say with 100% certainty we would be better off today if Gore or Kerry had been in office in the years of 200-2008 . Guess as a Southerner I don’t agree with this construction either 🙂

  6. Chuck Brown July 10, 2011 / 7:25 am

    God sure works in convoluted ways. He mist have a sense of humor, too Why else would he have chosen Griffith to moderate the Yahoo Discussion Group “civilwardebate?”

  7. John Foskett July 10, 2011 / 8:00 am

    I honestly don’t know what to say. My Samoyed has better insights and higher intelligence. Is Mike paper trained?

  8. TF Smith July 10, 2011 / 9:02 am

    Gott mit uns!

    Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot.

    So I guess Mike et al do not agree with this interpretation of the struggle:

    In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
    With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
    As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
    While God is marching on.

    or this one:

    “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

  9. Steve Witmer July 10, 2011 / 11:04 am

    TF, Mike pretty much thinks Abe Lincoln is the anti-christ so quoting him isn’t going to impress Mike much.

    So basically Mike’s take, when having to explain how God could have let the South lose the Civil War, is not, in fact, to consider the possibility that the South was in error…but instead that God knew 150 years down the road, the South would be “needed”. Because otherwise, Mike might have to admit that he might be disagreeing with God. Or probably in Mike’s mind, that God might be disagreeing with him.

    Of course, if God could predict that so accurately then it calls the whole idea of Free W
    ill into question, but that’s probably a discussion for another blog somewhere.

    • TF Smith July 10, 2011 / 12:49 pm

      Fair point…vaya con dios.

  10. Ray O'Hara July 10, 2011 / 11:27 am

    one wonders if Mike might be willing to submit to a trial by ordeal if accused of a crime seeing as he thinks god takes an active role in our affairs?

    • Charles Lovejoy July 10, 2011 / 2:21 pm

      Or discuss the philosophy of Deism or a related religious philosophy? It’s possible that God/ the Creator, might just observe and not intervene in human affairs. Interesting but the Orisha tradition follows a similar philosophy to that of Deism. Who knows maybe it was the Loa that decided the outcome of the war? 🙂

      • Brooks D. Simpson July 10, 2011 / 2:36 pm

        Well, Charles, you have contributed to the discussion group in question, so you can raise these issues there. My only question is why some people seem to know God’s will in all sorts of things while the rest of us are less presumptuous/more humble about such matters. Perhaps God will tell me.

        • Charles Lovejoy July 10, 2011 / 4:11 pm

          Dr Simpson, I feel God’s will is far beyond my insignificant human comprehension. When I think I am starting to understand just a little , the more humbled I become. I would not even start to claim an understanding of God’s will on the matters of human wars.

  11. Sharryn Clark July 10, 2011 / 12:19 pm

    Ya’ll…Are too funny…
    Thanks for the smiles………………………

  12. Noma July 10, 2011 / 2:00 pm

    Tell Mike that maybe the Confederate religion did not work because it was a fraudulent religion. Here’s the analysis of one of the topmost experts of the time:

    ” I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes,–a justifier of the most appalling barbarity,–a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds,–and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me. For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others.”

    Frederick Douglass “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”


    But possibly the actual problem was that every Confederate officer who graduated from West Point had vowed to God to defend the Union — and they all broke their vows. Perhaps that contributed to the problem. Oddly enough, you don’t hear people like Mike discuss that aspect either.

    Or maybe God just liked Harriet Tubman best. Can’t blame Him on that one.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 12, 2011 / 2:58 am

      There has been more discussion on Mike’s proposition here than in his own discussion group, which may have set a record for going onto life support weeks after it was established.

  13. Charles Lovejoy July 10, 2011 / 4:47 pm

    Or who knows ? Maybe Laurence Keitt when taking a walk one day encountered three weird sisters on the side of the road ,,,,, Makes about as much sense as God intervening to keep liberals from being elected in the 19th century. Maybe religion didn’t decide the fate of the American Civil war. Maybe it was logistics, leadership and things along those lines? But that’s does not sound as dramatic as God intervening I guess . I would never attach Civil War era politics or Civil War era Spiritual beliefs or to my present day political of Spiritual beliefs. If nobody hasn’t noticed the world has changed a little since the mid 19th century and I’m glad it has.

    • Brooks D. Simpson July 10, 2011 / 4:52 pm

      Let’s put it in baseball terms: for some people, God’s a spot starter. You use Him to explain things when you don’t have/don’t like other choices.

    • Ray O'Hara July 10, 2011 / 5:04 pm

      You have to realize that the “greasy mechanic” Yankees could never actuall beat the pure of heart, noble and brave, godly and upright Southrons. So there must have been an outside factor. It is a modern a modern story of Job

  14. Will Hickox July 15, 2011 / 5:36 pm

    God heard the embattled nations sing and shout
    “Gott strafe England” and “God save the King!”
    God this, God that, and God the other thing –
    “Good God!” said God, “I’ve got my work cut out!”

    — J. C. Squire

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