The Sons of Confederate Veterans
It was a week ago, on the Seventeenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen that a mentally disturbed, racist individual entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina under the false pretense of worship. It was with Christian love and care that the Pastor and members of the congregation welcomed that young man. There within that Church where the Gospel of the Peace of Jesus Christ was being actively shared we note that Christ's Words in the Gospel of John 13:35 was and still is being seen today: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
While the worshipers motives were pure in the Christian Faith, the motive of the young man was not evidenced for over an hour when his hypocrisy was seen in what Christ stated in the Gospel of Matthew 15:8 in that "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." Sadly, the murderer did not respond to the Christian love shown to him for his heart was far from that place of worship.
Thus the Sons of Confederate Veterans condemns the tragedy and we share in the mourning of the families affected by this tragedy that occurred in Historic Charleston, South Carolina.
Within the city of Charleston, the people of the South saw the passage of South Carolina's Ordinance of Secession and the Opening of our War for Southern Independence. It was there in One thousand eight hundred and sixty-four that the Spirit of Liberty still animated the people to endure bombardment day and night from a foreign invader. So it was within that winter, that thousands of Confederate Soldiers turned their hearts to our Lord Jesus Christ and became such dedicated Christians that once our War for Independence ended in failure some One hundred fifty years ago, they endured the crucible of mistreatment, abuse and cruelty under the hands of an occupying Federal Army until one thousand eight hundred seventy-seven.
The Christian Spirit which was strengthened through the storm of War and spread so much throughout the conquered South that this region within the restored Union has become known as The Bible Belt and such heritage was uniquely felt in the wake of this horrendous shooting in our beloved city of Charleston, South Carolina.
It was thus with dismay and sadness that we within the Sons of Confederate Veterans have observed a renewed assault upon all vestiges of our Confederate Heritage in the wake of this time of mourning. Those that are antagonistic towards our emblems of heritage have begun to wage an ethnic cultural cleansing, the likes of which have been unseen in quite some time. One by one we have watched as stores have banned the sales of Confederate themed merchandise, Legislatures have begun calls anew to change the locations or displays of Confederate related Statues, Memorials, Automobile plates, Flags and other related Icons of Southern heritage.
Just as those who gathered in worship on the seventeenth of June did not know the heart and motive of the young man assembled with them, the same is true in that one cannot know the heart and motive of all who don or fly a Confederate flag. We within the Sons of Confederate Veterans know why we fly our flags and tend to our ancestors graves - to honour, preserve and respect our American Veterans who served the Confederate States of America. While so doing in a spirit of Christian love and respect towards others who judge us or do not share or understand our motives we do denounce the use of the Confederate Battle Flag and any other Confederate symbol by any hate group and/or the Ku Klux Klan any extremist group or individual espousing political extremism and/or racial superiority as the desecration of a symbol to which any hate group and/or the Ku Klux Klan has no claim; and maligns the noble purpose of our ancestors who fought against extreme odds for what they knew was just, right, and constitutional.
Thus is was in the bleak January of one thousand eight hundred sixty-five, that the Confederate Congress called upon, President Jefferson Davis, to call the nation to prayer, to implore God's help in time of trouble. President Davis stated in his proclamation:
"It is our solemn duty, at all times, and more especially in a season of public trial and adversity, to acknowledge our dependence on the mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to bow in humble submission before the footstool confessing our manifold sins, supplicating His gracious pardon, imploring His Divine help, and devoutly rendering thanks for the many and great blessings which He has vouchsafed to us."
I ask all you believers within the Confederation, while we are under this renewed attack to: "let the hearts of our people turn contritely and trustfully unto God; let us recognize in His chastening hand the correction of a Father, and submissively pray that the trials and sufferings which have so long borne heavily upon us may be turned away by His merciful love; that His sustaining grace be given to our people, and His divine wisdom imparted to our rulers; that the Lord of Hosts will be with our fellow compatriots, and fight for us against our enemies who would seek to destroy, degrade and abuse our honoured heritage; and that He, our Lord will graciously take our cause of vindication into His own hand and mercifully establish for us a lasting, just and honorable peaceable existence of the unsullied display of our Confederate heritage.
I concur with President Davis' sentiments in that we should not forget to render unto His holy name the thanks and praise which are so justly due for His great goodness, and for the many mercies which He has extended to us amid the trials and sufferings of this strife being waged over our heritage.
Now, therefore, I, Charles Kelly Barrow, Commander-In-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, do issue this my proclamation, appointing DAY OF THE WEEK, the 26th day of June, as a day of public fasting, humiliation and prayer, (with thanksgiving,) for "invoking the favor and guidance of our Almighty God and Saviour Jesus Christ;" and I do earnestly invite all compatriots to observe the same in a spirit of reverence, penitence and prayer.
Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans
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