Tag Archives: BETRAYAL

Was Judas’ Betrayal of Jesus any worse than the U.S. Episcopal Church’s Betrayal of its own English Heritage?

Today, April 2, marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Confederate States of America as a viable political entity.  There were no memorials or eulogies.  The world, even the South, lives largely in a state of amnesia induced by foreign occupation and subjugated defeat.  We have betrayed our ancestors ideals of constitutional government and genuine freedom by tolerating the most corrupt and perverse government, and a culture filled with lies, that is humanly imaginable.

While serving as President of the CSA, Jefferson Davis once commented on the comparisons to be made between the war of 1861-65 between the Northern and Southern United States and the English Civil War between “Roundhead” Protestant Radicals, led by Oliver Cromwell, and the Church of England and its Constitutional Monarchy, led by the two Kings Charles Edward Stuart, I and II.

Davis commented that the South had inherited the noble Cavalier mantle of King Charles the Martyr and that it was at war with a nation of self-righteous meddlesome bigots.  Davis never understood the close relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx, or the historically decisive nature of that alliance.   

But the fact remains that there is a close relationship between the Episcopal Church/Church of England, and the South and its heritage.  Almost all the leaders of the Confederate South, including Jefferson Davis, Alexander Hamilton Stephens, Braxton Bragg, Jubal Early, Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston, Joseph E. Johnston, and John Bell Hood, and Patrick Cleburne were Episcopalians.  Major exceptions were Judah P. Benjamin (Jewish) and P.T.G. Beauregard (Roman Catholic).

On this day a hundred and fifty years ago, April 2, 1865, General Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis evacuated the Confederate Capital at Richmond. It had been a terrible mistake to move the Capital from inaccessible Montgomery, Alabama, to Richmond, too close to Washington.

But today, on this sad sesquicentennial, I attended Maundy Thursday services at Christ Church Cathedral in the 2900 block of St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, where Confederate General Leonidas Polk was First Bishop of Louisiana, and where that Southern hero’s remains are buried.

Yesterday, Canon Steve Roberts in his Holy Week Wednesday Homily had spoken of betrayal—Judas’ “betrayal of Jesus, of course, being one of the key events of Holy Week. Canon Roberts had spoken of the experience of betrayal in everyday life—“there has to be a relationship of trust, for betrayal to happen…..we cannot be betrayed by strangers who hardly know us.”

I charge again that the Diocese of Louisiana has betrayed the Memory of General Polk by condemning the freedom Polk (and a million other southerners) fought for, and for which so many hundreds of thousands gave their lives.

Polk is a gigantic figure in the history of this place. Even today his name has a visible relationship to this Diocese and to many a parish in this state. His picture is on the walls of Christ Church. His tombstone is the largest single monument to any North American personage at the right hand of the Great Christ Church Altar.

Trinity Episcopal on Jackson Avenue still has “Bishop Polk Hall” as its central and largest meeting place. I do not think it should ever rename that Hall…. because the name of Leonidas Polk is hallowed from Natchitoches Trinity Church where my grandmother Helen was baptized on South.

I ask today, as I have asked before—how can we be true to ourselves if we distain, if we dishonor our heritage?

Could Rome ever disown Saints Peter and Paul? Could Jerusalem ever forget James, the Brother of Jesus, and that City’s own first Bishop? Should England, Greece, Russia, and Scotland ever forget Saints Andrew and Saint George?

No more should Louisiana forget Bishop Leonidas Polk and the Constitutional Government of the Confederate States of America for which His Grace, General Leonidas Polk, fought and died.

Barack Obama has betrayed everyone, left and right and center, black and white and brown, by voting for the FISA “compromise” that repeals the Fourth Amendmentment. Everyone should denounce him—he is unfit to be President, at least as unfit as McCain, from the standpoint of the Constitution.

Joan Walsh

Thursday July 10, 2008 06:49 EDT

Betrayed by Obama

What an interesting week: I came back from vacation to find the two presumptive presidential nominees running away from their bases. Suddenly John McCain is evading, not embracing, the media, limiting access and getting testy with the very people whose formerly friendly coverage made him a popular “maverick.” Meanwhile, Barack Obama is complaining that his “friends on the left” just don’t understand him — he’s not moving to the center, he is “no doubt” a progressive, just one who now supports the scandalous FISA “compromise” and Antonin Scalia’s views on gun rights and the death penalty, no longer plans to accept public campaign funding, and wants to make sure women aren’t feigning mental distress to get a “partial-birth” abortion (the right’s despicable term of choice; the correct phrase is either late-term or third-trimester abortion).

I actually have some sympathy for Obama. He was never the great progressive savior that his fans either thought he was, or peddled to their readers. While Arianna Huffington and Markos Moulitsas and Tom Hayden were hyping him as the progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton, Obama was getting away with backing a healthcare bill less progressive than Clinton’s, adopting GOP talking points on the Social Security “crisis” and double-talking on NAFTA. So why shouldn’t he think his “friends on the left” will put up with his abandoning other progressive causes?

I’ve admired Obama, but I never confused him with a genuine progressive leader. Today I don’t admire him at all. His collapse on FISA is unforgivable. The only thing Obama has going for him this week is that McCain is matching him misstep for misstep. While we’re railing about Obama’s craven vote on FISA — rightfully; Glenn Greenwald is a hero for his work on this topic — McCain was outdoing Dick Cheney with neocon crazy talk, warning that Iran’s test of nine old missiles we already knew they had increases the chances of a “second Holocaust.” Every time I wonder whether I can ultimately vote for Obama in November, given all of his political cave-ins, McCain does something new to make sure I have to.

But Obama needs to watch himself. Telling voters they have no place else to go, before he officially has the nomination, is not a winning strategy. That’s what his people told Clinton voters. That’s what they’re saying about opponents of the FISA sellout. That’s the line on those concerned about his “partial-birth” abortion remarks. It’s arrogant — up against the backdrop of Obama’s big plans for an Invesco Field acceptance speech in Denver and a Brandenberg Gate extravaganza in Berlin, I’m starting to worry about grandiosity — and it could backfire.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, voted against the FISA bill, but I think “what ifs” are unproductive. Matthew Yglesias’ self-justifying fiction that, if she was the nominee, she’d have done what Obama did, is silly. But none of us can really know she’d have done the right thing in Obama’s shoes. Since I believe Clinton’s craven vote to authorize the Iraq war in 2002 cost her the Democratic nomination, I do find myself wondering whether she learned her lesson about caving in to GOP threats. It’s funny how so many defeated Democrats — Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards and now Clinton — seem to become more progressive after they learn that pandering can’t protect them from the attacks of the GOP and its friends in the media. Let’s hope Obama doesn’t have to learn that lesson the same way.

Of course, the only thing more offensive than Obama’s yes vote on FISA was McCain’s decision to skip the vote entirely — and then trash Obama for “flip-flopping” on FISA. Unfortunately, Obama did flip-flop on FISA, but McCain didn’t bother to show up. So far, this has been a really dispiriting campaign. Part of the problem, I think, is that the two finalists are guys beloved by the media, who’ve had a fairly free ride to here. With their rivals out of the way, they’re getting more scrutiny, and it’s not all adoring. Having won impressive underdog victories, neither campaign seems ready for prime time. I know one thing, I’d really like to vote for the guy who said this:

“This Administration has put forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand. When I am president, there will be no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens; no more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime; no more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. Our Constitution works, and so does the FISA court.”

Too bad Obama doesn’t believe that anymore.

 

— Joan Walsh