Tag Archives: Roundheads

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.

Historical Notes for January 17, 2013

Today, January 17, 2013 is a day with historical relevance to many schisms. In A.D. 395, the Emperor Theodosius died in Milan (then known as Mediolanum). His two sons Arcadius and Honorius split the Roman Empire (whose capital was no longer “Rome” but Milan and Constantinople). Then on this day in 1377, almost a thousand years after the division of the Eastern and Western Empires), Pope Gregory XI moved the seat of the papacy back from Avignon to Rome. In 1648, the Roundheads in the Long Parliament voted to terminate negotiations with Charles I, leading to the English Civil War, and one year later, on January of 1649, the execution of King Charles “the Martyr” Stuart. Finally, today is two days before Robert E. Lee’s 206th birthday (January 19, 1807). When Robert E. Lee was my age, 52, he had not yet arrested John Brown or gone to Texas to command Fort Mason, which was to be his last active post as an officer of the United States Army before his major role in history really began after the secession of his native Virginia.
Today is also a day of infamy in two regards: on this day in 1946 the United Nations Security Council held its first session, building towards the establishment of World Government with effective force and power. In a not entirely unrelated event, 45 years later in 1991, President George H.W. Bush, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and head of the C.I.A., falsely elected Vice-President with Ronald W. Reagan who had promised to get the U.S. out of the United Nations in 1980, launched what H.M. King George Bush I had expressly designed as a “New World Order” War with United Nations approval: the Gulf War Desert Storm in Iraq. I was totally opposed to that war and remain totally opposed to all its results and derivatives over the past 23 years of U.S. Empire Building in Western and Central Asia.