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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: ANOTHER MEDIA ATTACK

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


By Bob Hurst

I am writing this month's CONFEDERATE JOURNAL about the Constitution of the Confederate States of America because of a blatantly false statement made about the document by nationally-syndicated radio host and Fox News Channel television host Glenn Beck.

Let me begin by saying that I have listened to the Glenn Beck radio program for more than five years and have watched his TV program two to three times a week since it began on Fox. I must say that 5 PM does not always find me at home in front of my television.

I have found Beck to be industrious, sincere and oftentimes bold. He has done some praiseworthy work in identifying (and outing) many Progressives, Socialists and Marxists associated with the current administration in Washington. Especially laudable has been his ongoing effort to recognize and praise those giants of American history, the Founding Fathers. He obviously spent a great deal of time and energy studying the Progressive Movement in this country. Kudos for all this.

I have been perplexed by two horrific blind spots that Beck has concerning this country and its direction. He claims to fear and abhor the concept of a strong, centralized national government (as do I), yet he is a big admirer of Abraham Lincoln. Where does he think our big, centralized government originated? It was certainly in place before his favorite whipping-boy, Woodrow Wilson, came along.

I will not elaborate on Lincoln here as I have written about that tyrant before in this column on several occasions. Suffice to say that it was Mr. Lincoln's War with all its ramifications that destroyed the federal system of limited government that was given to this country by the Founders.

Why did Lincoln ignore a Peace Delegation sent by President Jefferson Davis in early 1861 and continue doggedly with his plans for war? One newspaper, the Providence (RI) DAILY POST, opined the following on April 13, 1861 concerning why there was to be war in America: "Why? We are to have war, if at all, because Abraham Lincoln loves a Party better than he loves his country. Why?". British Foreign Secretary Lord Russell answered that query succinctly: "Not for Union, not for slavery - for power."

Yet Beck persists in his admiration for old Dishonest Abe.

Beck also speaks often on his shows about his disdain for the Progressives and their marching mates - the Socialists and Marxists - who have for years infiltrated the national government. Yet Beck presents himself as a big admirer of Martin Luther King. He seems oblivious to the many Communist connections ( Stanley Levison, Bayard Rustin, et al ) of King and the fact that King was warned by John Kennedy about those associations and was watched by the FBI for years for the same reason. Go figure.

Despite these blind spots I had remained a defender of Beck when members of my several lunchtime discussion groups would criticize him. I just considered Beck a work in progress and believed he would eventually get around to the truth. After all, he speaks incessantly on his programs about bringing the truth to the fore.

I experienced an epiphany about two weeks ago, however. It was a Saturday and I had just arrived at home after working out of town. I turned on the TV to relax a bit and was surprised to see the Beck show. It must have been a rerun of a previously aired show and was being used as a Saturday filler. I had missed the beginning of the show and didn't know what had been discussed.

Beck's first remark was about what he called the "Confederate Constitution". My ears perked up. He stated to his guests that he had visited "that museum in the South" where he had read the entire document. My jaw dropped with his next statement. He looked at his guests and said it was actually "the Slaveholders Constitution" since "the whole thing was about nothing but slavery". I did my best imitation of one of my heroes, South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, and yelled at the TV, "You lie!". Allow me to explain.

The Constitution of the Confederate States of America contains a total of 5856 words of text in 7 Articles, 22 Sections and 93 Paragraphs. In this entire document the term "slave" or a derivation ("slaves", "slaveholding", etc.) occurs a grand total of 10 times. By any stretch it is hard to justify saying "the whole thing was about nothing but slavery".

The first mention of the term is in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 which simply deals with taxes and apportionment (census issues). The next occurrence of the term is in Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 1 which is approximately 1800 words after the first reference. This section is interesting so I will quote it from the C.S.A. Constitution:

"The importation of Negros of the African race,from any foreign country, other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden, and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same."

Did you get that? The Constitution of the C.S.A. forbade the importation of any black slaves into the Confederate States. I will not discuss the strong feelings in the South during that time that slavery should be gradually fazed out but I will remind you that no slave ship carrying that wretched human cargo ever sailed under a Confederate Flag.

I am not going to quote all the paragraphs containing the words "slave", "slaves", "slaveholding" and the like although there are only 7 such paragraphs in the entire document. By the way, the Constitution printed in standard book form is almost 18 full pages. Other references to the term relate to such issues as the right of a slaveholder to take his slaves into another state of the Confederacy either in transit or for permanent settlement and a prohibition against importation of slaves from any state of the United States not a member of the Confederacy.

Oh yes, there is included an almost carbon copy of the Fugitive Slave Act from the laws of the United States. In fact, if Glenn Beck had taken the time to study it, he would have realized that the Constitution of the Confederate States very closely paralleled the Constitution of the United States. If he doesn't like one he should not like the other.

It is puzzling to me why Beck, who otherwise seems to research his topics well, would make such an inane and stupid statement about the C.S.A. Constitution. I am left with only three possible explanations:

1) he deliberately misspoke because of an anti-Southern, anti-Confederate bias;

2) he was incapable of understanding what he read (this seems unlikely); or

3) he never read the document.

Whatever the reason, I am very disappointed in Glenn Beck and have lost a degree of confidence in the accuracy and truthfulness of other statements he has made or will make in the future. I hate this because I have had such confidence in his truthfulness and admire his courage in revealing many of his findings about powerful people and potentially explosive situations.

When will Glenn Beck realize that it was the South that was fighting for the concept of limited government, not the Federal leviathan. Does he not know that the Northern sentiment toward slavery was summed up in that famous statement from Union general Ulysses Grant who said after the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation (that actually freed no one) that if he thought the war was about freeing the slaves he would resign his commission and offer his sword to the other side? Does he know nothing of the Corwin Amendment which was passed by the U.S. Congress (minus the elected representatives of the seven states that had already seceded) just the week before Lincoln's inauguration and Lincoln strongly endorsed the amendment in his inaugural address?

If you are unaware of the Corwin Amendment (it's one of those secrets of history that the national education establishment likes to keep a secret) , or the First 13th Amendment as it is sometimes called, its purpose was to prohibit the U.S. Congress from trying to ban slavery in whatever states still permitted it. It was introduced in the House by Rep. Thomas Corwin of Ohio and in the Senate by Sen. William Seward of New York. It passed the House on February 28, 1861, by a vote of 133 to 65 and the Senate on March 2, 1861, by a vote of 24 to 12. Lincoln approved it and even lobbied for its passage.

The Northern politicians mistakenly thought that by protecting slavery constitutionally and in perpetuity that the seven seceded Southern states would return to the Union and no other states would secede. They did not realize that slavery was not the primary issue for the Southern States and, in actuality, the South was seceding because the various states were committed to independence. After its passage in Congress, the Southern States ignored the Corwin Amendment.

As I mentioned earlier, I think Glenn Beck is still a work in progress (as are so many other Americans who are historically-ignorant). I hope and pray that he will eventually learn the truth about the South, the Confederacy, the Constitution of the C.S.A. and so many other issues generally ignored or lied about by the government-influenced media.

Beck has done a fine job in identifying individuals who can assist him in developing his knowledge of the American pageant. He found David Barton to bolster his knowledge of the Founding Fathers. A good choice for that but Barton is certainly not a scholar when it comes to the Great War of 1861-65. Beck also found the magnificent Stanton Evans to instruct him about the middle part of the 20th Century.

I only hope that Beck will eventually discover such outstanding scholars and people as Marshall DeRosa, Thomas DiLorenzo, Chuck Baldwin, Clyde Wilson, Donald Livingston and many others who can teach him the truth about that delicate period in the middle of the 19th Century when this country lost its way and also lost the Republic that Ben Franklin had spoken of after the ratification of the United States Constitution.


Bob Hurst is a Southern Patriot who belongs to a number of heritage, historical and ideological organizations. His particular areas of interest are Confederate history and the architecture of the antebellum South. He is Commander of Col. David Lang Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, in Tallahassee and 2nd Lt. Commander of the Florida Division, SCV. You can contact him at or 850-878-7010.


Anonymous R in RI said...

Another lost causer out of touch with realty and history !

5:35 PM  
Blogger J. Stephen Conn said...

I've been a long time listener and admirer of Glenn Beck, although I disagree with him strongly on a few issues - especially his blind devotion to the despot Abraham Lincoln. Beck's false comments about the Confederate constitution are without excuse.

I've seen Beck change his mind a time or two. Hopefully he will someday see the light about the real Abraham Lincoln and the Confederacy.

3:00 PM  

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