As a Catholic I'm very used to Protestants presuming to tell me what I believe. I'm continually surprised by the things they say. I'm even more surprised that they feel themselves competent to reveal to me my own most intimate thoughts and motives. How is it they know what I believe and why I believe it and I don't?
Should I accept their misinformed (often humorous) ideas, sometimes fed to them by professional Catholic haters, or should I consult the Popes, the counsels, the Catechism of the Counsel of Trent and the New Catechism? And what of the witness of the great saints? Perhaps Catholic haters should check those sources out to understand Catholic belief rather than accepting the ideas of badly informed Catholic haters or misinformed, lapsed and apostate Catholics.
If we presume to know better than another what their reasons for advocating a certain position are, does that not say more about us than it does about them? In such cases exactly who is the one driven by prejudice?
In every movement there are those who can be found who are there for less than noble reasons. For instance, almost everyone will agree that slavery was a serious flaw in the Confederacy. But it was a flaw in the Federal Union long before it was in the Confederacy and Constitutional as well. And being Constitutional it could be changed by lawful and peaceful means. What was absolutely unconstitutional was the invasion and subjugation of sovereign states by other sovereign states under the orders of a Centralize Power that as eventually to morph from the Federal government the Founders established into a National Government that would crush all other sovereignties and rights. Alexander Stephens is often noted for his Cornerstone speech. But his critics are conspicuously silent on the following passage from the Confederate Vice-President:
"If centralism is ultimately to prevail; if our entire system of free Institutions as established by our common ancestors is to be subverted, and an Empire is to be established in their stead; if that is to be the last scene of the great tragic drama now being enacted: then, be assured, that we of the South will be acquitted, not only in our own consciences, but in the judgment of mankind, of all responsibility for so terrible a catastrophe, and from all guilt of so great a crime against humanity. "
Not every Confederate fought for slavery––most, in fact, did not; not every Northerner fought to end slavery. Many northerners, in fact, albeit unwittingly, fought for the end of self-rule and even greater enslavement by the most brutal of means. We can now see in hindsight that they fought to turn what had been a free compact of states into a Centralized Empire. The Empire has subjugated and pillaged all the states, beginning with those which made up the Confederacy.
This so-called "Civil War" marks the beginning of the Imperial slavery of which the antifederalist Patrick Henry warned in his speeches to the Virginia ratification committee in 1788. His prescient and prophetic insight was fully vindicated when the Lincoln appointee and Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Salmon P. Chase said, "State's rights died at Appomattox."
And with the death of state's rights the last hedge of protection for our individual liberty and self-rule also died.
Such an understanding of history, in fact, lies at the heart of those who yet love the Southern cause. There are those who say we of the South should forget. But to a Southerner who knows true American history, instead of the cartoonish version the Empire propagates in government funded schools, to forget is to accept imperial slavery and lose even the memory American Liberty.
That enslavement and subjugation was in the minds of the leaders of the Federal Government in Washington (and liberty in the minds of Southerners) is clearly seen in Union president Andrew Johnson's speech of 1868 protesting the abusive and unconstitutional acts of the Radical Republicans. He wrote and publicly opined: