Tuesday, June 30, 2015
While it is tempting to align with the Copperheads, the Northern anti-war and anti-Lincoln Democrats who sympathized with the South, by doing so one runs headlong into true detestation of slavery. A similar contradiction manifests itself when one is attracted by the antebellum South, by the culture of the South, by the very idea of the South — but with an important difference. Notwithstanding the South’s sin of slavery, the antebellum South represented noble virtues and aspirations like tradition, manners, honor, hospitality, and duty far better than its eventual conqueror ever did. For a traditional Catholic, the antebellum South — its very ethos — is far more resonant and familiar than any other American subculture or time period. Thus, one must bring a fair amount of suspicion to any Lincoln hagiography or demonization of the South. In our time, knowledgeable haters of the South are, perhaps just beneath the surface, people who likely hate the Catholic Church as well.