Last update: November 5, 2004 at 7:11 PM

Deborah Ellsworth: One nation, handcuffed together

Deborah Ellsworth
November 6, 2004 ELLSWORTH1106

So the old "Moral Majority" rose up again and swamped the boat this election. With war, global terrorism, unemployment, an elitist health-care system and other serious issues dominating this election, who saw this coming? Who saw this leviathan lurking beneath the surface?

The day after the election, vacuuming furiously while tears of despair ran down my face, I began thinking about the war in Iraq. Clearly this is an unjust war. But what is a just war?

Of course, World War II is always the first one mentioned. Then the next one that seems to come up is our Civil War. Surely, Abraham Lincoln had to fight the war to hold our country together. This has been ingrained in us since our elementary school days.

That's when it struck me: What if Lincoln had just let the South go? What if we now had a country on our southern border made up of the states that formed the Confederacy?

Hundreds of thousands of people wouldn't have died.

OK, the slaves wouldn't have been freed as soon. The Confederacy probably would have been the last holdout country with slaves, but at some point, it would have had to bow to world pressure and give up slavery. In the meantime, perhaps creative Abolitionists in the North would have found ways to make daring raids into the Confederacy, and the underground railroad would have still operated, and ... well, who knows what other methods for freeing the slaves might have arisen?

But think about it. If the South were its own country, then all those people who so desire it could have a Christian theocracy. They could have a country where the Bible is read in schools; where Creationism is taught in science class and evolution is not; where homosexuality would be against the law; where the Internet and Hollywood movies and rap music could be banned by law.

There would be trade relations between the Union of the United States and the Confederacy, and travel arrangements.

Also, evangelical Christians from the U. of the U.S. who desired to live in a Christian theocracy could emigrate to the Confederacy. Likewise, progressive-minded citizens from the South, as well as gays and others who would be persecuted, could immigrate here.

And then, maybe in the 2004 U. of U.S. election, these moral values would have prevailed: tolerance and respect for others; peace and justice; care for our needy citizens; scientific research to advance humankind; and care for the beautiful planet that God gave us.

Yes, I said the God word. I, too, am a Christian: a liberal, progressive Christian who believes that the moral values I just listed would be endorsed by Jesus Christ. And Buddha. And Mohammed. And of course, those dreaded secular humanists, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

Yup, maybe Lincoln should have let the South go. As I understand it, many Southerners consider Yankees foreigners anyway.

Deborah Ellsworth, a teacher, lives in St. Louis Park.

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