Portraits of American History: A Vote that Mattered & The Rev. Henry Highland Garnet

At the close of the American Civil War, both exhaustion and tension rose high and traveled deep into the hearts of men. Yet for some, exuberant expectations ran just as high and deep!

To bring the Emancipation Proclamation into it’s full strength and power, the people knew that more change was necessary. In order to keep slavery out of our country, we needed an Amendment to the Constitution to clearly spell out plainly that it’s evils will no longer prevail – more intentional spilling of ink rather than blood. Thus, the 13th Amendment was drafted, refined and it was proposed in 1863 – the same year the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. It was subsequently voted on in 1865. Let’s go to that moment:

Returning to 1865, while there were numerous celebrations by black Americans and others at the end of the Civil War, even before the war had come to an end, a vote had been held in Congress on the constitutional amendment and a poster was quickly issued to honor the 137 members of Congress who had voted to end slavery. 

At the time of the vote, there were 118 Republicans in Congress and 82 northern Democrats. Of the 118 Republicans, all 118 voted to abolish slavery; of the 82 Democrats, only 19 voted to end slavery – only 23 percent of Democrats – and those were the northern Democrats! … 

When the vote was taken in Congress on the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, the chambers were packed from wall to wall with expectant observers. After the numbers were counted and it was announced that the amendment passed, a roar erupted from the thousands in the chamber; hats were thrown and voices were raised in exuberant cheers. Congress had voted to end slavery! How should something that profound be celebrated? 

Members of the House asked that a sermon be preached to commemorate the event. And whom did they ask to preach the sermon? The Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, who became the first African American to speak in the halls of Congress.

Barton, David, Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White, WallBuilders Press: Aledo, 2004, pgs. 37-39

This is the account from Wikipedia:

In mid-January 1865, Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax estimated the amendment to be five votes short of passage. Ashley postponed the vote.[57] At this point, Lincoln intensified his push for the amendment, making direct emotional appeals to particular members of Congress.[58] On January 31, 1865, the House called another vote on the amendment, with neither side being certain of the outcome. With 183 House members present, 122 would have to vote “aye” to secure passage of the resolution; however, eight Democrats abstained, reducing the number to 117. Every Republican (84), Independent Republican (2), and Unconditional Unionist (16) supported the measure, as well as fourteen Democrats, almost all of them lame ducks, and three Unionists. The amendment finally passed by a vote of 119 to 56,[59] narrowly reaching the required two-thirds majority.[60] The House exploded into celebration, with some members openly weeping.[61] Black onlookers, who had only been allowed to attend Congressional sessions since the previous year, cheered from the galleries.[62]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitutio
Barton, David, Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White, WallBuilders Press: Aledo, 2004, pgs. 42

You can read the original sermon here.

Published in: on 7 AMpMon, 17 Aug 2020 11:08:12 -040008Monday 2016 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

7-Word Story | Politics

 

 

Today’s esteemed,

 

 

brilliant,

 

 

cutting edge,

 

 

political system!

 

 

© Joshua Curtis, 2019

Published in: on 7 AMpFri, 09 Aug 2019 07:23:28 -040023Friday 2016 at 7:23 am  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , ,

Why I’m a Progressive

Disclaimer: I tend to shy away from politics. Especially these days. It seems to only spur on foolish arguments and heated battles that are full of passion and lack much logic or reason. Just log into Facebook for 35 seconds… Furthermore, if you’re losing an argument, you just have to pull the Trump card (look, already an emotionally provoking pun) and call the other person a racist which not only smears them and their argument, but seemingly grants you an automatic win. The sheer level of foolishness – from all sides – makes me a bit nauseous. However, as I am a husband and father, indeed as a citizen that participates in this system, I must take a stand somewhere.  And make no mistake, we must choose where we stand very carefully as there are consequences for our choices. So, although I try and focus on the Gospel in my writings, the Gospel touches every part of our lives and this is where I have made my stance within the current American system I find myself. This is certainly a summation and I am excluding a lot of areas of consideration, but these are some of the main points that I stand on and why. I first published this on 4/07/2016, so I have revamped it slightly. However, some of the examples, although now outdated, still they bring the point across, so I have left those. Last note, one thing I have really enjoyed about WordPress is that people have had good discussions and I have not seen, with the exception of one example, people making rude, heated and/or unfounded comments. I have appreciated this! I am okay with disagreement – I know many people will not stand where I do with these issues, or at least all of them – and I welcome your comments. However, I will not put up with impassioned ranting or any other types of foolishness. I would love to hear where you stand, even if you are on the complete opposite side on these topics, but only if it remains respectful. Well, let’s get into it.



Here is why I am a self-proclaimed progressive…

  • I’m progressive because when there is less government involvement, this gives people and organizations the ability to succeed or fail. In turn, this brings more equilibrium in the system and it brings about the opportunity for freedom and prosperity.
  • I’m progressive because the government was NEVER supposed to be as big as it is.

 

 

  • I’m progressive because, overall, the welfare state impoverishes people and society. Furthermore, it is the new plantation which tends to keep people in bondage. To see just how devastating this system is, look up family statistics of the black community pre and post the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and you will find that black families, even when faced with less freedom and horribly unjust laws, were far more healthy and intact. The catalysts of this devastation was (and continues to be) liberal politics and the welfare system (initially this was used to get rid of husbands and fathers from the home). The policy of The Great Society – great for whom?! … For some specific statistics, I have a few laid-out in another post.
  • I’m progressive because I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

 

 

  • I’m progressive because I’m against high taxation and the government stealing people’s possessions (including money, weapons and property) and giving it to other people and/or organizations – even more so when those organizations are used to destroy people’s lives/livelihood (e.g., Planned Parenthood – specifically, what they are doing to minority, particularly black, communities).
  • I’m progressive because I believe in God. Since socialist/communist ideology has as its first premise that there is no God and man is his own god and we are all evolving to utopia, I will always oppose this system. Not to mention it’s logical outworking. Simply look at the fruit this system produces – over 100 million people dead just in the last century and we think it’s going to be different if we put it in place here…if we make it “democratic.” As a system, it just doesn’t work and makes people, indeed all of society with the exception of the few “leaders”, desperately poor.

 

Policeman Holding Handcuffs and Man Wearing Blue Suit Carrying Books Figures on Brown Surface

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

 

  • I’m progressive because I believe that citizens have a right to hold their government accountable for their actions.
  • I’m progressive because, although this country has had a crazy history, especially with the treatment of Natives, Africans and Irish, it was founded on Christian principles and that has allowed us to build one of the freest and most prosperous nations ever while also giving us the freedom to repent of our mistakes along the way and to better ourselves. Also, this has given many people the opportunity to achieve great things in a lifetime.

 

Grayscale Photography of People Doing Team Hand Cheers

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

 

  • I’m progressive because it has been the conservatives that have stood for the freedom of blacks in America. From the Emancipation of the slaves (although, I don’t think we needed a war to achieve this!) while the Democrats responded by creating the KKK to oppose the Republicans, to the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which was severely weakened by the Democrats opposition to it, to the opposition and rejection of the current debilitating welfare state.
  • I’m progressive because, by and large, liberal politics just do not work in practice! Just doing a quick search you will see that many of the cities that have the highest poverty rates have been liberal for quite some time, also they have the majority of cities with the highest crime rates and highest levels of people on welfare. In addition, the top states for abortion are overwhelmingly liberal. So, how is this good for people – particularly minority people? Since the 1960s, and in some areas the 1930s, black people have overwhelmingly voted for the politicians that are creating and purporting the conditions being so-called fought against. So, if liberalism is the “political mechanism” for the betterment of black people, have the black communities that have voted Democrat since the 1930s or 1960s gotten better, or worse? [You can look at Camden, NJ, Gary, IN, Baltimore, MD, etc. Just as a quick example, look at Flint, MI and their water crisis. Immediately people started making it a racial issue because the majority of people affected were black children. However, the mayor and the entire city council are almost all black and they are all Democrats. Furthermore, the prosecuting attorney, sheriff, county clerk, county treasurer, drain commissioner – county water agent, county surveyor, and 8 of the 9 members of the board of commissioners are all Democrats! Not to mention the first multi-ethnic, Democratic, President! So, what’s really the problem going on in Flint? (Let me also make clear that I am not lessening the severity of the situation there. It’s not all about politics as much as it’s about dereliction of duty. The point is, with all of those people in place “for the black population” it wasn’t an issue of racism – or, maybe it was, but from the liberal side. Should this situation have ever happened based on the promises constantly made from the liberal side as being the only answer of relief for black people?)]

 

Clear Glass H2o Bottle

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

 

Moving on, I’m progressive because overall it has proven to be much better for society and has a more proven track record of giving the opportunities to produce more freedom and life than that of liberal politics/ideologies. Look at the fruit of each!

Now, there may be some confusion with the term progressive. Since Progressivism as a political ideology is known for being hyper-liberal, what do I mean by being progressive? Well, I mean I’m progressive how the word is actually defined! Here we go, redefining words again!

 

PROGRESS’IVE, adjective Moving forward; proceeding onward; advancing; as progressive motion or course; opposed to retrograde.
1. Improving. The arts are in a progressive state.
– Webster’s Dictionary, 1828 version

 

 

 

While Progressives would look at that definition and agree with it, it is clear the fruit of their policies are working the opposite effect. In truth, this is what they really want anyway! Here is a good example of true progressivism: “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

 



Thus, I am and will to continue to be, progressive. I want to continue to evaluate if I’m, and the society in which I live, is on the correct road. We have needed to turn around for a while now, but we keep trudging along in the wilderness thinking our utopia is just around the bend. Let us be progressive and get back to the right road! That’s where I’m at. How about you?

© Joshua Curtis, 2019


If you enjoyed this post, please show some love! Give me a like or a share. Love to hear your thoughts. Blessings.

Published in: on 7 PMpMon, 13 May 2019 18:26:36 -040026Monday 2016 at 6:26 pm  Comments (9)  
Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: