The September/October issue of the Confederate Veteran magazine, the official publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), has a “Report” from Charles Kelly Barrow on how “the SCV must prepare for the new challenges it will face” in the coming years. Barrow wants the “Headquarters” of the SCV to be both a “museum” and a “tourist attraction.” To that end, he tells encourages his readers (the SCV has about 30,000 members; I have no idea of the number of subscribers to the magazine) with the following:
One of the organizations I support is Answers in Genesis. When they built the Creation Museum [in Kentucky], they asked people to invest or become owners in the project. I can tell you personally that when our family paid a visit to the museum, we took pride in what we helped build. (page 4)
So, there you have it. The leader of the SCV endorses and, according to his words, contributed money (which of course is his right and one that I fully support) to a Museum that teaches that humans and dinosaurs inhabited the earth at the same time.
Now, there are a couple of things I want to emphasize. Early in his “Report” Barrow makes it clear, at least to me, that he is dedicated to “preserving my Southern heritage.” (page 4) Fair enough. But, given that later in his report he laments “the indoctrination about the civil war that students are subjected to in the public school classroom” and his fervent support for “A War Between the States curriculum, with lesson plans and teaching aids, [which] will be developed and made available to teachers in the public, private and homeschool sectors teaching the true history of the War,” (page 5, emphasis in the original), it is obvious that preserving one’s heritage has very specific implications. To wit: Barrow appears to prefer a world in which American students, in both public and private schools (not to mention homeschoolers) would be taught creationism – which is unconstitutional – and that the Confederacy was justified in its cause. After all, he says that “our ancestors . . . endured Total War from an illegal invader.” (page 5, emphasis in the original) This stance is consistent with philosopher Donald Livingston’s essay “Confederate Emancipation” in the previous month’s Confederate Veteran (you can read my analyses of this article here, here, here, here, and here).
The second thing I find of interest is Barrow’s encouragement of others in the SCV “to make a stand, . . . to be unified with others of the same mindset and lineage.” (page 5). That mindset, as I have argued elsewhere, includes not only a loathing for Abraham Lincoln, but for Charles Darwin as well. There is no grandeur in this view of life of our species, or nation’s, past. Americans, especially historians and biologists, must do a better job, it seems to me, in understanding and communicating with each other about the larger aims of this movement dedicated to preserving “heritage.”