An explanation...

This past week I deleted a comment because its author misrepresented what my father had said in a piece titled, "Lord, Raise Up a Negro Prophet," that was published in Eternity magazine back in October 1961. The writer of the comment found my father's article here on our blog in our archives by subject under the entry, "Race."

From the comment I deleted, here's what my father was said to have written:

Tim's own father said back in 1965 that the gross immorality and incredible levels of violence among Negroes (his own word) were the main reasons most white people didn't like them.

And here's what my father actually wrote:

I know that social change is accomplished one step at a time. I know, too, that God delivered His people from Egypt before He gave the Divine Law. But today we are not in the darkness of pre-Revelation. We have the Light of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Christian morality has never, to my knowledge, waited for social betterment. Those slaves (white) on the Island of Crete, about whom St. Paul wrote to Titus, were expected to influence their masters by their personal morality (Titus 2:9,10)-not by their demands for equality. And I sense that a significant decrease in the number of Negro births out of wedlock, in the number of unwed Negro mothers on the relief rolls, in the number of Negro youths embroiled in delinquency, a significant improvement in Negro morality would do more to change the climate of white opinion toward Negroes than all the pressure groups can ever achieve.

So my father said that a "significant improvement in Negro morality would do more to change the climate of white opinion toward Negroes than all the pressure groups can ever achieve," but the author of the comment reported my father as saying about Negroes that their "gross immorality and incredible levels of violence were the main reasons most white people didn't like them."

To suggest a likely remedy for a problem is not to explain the problem's origin, nor is it to justify the problem's existence in the first place. But reading the summary of my father's statement, an uninformed reader would think my father had claimed that "most white people didn't like Negroes," and that white people were justified in not liking Negroes because it was Negro gross immorality and incredible levels of violence that had led whites not to like Negroes...

So, after I deleted the comment for misrepresenting my father's statements, the racists posted an article on their blog with the headline, "Tim Bayly is a liar who's ashamed of his own father." And in the post, they said this:

I ...found out just how dishonest and mendacious Tim Bayly is. It seems he's ashamed of his father, who was a fairly prominent Judeochristian writer-one of the books he wrote is The Gospel Blimp, which poked fun at "relevant" types, and he was a columnist for Eternity magazine. You'd think Bayly would be proud of him, but when someone dared mentioned what his father said about Negroes 40 years ago, Bayly banned him, deleted the comment, and lied about him, accusing him of "misrepresenting" his father's views... Joseph Bayly clearly said those things. And Tim Bayly lied about it, and slandered a person for speaking the truth.

Tim Bayly is deeply ashamed of his late father. So ashamed that he resorts to lies to cover up the shame he feels.

Well no, I'm not ashamed of my father at all. The article under debate has resided here on our blog for many months now, and anyone reading it will quickly see that it bears no resemblance to an apologetic for racism or white supremacism. Dad wasn't justifying white racism. Rather, he was calling for a Negro prophet to stand up and call his people to repentance for their sins. And he thought that the repentance of Negroes for their sins of violence and immorality might well lead whites to repent for their sins of hatred and racism.

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Mr. Bayly,

Your father said, "[ellipsis]a significant improvement in Negro morality would do more to change the climate of white opinion toward Negroes than all the pressure groups can ever achieve."

The man whose words you're taking issue with express the same idea, do they not? The point the man was making is that it seems that your father was willing to point out the gross immorality and incredible levels of violence among Negroes.

What's the difference between saying, "the climate of white [negative] opinion" and "Whites don't like Negroes"?

Won't Say, the difference in the particular words may be small, but the context makes a great deal of difference. The racists are using Mr. Bayly's words as JUSTIFICATION for disliking blacks (as if they felt a need to justify), whereas Mr. Bayly was actually saying that blacks are often disliked among white folks, and here's something that can be done about it. Mr. Bayly considered that dislike a problem; the racists consider it a good idea.

Dear "Won't say,"

Why should I say if you "won't say?"

But even if you did say (who you are), I believe I couldn't make you see what you refuse to see. If you think both are saying the same thing, I'll leave you to your thoughts. Others will see.

Sincerely,

Tim Bayly

Joel explained it as well as it can be explained.

Tim, I don't see the use in responding to people who are not interested in a serious discussion of issues. Ignore them and their foolishness.

The opinions of Kinists and neo-Confederates are vile; answer not a fool according to his folly.

Your Dad's comments were describing behaviors and predicting likely results in the Anglo majority if those behaviors were changed for the better. The same prediction would be just as true today. But I doubt your father attributed negative black attitudes and culture to their DNA or attendent skin color. I very much imagine he would have attributed them to the Adamic legacy of original sin, and an ideology of unbelief [specifically African-American liberalism/progressivism, shelling-out their religion and built on a rotten foundation of Darwinist lies] corrupting their thoughts, families, and consequent culture.

I also very much doubt that he would have exonerated the white majority of grievous sin.

I also very much doubt that he would have taught as a moral imperative from the Bible the necessity of keeping the races separate, maritally speaking. Cautiousness about inter-marriage due to difficult and sometimes extreme cultural and historical differences would be appropriate; absolute forbiddence would be binding where God never bound, and thus sinning the sin of the false prophet who speaks where God has not spoken.

As you say, it all depends on the bigger context. Your father and some evilminded neo-Confederate could both say, "Improved social behavior by black people would eventually cause the white majority to have a better opinion of black people over-all", but the two are still poles apart. And I hardly consider the white people to qualify as the "good" people, if by the word "good" we mean "similar to God". The black population is only about 13-15% of the citizenry, so they're not the ones keeping abortion in place.

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"The opinions of Kinists and neo-Confederates are vile; answer not a fool according to his folly."
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Not all neo-Confederates are racists. It is entirely possible to be sympathetic to the Southern side of the War Between the States and not be racist, especially considering that fewer than 5% of Southerners owned slaves and that the South knew slavery was a dying institution because of the cotton gin. There was a lot more to the WBtS than slavery, and I don't think I need to remind anyone of Abraham Lincoln's own white supremacist views.

Other than that, very good post Jack.

Scott,

You make a good distinction.

dave

Well, the only neo-Confederate people I've ever read (all on-line) are people who try to convince us how nice slavery was, and how much better off and happy all the enslaved blacks were, and how the Bible teaches slavery (and I know they're deliberately ignoring the critical ethical differences between the Mosaic rules about time-limited slavery, and the vicious manstealing practiced by the Dutch and British.) They are the moral equivalents of those who defend abortion.

Again, a question of context: I can hear it if someone describes how the Northern abolitionists whipped up a warchant; I can hear it if someone feels that slavery would have died a natural death in time (though i might not agree). You want to poke holes through Lincoln's ethicsa and/or competence? Go ahead, he was a politician, not a saint.

But to these kinists I would say, don't insult our intelligence by trying to convince us that the War was only about a noble, abstracted principle of secession, or that the South wasn't trying to get slavery extended into the newcomer states, or that Southern politicians didn't think that slavery was the issue (it's amazing how self-serving propagandists can so flagrantly ignore thousands of pages of Southern political essays and speeches of that time, the texts of which we still have easily available to us today, and just pretend they don't exist!), or that the Bible justifies the type of slavery followed in the U.S. The 5% figure is deliberately misleading, too, since it's based on the false criteria that only a male citizen can be an "owner." The slave served the entire household, including the children, so they were all using him or her even if legally speaking they weren't the oweners.

And more to the point of the Bayly's column, neo-Confeds better not try to conscript the late Rev. Bayly into this benighted cause, or claim that they know him better than his own sons! The Lord hateth the lying tongue. I believe Bayly Sr. will rise up in the last day and condemn them.

Was slavery *an* issue? Yes. Was slavery *the* issue? No. There were issues of tariffs, taxes and federal power. Lincoln said that his only goal was to keep the Union together and that of he could do it without freeing a single slave he would do it. Freeing some slaves or freeing all slaves were options, but the main goal was to keep the Union together, by military force if necessary.

If I recall correctly, the Confederate constitution banned importation of slaves from anywhere other than other slave-holding states.

Anyway, my point is not to get into a long discussion about the War Between the States and which side was right. My point is that you can't lump all neo-Confederates in with racists and Nazis. Certainly not this man:

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/walterwilliams/2002/03/27/162771.html

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