League of the South


League of the South

The League of the South is a Southern nationalist organization whose ultimate goal is "a free and independent Southern republic." [ [http://leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/ls-intro.html League of the South website] ] The group defines the Southern United States as the states that made up the former Confederacy. [ [http://www.utpjournals.com/product/cras/323/sebesta.html "The US Civil War as a Theological War: Confederate Christian Nationalism and the League of the South"] ] While political independence ranks highly among the group's goals, it is also a religious and social movement, advocating a return to a more traditional, conservative Christian-oriented Southern culture.

History

Formed in 1994 by Michael Hill. The League of the South was named in reference to both the Lega Nord, an Italian political party which advocates autonomy for Northern Italy, and the League of United Southerners, a group organized in 1858 to shape Southern public opinion. [ [http://dixienet.org/New%20Site/faq.shtml League of the South homepage] ]

Views

As noted, the League promotes the "independence of the Southern people" from the "American empire"" [http://leagueofthesouth.net/print.php?sid=5 League Core Beliefs Statement] "] and this on a variety of levels: culturally, economically, socially, and politically.

Culture

The League defines Southern culture "in opposition to the corrupt mainstream American culture." It sees Southern culture as profoundly Christian, and pro-life. ["Southerners have respect for human life, in all its stages, as a gift from God." This language is often used by groups opposed to legal abortion and euthanasia.] Furthermore, the League believes that Southern culture places a greater emphasis on immediate relationships than on abstract ideas (the nation, the global community, etc.) and that Southern geography "defines character and worldview."

ocial

According to the League, Southern society differs greatly from what it sees as the Marxist and egalitarian society lacking "any grace or charm" that its "alien [American] occupier" seeks to "impress upon it." Southern culture, for the League, is hierarchical, based on the Bible and decidedly anti-feminism. ["ibid" – "Husbands are the heads of their families," "Perpetuates the chivalric ideal of manhood"] While the "League's Core Beliefs Statement" does not mention gay rights, it notes that Southern culture "stigmatizes perversity". It also values politeness — "Southern Hospitality."

Economics

The League of the South's economic views are best characterized as free market. It is opposed to fiat currency, personal
income taxation, central banking, property taxes and most state regulation of business. The League supports sales taxes and user fees. However, some League members, such as John Cobin, support the use of voluntary taxes like user fees and lotteries to finance government. [See Cobin, "Christian Theology of Public Policy: Highlighting the American Experience" (Alertness Books, 2006).]

Politics

Seeking support in the American Declaration of Independence, the League believes the "Southern people" have the right to secede from the United States, and that they "must throw off the yoke of imperial [federal, or central government] oppression". The League promotes a Southern Confederation of sovereign, independent States that "work together... to conduct foreign affairs". It believes that the South's foreign policy should favor neutrality and trade with all states. ["ibid" – "commerce and friendship with all, entangling alliances with none"] Furthermore, the League favors strictly limited immigration, opposes standing armies and any regulation whatsoever of firearms. Though the ultimate goal of the League is to create an independent Southern nation, it sees this aim as the final step in an ongoing process:

Once we have planted the seeds of cultural, economic, and social renewal, then (and only then), should we begin to look to the South's political renewal. Political independence will come only when we have convinced the Southern people that they are indeed a nation in the historical, organic, and Biblical sense of the word, namely, that they are a distinct people with language, mores, and folkways that separate them from the rest of the world. [ [http://www.leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/intro_articles/ls-grand-strategy.html "The Grand Strtegy"] ]
The League's current official activities focus on recruiting and encouraging "cultural secession" and "withholding our support from all institutions and objects of popular culture that are antithetical to our beliefs and heritage." [ [http://www.leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/intro_articles/ls-faq.html "League of the South FAQ"] ] In November 2006 its representatives attended the [http://middleburyinstitute.org/secessionconvention2006.html First North American Secessionist Convention] which brought together secessionists from a broad political spectrum. [Gary Shapiro, “Modern-Day Secessionists Will Hold a Conference on Leaving the Union,” "The New York Sun," September 27, 2006, 6; Paul Nussbaum, “Coming together to ponder pulling apart, Latter-day secessionists of all stripes convene in Vermont, "Philadelphia Inquirer", November 6, 2006.] In October 2007 it co-hosted the [http://middleburyinstitute.org/secessionconvention2007.html Second North American Secessionist Convention] in Chattanooga, Tennessee. [Bill Poovey, [http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/article/20071004/NEWS/710040357/-1/State Secessionists Meeting in Tennessee] , Associated Press, reprinted in The Guardian, October 3, 2007; Leonard Doyle, [http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article3028714.ece Anger over Iraq and Bush prompts calls for secession from the US] , Independent, UK, October 4, 2007; [http://wdef.com/news/secessionists_say_second_north_american_secessionists_convention/10/2007 WDEF News 12 Video report on Secessionist Convention] , October 3, 2007. The Third North American Secessionist Convention will be held in Manchester, New Hampshire, on November 14-16, 2008.]

Controversy

The issue of race has become a source of controversy about, and dispute within, the League of the South. Newspaper columnist Thomas B. Edsall has characterized the League of the South as an “extreme right” organization and a “white nationalist” group. [ [http://www.buchanan.org/pa-00-0724-edsall.html Pat Buchanan Response to Washington Post Hit Piece - Articles, Essays and Speeches - T H E I N T E R N E T B R I G A D E - Official Web Site ] ] In the Summer of 2000 the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeled League of the South a "racist hate group" and issued a report filled with allegations of racist statements, especially by the League's President Michael Hill. [ [http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=250 SPLC article on League of South] ; also see [http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?pid=845#4 SPLC article on Michael Hill] .] According to a news article, Hill "welcomed the designation as a 'badge of honor'" and stated SPLC has "a very leftist agenda, these sorts of things are designed to discredit you publicly." [John DeSantis, [http://www.rickross.com/reference/league/league1.html Civil War revisionism all cited by watchdog group] , from The Sun Herald, September 7, 2000, reproduced at RickRoss.Com.]

In response to these types of allegations, the League of the South Board of Directors in 2005 issued a [http://dixienet.org/New%20Site/statementonracism.shtml "Statement on 'Racism'"] stating in part: “We believe that Christianity and social order require that all people, regardless of race, must be equal before the law. We do not believe that the law should be used to persecute, oppress, or favour any race or class. We believe that the only harmony possible between the races, as between all natural differences among human beings, begins in submitting to Jesus Christ's commandment to 'love our neighbours as ourselves.' That is the world we envision and work for."

During the 2006 [http://middleburyinstitute.org/secessionconvention2006.html First North American Secessionist Convention] when the issue of the League of the South and racism was raised, Don Kennedy, identified as ”a leader of the League of the South,” stated: "How can you believe in liberty and discriminate against your neighbor? Equality before the law is something we want, and we're on the record for that." [Paul Nussbaum "Philadelphia Inquirer' article November 6, 2006.] News stories about the [http://middleburyinstitute.org/secessionconvention2007.html Second North American Secessionist Convention] also mentioned the SPLC's allegations, as well as skeptical responses from convention attendees. Convention organizer Kirkpatrick Sale responded: "They call everybody racists. There are, no doubt, racists in the League of the South, and there are, no doubt, racists everywhere." [Bill Poovey, Associated Press, October 3, 2007; Leonard Doyle, Independent, UK, October 4, 2007.]

Members

The League's Board of Directors is composed of Michael Hill, Jack Kershaw, Ray McBerry, Franklin Sanders, Rev. Eugene Cas, Mark Thomey, Mike Tuggle. [ [http://www.leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/ls-bod/ls-board.html The League's website] ] Among the founding members were Thomas Fleming, Grady McWhiney and Clyde Wilson. [http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=253&printable=1 "The Neo-Confederates"] Southern Poverty Law Center] Other prominent individuals who have been LoS members include Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka (who was endorsed by the League), [ [http://www.peroutka2004.com/schedule/index.php?action=eventview&event_id=295 "League of the South Endorses Michael A. Peroutka for President of these united States"] accessed October 25, 2007] Michael Andrew Grissom, and Thomas Woods. [ [http://www.reason.com/news/show/36170.html "Behind the Jeffersonian Veneer"] "Reason Magazine", June 2005] Some prominent members, such as Woods and McWhiney, appear to have subsequently limited or ended their involvement with the organization.

Bibliography

# [http://leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/ls-intro.html What Is the League of the South?] , "Introductory Essays and Remarks: What Is the League of the South?" by Michael Hill.
# [http://leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/intro_articles/ls-faq.html The League of the South FAQ]
# [http://dixienet.org/New%20Site/index.shtml Official website] (To reach the Core Beliefs Statement, follow the links for "Daily Archives" to "February 2005" and "Announcements: Core Beliefs Statement.")
# [http://www.leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/intro_articles/ls-grand-strategy.html Grand Strategy] "The League's Grand Strategy."
# [http://www.leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/racism.htm League of the South Statement on Racism] by the League of the South Board of Directors, June 21, 2005.
# [http://www.leagueofthesouth.net/static/homepage/ls-bod/ls-board.html Board of Directors] "Meet the Board of Directors of the League of the South."

ee also

*List of not fully sovereign nations
*Military Order of the Stars and Bars
*Separatism
*Sons of Confederate Veterans
*Southern literature

External links

* [http://www.lsinstitute.org Scholarly papers articles and programs]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/nv/micronations/csa.html Confederate Reconstructionist Movements]
* [http://www.utpjournals.com/product/cras/323/sebesta.html Christianity and Confederate Nationalism] , "The US Civil War as a Theological War: Confederate Christian Nationalism and the League of the South", by Edward H. Sebesta and Euan Hague. Published in the Canadian Review of American Studies, 2002.

References


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