SES President Dr. Richard Land: Why Should US Military Bases Be Renamed That Honor Confederate Generals?
June 15, 2020
CHARLOTTE, N.C.— There is considerable controversy surrounding the name change of U.S. Military bases and President Trump said he “will not even consider” renaming military bases named for Confederates.
Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, http://www.ses.edu) President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land wrote in his most recent “Christian Post” column, “Ask Dr. Land,” that, “The U.S. military needs to change the names of the ten military bases across the South that were named for Confederate generals (the best known of these are Ft. Hood in Texas, Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, Ft. Benning in Georgia, Ft. Polk in Louisiana and Ft. Lee in Virginia).
“It is well past time to rename the ten U.S. Army bases in the South that are named in honor of Confederate generals.
“I grew up in a home with approximately twelve ancestors having fought for each side in the American Civil War. This is a consequence of having ancestors who immigrated from England to Virginia (father) and Boston (mother) by the mid-17th century. Nobody is more proud of their history and heritage than Bostonians and Texans.
“That background, plus majoring in American history in college, plus having experienced the victories and failures of the civil rights revolution first hand as a teenager in the early 1960s, have given me a significant degree of the awareness of the enormous impact the American original sin of slavery has had on our country. These bases are named in honor of men who swore an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and took up arms against the U.S. government whose bases these are. The fact of these ten bases is divisive, hurtful, and indefensible, as well as being just plain wrong.
“Now, the most controversial part of this discussion. These generals took up arms against the U.S. in order to defend slavery. Yes, there were other issues involved, but they were all derived directly from the slavery issue. Without the existence of American chattel slavery in the Southern states, there would not have been a civil war.
“Granted, these bases were mainly opened in the first decades of the 20th century, where there was still rancor in the South from the Civil War. Naming these bases after Confederate generals was no doubt an attempt to bring about national healing and reconciliation at least between white Southern and Northerners. So, perhaps the original naming of these bases after Confederate generals was motivated by a spirit of national reconciliation.”
“However, we thankfully live in a different, better, more inclusive country, where a different kind of reconciliation is desperately needed. Our U.S. military has led the way in my ways in bringing about racial reconciliation in our nation. That is one reason why African-Americans make up 22% of the Army’s ranks while representing just 13% of the American population. Imagine how those black soldiers and their families and loved ones must feel residing on, and training at, military bases honoring men who fought to maintain the enslavement of their ancestors. Such a circumstance is immoral and repugnant.”
“Frankly, I did not know until last week, and I doubt most Americans knew, these bases were named for Confederate generals. Now we know, and with knowledge comes responsibility. In the spirit of reconciliation, with our African American fellow citizens, we must rename these bases immediately and cease and desist from needlessly offending our fellow citizens who are serving our country and defending everyone’s freedom.”
Land explores topics like these in his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” as well as in his weekly column for The Christian Post, “Ask Dr. Land,” where he serves as executive editor. Land also routinely teaches classes at SES, where he discussed these issues along with many others with students. Learn about SES classes here or visit ses.edu/apply.
SES has announced its 2020 National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA), set for Oct. 16-17 in Charlotte. The seminary will focus on the theme of “Hold Fast” for the 27th annual conference by welcoming some of the nation’s top apologetics speakers. The early bird deadline for tickets is Aug. 1.
To interview Dr. Richard Land of Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or ext. 102.