Kos over at Daily Kos stirred up a hornet's nest by asking the difference between wearing a Confederate Flag t-shirt and one with Osama bin Laden. As I write this a day and a half after Kos's post, he has 129 comments. My friend Sam Heldman has had two good thoughts to add to the controversy, here and here.
Here's my effort at cognitive dissonance to break through in a way that Sam might or might not approve of:
The Civil War was about slavery. The South seceded because of slavery. Oh, no, you say, it was "states' rights." States' rights to do what? Well, let's look at the record. South Carolina seceded complaining about the refusal of northern states to return runaway slaves. If slavery wasn't the cause of SC's secession, what was?
Alabama seceded and invited other "slaveholding states" to meet for a convention to create a new government. If slavery wasn't the point of secession, why did Alabama invite just the slaveholding states?
Also see Sam's citation of a speech of Vice President Alexander Stephens.
Here ends the lesson, as we say in church.