Don Roberts’ column, “In search of the Republican soul,” Aug. 26, bemoans the removal of “statues and plaques recognizing the history of the Civil War.” Nonsense. The statues and plaques in question were deliberately erected by Confederate sympathizers to glorify traitors and intimidate black Americans.

It is no accident that their appearance coincided with periods of KKK marches, lynchings, and Jim Crow laws. Nor is it an accident that today’s white supremacists rally around these symbols (as well as the Confederate battle flag).

Confederate monuments only ensure that our country will never heal. There is absolutely nothing to be admired about the Confederate rebellion and no reason to place any of its leaders on a pedestal. These were men who fought to preserve a white supremacist society based on slavery.

Many Germans fought for the supremacy of their country and the Aryan race in World War II, yet no one has erected statues to honor Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering, or even Erwin Rommel. No one encounters public statues honoring those who sent people to forced labor camps. No Jewish student attends Heinrich Himmler High School.

Roberts blames our nation’s ills on “the loss of our cradle faith, Christianity.” The slaveholders were “Christians.” So too Confederate soldiers, KKK members, white supremacists, even most of today’s Republicans.

Do their actions reflect Christ’s teachings in any way?

Roberts says that Republicans have the correct priorities for our nation. They merely need to “market” them with more “political finesse.” In other words, he wants them to put some lipstick on the pig, hoping we won’t recognize it’s the same pig.

As long as the Republican party pursues its current un-Christian agenda, it will never possess a soul. Its race-baiter-in-chief certainly doesn’t have one; he’s just a heel.

John R. Merrill

Augusta