Missouri House member apologizes for Civil War comment

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | 1:42 p.m. CST; updated 6:46 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 10, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House member has apologized for any offense caused when he referred to the Civil War as the "War of Northern Aggression."

The comment from Rep. Bryan Stevenson came during debate Tuesday on a resolution urging federal leaders to oppose an abortion proposal that could overrule many state-level restrictions.

The Republican from the southwest Missouri town of Webb City said it would be the "greatest power grab by the federal government since the War of Northern Aggression."

The remark prompted House member Don Calloway, a Democrat from St. Louis, to request an apology. Calloway, who is black, said the Civil War restored the union and freed the slaves and it was inappropriate to call it "Northern aggression."

Stevenson responded that he is "sincerely apologetic for any offense my comment made."

The House didn't vote on the abortion resolution.

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Rachel Brekhus February 10, 2009 | 2:56 p.m.

Rep. Stevenson's non-apology apology, in which he apologized not for his comment, but for another person's reaction to it, is more insulting than a straight-up lack of apology woiuld have been.

At least now the rest of the state knows that, in this 200th anniversary year of Abe Lincoln's birth, the end of slavery and the preservation of the union are not particularly valuable to Rep. Stevenson., and that the only thing he thinks needs to be apologized for is others' insistence on valuing them.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 3:18 p.m.

The problem I have is the worship of Lincoln. The picture we were painted as school children is quite different from the "real" Lincoln, the man who suspended habeas corpus and other acts that are usually pinned on a recent ex-President.

I'm not certain that preservation of the union is all it's cracked up to be. Seems to me if a sovereign state joined the union that it should be free to leave the union if its citizens decided thus.

(Report Comment)

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