Here’s another except from Rhett: The Turbulent Life and Times of a Fire-Eater on the Enlightenment:
“And there was another threat. At Beaufort College, Barnwell Smith (Rhett) absorbed from Petigru a detestation of “pernicious dogmas” of what Smith (Rhett) called “the whole batch of French atheists and philosophers, who, by denying the weakness of our fallen nature, would set man against his fellow man, in vain efforts for abstract justice and equality, and vainer efforts for human perfectibility.” He rejected almost the whole of the Age of Reason out of hand. “Reason is a faculty of the mind – not a principle,” he would conclude. Noble as that faculty was, however, it was the most easily perverted. Men could twist reason to support the most flagrant sophistries, and the French in 1792 made it the basis of their postrevolutionary government as he saw it. Passion was natural and thus reasonable, and therefore not to be suppressed. If reason could dictate moral rectitude, then anything could be justified, no matter how unjust or perverse.”
This is also worth considering:
“It is only the strong man – strong in conscious rectitude, strong in convictions of truth, strong in the never-failing and eternal vindications of time – who can put aside the temptations of present power, and patiently submit to official inferiority,” he would say of Petigru. “Superficial observers may not understand,” he said, “the greatness of such a man.” It was a kind of greatness he would emulate if he could.
Rhett stood against public opinion in South Carolina for over thirty years until he triumphed in December 1860.
Note: As I have stressed repeatedly, there is really nothing new under the sun; all the debates that we are having today, the issues that we are considering and the solutions that have been proposed, have been debated and answered by our predecessors.
John C. Calhoun foresaw the rise of BRA as early as 1849.