The Yellowhammer Declaration
Our Philosophy. Our Principles. Our Promises.
Yellowhammer News promotes and protects what we love – Alabama, and the people and culture that make her great.
From the foothills of the Appalachians to the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama is a wonderful place to live, an even better place to raise a family, and a smart place to do business.
Yellowhammer thinks that’s all worth talking about.
But we’re not an ordinary news organization. We’re not here just to tell stories. We’re here to tell stories that connect our state’s conservatives together, to celebrate our successes and learn from our failures, to focus on issues we should consider and to highlight those we cannot ignore.
If you see it posted on Yellowhammer, it’s because our editors and contributors believe it unveils the good, the true, and the beautiful, or unmasks the bad, the false, and the foul. Whatever it may be, it’ll be something you’ll need to know.
While doing so, our experienced and insightful team will offer thoughtful commentary, sharp analysis and meaningful stories that we collect, develop and share from the principled conservative perspective that you’ve been looking for.
Among those principles are:
— Recognition of an enduring moral order, the sense of right and wrong that has built modern society.
— Adherence to time-tested traditions that give us our shared identity and have shaped our culture.
— Appreciation for established institutions and practices that have already solved many of the problems we face today.
— Preference for variety, which stands in stark contrast to the colorless uniformity of progressivism.
— Recognition that often tradition and change must be reconciled, keeping that which is proven while accepting that which improves.
— Belief in the interdependence of liberty and property – both physical and intellectual. A man owns himself and the product of his work, or he owns neither.
— Trust in voluntary community association, both public and private, with more local, decentralized decision-making and accountability.
— Acknowledgement of mankind’s imperfectability and thus our inability to devise the perfect plan or program.
— Doubt, or the good sense to distrust idealistic promises, to move slowly, to consider long-term consequences, and to prefer gradual, tested reforms over unproven radical change.
— Distrust in centralized power, thus the need to check and balance both powerful institutions and individuals.
From these broad principles spring ideas like the First Amendment protections of religion, speech, the press and assembly, the Second Amendment protection to keep and bear arms, the notions of limited government, free markets, the rule of law, and many other concepts that bind the sweeping and diverse landscape of conservatism together.
Like you, Yellowhammer believes in these ideals and, with your help, stands ready to promote and defend them on this site and elsewhere.
But that’s only what we do. You are the reason why we do it.
That’s because conservatives in our nation, even in our state, are seeing their way of life radically change.
Our families are breaking apart, dissolving into dysfunctional systems where fathers and mothers are devalued, often missing.
Our schools are educating children in someone else’s worldview, with different values, goals and aspirations than past generations.
Our workplaces have been intimidated into becoming hostile to faith and reason yet welcoming, often mandating, anything else.
Our churches have been pressured to adopt a secular agenda, teaching truth as the culture would like it, not as the Word revealed it.
And our government is taking more of our money, more of our decisions, more of our liberty, and offers less and less in return.
The opposition continues to count victories, blocking our efforts in the legislatures and overturning them in the courts.
Meanwhile, the establishment wing of the conservative movement fails to keep or deliver on its promises, as if its members have a right to their offices. The insurgents, however, want to recklessly burn everything to the ground, as if we could govern with 20 percent of the vote. At times we seem hopelessly adrift. Other times we seem stubbornly immoveable.
Some believe this is the natural way of things. Move over, the revolutionaries say, your time is over. This is a new era, with new values for a new … and much changed … America.
Yellowhammer’s conservative community, like the greats before it, “stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”
Not all is lost. Like the bird from which we take our name, the Yellowhammer community will triumphantly greet the dawn, finding cause for hope and reason to sing … and sing loudly.
Because within the tides of a shifting culture, conservatives in our nation, and especially in our state, are standing with strength and courage.
You seek to sustain healthy marriages, and your spouses and children are vibrant contributors to our community.
You seek educational opportunity, particularly for those less fortunate, by fighting for schools that are safe and committed to educational excellence.
You labor to create workplaces that are more productive and innovative than ever, to improve our lives and our economy.
You support churches with your time, talent and treasure, teaching and spreading the Word near and far.
And those who lead—many of you are faithfully representing our interests and our values.
In these challenging yet hopeful times, Yellowhammer News will stand by your side, connecting you with others who believe as you do, to help guide our state and our nation to even greater heights of prosperity, liberty and faithfulness.
How will we do that?
We will earn your trust by keeping these promises:
We promise our readers that:
— We will say what we mean, mean what we say, but never be mean when we say it.
— We will tell the truth, even when it hurts and especially when it’s unpopular.
— We will advocate for ideas and individuals who represent you and your interests.
— We will only publish content that is worth your time.
— We will always respect you, your beliefs, your faith and your way of life.
— We will respect our state’s rich history, its vibrant culture, and its diverse communities.
— We will never yield to pressure to go against our principles or beliefs.
We promise ourselves that:
— We will remain true to our principles.
— We will never compromise our integrity.
— We will abide by the letter and spirit of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, developing content with both integrity and perspective.
— We will hold ourselves accountable, correct ourselves if we fail to meet our editorial standards, and apologize if we fall short of our behavioral standards.
Most importantly, we promise our Lord that we will not waste this gift and responsibility that he has given us, because the ability and opportunity to communicate and connect – to speak – is not only a fundamental right of every American, it’s an essential part of fulfilling Christ’s commission; and it is indeed central to the entire Judeo-Christian tradition we have built our society upon.
And now, we begin.
J. Pepper Bryars, Editor, Yellowhammer News
November 2, 2017