The last thing Abraham Lincoln heard before he died was the gunshot that knocked him to the floor of his balcony at Ford Theatre. We don’t know if Lincoln retained a last shred of consciousness as he lay there dying, but if he did, my bet is that he would have asked himself one final question: who shot me?
Not who as in the identity of the specific person who pulled the trigger. That wouldn’t have mattered much to him by then, given how he had already suffered to hold The Middle of this nation together. But rather, who in the sense of which of the two groups of splitters dwelling at the opposite and skinny ends of the nation had engineered his demise—was it the racist slaveholders or the vengeful abolitionists who had launched the bullet that would kill him?
Abraham Lincoln agreed with the vengeful abolitionists that slavery was an abomination, an ugly stain upon our Constitutional contract of guaranteed liberty. Like all Minivan Centurions, he believed that no man could be truly free until all men fully enjoyed the promises of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness enshrined in the Declaration of Independence by our founding fathers. But he also believed that this new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal must be preserved at all costs. In this (as in all things) Lincoln was an Andist, a Liberal committed to the Radical Notions upon which this was nation was founded.
The slaveholders were Orists. They insisted upon the preservation of their evil institution and demanded that those, like Lincoln, who shared the abolitionist view set aside their beliefs, or they would see the union split apart. As a result, they hated Lincoln for his Andism and the courage, strength, and commitment with which he led the battle to hold The Middle.
Nor was it enough for the vengeful abolitionists that Lincoln agreed with them that slavery was an unadulterated evil, or even that he had prosecuted a horrible civil war to see it washed in blood from our land. They also demanded that the entire South be punished—not only the actual slaveholders, but also every single citizen and resident of any state that had seceded, regardless of whether they had owned a slave, participated in the war, or even sympathized with the views of the racists who dominated their state’s governance.
Like the slaveholders, they were Orists who insisted upon Lincoln’s full agreement, and were enraged when he responded do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? That was not enough for the vengeful abolitionists. They demanded that the earth be salted with Southern blood so that nothing would ever grow there again—a clamor for vengeance to which Lincoln refused to accede.
To those hellbent on punishing an oppressor, a man committed instead to freeing the oppressed is an enemy, because in doing so he threatens to eradicate the fetid carrion upon which the punisher feeds himself and deny him the vengeful desires of his hateful heart. As a result, like the slaveholders, the vengeful abolitionists despised Lincoln for his Andism and the courage, strength, and commitment with which he led the defense of The Middle.
So, as he lay their dying, Abraham Lincoln would not have known which group of splitters had killed him. But he would have known that in the end that it did not matter, because both sides worked for the same dark principal: the Splitter, that fallen angel and progenitor of all that is foul and unholy in this broken world.
If you are considering joining that Cadre, we have five simple questions for you:
· Is it your primary purpose to love and protect your family?
· Are you an asset to your community?
· Do you accept the Radical Notions of Liberty upon which this nation was founded?
· Are you willing to defend what you say you believe and fight to hold The Middle?
· Will you stay in that fight until the end?
If you answered yes to each of these questions, then you are a man who shares the Credo of the Minivan Centurion and understands that Freedom Park is a mere hundred-acre Eden in the heart of New Jerusalem where the police are unnecessary because it is blessed with enough daddies to hold the line.
But you are also a man who recognizes that America is much more than that. It is Freedom’s Park, a vast nation between two shining seas raised up by the Creator as a bright beacon of hope in this darkened world. And you would know that it is a place worth defending at all costs.
And yet, despite that knowledge, you might still hesitate to join the Cadre that is dedicated to leading that defense. Why me, you might ask, isn’t there someone else? If that is where you are, we have only a single and final question for you: if for lack of men willing to stand and fight for The Middle, the now dimming light of Liberty is allowed to finally and fully flicker out in Freedom’s Park, what then in this broken world for those placed under your protection by the Creator? What then for them, my brother?
And what then for you when you return home to Him to account for all that you have done and all that you have left undone while you were here?