Ross Franklin, Ph.D.
Colonel, United States Army (Ret)
Dear Col. Franklin:
This is my answer to the questions you raised in your letter to Chet McWhorter. They are good questions, deserving of thorough and accurate answers. I regret that I cannot provide thorough answers here and now, but I am glad to point you in the direction of accurate information.
IGNORANCE indicates a lack of knowledge, either in general or of a particular point. [from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.; 1981)]
We read in the Book of Acts that Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee the son of a Pharisee, and a pupil of Gamaliel. He had been taught from his early youth that Judaism was the One Correct Way to worship the One True God. According to the information he had received, his opposition to Christianity was totally correct. Indeed, had he done anything else, he would have been less than true to his teachings.
Saul was no lukewarm believer. He put his beliefs into action. He actively led the movement to pull Christianity up by its roots and end it once and for all.
Saul’s zeal and devotion to duty are above criticism. The only drawback was that he was reasoning from incomplete information. He was missing one important piece of the puzzle: that Christianity was the fulfillment of Judaism, not a perversion of it. When that information was imparted to him (rather dramatically!) en route to Damascus, and he received it, he continued to put his beliefs into action based on his new, complete, knowledge. Under the Latin version of his name (Paul) he became the greatest missionary of New Testament times.
Before the Damascus Road incident, Saul reasoned from ignorance (“lack of knowledge of a particular point“). After that incident, he (as Paul) reasoned from knowledge.
Many people believe that Abraham Lincoln was a great American. Some believe he was almost divine. Plenty of information can be cited to support that conclusion, and those observers who rely solely upon that information are justified in drawing that conclusion.
The true seeker after information, however, does not base his conclusions solely upon the surface information. Rather, he gathers all the information he can find before he draws a conclusion.
There exists a large body of information that, when known, makes it obvious that Abraham Lincoln was, far from being the hero so many people suppose him to be, a thorough rotter. As a start on receiving this information, I respectfully invite your attention to two books:
Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed To Know about Dishonest Abe, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo (New York: Crown Forum, 2006)
Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream, by Lerone Bennett, junior (Chicago: Johnson Publishing Company, 2000)
When you have finished those two books, I shall be glad to suggest others.
So then, Col. Franklin: You can be a Saul and continue to consider Lincoln to be the greatest American who ever lived, or you can get more information and be a Paul.
As for divisiveness, and refighting the War: I and my brother and sister Southrons are being attacked today, even as we were in the 1860s. Please explain why we should lie down and take that abuse.
We do not spend our time demanding that the thirteen-stripe flag – the successor to the flag that oversaw the wholesale massacre and rape and spoliation of our ancestors – be done away with – but plenty and plenty of people are demanding that we cease honoring our chief cultural emblem: The Confederate Battle Flag.
You say you have never met anyone who has a problem with Lincoln. Should you ever find yourself within a hundred miles of Shreveport, Louisiana, please let me know. I will stand you to a meal so that you can say “Not only have I met someone who has a problem with Abraham Lincoln, but I have dined with him.”
Abraham Lincoln is certainly very much written about. So is Adolf Hitler. The two are more similar than most people think.
I look forward to corresponding further with you, should you so wish.
Clifton Palmer McLendon, BAAS (CJ)
Abraham Lincoln #2