<Originally Published on: Jan. 17 2009 >
Chuck Baldwin and I do not see eye-to-eye on religious matters. I am an avowed Catholic, he an avowed Protestant. That said, the man has some uncommon common sense on social and political questions. Witness his recent laudatory comments about two real American heroes.
Perhaps I’m praising Pastor Baldwin’s piece because I agree with him? Fair question. This makes me recall a great line from Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons. It’s when the vain and capricious tyrant, Henry VIII, tells Sir Thomas Moore, “Your taste in music is excellent. It exactly coincides with my own!”
Let the record speak for itself. If Lee and Jackson were great men, Pastor Baldwin is right, and not just because his views coincide exactly with my own.
If you’re interested in my own views, by the way — I thought you’d never ask! — see An Alternative American Culture III (skip down to “Military Culture“). See also Gary Potter’s excellent “Catholicism and the Old South.” Finally, Robert E. Lee is well treated in R. Cort Kirkwood’s Real Men: Ten Courageous Americans to Know and Admire.
Chuck Baldwin’s piece reads, in part:
Instead of allowing a politically correct culture to sully the memory of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson, all Americans should hold them in a place of highest honor and respect. Anything less is a disservice to history and a disgrace to the principles of truth and integrity.
Accordingly, it was more than appropriate that the late President Gerald Ford, on August 5, 1975, signed Senate Joint Resolution 23, “restoring posthumously the long overdue, full rights of citizenship to General Robert E. Lee.” According to President Ford, “This legislation corrects a 110-year oversight of American history.” He further said, “General Lee’s character has been an example to succeeding generations . . .”
The significance of the lives of Generals Lee and Jackson cannot be overvalued. While the character and influence of most of us will barely be remembered two hundred days after our departure, the sterling character of these men has endured for two hundred years. What a shame that so many of America’s youth are being robbed of knowing and studying the virtue and integrity of the great General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.