Sunday, April 21, 2013

Confederate "Heritage" Month 2013, April 21: Celebrating treason on behalf of slavery

I post here occasionally in response to Bro. Wade "Sword of Vengeance" Burleson, whjo uses his blog to spread John Birch Society politics along with the Good News of the Gospel.

Bro. Sword-of-Vengeance indulges in a bit of neo-Confederate history himself, further illustrating his general political-social outlook, in The Charitable Spirit of R.E. Lee Toward His Enemies Istoria Ministries Blog 03/09/2012, encouraging the neo-Confederate canonization of the military leader whose armies killed far more American soldiers than any group with "Al Qa'ida" in its name ever did. "The world would be a better place were we all able to exhibit Lee's charitable spirit toward those who consider us their enemy," he writes.

Robert E. Lee, the Christ figure of the Lost Cause

The world would be a better place if there weren't people like Robert E. Lee in it who was willing to fight a bloody four-year war to defend slavery.

Along the same lines is his post on one of those convicted of participating in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln: The Challenges of Life Reveal True Character: Samuel Mudd and His Imprisonment at the Dry Tortugas 05/20/2012. To put it mildly, not everyone takes such a benign view of Mudd's role in the assassination as Bro. Wade does; see, for instance: Doug Linder, The Trial of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators (2009) UMKC website, including the article on Dr. Samuel Mudd; Edward Steers Jr., His Name Is Still Mud (1997) and Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln (2001); and, the long review by Phillip Stone of Blood on the Moon and two other books in Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 27/1 (Winter 2006).

Bro. Wade goes to some lengths to dismiss any involvement of Mudd in the assassination plot, e.g., "Both Dr. Mudd and his wife swore to their graves that Dr. Mudd had no knowledge of the President's death when he treated Booth's leg, and even had he known, he would have been obligated by the Hippocratic Oath to treat the assassin." It would presumably come as a surprise to Hippocrates that his oath also forbade notifying the law that an assassin who had just shot your country's leader was in your house. As Phillip Stone writes:

In light of this [repeated previous] exposure to Booth [on the part of Mudd - something Bro. Wade also minimizes], it is not credible that Dr. Mudd, even in the pre-dawn of April 15, while examining and treating someone in his home, did not recognize Booth, a famous actor, a particularly handsome man, and a man with whom he had had an extended conversation less than four months earlier. Even with a false beard, and certainly in the ensuing hours of daylight, Booth would have been recognizable. The suspicion that Mudd was not telling the truth is corroborated by his claim that he left these strangers in his home with his wife and children, went to town for supplies, learned of the assassination and even Booth's involvement, but said nothing. Later, he started to realize that it was indeed Booth at his house. When he returned home, he told his wife, but because of her fears of being left there alone again if he should return to town to tell the authorities, he waited until the next day. Even at that point, he provided the information only through his cousin. The most dramatic news in Dr. Mudd's entire life was breaking around his own home and, even after realizing who Booth was, he delayed going to authorities. Steers has it right: These are the actions of a man who knowingly treated and sheltered Booth. [my emphasis]
But to admirers of the Lost Cause, Lincoln was the evil Yankee dictator, quite a different man from the Christ-like traitor Robert E. Lee. So it's not surprising that Lost Cause advocates jump to the defense of his murderers.

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