(Note from Mike: As time gets close, I wanted to get these words out while my mind is still clear. Don't write my obituary just yet, but these words needed saying.)
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. -- Ephesians, Chapter 4, 1-6.
"I love my country, my God and my kind. I have served them all and I want no praise of song or prose." -- C.C. Sheats, Alabama Unionist
Valediction of a Three Percenter
For many years I have introduced myself as a Christian libertarian who believed in God, free men, free markets, the rule of law under the Founders' Republic, and that the Constitution extended to everyone regardless of race, creed, color or religion. As I take my leave from this existence, I must admit that the Constitution, as the Founders crafted it, is now or soon will be dead -- killed by corruption and collectivism and mostly by our own sloth and moral cowardice in opposing its enemies.
Yet if the Constitution is dead as an organizing and unifying force in this nation, the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights can never die as long as there remain free men and women who believe in the Founders' vision. This is the essence of the Three Percent, that no matter how small our numbers are -- if we remain armed and determined -- we may yet preserve the flickering flame of liberty.
However principled, you must still be clearheaded about the realities facing us. We are on the brink of chaos that will make the agonies of the former Yugoslavia look like child's play. Anyone who believes otherwise is whistling past the graveyard of history. There will be no deliverance from the rigged game of national politics. If any of our traditional liberties are to be saved it will be on a local basis of community, county and church, secured by your own efforts, your own organization, with your own friends and neighbors according to the principles enunciated by the Founders. I envisioned the Three Percent movement with that local focus in mind, as a philosophy, a discipline, of the armed citizenry. I enunciated some of these in the Three Percent Catechism. The growth of the concept has been startling. Yet many of those who claim to be "Three Percenters" haven't a clue about the principles upon which the movement was founded. While the concept of a determined minority of the armed citizenry has continued to grow, so has confusion about the mission of the Three Percent and how that mission should be carried out. I summed up the Catechism in this way:
"These four principles -- moral strength, physical readiness, no first use of force and no targeting of innocents -- are the hallmarks of the Three Percent ideal. Anyone who cannot accept them as a self-imposed discipline in the fight to restore the Founders' Republic should find something else to do and cease calling themselves a "Three Percenter."
As said in the Washington Post just this morning by B.J. Soper of the Central Oregon Constitutional Guard: "If we're going to effect change it has to be done at a local level." Anything that takes time and resources from such local efforts is a waste that we cannot afford. At its most basic and irreducible, what the Three Percent movement was designed to do was to REBUILD THE CONCEPT OF CITIZENSHIP, one citizen at a time. This begins with you, with each and every one of us. Citizenship is defined by the dictionary as "the state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen." Three Percenters are insistent about all three of those components of citizenship, that is why our collectivist would-be masters are so hateful and afraid of us -- we actually take citizenship seriously, as a way of life, and not just a word. This attitude makes us scary even to folks who silently agree with what we say -- we LIVE what they CLAIM to believe. But that is the difference between a citizen and a subject, between free people and mere inhabitants of a place. If I am remembered at all, let me be known as a citizen of the Founders' Republic.
Not long after my doctor gave me the final prognosis, I was told by a reader that I would be recalled as someone "who taught us how to fight on every battlefield." It was humbling to me for him to say so, but that is what a citizen does -- he fights on every battlefield to best of his ability and resources. And if after I am gone the Three Percent movement should prove to be my living monument, it will be because it is made up of citizens of the Founders' Republic, faithful to their vision and to God's will and purpose.
God has blessed me throughout my life with many friends and supporters. I could not have accomplished anything without them. They are all truly citizens in all senses of the word. I am proud to have known you. It has been an honor. Now I leave you behind on this battlefield to carry on the fight. I wish I could stick around but God seems to have a different schedule in mind. Your futures and those of my family -- all our families, our friends -- indeed our country as envisioned by the Founders as well as our entire way of life are in your own hands, yourselves alone, subject to the will and infinite power of God. God does not promise us victory. He does command us to stand. The Founders bent their knees in prayerful supplication to the Almighty. I believe that the string of improbable events that comprised the miracle of the Revolution can be ascribed to nothing less than God's will. He may yet provide others.
But absent a miracle, your victory will be won by citizens rising to the duties and challenges of citizenship. It will be won one citizen, one locality, one community at a time -- according to the example of the Founders, organizing fellow citizens in the light of Three Percent principles.
As for me I have tried to live up to the epitaph of Chris Sheats, an Alabamian who I long ago admired as a member of my pantheon of American heroes:
"I love my country, my God and my kind. I have served them all and I want no praise of song or prose."