Monday, February 12, 2007

Abraham Lincoln

From the Freedom From Religion Foundation

On this date in 1809, the 16th U.S. president,
Abraham Lincoln, was born in Hardin County, Kentucky. Largely self-educated, he worked on farms, splitting those famous rails, and clerking at a store. Lincoln spent eight years in the Illinois legislature and also rode the circuit of courts for many years. He married Mary Todd; only one of their four sons lived to adulthood. While seeking the nomination for Congress, Lincoln ruefully wrote Martin M. Morris, of Petersburg, Illinois, that "There was the strangest combination of church influence against me . . . everywhere contended that no Christian ought to vote for me because I belonged to no Church, [and] was suspected of being a Deist." (March 26, 1843, Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Nicolay & Hay edition.)

“Mr. Lincoln was never a member of any Church, nor did he believe in the divinity of Christ, or the inspiration of the Scriptures in the sense understood by evangelical Christians.

When a boy, he showed no sign of that piety which his many biographers ascribe to his manhood. When he went to church at all, he went to mock, and came away to mimic.

When he came to New Salem, he consorted with Freethinkers, joined with them in deriding the gospel story of Jesus, read Volney and Paine, and then wrote a deliberate and labored essay, wherein he reached conclusions similar to theirs.”
-- Colonel Ward H. Lamon (a religionist and Lincoln's longtime friend), Life of Abraham Lincoln, pp. 486, 487, 157 (1872), cited by Franklin Steiner in The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents


Jason H. Bowden said...

Nice to see pro-freedom, pro-business Republicans who stay the course when things get tough get some praise on this blog.


Stardust said...

From Wiki:

He [Lincoln] spoke out against the Mexican-American War, which he attributed to President Polk's desire for "military glory — that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood." Besides this rhetoric, he also directly challenged Polk's claims as to the boundary of Texas.[12] Lincoln was among the 82 Whigs in January 1848 who defeated 81 Democrats in a procedural vote on an amendment to send a routine resolution back to committee with instructions for the committee to add the words "a war unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States."

(sounds familiar,doesn't it?)

Jason H. Bowden said...


Sounds familiar? Well, yes. In the Mexican War, there was a formal declaration of war by Congress on May 13th, 1846. On October 11th 2002, Congress with bipartisan support voted yes on a bill unambiguously titled 'Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq'.

Just as opposition to the current war can't be understood without understanding the dogmas of the day -- mulitculturalism, socialism, internationalism -- opposition to the Mexican War cannot be understood without slavery.

Texas rebelled against Mexico in 1836 in part because Mexico banned slavery in 1829. Members of the religious right in the United States saw slavery as an abomination and wanted to stop increasing the number of slave states. They managed to keep Texas out of the Union until 1845, when Democrats had control of Congress and the White House. The War with Mexico was viewed by many in this context-- stopping the war was identified with stopping slavery.