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Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
01-02-2016, 05:39 AM
Post: #136
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
(01-01-2016 01:32 PM)maharba Wrote:  "I see supposed 'fragments' on this and that in dead letter Lincoln material: Niagra Falls, Golden apples, etc. This 'meditation' fragment sounds to me like future material being cooked for what amounted to another speech, the 2nd Inaugural..wonder how many other 'fragments' of Lincoln's may still be out there."

Of this fragment John Hay wrote, "It was not written to be seen of men. It was penned in the awful sincerity of a perfectly honest soul trying to bring himself into closer communion with its Maker."

Do you feel John Hay was also part of the "grand deception" that Lincoln was faking a belief in God for "public consumption?"
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01-02-2016, 07:20 AM
Post: #137
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
Here are some thoughts that occurred to me in the wee hours of the morning.

I suppose it could be argued that most of us don't really believe in God, or else why do we act the way we do so much of the time? If the Southerners really believed in God and the Bible, how could they justify slavery? If the Northerners really believed in God and the Bible, how could they also believe that certain human beings don't qualify for equal rights and equal opportunity? What about the Golden Rule, which is the essence of Christianity?

While the U.S. Constitution may not have approved of slavery, it did recognize it as a legal institution. So did Lincoln and the Radical Republicans and the people who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, have a legal right to free all the slaves? Some borderline southern states did not secede from the Union, yet their slaves were also freed. If the states that did secede were no longer a part of the Union, how could Lincoln have a right to force them back into the Union and take away their slaves? If he thought they had no legal right to withdraw from the Union and had never actually left it, what gave him a legal right to take away their slaves?

What is the primary duty of a president of a country? Isn't it to represent the people of the country and to protect them and their interests? It could be said that Lincoln and the Radical Republicans were the instigators of the Civil War because it was Lincoln's stance against the expansion of slavery into the Territories that caused the Southern states to secede. If he was going to take such a stance, he should have been as absolutely certain as possible how the Southerners would react to it, and he should have had some clue that they wouldn't just roll over and give up. Was it in the best interests of the people of the country to lose 2% of the population in the war and to shatter families all across the country? Even the slaves were not much better off for a very long time after their "freedom". Surely there must have been a better way to end slavery while also preserving the Union and democracy for future generations.
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01-02-2016, 08:48 AM
Post: #138
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
(01-02-2016 07:20 AM)My Name Is Kate Wrote:  If he was going to take such a stance, he should have been as absolutely certain as possible how the Southerners would react to it, and he should have had some clue that they wouldn't just roll over and give up.

Hi Kate. I think Alexander Stephens, who would later become Vice-President of the Confederate States, tried to warn Lincoln of this in a letter dated December 30, 1860. Among other things Stephens wrote, "The leading object seems to be simply, and wantonly, if, you please, to put the institutions of nearly half the States under the ban of public opinion and national condemnation. This, upon general principles, is quite enough of itself to arouse a spirit not only of general indignation, but of revolt on the part of the proscribed...I entreat you be not deceived as to the nature and extent of the danger."
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01-03-2016, 05:44 AM
Post: #139
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
Very well considered and stated, Kate. I agree with most all you said there.

And Roger, you ask,

Do you feel John Hay was also part of the "grand deception" that Lincoln was faking a belief in God for "public consumption?"

I think that John Hay and John Nicolay tried their best to reframe and rehabilitate (against other biographies) the Legend of Abraham Lincoln. There is the recent book,
Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's Image". And I read a good article on that in some
magazine, recently. And they knowingly glossed over and made
changes to the real history, they both knew. Let's give full credit to Bill Herndon. He alone assembled a solid biography of Lincoln, and he made a lot of (Northern) enemies in the process.
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01-03-2016, 12:51 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2016 03:11 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #140
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
Re: "Let's give full credit to Bill Herndon. He alone assembled a solid biography of Lincoln". I disagree, he glossed, too, but in the way that suited and served his personal beliefs, imagination, and bias. I hope you will read D. Donald's Herndon biography to learn something about Herndon's thinking and way to "make" his Lincoln works. Herndon himself was a staunch atheist and probably not capable of empathy (not only as for this topic), i.e. to relate to someone, the least someone so dear to him with whom he felt had shared this view, could change to a different mindset and develop faith.
While I have great respect for Herndon's efforts (also to put together a lot of legends) his conclusions IMO (and not only in mine) are questionable.
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01-03-2016, 02:29 PM
Post: #141
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
(01-03-2016 05:44 AM)maharba Wrote:  He alone assembled a solid biography of Lincoln

Maharba, why do you feel that among all the biographies of Abraham Lincoln that Herndon's is the only "solid biography?"
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01-03-2016, 05:39 PM
Post: #142
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
Why only Herndon? You could frame it like the Apostles. When the one fell out, they chose another, and the necessary qualifications included having been with Him, from the outset. William Herndon met those qualifications, while Nicolay and Hay did not. Still, having known Lincoln from very early times, Herndon did what no one else did. He actually traveled the country and took statements from folks who had known Lincoln in even his earlier youth. We all like to believe in the Freedom of the Press and that authors and reporters genuinely do such in-depth investigation. But, in fact, they rarely did and far less so, today. Nicolay and Hay were balked of the really good material from Robert Lincoln to begin with, and then only shown some of his father's material later. How much did Robert Lincoln burn of Lincoln letters and personal notes? WHAT was in there which might have been so embarrassing or so volatile? We'll never know. How many death threats did Lincoln receive? How many did poor Boston Corbett get? How many more did William Herndon get, I wonder, yet? Countless Northern families had lost the flower of their generation in a bizarre invasion of the South, and none of them wanted to hear that they may have been deceived into joining it, that their sons and fathers died in vain, or that Lincoln was anything less than the kindest most honest and Christian man in history. Herndon's material infuriated them, and they would not hear it.
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01-03-2016, 05:50 PM (This post was last modified: 01-03-2016 05:52 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #143
RE: Lincoln's Christianity by Michael Burkhimer
Herndon didn't witness Lincoln in his presidential years anymore, his views and words of which period is what we are mainly discussing. Nicolay and Hay did witness. Maharba, you still haven't replied to why you don't believe people can change views and develop faith, especially in the course of a war. And, please, do read Herndon's bio.
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