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Lincoln as secular saint
06-15-2016, 10:50 AM
Post: #39
RE: Lincoln as secular saint
People change, and some people change a great deal. I think it’s impossible to conceive of the Lincoln of the 1840’s as any kind of “emancipator,” great or otherwise. I think he always hated slavery (perhaps because he viewed himself as a kind of “slave” when he was hired out by his father before Lincoln became twenty-one), but I don’t think he wanted to free slaves until midway through the Civil War. Lincoln’s reputation as the one who freed the slaves isn’t based much on the Emancipation Proclamation, which didn’t actually “free” slaves, but on the Thirteenth Amendment. Lincoln knew that any kind of presidential proclamation lasted only so long as a president wanted to keep it in force. But an Amendment was part of the Constitution and would defy any change to the executive branch of the government. So, midway through 1864, after the Senate had passed on April 8 an Amendment abolishing slavery, Lincoln began to work for the House of Representatives to pass the Senate’s bill. It passed the House January 31, 1865. Lincoln was so proud that he signed copies of the Amendment. It took a terrible war, enormous loss of life, and the Lincoln’s conviction that slavery was “the” cause of the war (see the Second Inaugural) to produce the Thirteenth Amendment.

So, did he “free” the slaves, and should he be venerated as a “secular saint”? I can’t imagine slavery being eradicated in the 1860’s without Lincoln’s efforts. Without him as president, who knows what would have happened? (Maybe no Civil War, but two countries, and slavery stays? Or perhaps bluster and more compromises, but slavery stays?) But, lucky us, he was president. I think Lincoln would reject the term “secular saint,” but he is wholly deserving of our deep love and respect.
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Messages In This Thread
Lincoln as secular saint - Juan Marrero - 05-20-2015, 12:50 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - RJNorton - 05-20-2015, 03:36 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Gene C - 05-20-2015, 03:16 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Gene C - 05-20-2015, 03:32 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - L Verge - 05-20-2015, 06:16 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Gene C - 05-21-2015, 08:59 AM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Wild Bill - 05-23-2015, 07:24 AM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - L Verge - 06-26-2015, 08:55 AM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - L Verge - 06-14-2016, 04:18 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Angela - 06-15-2016, 02:20 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - L Verge - 06-15-2016, 03:34 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - davg2000 - 06-15-2016 10:50 AM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - L Verge - 06-16-2016, 12:40 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Angela - 06-16-2016, 01:00 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - Angela - 06-17-2016, 02:29 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - LincolnMan - 01-22-2017, 01:16 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - RJNorton - 01-22-2017, 04:49 PM
RE: Lincoln as secular saint - LincolnMan - 01-23-2017, 04:38 PM

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