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Atheists Claim Abraham Lincoln as One of Their Own
The Christian Diarist ^ | November 20, 2012 | JP

Posted on 11/20/2012 1:47:47 PM PST by CHRISTIAN DIARIST

It never ceases to amuse – if not infuriate – how often atheists claim as one of their own much-revered historic figures who happen to make the news for some reason or another.

So it was when Neil Armstrong went to be with the Lord this past August.

So it was when Albert Einstein’s so-called “God Letter” went on auction last month.

And so it is now with Abraham Lincoln.

The nation’s 16th president is the subject of a new motion picture, helmed by Stephen Spielberg, the Oscar-winning director, with the screenplay penned by Tony Kushner, the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner.

The Great Emancipator also is the subject of a new book, “Lincoln’s Battle with God: A President’s Struggle with Faith and What it Meant for America,” authored by Stephen Mansfield, who has previously produced several New York Times best-sellers.

If you check out some of the atheist web sites, with names like Atheist Empire and Positive Atheists, they insist that Lincoln was a non-believer, a “freethinker.” And to support their contention, they trot out second-hand quotes attributed to the rail-splitter.

“The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession,” Joseph Lewis, claims Lincoln said.

“The unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them,” Lincoln reputedly wrote to Judge J.S. Wakefield.

Now I do not rule out entirely that Lincoln may have spoken or written those words at some point in his life, although there is no hard evidence to that effect. Nor do I rule out the possibility that Lincoln struggled with his faith at some point in his life, as many of us have.

But I am absolutely convinced the great president, who saved the Republic following the Civil War, died a true believer.

Otherwise, he couldn’t have written the spirit-filled words he spoke in his second inaugural address, which followed Civil War, and which Lincoln delivered one month before his assassination:

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Mansfield, the author, writes, “The truth is that Lincoln was, in fact, a religious pilgrim.” I take that to mean that, as a young man, the future president was a religious skeptic, but grew strong over time in his walk with God.

He may even have been like Saul of Tarsus, who actually denounced Christians before being struck blind on the road to Damascus; who was transformed into the Apostle Paul, a servant of Christ.

Interestingly, Kushner, the scriptwriter, who actually describes himself as “an agnostic,” said that working on the Lincoln movie led him to believe that a higher power must have been involved in Lincoln’s life.

“Every once in a while,” said Kushner, “in politics and history, you get this sneaky feeling that somebody shows up at a historical moment when they’re really needed…

It’s eerie that they show up out of nowhere: They seem to be the perfect person for the task, like somebody must be designing this. And there’s no example like this in American history as great as Lincoln showing up when he did.”

Kushner is right. Abraham Lincoln was the perfect person for the task set before him. And I believe the scriptwriter’s suspicions also were right. That the nation’s 16th president did not show up on the scene by accident of history.

There was, indeed, somebody designing that. And that somebody was God Almighty.


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion; History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: abrahamlincoln; atheist; spielberg; stephenmansfield
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Atheists also claim George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were non-believing presidents.
1 posted on 11/20/2012 1:47:53 PM PST by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

Jefferson was not an atheist, but neither was he a Christian believer.


2 posted on 11/20/2012 1:55:23 PM PST by River Hawk
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All one has to do is read the Second Inaugural Address........


3 posted on 11/20/2012 1:55:40 PM PST by Godwin1
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

First the fags and now this.


4 posted on 11/20/2012 1:56:26 PM PST by youngidiot (God help us.)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

The letter that President Lincoln sent to a Mrs Bixby of Boston during the Civil war strongly suggests otherwise:

Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln


5 posted on 11/20/2012 1:57:36 PM PST by Gay State Conservative (Benghazi: What Did Baraq Know And When Did He Know It?)
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To: River Hawk

That’s not true. The idea that he was a “deist” is incorrect. His now infamous “seperation of church and state” letter was written to someone of a certain denomination who was afraid that Jefferson was going to impose his own (Christian) denomination on the nation at the expense of others.

I love how the left uses Jefferson’s above mentioned letter against us while ignoring his 17,000 some odd other letters.


6 posted on 11/20/2012 2:01:19 PM PST by youngidiot (God help us.)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Washington and Lincoln both had a deep sense of "Providence" -- something very close to God -- but they had trouble professing specifically Christian beliefs.

Washington wasn't exactly a Deist either, but he had leanings in that direction.

Lincoln had something of an Old Testament view of religion that deepened as he aged. He understood judgment, but had a hard time accepting redemption.

7 posted on 11/20/2012 2:02:37 PM PST by x
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

I always thought Lincoln was an agnostic. But since libs write all the books, perhaps I’m mistaken. And the idea that Washington was an athiest!!!


8 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:00 PM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: Godwin1

Yes there is no historical evidnece of him being an atheist at the later part of his life... it was only speculated at the begining


9 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:28 PM PST by Wakeup Sleeper
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To: Godwin1

Yes there is no historical evidnece of him being an atheist at the later part of his life... it was only speculated at the begining


10 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:28 PM PST by Wakeup Sleeper
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To: Godwin1

Yes there is no historical evidnece of him being an atheist at the later part of his life... it was only speculated at the begining


11 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:42 PM PST by Wakeup Sleeper
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To: Godwin1

Yes there is no historical evidnece of him being an atheist at the later part of his life... it was only speculated at the begining


12 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:42 PM PST by Wakeup Sleeper
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To: Godwin1

Yes there is no historical evidnece of him being an atheist at the later part of his life... it was only speculated at the begining


13 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:42 PM PST by Wakeup Sleeper
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To: Godwin1

Yes there is no historical evidnece of him being an atheist at the later part of his life... it was only speculated at the begining


14 posted on 11/20/2012 2:03:45 PM PST by Wakeup Sleeper
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To: Godwin1
Yes there is no historical evidence of him being an atheist at the later part of his life... it was only speculated at the beginning
15 posted on 11/20/2012 2:04:18 PM PST by Wakeup Sleeper
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
So Abe was praying to his breakfast muffin during the early dark days of the War Between The States...and it worked.

...good to know, guess I should bake a few and pray to them for the removal of an evil Marxist tyrant trying to divide our nation into warring factions as well...

16 posted on 11/20/2012 2:10:47 PM PST by Happy Rain ("A white president eliminates black slavery--a black president reintroduces it but with equality.")
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To: youngidiot

Jefferson was not a Christian believer. In fact, he edited his own copy of the Gospels which removed all the references to miracles and the deity of Christ.
As for the “separation of church and state”, that’s another issue. But it’s really not relevant, as Jefferson wasn’t even in the country when the Constitution was drafted.


17 posted on 11/20/2012 2:11:17 PM PST by River Hawk
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To: miss marmelstein
I always thought Lincoln was an agnostic. But since libs write all the books, perhaps I’m mistaken. And the idea that Washington was an athiest!!!

You obviously never saw this fact-checked documentary:


18 posted on 11/20/2012 2:13:56 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Here comes bama claus here comes bama claus left down bama claus lane!)
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To: x

I understand what you’re saying x. But in his second inaugural address, Lincoln said, “Let us judge not, that we be not judged.” Those are the words of Christ, which are very New Testament.


19 posted on 11/20/2012 2:14:57 PM PST by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
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To: freedumb2003

I actually bought that book. Then I read a review that all of the vampires were Confederates and that turned me off!! And I speak as a Yankee who had ancestors who dodged the draft in NYC.


20 posted on 11/20/2012 2:20:31 PM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Washington ended his life as a typical broad-church Episcopalian.

Jefferson was a non-Christian and was likely a Deist.

Lincoln was likely not a Christian either, but definitely a monotheist.

21 posted on 11/20/2012 2:24:04 PM PST by wideawake
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

The fact that someone quotes from Scripture doesn’t necessarily make him a Christian. Certainly Lincoln, like everybody in his time, was influenced by Christianity and the Bible, it was inevitable. The question is, was Lincoln personally a Christian believer?


22 posted on 11/20/2012 2:29:02 PM PST by River Hawk
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. In fact he compiled his own New Testament. He edited out all references to miracles or any super natural events. What was left were the moral and ethical teachings, which Jefferson admired greatly. His edited version is called the Jefferson Bible.

Jefferson did not believe in the supernatural.


23 posted on 11/20/2012 2:32:29 PM PST by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

The only Christian signer of the Declaration was John Jay.


24 posted on 11/20/2012 2:36:04 PM PST by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

The only Christian signer of the Declaration was John Jay.


25 posted on 11/20/2012 2:36:14 PM PST by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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To: miss marmelstein

Washington was not a Christian believer.


26 posted on 11/20/2012 2:38:42 PM PST by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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To: Wakeup Sleeper

8 posts at once...is divine Providence.


27 posted on 11/20/2012 2:41:29 PM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
It's hard to say. Lincoln was reading the Bible a good deal in the war years, and entering into its language and spirit.

Most of the testimony we have from those who knew Lincoln earlier in life was that he was never a Christian believer, but they didn't have much contact with him in his later years and simply assumed he didn't change.

My understanding is based on Allen Guelzo's idea of Lincoln's "Calvinized Deism." You could read his book Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President and see if you agree.

28 posted on 11/20/2012 2:42:39 PM PST by x
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To: Hound of the Baskervilles

“George Washington’s adopted daughter, having spent twenty years of her life in his presence, declared that one might as well question Washington’s patriotism as question his Christianity. Certainly, no one questions his patriotism; so is it not rather ridiculous to question his Christianity? George Washington was a devout Episcopalian; and although as an Episcopalian he would not be classified as an outspoken and extrovert “evangelical” Founder as were Founding Fathers like Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, and Thomas McKean, nevertheless, being an Episcopalian makes George Washington no less of a Christian.”

http://christiananswers.net/q-wall/wal-g011.html


29 posted on 11/20/2012 2:47:02 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: Hound of the Baskervilles

That does not make him an athiest.


30 posted on 11/20/2012 2:48:51 PM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST; GiovannaNicoletta; F15Eagle; .45 Long Colt; Buddygirl; Former Fetus; Bockscar; ..

Baptist ping


31 posted on 11/20/2012 2:49:14 PM PST by WKB ( Remember "Bush Lied and People Died" Now it's "People died and Obama Lied")
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

Actually, only God, Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington know for sure.


32 posted on 11/20/2012 3:03:09 PM PST by bubbacluck (I'll pay more for tomatoes...or lettuce.)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

My favorite quote of Lincoln was during a national day of prayer during the civil war. A group of Methodist ministers said to Pres. Lincoln, “We pray that God is on our side.” My Lincoln replied, “That is not my concern. But that we are on God’s side is my concern!”


33 posted on 11/20/2012 3:08:33 PM PST by tired&retired
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

And Muslims claim that they worship the same G-d as Jews & Christians.

Whoop-tee-doo, whatever feeds your agenda, hijack it for your own. Bet that Lincoln was a secret Muslim, too.


34 posted on 11/20/2012 3:17:40 PM PST by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: River Hawk

He was a Spiritualist —he held seances in the White House.


35 posted on 11/20/2012 3:29:13 PM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: youngidiot
Tony Kushner is a butt burgaler. He is also a self hating Jew. Maybe because of Leviticus 20:13 being in the Old Testament and all.
36 posted on 11/20/2012 3:30:53 PM PST by Stepan12
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
And to support their contention, they trot out second-hand quotes attributed to the rail-splitter.

The internet is chock full of fake quotes ascribing religious sentiments to Washington and Lincoln.

But it appears to also be true that there is not a good source for either of the anti-religion quotes in the article.

37 posted on 11/20/2012 3:34:41 PM PST by wideminded
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

“Then little Willie died, the apple of his eye, his beloved son, his little boy. Lincoln was absolutely crushed. He was so overwhelmed with grief that he set aside every Thursday to mourn his death. He would see no one on that day, but wept and mourned and lamented the death of his son Willie.

Dr. Francis Vinton, rector of Trinity Church, came down to Washington from New York. He was a friend of the family, and was allowed in to see the President. Not wanting to beat around the bush, he told him it was not right to mourn like this over his son. He said, “Your son is alive in paradise with Christ, and you must not continue.” Lincoln sat there as though he were in a stupor, and then his mind caught onto the words that Dr. Vinton had said. He exclaimed, “Alive! Alive! Surely, sir, you mock me.” “No, Mr. President, it is a great doctrine of the church. Jesus himself said that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Lincoln leaped to his feet and threw his arms around this pastor. He wept openly and sobbed, saying, “Alive! Alive! My boy is alive!” From that day on there began a change in Lincoln that even his wife Mary noticed.

His religious views began to dramatically change. There is a remarkable letter from an Illinois clergyman who talked to Lincoln after this time. He said this to Mr. Lincoln, “Mr. President, do you love Jesus?” After a long pause, Mr. Lincoln solemnly replied: “When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus.”

http://www.timetracts.com/Was%20Abraham%20Lincoln%20a%20Christian.htm


38 posted on 11/20/2012 4:05:58 PM PST by steadcom
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST
Atheists also claim George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were non-believing presidents.

What if they were? Would G-d cease to exist if George Washington or Thomas Jefferson didn't believe in Him?

As an American I revere our Founders, but I don't consider them religious authorities. My beliefs come from a much more ancient source.

39 posted on 11/20/2012 4:17:19 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: youngidiot; River Hawk
That’s not true. The idea that he was a “deist” is incorrect. His now infamous “seperation of church and state” letter was written to someone of a certain denomination who was afraid that Jefferson was going to impose his own (Christian) denomination on the nation at the expense of others.

I love how the left uses Jefferson’s above mentioned letter against us while ignoring his 17,000 some odd other letters.

Thomas Jefferson was a deist (as was Madison, and perhaps Washington and Franklin as well). Had he lived after Darwin he would probably have been an atheist.

True, he considered himself a chrstian, in the sense of admiring J*sus as a great moral philosopher. He rejected the supernatural, and orthodox chrstianity of any form demands the supernatural (though it seems to have forgotten that lately).

40 posted on 11/20/2012 4:20:30 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: x
My understanding is based on Allen Guelzo's idea of Lincoln's "Calvinized Deism."

As a matter of fact, Lincoln's family were Primitive Baptists, and his own early flirtation with secular determinism may have actually been influenced by that background.

41 posted on 11/20/2012 4:24:20 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

“Thomas Jefferson was a deist (as was Madison, and perhaps Washington and Franklin as well). Had he lived after Darwin he would probably have been an atheist.”

In what way is Darwin’s theory contrary to Deism?


42 posted on 11/20/2012 4:30:19 PM PST by Okieshooter
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

Ok, I can’t stand Lincoln, and even I’m not so blinded by that to think thT he was an athiest. He was close friends with Chiniquy and wrote to him on religous subject matter a couple of times, especially about the Jesuits.


43 posted on 11/20/2012 4:38:45 PM PST by arderkrag (An Unreconstructed Georgian, Forever in Rebellion.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

>> “Thomas Jefferson was a deist (as was Madison, and perhaps Washington and Franklin as well).” <<

.
An oft repeated lie.

None of the founders were deists; all believed in a God that was active in his creation. Jefferson in particular even “translated” his own Bible to agree with his beliefs on Christ.


44 posted on 11/20/2012 4:39:09 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: Okieshooter
In what way is Darwin’s theory contrary to Deism?

Deism was an option prior to Darwin because there was no rational way to explain how everything got here. After Darwin supplied that, the people who would have been deists became atheists instead. As Richard Dawkins says, "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."

45 posted on 11/20/2012 4:40:08 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: editor-surveyor
>> “Thomas Jefferson was a deist (as was Madison, and perhaps Washington and Franklin as well).” <<

An oft repeated lie.

It is not a lie.

None of the founders were deists; all believed in a God that was active in his creation. Jefferson in particular even “translated” his own Bible to agree with his beliefs on Christ.

Jefferson lacerated the "new testament" in order to remove all the supernaturalism from it. He did this because he rejected the supernatural and merely regarded J*sus as a great moral philosopher--and no more than that.

Why don't you look up Jefferson's lacerated "bible" or get yourself a copy?

46 posted on 11/20/2012 4:43:58 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu!)
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To: CHRISTIAN DIARIST

“I cannot perceive how man can look into the heavens and say there is no God.”
Abe Lincoln


47 posted on 11/20/2012 4:44:12 PM PST by ImaGraftedBranch (...By reading this, you've collapsed my wave function. Thanks.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

“Deism was an option prior to Darwin because there was no rational way to explain how everything got here. After Darwin supplied that, the people who would have been deists became atheists instead. As Richard Dawkins says, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.””

Maybe it made it possible to be an atheist, but as a Deist myself I see no conflict with between what Deists believe and Darwin’s theory.


48 posted on 11/20/2012 4:54:19 PM PST by Okieshooter
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To: x

He felt bad for initiating a war of northern aggression, therefore, he turned to the word of God for salvation from his sin and guilt.


49 posted on 11/20/2012 4:59:49 PM PST by Bulwyf
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To: cruise_missile

That same daughter said Washington attended church with his wife but left without taking communion. She further said that in later life he stopped going to church altogether.

My take is that he thought religious belief was a desirable good to insure a moral nation, but was personally tepid. I think he would never publicly renounce belief because he did not want to set an example of unbelief to the vast majority of his countrymen who took great solace and found their moral grounding in Christian religion.


50 posted on 11/20/2012 5:08:49 PM PST by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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