Abraham Lincoln, American Christians, and the Public Square


Last June, the Pew Research Center released a report entitled, Political Polarization in the American Public. Its opening sentence was alarming: “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan antipathy is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in the last two decades.” Obviously, people will have principled differences about big ideas and public policies, but those principled differences seem to be negatively affecting personal relationships. “Not only do many of these polarized partisans gravitate toward like-minded people,” the report went on to note, “but a significant share express a fairly strong aversion to … Continue reading Abraham Lincoln, American Christians, and the Public Square

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation


The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.  To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.  In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, … Continue reading Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

The Gettysburg Address at 150 [UPDATED]


Today–November 19, 2013–is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. In that speech, President Abraham Lincoln said, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” In fact, his words are precisely what we remember about that momentous battle, which was fought on July 1-3, 1863. Here is the text of Lincoln’s landmark speech. Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, … Continue reading The Gettysburg Address at 150 [UPDATED]

Review of ‘The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation’ by Hennessy and McConnell


Jonathan Hennessy and Aaron McConnell, The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation (New York: William Morrow, 2013). $15.99, 224 pages. At the outset, I should confess that I am not a reader of graphic novels. Indeed, The Gettysburg Address by Jonathan Hennessy (writer) and Aaron McConnell (artist) is the first one I have ever read from cover to cover, let alone with any enjoyment. I am, however, a lover of all things Lincoln, so in the sesquicentennial of his address, I resolved to purchase and read this graphic novel. A graphic novel has to be reviewed in two parts: the substance … Continue reading Review of ‘The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation’ by Hennessy and McConnell

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address


On this Memorial Day, which began as a commemoration of the Civil War, I am posting the most profound meditation on that war ever written, in hope that we always remember its lessons about war, partisanship, and the divine will. Fellow-Countrymen: At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on … Continue reading Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address