What did Abraham Lincoln believe?

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
Post Reply
User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 1649
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

What did Abraham Lincoln believe?

Post by deacon blues » Sat May 21, 2022 8:52 am

I've read several books about Abraham Lincoln, and they all have different views of Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs. If nothing else this points out that Lincoln's beliefs changed over time, and covered a lot of ground. The general belief is that Lincoln was agnostic or atheist in his early manhood, but developed or evolved a belief, albeit unconventional, in God. I think it's fascinating that Lincoln lived in the era and the area that the LDS church came to be! What are your observations about Lincoln's religious beliefs?
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

dogbite
Posts: 454
Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 1:28 pm
Location: SLC

Re: What did Abraham Lincoln believe?

Post by dogbite » Sat May 21, 2022 12:57 pm

It's hard to know.

And in a public figure, performance is important. For example, I think Zelensky in normal times is a poor political leader. But I think for the purposes of a political leader in war, Zelensky fully understands the performative aspect of the leader in inspring his people and is doing well at that.

Trump performed religiously for the camera in a non-commital weak fashion, though it seems pretty clear he has no personal belief in scriptural Christianity.

And I suspect Lincoln's public performance of belief cannot be untangled from whatever his personal beliefs at this great remove and the limited documentation availalble. But I would wager that more than 50% of his displayed belief was performative rather than actually held.

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 4370
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: What did Abraham Lincoln believe?

Post by moksha » Sat May 21, 2022 9:16 pm

Here are a bunch of historians examining this very question. Not to suggest that this bunch of eggheads have better speculations than we on this board, but that they may be a supplement since they've read the related documents.

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/26298 ... te-belief?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

User avatar
stealthbishop
Posts: 286
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:25 am

Re: What did Abraham Lincoln believe?

Post by stealthbishop » Mon May 23, 2022 10:13 am

I don't know, but I would love to learn more. This is a very intriguing topic for me. Thanks for posting DB!
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

dogbite
Posts: 454
Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 1:28 pm
Location: SLC

Re: What did Abraham Lincoln believe?

Post by dogbite » Mon May 23, 2022 11:45 am

moksha wrote:
Sat May 21, 2022 9:16 pm
Here are a bunch of historians examining this very question. Not to suggest that this bunch of eggheads have better speculations than we on this board, but that they may be a supplement since they've read the related documents.

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/26298 ... te-belief?
Their usage of speeches goes right to my point about performance. Speeches are performance to an audience intended to sway the audience. I would put more weight on personal private correspondence to long time close friends and family written with the expectation of ongoing privacy.

User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 1649
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

Re: What did Abraham Lincoln believe?

Post by deacon blues » Tue May 24, 2022 3:47 pm

moksha wrote:
Sat May 21, 2022 9:16 pm
Here are a bunch of historians examining this very question. Not to suggest that this bunch of eggheads have better speculations than we on this board, but that they may be a supplement since they've read the related documents.

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/26298 ... te-belief?
This post by Moksha is really helpful. It will take me weeks to digest it. The issue will probably never be settled, but it is, as Stealth says, intriguing. Lincoln went through challenges that I will never face. I can't judge him, but I can use him as an example to those whose certainty seems unjustifiable.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests