Lincoln's Political Religion

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Lincoln’s political religion grounds itself in the American principle of equality. His political religion was necessary to bind the nation together in a time of dire need. The nation stood divided. One side believed it was their natural right to reap the fruits of another man’s labor, which denied his natural rights as well as his humanity, while the other side disagreed, affirming the humanity of the slaves and remained free. Lincoln pushed to change public sentiment in regard to slavery. In his 1858 speech “A House Divided”, he wrote, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but…show more content…
Joseph Fornieri’s essay on Lincoln’s Theology of Labor refers to these decorated principles of both Lincoln’s political religion and theology of labor as the “three R’s” which allowed for a comprehensive vision for politics, and constituted for a mutual influence of American religious and democratic traditions. Lincoln’s theology of labor and political religion simultaneously reaffirmed the American principles of equality and liberty, which vehemently opposed slavery, as one should enjoy the fruits of his own labor according to such principles. Lincoln’s theology responded to the Southerner’s theological, scientific, and philosophical justifications for the endorsement of slavery. Lincoln invoked a biblical allusion against the institution of slavery. His theology of labor referenced Genesis 3:19, where God assigned punishment for the sins of Adam and Eve. God’s lasting punishment for mankind dwells within the cursed soil. Adam and the generations of men to come were forced to battle the ground in order to earn a living. The institution of slavery does not continue to live out mankind’s punishment, but rather betrays the orders of God. Through the institution of slavery, man is able to retrieve the fruits of another man’s labor, which eradicates any possibility for free labor and equality among men. Lincoln’s theology of labor also reiterated republican principles and founding beliefs that…show more content…
This view is apparent within his professed political religion. The principle of equality was articulated within this religion for the people. Lincoln’s political religion utilized the poetry of the Bible to help articulate the principle of equality. Lincoln used biblical scripture and language to express the importance of his political religion for the nation, which simultaneously denounced Southern justification for the institution of slavery. Lincoln’s use of biblical allusions and scripture captivated the reason of the Framing and the sentiment from the American Revolution. The people believed their rights were being infringed upon concerning slavery and the property within man, resulting in a desire for secession as a revolutionary attempt to save their existing property within their slaves. Lincoln’s political religion denounced their argument and justification for secession by reawakening public sentiment. The rational principles of the revolution were turned to sentiment and this sentiment is the political religion in which Lincoln grounded his beliefs. It reminds the people that the bloodshed of the revolution was connected to the bloodshed of the Civil War. Political religion reminisces on the sacred principle of equality, which linked the Revolution and the Framing, altogether reawakening the public spirit and mind through the sentiment of the
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