Abraham Lincoln's Political Religion Essay

1120 words - 4 pages

My purpose of this essay is to explain how Abraham Lincoln combines the government and it's laws, and religion into a political religion. I will talk about three examples of this idea of a political religion. First is a religious following of the law. Second is being willing to give up everything for the honor and protection of the law (similar to one's willingness to do likewise for one's religion). Lastly, Lincoln tells how God's will is clear in the political turmoil of the Civil War. Lincoln talks of teaching reverence for the laws of the land in every aspect of life and have it taught at every stage of life. Lincoln wants this to occur so that America will have an absolute devotion to the government and its laws. With total devotion to the government and its laws, Lincoln believes that perhaps a society could be created that has little or no crime. This is best illustrated by Lincoln's Perpetuation speech where he goes into detail about his plan to merge American life with a religious reverence for the law. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap"”let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; --let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its alters. (Pg. 5) Lincoln, in this quote tells of his aspirations of a completely religious devotion of All Americans to the law; said best by having political rules taught from the pulpit. Lincoln wants the law and the government of the United States to be respected and revered, and just as important as religion was in his time. Also spoken in Lincoln's Perpetuation speech, I feel, is an even closer connection between the laws of the government and God. In as much, he also requests that Americans pledge everything they have to the protection of these laws and the government it represents. Let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; --let every man remember that to violate the laws, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children's liberty. (Pg. 5) I believe that when Lincoln refers to " his father", that he means, in all actuality, God, and that to disrespect these laws would be to "trample on" his blood. Lincoln is trying to convey his feeling that our worldly laws must have absolute devotion, as much as the laws of Heaven have, if not more so.Lincoln, in his Second Inaugural Address, spends a good part of the speech talking about the Civil War, which, at this time seems won for the North. This speech is of an obvious...

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