|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Religion Abraham Lincoln|
Abraham Lincoln was born and raised in his parents' Baptist faith, a religious inclination that combined evangelistic fervor and stern Calvinist theology. Although he later rejected the theology of Calvinism, Lincoln considered God as the driver of his life in his entire career as a leader (Public Broadcasting Service, 2011).
The two historical events that happened under the presidency of Lincoln is the preservation of the Union and the end of slavery. Under Lincoln's tenure, the United States fought a brutal war against the Confederacy states between 1861 and 1865. In 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slavery was illegal in the United States and its territories. The Emancipation Proclamation would later be ratified and codified into law as the 13th Amendment in December 1865.The amendment prohibited slavery or servitude unless one was convicted by a competent court of law (Carter, 2007; McNeese, 2003). These events stand tall until today in so far as the United States as a nation and the civil liberties of African Americans are concerned.
Lincoln believed that God had a role in the sustainability of the United States as a unified nation. This is demonstrated in his 1862 prayer that sought God's intervention in the Civil War conflict. In this prayer, "Meditation on the Divine Will," Lincoln is depicted as a man with a strong belief in God and God's power to intervene in situations that transcended human understanding. For instance, Lincoln meditated that God could not be in favor and opposition to a given idea at the same (Public Broadcasting Service, 2011). To him, he believed God was in favor of the preservation of the Union because that is what God wanted by allowing the United States to be born in the first place. This position propagates the view that God is not contradictory and God is a God of order.
Lincoln opposed the institution of slavery because he considered it not only a violation of fundamental human rights of liberty but also due to his belief that God had not purposed for the enslavement of African Americans. In his famous debates with Douglas, Lincoln argued that slavery went against the values of the Founding Fathers. The values, he contended, held that all men were created equal and no one should subject the other to slavery because of perceived superiority. Lincoln further argued that God gave black people rights as He did to the whites, and therefore, whites had no right to perpetuate subjugation against blacks (U.S. National Park Service, 2015; McNeese, 2003). His religious convictions against slavery are captured in an 1862 meeting with members of his cabinet after the Union troops drove Southern rebel forces from Antietam Creek in Maryland. In the meeting, Lincoln observed that the victory was realized because God had sided with the slaves (Public Broadcasting Service, 2011). These expressions revealed a man seeking God's will to bring equality and liberty to all Americans.
Carter, W. M. (2007). Race, rights, and the Thirteenth Amendment: Defining the badges and incidents of slavery. University of California, Davis School of Law, 40(4), 1311-1379.
McNeese, T. (2003). America's Civil War. Dayton, OH: Lorenz Educational Press.
Public Broadcasting Service. (2011). God In America - God in the White House. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/god-in-the-white-house/
U.S. National Park Service. (2015, April 10). Lincoln on Slavery - Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/slavery.htm
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