Was Abraham Lincoln an Atheist?

Continuing celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Discovery news continues its explorations of key figures of the War. Rather apropos of current political President Abraham Lincolndebates is the spiritual leanings of President Lincoln. Ronald White, a key biographer of Abraham Lincoln, has explored a series of his letters and traces what he views as Lincoln’s:

remarkable faith journey that moves forward quickly and matures during his four years as president

Read the original Discovery News Article as well as its accompanying stories.

2 thoughts on “Was Abraham Lincoln an Atheist?

  1. Jim Wheeler

    Very interesting insight into Lincoln’s religiosity – thanks. I am currently about 15% into Doris Kearnes Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” and am already encountering a Lincoln different from the one I thought I knew. I know of no more complex figure in history than him.

  2. Jim Wheeler

    Thanks for liking my recent post, Jennifer. The “like” note caused me to revisit this post of yours which popped up.

    Having finished Goodwin’s book and seen the Spielberg movie, I feel I have a new appreciation for Lincoln. Of course, nobody can ever have certainty about his religiosity, but I remain unconvinced that he became religious during his presidency. He was, as Herndon states, the consummate politician and as such he must have refined during that time his empathy for the passions and suffering of people. Almost every day people of all kinds were seeking something from him and many involved the horrors of the bloody civil war, something he refused to keep at a distance. Religion at such times especially is a balm and I cannot fault him for employing it when no other consolation was at hand. Likewise, the death of his dear son Tad must have caused him to mentally ponder the hereafter. I know I have, even here in my 7th decade of life. I am not religious and yet seem unable to come to terms with my mortality. It is the human condition and the curse of self-awareness.


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