Posted by: MTR | January 13, 2010

Abraham Lincoln Quotations

 

My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.
Abraham Lincoln, to Judge J S Wakefield, after Willie Lincoln’s death (Willie died in 1862), quoted by Joseph Lewis in “Lincoln the Freethinker,” also appearing in Remsburg’s “Six Historic Americans” (Authenticity questioned by some because it allegedly does not appear in Wakefield’s papers [Andrew Lutes, persistent picker of insignificant separationist nits]; authenticity questioned by others who claim that Wakefield did not exist [forgotten web site which also featured all the regular and long-refuted arguments for Lincoln’s Christian piety]. Go figure!)

What is to be, will be, and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree.
Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Mary Todd Lincoln in William Herndon’s Religion of Lincoln, quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beleifs of Our Presidents, p. 118

It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to Infidelity.
Abraham Lincoln, Manford’s Magazine, quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, p. 144

The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.
Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Joseph Lewis in “Lincoln the Freethinker

The only person who is a worse liar than a faith healer is his patient.
Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Victor J Stenger in Physics and Psychics

Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes his aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not that we be not judged.
Abraham Lincoln, sarcasm in his Second Innaugural Address (1865)

It is an established maxim and moral that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false is guilty of falsehood, and the accidental truth of the assertion does not justify or excuse him.
Abraham Lincoln, chiding the editor of a Springfield, Illinois, newspaper, quoted from Antony Flew, How to Think Straight, p. 17

Oh, that [his Thanksgiving Message] is some of Seward’s nonsense, and it pleases the fools.
Abraham Lincoln, to Judge James M Nelson, in response to a question from Nelson: “I once asked him about his fervent Thanksgiving Message and twitted him with being an unbeliever in what was published.” Quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, p. 138

The United States government must not undertake to run the Churches. When an individual, in the Church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest he must be checked.
Abraham Lincoln, regarding the Churches, quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, p. 143

If there is no military need for the building, leave it alone, neither putting anyone in or out of it, except on finding some one preaching or practicing treason, in which case lay hands on him, just as if he were doing the same thing in any other building.
Abraham Lincoln, order relating to a church in Memphis, Tennessee, issued on May 13, 1864, Nicolay and Hay, Works of Abraham Lincoln, chapter on “Lincoln and the Churches,” quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, p. 143. In the same chapter Nicolay and Hay state that in order to prevent treasonable preaching, Secretary Stanton appointed Bishop Ames, of the Methodist Church, to be supervisor of all the Churches in a certain southern district. President Lincoln at once countermanded the order.

When the Know-Nothings get control, it [the Declaration of Independence] will read: “All men are created equal except negroes, foreigners and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
Abraham Lincoln, letter to Joshua F Speed, August 24, 1855, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure….
     If today he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, “I see no probability of the British invading us,” but he will say to you, “Be silent; I see it, if you don’t.”
Abraham Lincoln, in an 1848 letter to his law partner, William Herndon, criticizing Polk’s decision to invade Mexico for the purpose of preventing future war (and, in essence, pointing out some of the flaws in what is now called the “Bush Doctrine of Preventative War”), quoted from a letter published in the Post Crescent by Jack Bradford, quoted from a December 26, 2003, letter to Cliff Walker by Robert Nordlander

There was the strangest combination of church influence against me. Baker is a Campbellite; and therefore, as I suppose with few exceptions, got all of that Church. My wife had some relations in the Presbyterian churches, and some in the Episcopal churches; and therefore, wherever it would tell, I was set down as either one or the other, while it was everywhere contended that no Christian ought to vote for me because I belonged to no Church, and was suspected of being a Deist and had talked of fighting a duel.
Abraham Lincoln, letter to Martin M Morris (March 26, 1843), in The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln (Nicolay & Hay Edition, volume 1, page 80), quoted from Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents (page 112)

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