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The mystery of "the unusual depth ... of Lincoln's Christian perception"

Reader comment on item: L'Institut d'Égypte – In Memoriam
in response to reader comment: Historical Revisionism Part 2

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jan 16, 2012 at 07:40

BB King wrote :

>What credentials do you have as a scholar for me to trust you?<

How did you conclude that I ever wanted you to trust me ? Nothing is further from me than that. The only reason I engaged in this dispute is that I had one important point to make. To remind you how the dispute started, my point was that Moslems in virtue of their doctrine destroy books and learning which is a historically well-documented fact. Yet contrary to the overwhelming evidence you questioned the point giving such absurd examples as Averroes whose own books turn out to have been burnt by Moslems.

The dispute around this central point then degenerated into a number of disconnected issues due to your jumping from one unrelated topic to another. It ranged from defending treacherous Polish Tatars to refreshing the Katyn massacre to attacking the USSR and making me believe in a beneficiary and disinterested role of the US in my country's recent history etc.

Reluctantly, I addressed your points, again without ever having the slightest intention to make you trust anything I say. I assume , perhaps naively, that stating objective evidence and probability is enough and whether a Moslem or his sympathizer acknowledges this evidence or or not is a secondary issue that doesn't change that much .

As to credentials I doubt they will help anyone. I have seen so often people with enormous credentials making obviously and rather intentionally invalid and misleading points and, conversely, I have seen so often people without credentials making astonishingly sound and compelling points that I no longer care so much about credentials.

> Your latest conduct assures me that you are not a scholar but a revisionist.<

I understand that in the mouth of such a politically correct commentator as you the word "revisionist" is a an updated version of a bit older term "heretic",isn't it?But as I try to avoid playing semantic games according to the fraudulent rules of political correctness I don't mind being called "a revisionist". On the contrary, I gratefully accept it as a proof I am not politically correct.

> You give as an example, Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address to prove his affirmation of Christianity but it proves nothing. It could very well mean that Lincoln viewed the Bible as good literature and quoted from it just as Reagan used to quote from John Winthrop and Robert F. Kennedy used to quote Shakespeare.<

Are you implying that at a time when the Americans were fighting the last battles of the bloodiest war ever waged in American history history which cost more than 600 000 people's lives , i.e. more than in all other wars combined, Lincoln was just dabbling in literary essays and that his recurring theological expressions - "the same God", "The Almighty has His own purposes","the providence of God", "a living God", "if God wills" ""it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."", "God gives us to see the right" - spoken to a crowd of people that had lost their husbands, brothers and fathers didn't mean what they do but were just reminiscences of "good literature" and fine metaphors and nothing more than what "Reagan used to quote from John Winthrop and Robert F. Kennedy used to quote Shakespeare"?

> And regarding the Second Inaugural Address you quoted to prove Lincoln's affirmation of Christianity Noll has this to say:

"The source of Lincoln's Christian perception will probably always remain a mystery, but the unusual depth of that perception none can doubt. Nowhere was that depth more visible than in his Second Inaugural Address of March 1865"

So how can you rightfully call Lincoln a Christian when Noll claims that Lincoln's Christian perception is a mystery?<

If I may trust my eyes and not only yours , Noll is more hesitant than you make me believe ("will probably always remain a mystery") also says clearly in your quotation : "the unusual depth of that (i.e. Christian) perception none can doubt".

As to its source it's not so hard to fathom - its the old good Bible, both the Old and New Testament, which was simply the book of every American at that time and from which Lincoln himself quotes copiously in his short address on 3.03.1865. What else could it be? I don't understand how anyone can see a "mystery" where there is hardly any ?

> If you're not interested in facts but deception please don't waste my time. Come back with scholarly material not your white-washing of my country's history.<

And who says it ?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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