At first I was like whut?
The lecturn that Abe Lincoln used when he gave his Gettysburg Address speech, is going to be used by the Pope when he visits Philadelphia. I’m just a little creeped out by that.
The Gettysburg Address was one of the most influential and moving speeches of all time. I was raised up in Illinois, Lincolns birthplace, so as an Illinois-ian, us schoolkids got a lot of Lincoln history. The class even took a trip to Springfield to visit a Lincoln museum. Any American who reads (and understands, let’s face it we are a nation of idjits) that speech, who doesn’t immediately feel a sense of patriotism and pride, well they be idjits. Lest you be unfamiliar with the speech, or have long since checked the box on the grade school test, and have eaten and slept a few times since, I present one of the versions (there are a few) of the Gettysburg Address:
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
November 19, 1863
I know it’s really an insignificant gesture, letting the Pope use the lecturn, but it just rubs me the wrong way. Lincoln who dedicated his presidency to the freeing of slaves, who endured a vicious civil war, managed to prevail, and in the end sacrificed his own life as a result… A truly great man of history, now lends some of his mojo to a Pope whos magic book condones, indeed endorses, everything Lincoln was against?
I’m not sure I like that at all.