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.
Friggin’ Pope. I don’t like this either.
We have 2 signatures on the petition then!
I have always liked that speech ever since I first read it.
Magnificent in its meaning, and elegant in its simplicity.
Yes on both counts.
I think it’s important though to note that Lincoln would be very much a racist as well by today’s standards as his writings indicate he did not believe the black man was equal to the white man. A man can not be to fast advanced from his times, and Lincoln was a great man for his time and position. On the other hand this Pope while by no means a secular man’s dreams is probably more advanced than many if not all of his predecessors. Just like Obama is probably much more atheist than he can be in the Public eye there is also only so leisure be can be without being removed either. It goes down to whether it is better to hold back a little to make change or go all in and risk losing it all. Maybe I just don’t have the same Lincoln attachment as a Canadian. But I’m willing to take this Pope more than many others.
On another note shell, I wanted to let you know I replied to the commenter on my blog that you were itching to. Lol I tried to be nice. Lol
I’m not sure I follow you Swarn. Perhaps you could elaborate?
Wow, I made this reply from my iPhone, and all I initially saw was the first sentence. You did elaborate, thank you.
I since did a little reasearch myself. And indeed you are correct. Lincolns views were quite yet racist, despite the desire to free slaves.
All I can think to say is, at least he got the ball rolling in the right direction. Sometimes it takes a nudge in the right direction to see the bigger picture that needs addressing.
It is amazing the amount of things glossed over through history. The things we are taught at grade school levels leave much unsaid. I was unaware of this particular factoid, and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention.
I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t know that I find it that egregious. Lincoln was a great man for his time and position, but like I said, he was still a racist. Why didn’t he do more and publically state that black and white people were equals? Even if he had believed so (although his writings indicate that not to be the case) had he been that progressive he might have lost a lot of support even from his own party as culturally, while many were against slavery were not necessarily for total equality. Right now we have this Pope. The religious leader for one of the historically worst religious institutions in history, and he actually seems like a pretty progressive guy compared to his predecessors. Whether he can be considered a great man or not, cannot be decided yet, but he is already causing great divide in the Catholic Church. Having just come from Poland which is pretty conservative Catholic, they are none too happy about the current Pope. I don’t think we can expect this Pope to just all of a sudden say “It’s all a lie and I’m an atheist!” Even if that were secretly so (which is unlikely) how much positive change could he make if he upset everybody. It’s a large institution that has been around a long time so actually coming forward and having positive things to say about science, helping the poor, against corporate greed etc is pretty positive step for a Pope to take, and perhaps will pave the way for future Popes to actually be more humanistic in their approach to their position. And remember Lincoln believed in that same book even though he was clearly secular in his approach to government. Pope Frances is clearly not a strong biblical literalist, and I would say as Popes go is reasonably secular.
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While I am in agreement with much you have said here. I have a feeling much of this Pope’s activities are a response to a great deal of general dislike for the church and religion in general. People are leaving their religions in droves, the coffers are dwindling in step. This fresh face on religion is pretty much an about face on past church stances. An act of self preservation. With the newfound popularity of the C church/Pope, I believe the approach is working.
For me it remains to be seen how truly grand this Pope actually may or may not be. Even if he came out and admitted that religions throughout history have been bloody, murderous, asshats (which they have been and some still are today) I would still feel a twinge of disrespect for that entire history, and what this and every other Pope in history represents. I won’t let a few apparently more liberal proclamations cloud my knowledge of the damage already done. As a skeptic, I am quite skeptical of this guys motives.
Here is some food for thought, how do some religious types view what the Pope is saying?
Sort of looks like the religionists are trying to follow along behind the Pope and clean up what they perceive as messes? What good is it for the Pope to say one thing, and the people he addresses, see it as something else? Reminds me of a South Park episode on how American politics is always saying how terrible this or that might be, while the entire time doing the this or thats. Problem is, with a broad, modern, more liberal, statement from the Pope, there are no follow up questions, there is no formal debate, and anyone and everyone can hear what they want to hear.
I can’t make excuses for Lincoln, I don’t know his exact feelings on the equality matter. All I can think is, it was a tough political climate, in a tough time (considering the views of the day) Perhaps he was a tweener, saw the unjustness of slavery, but had not achieved a sense of true equality.Instead favoring the tendency at the time, of believing the European races as superior. But we can say he died for making the right choice, even if he had conflicting views, at a crossroads in history.
I still don’t like the idea of the Pope being lent the mojo of Lincolns accomplishments. I never siad it was egregious, just that it rubs me the wrong way. it is nothing to get up in arms over, I just don’t like it. For the record I don’t like brussel sprouts or turnips either!
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AH! So now we have it! You’re an anti-brussel sproutist! I suppose you’re opposed to my wanting to marry one, too. Well, I’m doing it anyway. So. there. 🙂
Maybe you are right, but I would say that in many ways he is scolding the establishment, but telling people that they actually need to get off their asses and actually help people. Now if that’s a ploy to get new followers, than I think you are going to get some pretty decent new followers, and force the ones who were just in it for the money, power, etc to faction off and they will continue to dwindle in how relevant they are to the world. Part of the reason the numbers are dropping is because people see the lack of actual compassion they have for people. That’s why the zealots are so eagerly trying to “fix” the Pope’s words, is because they don’t want to be considered “wrong” in their self-righteousness. I agree that it is too early to understand this Pope’s influence, but I hope it leads to a better tomorrow.
I don’t care what you do with your brussel sprouts or even turnips! None of my damned business. 🙂
I do retain the kindling hatred for being forcefed them as a child. Oh the slimy nastiness of brussel sprouts (shudder) And the stench of turnips can be detected for miles. Then the parents make you eat that? Guess what, turnips taste exactly like they smell! Friggin nasty!
I actually love brussel sprouts. I boil ’em then slather ’em in butter n salt. Then, the best part: I fart like a steam engine about an hour later. Great fun, but not for a first date. Tends to “smell” it up a bit.
Maybe it was the way they were prepped, maybe it was the way they smelled, maybe it was the pond scum flavor they had, maybe it was the slimy way they slithered down my throat, but there will be no more brussel sprouts in my lifetime.
If you have to slather something in butter and salt to make it palatable, How good is it really? I don’t care for lobster for that reason as well. You put enough butter and salt, or A1 sauce on a shit sandwich you can eat it, but I wont believe it is “good” 😉
I have come around with broccoli and asparagus, but brussel sprouts and turnips no more! No way, no how.
The farts somehow do not make them more appealing lol, unless I’m visiting the in laws.
“If you have to slather something in butter and salt to make it palatable, How good is it really?” Very good. And, you’re right, fry shit, and put it in butter and salt, and it would be palatable and good. So, I like to eat shit. And, if you think Lincoln wouldn’t support that, and the fuckin’ Pope would, then “F” you, go eat a turkey bone. $ Allahu Akbar$
o.0 ? You weren’t taking me seriously were you? Last time I tried to eat a turkey bone I broke a tooth. Which led to blinding pain. Then I fell down the stairs. Which led to people thinking my wife had beaten me. Which led to suggestions of getting help and/or leaving her. Which led to me lying awake at night wondering what had happened to my life. I better not eat a turkey bone.
Yes, my life is a never ending series of Rube Goldberg incidents. 🙂
Turkey bones are only good fried. Me? Take something seriously? Naw. 😉