The Gettysburg Address and The Fear of God

President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address to a divided nation 148 years ago. Once again, America stands divided. Not between racial or geographical boundaries, but rather, by political and philosophical boundaries. At the heart of this division is the question of the existence of God and the role of religion in politics. Abraham Lincoln openly declared at Gettysburg that this nation was under God, suggesting faith and submission to God. A careful examination of his address reveals that President Lincoln subtly warned Americans that they are accountable to God, that their very existence as a free and self-governing nation depends on His favor. The Gettysburg Address places faith alongside government and suggests that a nation governed by the people requires a people who fear God. By working to remove God from society, Atheistic Americans are undermining their own freedom.

The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address is possibly Abraham Lincoln's most famous speech. Delivered four months after the battle of Gettysburg and eighty-seven years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the speech has lived on through the years as a national treasure. Presented only minutes after a two hour oration by the renown speaker and Senator from Massachusetts, Edward Everett. President Lincoln surprised the audience with a carefully crafted speech that was direct and to the point. According to VisitGettysburg.com, his appointed task was to dedicate a portion of the battlefield at Gettysburg to the men who died there defending the Union. His speech took a total of two minutes to deliver. Two powerful minutes that the nation would never forget.

While the geographical borders of the United States would eventually be restored, the task of uniting her people would prove to be even more difficult than the war itself. It would be decades before the North and South would overcome their mutual disdain. For Abraham Lincoln, the strife and bitterness will eventually take his life. However, on November 19, 1863, he was among the living in Gettysburg addressing a nation that was questioning its identity and its purpose for existence. To remind the American people where they came from, and why they are fighting.

The address was both a dedication and a prayer. President Lincoln also hoped to "Put the Civil War in perspective as a test of the success of the American Revolution." (VisitGettysburg.com) The address called the living to preserve a nation founded on freedom and equality. By doing so, he subliminally reminded the nation that at the forefront of the conflict between the north and south, stood slavery contradicting the principles of equality declared by the Declaration Of Independence. By including the term "under God" The Gettysburg Address becomes a prayer for a new birth of freedom and the longevity of a nation governed by the people. Suggesting that our fate as a nation depended on God's continued favor.

The Fear of God

The Beginning of Wisdom
The Beginning of Wisdom
America Aflame
America Aflame

A nation governed by the people requires a people that fear God. The fear of God has generally been defined as the belief that humanity is subject to a sovereign, all knowing, all powerful God who judges justly, and is ever present. God fearing men and women believe that actions have been seen and noted and have consequences both in this life and after. Thomas Jefferson, when discussing the hypocrisy of Slavery in his 1781 Notes On The State of Virginia, Query XVIII: Manners, said " I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever". Thomas Jefferson trembled for Good reason. Death claimed 165,000 Americans at Gettysburg, and 750,000 by the wars end.(VisitGettysburg.com) As President Lincoln and the American people witnessed first hand the bloody carnage left on battle fields throughout America, the looting and trashing of towns in the wake of advancing armies, and the number of widows and fatherless children left to mourn in the ashes of war. Their minds would have instinctively understood that God's judgment had manifested, justice had indeed awaken.

The Battle of Gettyburg
The Battle of Gettyburg

The American Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. President John Adams wrote in his letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” For the last 250 years Christianity has been the most influential religion in the United States. Using Christian principles as an example, we can better understand President Adams statement. Christianity teaches that humanity is naturally self-centered or evil. (Gen 6:5 KJV). A man will see to his own needs and desires at the expense of others. Jesus taught his students that all of God's laws could be summed up into two commands. "Love the Lord your God with all your hearts, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as you love yourself." (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV) Christians believe that these two principles, the love of God and treating other as you treat yourself are two primary ingredients to a fair and just society. As the Christian matures in his faith, the fear of God becomes the love of God.(1 John 4:18 KJV) Christians embrace God's Omni presences and strive to show their love for Him by joyfully following His Laws. No governmental coercion is necessary. Rev. Rodney Holder, the director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St Edmund’s College in Cambridge, questions in his academic Journal entitled The Bible, Ethics, and the New Atheism, weather a post-Christian nation could maintain humane Christian values in the absence of the underlying belief system that birthed those values.He suggests that a nation with out God, over time develops a self-serving moral base that lends itself to anarchy.

A society that abandons faith in God must resort to more control to deal with humanity's selfish and rebellious nature. According to the ACLU's webpage called Crime and Civil Liberties, crime in America has gone up 61 percent across the nation in the last two decades. They report that the U.S. is one of the most dangerous countries in the industrialized world. According to their research, Americans are seven to ten times more likely to be murdered than the residents of most European countries and Japan. The article indicated the governments response has been stiffer penalties, hi-tech policing, massive prison construction and the return of the death penalty in many states with no diminishing affect. Illustrating John Adams point, our government is incapable of governing a Godless people. History would disagree with atheistic Americans who declares "I can be Good without God" (Dylan Galos: The Freedom From Religion Foundation), for time has proven that humanity will not remain moral unless forced to do so. From the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution (Historywizz.com) to American schools with armed officers patrolling their halls(LA Times 10/15/1998) Any time God is removed from a society, a greater governmental control over the lives of everyday citizens develops to manage humanity's natural propensity for destruction, taking away civil liberties and destroying freedom.

The end of libery and Justice

 Uncle Sam's Suicide
Uncle Sam's Suicide | Source


By working to remove God from society,Atheistic Americans undermine their own freedom. The New York Times opinion pages offered up an article by Franz De Waal called Morals without God. He makes the point that man can be good without God. He questions the Christian notion that Humanity must be forced to be moral. " I am wary of anyone whose belief system is the only thing standing between them and repulsive behavior." What Mr. De Waal fails to see is that repulsive behavior is defined by ones belief system. In every orderly society good and evil must be defined. In so doing a religion is created. If religion is removed then the order that religion brings to society is also removed. Religion will always serve to define the morality of a people. The question is what kind of religion will future Americans embrace; a religion that fears God, or a religion that fears men? In 1806, Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, enthusiastically suggested that Christianity should be the religion of choice for any society. In his collection of writing called Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical he said “Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts it's principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy.” There are those who will argue against Christianity being the only pure religion. However, Christian principle and precepts perfectly embrace the ideals put forward by the American constitution including that essential element, the fear of God .

Twenty three years before the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln prophetically addressed dangers to the American way of life in his Lyceum Address. His warning remains applicable in 2011 just as it was in 1838:

From whence shall we expect the approach of danger? Shall some trans-Atlantic military giant step the earth and crush us at a blow? Never. All the armies ofEurope and Asia...could not by force take a drink from the Ohio River or make a track on the Blue Ridge in the trial of a thousand years. No, if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide.


The fear of God has always been a vital part of the American conscience and is necessary for a nation of free men to live forever. The Gettysburg address serves as a reminder that God is watching. Atheists who labor to remove God from society are working to destroy America's freedom. Religion defines a people's morality and gives rise to the political system that governs them. A religion that fears God, frees men.




Work Cited

Abraham Lincoln Online, "The Gettysburg Address" The Gettysburg Address. Abraham Lincoln Online Speech and Writings, n.d. Web. 05 December 2011.

Abraham Lincoln Online, "Lyceum Address" Lyceum Address. Abraham Lincoln Online Speech and Writings, n. d. Web. 05 December 2011.

Adams, John. " The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: with a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations, by his Grandson Charles Francis Adams." Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856. Vol. 9 of 10.To the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts. Online Library of Liberty. Web. 05 December 2011.

American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, "Crime and Civil Liberties" ACLU: Raising Public Awareness. ACLU of Florida, n.d. Web. 05 December 2011.

Benjamin Rush, "Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosophical", Philadelphia: printed by Thomas and William Bradford, 1806, p. 93.

Chrissy Calli, Civil War Soldiers, n.d.Sigal Museum, Web. 05 December 2011

DE Waal, Frans. " Morals Without God?" New York Times Opinionator. The New York Times, 17 October 2010. Web. 05 December 2011.

Forest, Nancy. " Armed Officers to Patrol High Schools" Las Angeles Times. LasAngeles Times, 15 October 1998. Web. 05 December 2011.

Hallowell Billy, "Good Without God: Freedom From Religion Foundation To ConveneIn Connecticut for Annual Atheism Convention" The Blaze, n.d. Web, 05 December 2011.

Historywizz.com, "The Reign Of Terror." The Reign Of Terror. HistoryWiz, n.d. Web. 05 December 2011.

Holder, Rodney D. "The Bible, Ethics and the New Atheism." Science & Christian Belief Apr. 2011: 2. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

KJV Life in the Spirit Study Bible. Adams, John, Stanley M Horton, William W,and Glen W Menzies. Grand Rapids Michigan, Zondervan, 2003. Print Kunstler, Mort, The Gettysburg Address. n.d. King James Galleries. Web. 05 December 2011.

Library of Congress, "The Gettysburg Address." Library of Congress: My Loc, Library of Congress, n. d. Web. 05 December 2011.

Public Broadcasting Station."Notes on the state of Virginia, Query XVIII 1781." PBS Archive, n.d. Web, 05 December 2011.

Rushing Justin. "The Death of Sam" Cartoon. Unpublished, 05 December 2011. 1. Print

Steed Ben. Proverbs 1:10 Photo. Heartlight.org n.d. Web 05 December 2011

Visit-Gettysburg.com, "The Gettysburg Address Text." Visit-Gettysburg Address.com.Visit-Gettysburg.com, n.d. Web. 05 December 2011

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Comments 18 comments

AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago from The Land Up Over

So much to say. . .

For now, just the last sentence:

"A religion that fears God, frees men."

Frees them for what?

You appear to be saying that thinking for yourself, reading the books (all of them, not just the 'approved' ones) and deciding what to believe, is not freedom.

Isn't that something every living, free human being does? Are we not all free to read and decide what to accept and not accept when it comes to faith?

Does deciding that the bible does not inspire your faith in a creator somehow makes one LESS free?

How does thinking freely make one less free?

The very essence of slavery is to attempt to restrict the thoughts and actions of another simply because they do not agree with your own.

If god wants us to have free will, what country on earth should constitute itself to require one to subvert it in the name of patriotism.

'one nation, under god' sure, if god exists then perhaps the nation must answer to god. But the nation is not required to answer to other human interpretations of right and wrong. America chose to determine its own course, of the people, by the people and for the people.

You, as a free person, are entitled to express your opinion that the 'atheists' are undermining freedom by not believing in god.

I as a free person express my opinion that the atheist is actually practicing that freedom granted by god.

And no human interpretation of bible or constitution that restricts the freedom of thought can be said to promote freedom.

Rather like saying you can only truly be free inside the box of my choosing.

Only my opinion

cheers


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

AntonOfTheNorth:

Thank you for reading my stuff. Your opinion is duly noted. I am honored that you stopped by and took the time to comment.

In response please consider the following:

Order is brought to a society when they unit in philosophy and agree on good and evil. At the heart of atheism is moral relativism. A religion that teaches good and evil is subjective to ones own perspective. Truth is relative to the individual. In such a society, moral unity will be difficult to maintain. For if a person can, in good conscience, (through free thinking and reading books that seem good to him) justify murder the only thing stopping him will be the laws of the land and his limited ability to get around those laws. To maintain order Government must have absolute power.

The constitution was originally set up to limit Government's power over the people. Today as atheism spreads, Government is gaining more and more power over the the lives of Americans sacrificing civil freedom.

A nation that fears God, frees men from the fear of Government enforced morality.

Despite your free thinking and best hopes, Once atheists have successfully removed the God of the Bible from American society, they will be forced to create a new sovereign master. At that point men become gods and the ones with the most power will force their definition of Good and Evil on society. When men become gods, free thinking is no longer be allowed. For example, Communism, The French Revolution's "Reign of terror", Hitler's fascism, modern day North Korea.

The values and morality that the western people hold most precious are supported by the Christian definition of Good and Evil. Freedom of religion, Equality, Free speech, The right to defend your self,The right to life Liberty, the pursuit of happiness. All Christian ideals

You said "You appear to be saying that thinking for yourself, reading the books (all of them, not just the 'approved' ones) and deciding what to believe, is not freedom."

Gaining Knowledge and understanding is holy and righteous. But gaining Knowledge that makes a man his own god is selfish and destructive to society.

Men kind must have a sovereign. They will either serve God or they will serve other men.


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago from The Land Up Over

Hi again,

There is some that we agree on.

"Order is brought to a society when they unite in philosophy and agree on good and evil."

I agree totally with this statement.

"When men become gods, free thinking is no longer be allowed."

I agree totally with this statement too.

"They will either serve God or they will serve other men."

I submit that any religion is serving men rather than god.

The books of the bible were written by men. Even if it is your belief that these books are inspired by god, which parts of the books are used to make moral judgements and binding laws is fairly arbitrary and seems more based on social acceptance. Often the various books contradict each other. The very same book is used to support different sides of the same conflict when christian cultures collide.

In a democratic and free society, laws must be based on what we can agree upon, not on what we can't.

Clearly, most societies do not agree on the nature of the creator.

As to "... the heart of atheism is moral relativism." While I understand this position, I don't agree.

Can a moral code be developed without a religion? Sure it can. Can I appreciate that murder is wrong despite the fact that I am not a christian? Sure I can. (I'm not an atheist, but I certainly have a different view of the creator than the bible.)

The ideals you mention as christian are not exclusively so. They are part and parcel of most religions, certainly all of the mainstream ones. I think they are good ideals. (Although candidly I'm not certain how any one religion can espouse 'freedom of religion' as a value, since most religions consider themselves the 'one true way'. Isn't the commandment 'thou shalt have no other gods before me'? How is that 'freedom of religion'?)

I would of course defend your right to speak out in favour of the creation of a god-fearing society. I submit that such a society would be less free.

This is not to say it would not be a 'better' society, but that is a value judgement and as such personal.

If it were my call to make, I would hope that people placed their faith where their freedom takes them. I would insist on laws that require us not to purposefully or through neglect deprive another human being of sustenance, freedom, health, education and community. Beyond that, since we are a democracy, it would have to be what the majority supports.

It is only when one purports to have a superior morality over another that we get into trouble. From that position comes the horrors you mention, but also the crusades, 911, the Inquisition, the Residential School Tragedy in Canada, Segregation in the USA.

I am not at all against christians or christianity as it is practised by most christians today. I think most people are decent, law abiding citizens. Getting along is something we just have to get better at.

It takes work. This exchange is part of that work so I thank you for it.

cheers


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

AntonOfTheNorth

Welcome back. I do enjoy the discussion.

In this writing I don't say that a person must be a Christian. I say they must, at the very least, fear God. Truth is available in lots of religions. Many religions fear God. There are religions that are stricter morally than Christianity. In America today we have many faith living together in harmony. I do not see them as a threat to my society.

The freedom of Religion is a uniquely Christian idea birthed by scripture and taught by Jesus. However, it was not always understood. Catholicism bears the blame for keeping this truth from coming to light by combining the powers of Church and State and keeping Holy Script hidden from all men. It wasn't until scripture was made available for everyone did this principle get properly explored. I have a Hub call "A Christian Nation" that discusses the freedom of religion. I would be honored to have you read it. It may bring balance to this discussion.

When we look at history, your criticism is fair. The freedom of religion was not practiced or even understood. The wall that separates church and state comes from Matthew 22:15-22 where Jesus teaches us to Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. He taught that government and faith were not one and the same. This idea was unheard of in His time and was not fully developed until the American Revolution. It found it ultimate expression in the US Constitution.

I am concerned because Atheism is a religion. Like all religions it has elements of truth that need to be noted. However, our government does not seem to see Atheism as a religion. Our government today has embraced it and has given its principle and beliefs favor. The wall of separation does not seem to apply to it ideologies. It is taught in public schools and social programs. I say, Houston we have a problem!

You said that all religion is man mad, I disagree. Some religions are man made. Some come straight from Hell and some come from God. I disagree that the bible contradicts itself. Our interpretations of the scripture contradict themselves. Those that come from God set men free spiritually, mentally, and physically. I agree that the bible was put down on parchment by men, but I believe the principles that were written down came from God. I believe this by faith and I don't require you or others to believe the same. I can continue to participate in your society even if you disagree with me. This is the genius of true Christianity. I can be a Christian in a godless society. The Christian faith is ultimately for the individual. Others can believe what they like. My salvation does not depend on your actions or faith. If we are lucky enough to find a society that is predominantly Christian, you will not be required to change your faith if you wish to participate in that society along side of me.

I believe that Christianity is indeed the only road to God. But I also believe that people should have the freedom to try other paths. This is where the tree of good and evil comes in, in the biblical account of the fall of man(Gen 3). God does not want to force people to serve Him. He wants them to choose to serve Him. This is religious freedom. God has given humanity a free will. A person may choose to serve Him or someone/something else. Each person must be prepared to reap the consequences of their decisions.

You said... " As to "... the heart of atheism is moral relativism." While I understand this position, I don't agree. Can a moral code be developed without a religion? Sure it can. Can I appreciate that murder is wrong despite the fact that I am not a Christian? Sure I can. I'm not an atheist, but I certainly have a different view of the creator than the bible."

The development of a moral code is the development of religion, it is impossible to have a moral code with out religion. However, I agree that men can create a moral code with out God. The Bible teaches in Gen 2 and 3 that humanity has the ability to know right and wrong. A person does not need God to develop a moral code. The question is who's reasoning will that code be based on, God's or Man's? No matter how you look at it, when you boil it down to its simplest form, Man's reasoning is Moral Relativism. "I will decide for myself what is good and evil" In the absences of a God fearing moral code, Moral Relativism will, despite best efforts, be at the heart of society.

You said " If it were my call to make, I would hope that people placed their faith where their freedom takes them. I would insist on laws that require us not to purposefully or through neglect deprive another human being of sustenance, freedom, health, education and community. Beyond that, since we are a democracy, it would have to be what the majority supports."

Those are excellent values. The problem comes in enforcing those values on people who disagree with you. If you are going to create a society based on these tenets there will be those who say "It's not my job to feed, keep healthy, or even educate other people. Let them earn their own freedom. My moral code will not allow me to contribute to such foolish spending of government funding." Whose to say your ideas are right and theirs are wrong? Who is going to decide, Government that's who. In the absence of the fear God, the fear of Government must take His place. The consequence of rejecting God is the loss of civil liberties and your free will to all powerful governments.

Man will ether serve God, or they will serve men who make gods of themselves.

Sorry this response was so long, But this is an important topic and worth spending time in consideration and rebuttal. I hope you the very best in all that you do.

ABR


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago from The Land Up Over

Hey ABR,

Long comments have become a trade mark of mine as well. No worries.

"I am concerned because Atheism is a religion. Like all religions it has elements of truth that need to be noted. However, our government does not seem to see Atheism as a religion."

Many atheists don't either. I guess the only difference is while theist religions have a common god and ususally a common code of behaviour, atheists have only that they don't believe god exists. Beyond that what they have in common is social.

"Our interpretations of the scripture contradict themselves."

And this is the rub. Who's interpretation is correct? No one who wrote any book of the bible is present and there is so much more to communication between humans than the written word. Laws and courts have a whole industry because they can't agree what the words of the law mean, and most of those laws are in the last 100 years. And those are differences between humans who lived at the time the laws were written.

You and I are roughly culturally equivalent (based on some comments in a hub, so perhaps not, but let's assume so). While we do have things we agree on, (language being one) we have different conclusions as to the validity of the bible.

What are the odds that a human being would correctly interpret the will of an omnipotent, omnipresent, all-loving mind?

Even if those odds are good, what are the odds that any cleric you or I have met, or ourselves, have any hope of arriving at what was meant by a series of books written by separate people in separate cultures with different references than we have, writing in a language that is no longer in use and translated through greek, latin, old and modern english?

There are a lot of men (and some women) between us and the word of god as put forth in the bible. Hence, the religion that has been handed to me is human derived.

Yet I believe in a creator. Not everyone does so fear of same will never be universal, not until and unless the creator makes it irrefutable.

And even then, I suspect it will only be a couple of generations before it is doubted again.

Where you and I may differ is that I believe the uncertainty is on purpose.

If we knew, we would not search.

We would not discuss

We would not share ideas

Which to me is ultimately the reason for life.

I trust the creator's creation to be what was intended, and act on my free will as the gift that it is.

As do you, no?

Makes for interesting conversation at the very least. :)

cheers


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Anton:

My ultimate purpose in life is to love God with all I have emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In addition, I strive to know Him, to serve Him and declare Him. Gaining Knowledge, discussing/sharing my ideas, and examining the uncertainties of life as they relate to my faith is part of this purpose but not my ultimate goal. They serve to help me know God Better and in turn help me make Him known to others.

Bible interpretation is a subject for another Hub and another day. So that we do not digress from the original subject matter, allow me to repeat my original point.

The U.S. Constitution does not require a nation of Christians. It requires a nation that believes in God and understands the most basic principle of all theistic religions, God is watching and will order your life and the life of your nation according to actions.

One of the amazing things about the American Constitution

is its neutrality on religion. It is able to unite the mass majority because it operates on religious values with out being consigned to any particular belief system. The Constitution is not a Christian document, Yet Christians can, in good conscience, submit to its laws because the are in agreement with the laws that they believe came from God. It is the same for most theistic religions who are found under its umbrella. For the American constitution to work, Christians do not have to agree on Biblical interpretations. The constitution can exist with out Christianity. It allows you to serve God in what ever way seems best to you. However, The Constitution will cease to function when its people stop fearing God for it was designed to limit the power of government over its people. the majority will always have to be governed by fear of reproof. To do so Government will have to cast off its shackles and become God.


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago from The Land Up Over

Thanks for bringing us back on point.

My response is that I think we get into something very unclear and dangerous about freedom if we determine that the belief that there is no god is not constitutional, since the existence of god is a question of subjective faith and not objectively determined. Laws should be based on that which we can agree on. If we don't agree that there is a god, much less which one, how can we base just laws on that belief in a democracy?

Eventually, a person or persons would have to determine which theology was the 'official' one, which is what the American constitution was trying to prevent. No?

cheers


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago from The Land Up Over

One more thing (really, just one) ;)

"the majority will always have to be governed by fear of reproof."

This would not be my belief or hope. I can at least imagine a day where pragmatic morality based on empathy would lead us to govern our own behaviour and support appropriate laws. But I realise this might just be my idealism talking.

cheers


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Anton this has been a good discussion and I appreciate the time you have given to it. Surprisingly perhaps, I am in agreement with you last two comments. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that atheism is unconstitutional. I would never support any legislature that would force people to believe in God or anything else. I am simply pointing out that this particular theology is dangerous not only because it destroys freedom but also because it bring God's justice to bare.

I am sure I have already said this about a dozen times, It not getting people to agree on molarity that is the real problem. It is getting people to remain faithful to that moral code when it is no longer beneficial for their own personal gain.

You said;

"the majority will always have to be governed by fear of reproof." Absolutely! that is the problem.

If I had more time, I would love to develop for you the Christian principle of "The Love of God" which I mentioned in the writing. Put simply, as the Christian matures in his faith he/she casts of fear and no longer does write out of fear of reproof, but out of love of right." or the Love of God. As a say perhaps another hub is in order.

Thanks for adding to this Hub and giving me stuff to think about I really do appreciate the time you have spent. Thanks for hanging in there.

ABR


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 4 years ago from The Land Up Over

ABR,

Thanks to you as well. I find that at heart, there is much more in common if we take the time to understand.

The 'love of right' is something I strive for too, regardless of religion.

cheers


peeples profile image

peeples 4 years ago from South Carolina

I give you one thing, you are an awesome writer. However I have to agree to disagree on all this. I do not understand how anyone can believe deep down that without god someone would be less moral. I also think that where you see us atheist trying to rid Christianity, all that really is, is us wanting forced religion out of our lives. Just as I am sure if you had an option you wouldn't want forced atheism shoved in yours all the time. We don't hate the constitution. Many of of strongly support it. I can like a lot of thing that were influenced by religion without being a part of religion or even liking it for that matter. I also really hope that you don't believe the crime rate is up because of atheist. 92% of serial killers reort being of the Christian faith. Granted the fact they are serial killers implys they do not follow the bible but I hope you see my point. In a nation full of Christians I surely would hope you wouldn't assume the tiny percentage we atheist amount to could be responsible for all that crime.

My last note here. I have not believed in God since I was a small child, raised by people who claimed to be Christians but weren't, I live a good moral life. My morals developed in my brain as I grew. Commen sense tells me not to hurt others or myself. Being moral without God is possible and you shouldn't be so bothered by those who don't want to live just like you or your group. Sorry for the multiple run on sentences I'm sure are in here. I hope it's understandable. It's been a long day! Have a night!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Peeples, I am truly honored That you took the time to read this Hub. Thank you for your encouraging words about my writing skills.

All I can say in response to your criticism is, time will tell. The foundational boundary of the conscience, for every generation, has been set in place by the preceding generation. Each generation rebels to some degree against the standards that the previous generation set. When left to run its course, morality declines over time.

We have wonderful examples where Men have been able to slow and in some cases reverse this march toward moral decadence and destruction. Men like Johnathon Edwards, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. were men who were able to grab the consciences of men and woman across the world and ask for a higher standard of morality. I fear these men are often to few.

Please consider by way of illustration, that the fact that you do not believe there is a God illustrates my point perfectly. You have rebelled against the beliefs and probably a good number of the moral boundaries that were put in place by your parents. You may be a moral person but compared to your parents. While you remain a moral person you do not fear God. According to your parents, myself and the majority of our forefathers you have declined morally simply by rejecting God. I wounder which of your beliefs and moral standards your children will, or have, rejected. If they are allowed to base right and wrong on moral relativism their standard of morality will not be high as yours.

I hope you took the time to read the discussions that took place between Anton of the North and myself in the previous comments on this hub. we covered much of your objections.

Go in peace, I wish you well.

ABR


peeples profile image

peeples 4 years ago from South Carolina

Normally I would let this go but you brought up my children, and well, as a mommy that hits a nerve. I understand that you feel that with each generation we are becoming worse and worse. Did it ever occur to you that maybe it has nothing to do with a belief in God and everything to do with parents. I am a firm believer in children will turn out right if guided right by their parents. Not saying they can't stray and not saying horrible parents will make horrible children (I'm proof that isn't true). I am a firm believer in dicipline. I believe in children say "no sir" and yes ma'am" I teach my children about good and how you shouldn't do bad to just do good. My husband is a great Chritian. I don't impose my beliefs on my children out of a respect for my husband. My children are not guaranteed to be bad simply because generational changes have happened. My husband has a crazy belief that one day I will be in heaven because God will accept me based on my past and what he gave me. Now I know that isn't a common belief but all I can say is if I am wrong, I sure hope he's the one that's right. Surely one sin can't outweigh a ife of doing other. I get off track. Christianity just confuses me! Take care!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Peeples: In an effort to better understand where you are coming from, I took a moment to read your profile. The little bit of information you have posted is tragic. I can completely understand why you have drawn the conclusions about God that you have.

First let me say I absolutely agree that parents are the primary role. That is why I said in my response "The foundational boundary of the conscience, for every generation, has been set in place by the preceding generation." Our parents are the preceding generation.

I loved hearing you praise your husband. He sounds like a wonderful and caring man who loves you very much. I suspect you love him very much as well. Is it possible that your husband is God's gift to you after all that you have endured at the hand of a wicked world?

I respect your perspective and am sorry I triggered your motherly instinct. I will be praying for you and your husband.

Peace

ABR


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS

Let us take a look at the Gettysburg Address from the viewpoint of the New Testament.

Lincoln says his purpose is to: “dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place to those who here gave their lives that nation might live.”

Would Jesus have consecrated a killing field and advocated killing again and again? Lincoln places nation above God. Who was/is more correct, Lincoln or Jesus?

Jesus taught to love one another. His final command to Peter was: sheath your sword. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your enemies. All of these teachings go against fighting and killing in combat. Jesus never strapped on a sword. We should not dedicate land as sacred if killing was involved.

Alternatives to fighting existed such as: The Underground Railroad, public education against slavery and private Christian education against slavery. Given time, the attitudes of people, even in the South, change.


sradie profile image

sradie 2 years ago from Palm Coast FL

Very interesting responses to your excellent article Aaron. I'll keep it short since we communicate on a fairly regular basis, you will surely understand my comment here taken from my Facebook response:

This is perhaps the most profound quote of your well crafted article Aaron. President John Adams wrote in his letter to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Many in our nation today decry the inadequacy of our Constitution without recognizing they are proving John Adams point conclusively. Liberalism and the even more pervasive and misguided principals of Socialism and Communism have steadfastly knawed away at our morality and religious foundations thus making it so. Theirs is a circular philosophy with no beginning, no end and no resolution to bolster liberty, justice, morality and religious freedom. The anarchy, dissolution of tradition, destruction of the nuclear family unit and moral relativism are the harvest we are reaping from such unfounded, unprincipled, undisciplined athiest philosophy.


Jay C OBrien profile image

Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

The title is: The Gettysburg Address and The Fear of God.

Two quick points. First, we should not Fear God, we should wish to join Him as He has a Peaceful mind (no judgment, anger, hatred, etc.) He always forgives.

Second, Jesus joined God with a Peaceful mind. Lincoln with his Gettysburg Address promoted further war. Lincoln did not follow the teachings of Jesus. Land (The field of Gettysburg) does not become Holy (consecrated) if you fight for it.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 2 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Mr. Obrien, we will agree to disagree.

The Christian picture of God does indeed describe God as loving and forgiving. However that is only one part of his nature. The Christian Bible also describes Him as righteous and just. In his love, God judges and disciplines, and those who reject Him and His Word, will one day be condemned.

You can't have justice with out fear and without love you will not have the temperance needed to have true justice. They are tied together.

The beginning of wisdom and knowledge is the fear of God - Proverbs 9-10.

The Gettysburg Address stands out in my mind as one of the greatest speeches any president has ever given. My view and clearly contradicts yours. That's OK that's what makes America great, we do not have to agree.

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