The Faith of Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's spiritual beliefs are notoriously difficult to pin down.  It's a source of endless debate for historians trying to reconcile Lincoln's words and actions into a coherent faith. Tony Kushner, for his part, does not portray the sixteenth president as a religious man at all in his screenplay for the recent blockbuster Lincoln.  Kushner alters the historical record, though, in his one direct reference to Lincoln's faith. Near the end of the film, Kushner has Lincoln tell his wife that with the war over, he wishes to visit Jerusalem, the place "where David and Solomon walked."  Yet in the original anecdote (which may be apocryphal), Lincoln says to his wife, "We will visit the Holy Land and see those places hallowed by the footstep of the Savior."  There was, he went on to say, "no city on earth he so much desired to see as Jerusalem."  (Some think Lincoln may have heard his secretary of state, William H. Seward, talk about his own 1859 visit...(Read Full Post)