Monday, May 09, 2005

The Key to Lincoln's Approach

Those of us stuck here in this wrestling-with-faith world find Lincoln to be our guide and navigator. Lincoln had enough firm conviction to lead a great moral crusade, but his zeal was tempered by doubt, and his governing style was dispassionate
writes David Brooks in his article on America's 16th president.
The key to Lincoln's approach is that he was mesmerized by religion, but could never shake his skepticism. Politically, he knew that the country needed the evangelicals' moral rigor to counteract the forces of selfishness and subjectivism, but he could never actually be an evangelical himself.

Lincoln's core lesson is that while the faithful and the faithless go at each other in their symbiotic culture war, those of us trapped wrestling with faith are not without the means to get up and lead.

Thanks to Ashbrook's Lucas Morel, and to Joseph Knippenberg and Peter Schramm (who reviewed Allen Guelzo's emancipation book last year) for finding reactions to the Brooks piece, as well as reactions to the reactions.

In addition, my Lincoln page has been updated.

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