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Talk of God Inappropriate in Sacred Space

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1:53 AM Comments (32)

There has been a lot of commentary on Glenn Beck’s “restoring honor” rally in Washington this past weekend.  President Obama ignored it.  Newscasters spun it.  And people argued over the size of it.

But hands down, the silliest thing anyone has said on this topic (and maybe any topic) comes from the politically liberal commentator Bill Press.

As the topic turned to the rally, it was noted that most of the rally focused on a return to God and patriotism.

Speaking on CNN, Press said that speaking about God in a ‘sacred’ space like the Lincoln Memorial is ‘inappropriate.’

Talk of God is inappropriate at a “sacred” place?  A sacred place? 

Many people have rightly been pointing out that this would come as a surprise to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. since his “I have a dream speech” has multiple references to God in it.

But I think the prohibition on God-speak at the Lincoln Memorial would come as an even bigger surprise to Lincoln himself.  After all, Lincoln second inaugural address in carved in stone at the memorial.  It reads in part…

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Lincoln ought to be ashamed of himself.  Well, either him or Bill Press.

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About Pat Archbold

Pat Archbold
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Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company. Patrick, his wife Terri, and their five children reside in Long Island, N.Y.