Two Freethinkers–Joseph Lewis and Abraham Lincoln

by Al Benson Jr.

Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America

Recently a friend at church loaned me a book he had picked up at a book sale. He thought I might find it of interest, and he was right. Some real gems here. The name of the book is Atheism and it was written by a Joseph Lewis, who was the president of the Freethinkers of America.

I don’t know if there are different variations of freethinkers or not, but the ones I have read about are virulently anti-Christian. Mr. Lewis’ book on atheism takes a broad swipe at religion in general but goes to great pains to attack the truth of Holy Scripture specifically.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that those who claim to be generally anti-religious spend most of their efforts denigrating the Christian faith and the Bible. So I have to  conclude that, in the long run, they are not nearly as anti-religious as they are anti-Christian. All the more reason as far as I am concerned to defend Jesus Christ and the Christian faith because this is the one faith that everybody seems to be against. The truth of John 14:6 stands out here. “Let God be true and every man a liar.”

Lewis goes to great lengths to promote the fallacious concept that atheism is something that “liberates” people from the staid old dogmas of the Christian faith. I have to say, though, that Mr. Lewis’ arguments just plain fail to convince me that his particular version of anti-Christianity is all that “liberating.” Lewis’ atheism is little more than another man-made secular attempt to  promote man as his own god  so he won’t be forced to depend on the Triune God of Scripture for his salvation and worldview. What is it the man says–“been there, done that, got the tee shirt.” And to what end???

Lewis wrote several books over the years according to a brief biography of him I pulled off the internet. According to this bio, one of his books was Lincoln the Freethinker, published back in 1925.

Lewis delivered an address at a banquet of the Freethinkers’ Society of New York in February of 1924 that had the same title as the book, so that may have been the genesis of the book, I don’t know.

From what I’ve read so far of Mr. Lewis’ anti-Christian ramblings I find almost nothing he and I would agree on–except Abraham Lincoln’s anti-Christian worldview. From the research Donnie Kennedy and I did for our book Lincoln’s Marxists a few years back I would have to say that Mr. Lewis hit this one nail right on the head. His New York speech in 1924 noted several things about Lincoln that Donnie and I found. One thing was, and I can’t figure for the life of me why, that shortly after Lincoln passed from this mortal coil there seemed to be an effort among some Christian writers to turn him into some kind of super-Christian and books were published that attempted that. This sort of propaganda (that may be what it really is) has continued down to our day, with books like Abraham Lincoln the Christian which I believe was published several years ago for the home school audience.

Suffice it to say, the home school audience deserves better. If you want to give home schoolers the truth about Lincoln then why not have them read The Real Lincoln by Tom DiLorenzo which is guaranteed to give them a good view of the authentic Lincoln. Lincoln’s old law partner, Herndon, tried to discourage some of the pious platitudes Christian writers threw out there about Lincoln. Herndon could authoritatively do this because he knew Lincoln had never really had any consuming interest in the Christian faith except to poke fun at it.

Judge David Davis, who had quite a legal career in Illinois over his lifetime, and who knew Lincoln, said “Lincoln had no faith in the   Christian sense of the term–he had faith in law, principles, causes and effects.” It’s interesting that the world looks at Lincoln as though he were a pious, humble Christian and looks at true Christians like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and JEB Stuart as though they were some special kind of Nazis because slavery still existed in the South. The “historians” have forgotten to inform them that slavery previously existed in the North and that there were four slaveholding states that remained in the Union during the War. Oh, I know–details, details! Who needs to know the real history? Just lionize Lincoln and castigate the South and everyone is happy. After all, it’s what our public institutions of “learning” have trained you to do, isn’t it?

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