+gt;+gt; God damn your god damned old hellfired god damned soul to hell +gt;+gt; god damn

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

>> God damn your god damned old hellfired god damned soul to hell >> god damn you and goddam your god damned family's god damned >> hellfired god damned soul to hell and good damnation god damn >> them and god damn your god damned friends to hell. >> -- Letter to Abraham Lincoln, signed Pete Muggins, 1860 > You're kidding; this is a real quotation of a > letter sent to Abraham Lincoln? > Mike T Mike, In James A. Haught's book 'Holy Horrors' (Haught was then associate editor of the Charleston Gazette) he writes: "In another area of human rights, many Christian clergymen advocated slavery. Historian Larry Hise notes in his book 'Pro-Slavery' that ministers 'wrote almost half of all defenses of slavery published in America.' He lists 275 men of the cloth who used the Bible to prove that white people were entitled to own black people as work animals." This follows a supporting testimony by the scholar Arthur Schlesinger Jr. in a 1989 speech: "As a historian, I confess to a certain amusement when I hear the Judeo-Christian tradition praised as the source of our present-day concern for human rights, that is, for the valuable idea that all individuals everywhere are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on this earth. In fact, the great religious ages were notable for their indifference to human rights in the contemporary sense. They were notorious not only for acquiescence in poverty, inequality, exploitation, and oppression, but also for enthusiastic justification of slavery, persecution, abandonment of small children, torture, and genocide. "During most of the history of the West ... religion enshrined and vindicated hierarchy, authority, and inequality, and had no compunction about murdering heretics and blasphemers. Until the end of the 18th century, torture was normal investigative procedure in the Catholic church as well as in most European state... "Human rights is not a religious idea. It is a secular idea, the product of the last four centuries of Western history. Tocqueville persuasively attributed the humanitarian ethic to the rise of the idea of equality... It was the age of equality that brought about the disappearance of such religious appurtenances as the auto-da-fe and burning at the stake, the abolition of torture and of public executions, the emancipation of the slaves... The basic human rights documents - the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man - were written by political, not by religious, leaders." I cannot recall where I read a reference to Abraham Lincoln's claim that the older and more experienced he became the less faith he had in Christianity being a force of good intentions, but it certainly would appear plausible that the political symbol of emancipation of American slaves would receive abundant amounts of hate-mail from the righteous. I am likewise sure that, as Taner Edis and Larry Hise demonstrate, it is well documented. Faithfully yours, Donald Buckley

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank