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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 03/04/08 08:42:13 AM

Two Last Speeches

Today is a big primary-election day. It is also the 143rd anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration as President of the United States.

Today, The Blog from the Core presents two "Last Speeches" (though neither is such, I suppose, very strictly speaking): Lincoln's famous "Second Inaugural Address", and "Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas", a speech John F. Kennedy was scheduled to deliver on the day he was assassinated, Nov. 22, 1963. Here follows an extract from each.

From Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address:

.... The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!'' If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences 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 offence 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 bond-man'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.'' ....

From Kennedy's Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas:

.... We in this country, in this generation, are — by destiny rather than choice — the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men." That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: "except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

It needs hardly to be said that neither Lincoln nor Kennedy — obviously fanatical religious zealots, each quoting from the Bible twice in one paragraph, and thus bent on establishing a theocracy — it needs hardly to be said that neither could be elected President of the United States of America in the 21st century.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Tue. 03/04/08 08:42:13 AM
Categorized as Historical & Political.


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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”