Abraham Lincoln didn’t think so:

You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it. Is there anything else you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong?

Why are you so careful, so tender of this wrong and no other? You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong, there is no place where you will allow it to even be called wrong!

We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion. . . .and there is no single place, according to you, where a wrong thing can be called a wrong thing! (Quoted in D.A. Carson, The Intolerance of Tolerance, 105).

Print Friendly

Comments:


11 thoughts on “Are You Really Personally Opposed if You Won’t Call it Wrong?”

  1. Susan says:

    Good and timely quote, Kevin, but you might want to clean up the typos ;-)

  2. What did Lincoln think personally of African-Americans again? (He thought blacks to be ‘sub-human’)

    What was his position on the integration of African-Americans into society? (Look into his attempts at colonization of free blacks into Haiti and Africa).

    The fact of the matter is while Lincoln’s own positions changed with the political winds (the Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves in border states or political expedient areas) his personal view of the African-American and their place in American society is much more muddled than the history books want you to believe. There is quite the mythology built up around Abraham Lincoln that bears more careful study.

  3. …I think a lot of republican Christians would squirm on this big time if they applied it to their candidate…

  4. John R. Gentry  (@johnrgentry) says:

    Great quote, Kevin, but, as has already been suggested, several typos need to be fixed. :)

  5. Kevin DeYoung says:

    Thanks. I think I got the typos fixed. My assistant (and proofreader!) is out of town.

  6. Michael B. says:

    You’re personally opposed to people not going to church, and may call it wrong, but you don’t think that the gov’t has the right to force people to go to church.

  7. Brad says:

    Let’s take this question and put it in contemporary terms: Why don’t you call it wrong for Reformers to say that either you vote for Mitt Romney or you’re a hyper-calvinist, or your endorsing President Obama or whatever?

    See, it’s not so simple when you take a more modern context and apply it to the problem, and it’s a lot easier to build your case when you bring up a 150 year old issue that’s already been settled in the eyes of history rather than an issue that requires you take a controversial stand today.

  8. Brad says:

    Oh, didn’t see Paul’s comment above…so I guess I just expanded on his point.

  9. Flyaway says:

    Lincoln believed that all men are created equal–“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Either gay marriage is wrong or it is right. Abortion is wrong or right. May Christians not deceive themselves.

  10. Greg says:

    Michael B., the difference when it comes to abortion is that the “personally opposed” stance is so transparently a false, deceptive one.

    Can you really imagine (say) Joe Biden counseling a woman to choose against abortion, because he think that it is morally wrong for her to abort? No, you can’t – because he quite obviously doesn’t really feel that way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

Kevin DeYoung's Books