Archive for the ‘Abraham Lincoln’ Category

“Most Famous” Lincoln Letter of Civil War Found?

November 17, 2008

A Texas museum hopes a document found in its archives turns out to be an authentic government copy of Abraham Lincoln‘s eloquent letter consoling a mother thought to have lost five sons in the Civil War.

The famed Bixby Letter, which the Dallas Historical Society is getting appraised as it prays for a potential windfall, has a fascinating history.

By JEFF CARLTON, Associated Press Writer

The original has never been found. Historians debate whether Lincoln wrote it. Its recipient, Lydia Bixby, was no fan of the president. And not all her sons died in the war.

The letter, written with “the best of intentions” 144 years ago next week, is “considered one of the finest pieces of American presidential prose,” said Alan Olson, curator for the Dallas group. “It’s still a great piece of writing, regardless of the truth in the back story.”

Historians say Lincoln wrote the letter at the request of a Massachusetts official, who passed along news of a Boston woman grieving the loss of her five sons. The letter is addressed to “Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Mass.” and begins with an acknowledgment that nothing written could possibly make a grief-stricken mother feel better about such a horrific loss.”I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming,” Lincoln wrote.

After thanking Bixby on behalf of a grateful nation, Lincoln wrote that he would pray that God relieve her anguish and leave her with only the “cherished memory of the loved” along with “the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”

The letter, as was the president’s custom in his personal correspondence, is signed “A Lincoln.”

“It is so beautifully written,” said James Cornelius, curator of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. “It is an extraordinarily sensitive expression of condolence.”

There was renewed interest in the letter after it was read in the 1998 film “Saving Private Ryan.” It also sparked a new round of debate centering on Lincoln’s authorship and the fate of Bixby’s sons.

Evidence indicates two of Bixby’s sons died, a third was a deserter and a fourth ended up in a prisoner-of-war camp, Cornelius said. A fifth is believed to have received a discharge, but his fate is unknown.

Historians have also argued that John Hay, one of Lincoln’s secretaries, wrote the letter. Hay was an accomplished writer who wrote a biography of Lincoln and later became ambassador to the United Kingdom.

“Lincoln probably wrote it,” Cornelius said. “Hay did on some occasions write letters in Lincoln’s name and sign them — or have Lincoln sign them — but probably not something like this that purports to be so personal and individual and heartfelt.”

The letter received widespread attention days after it was written. Bixby either sent it to the Boston Evening Transcript or a postal worker intercepted it and tipped off the newspaper, which reprinted the letter, Cornelius said.

The touching note came about two months after Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman had broken through Atlanta on his march to the coast and about two weeks after Lincoln won re-election. Union spirits were high, Cornelius said.

“The letter was so popular that it was published in newspapers and people copied and sent it to relatives,” Olson said. “That letter and the words in it affected the nation. It tugged at people’s hearts at the time of a really bloody period in America.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081117/ap_on_re_us/lincoln_
letter;_ylt=ApB_WT7xHW7RTpr93Vz97SSs0NUE

*******************

Abraham Lincoln seated, Feb 9, 1864.jpg

Text of the Bixby letter:
Executive Mansion,
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,–

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

(file image)
AP
Advertisements

What it Takes to Be President

October 13, 2008

Heather Whipps
LiveScience’s History Columnist

Who would make a better president – a man with more than 30 years of experience in Congress or one with about six?

If you chose the latter, congratulations: You’ve elected James Buchanan, one of the least popular presidents in U.S. history, over Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Fan-favorite Abraham Lincoln also had little political experience before running for president, failing both as a businessman and a farmer, but George Washington had plenty.

So what kind of qualifications make for a successful POTUS, or president of the United States?

On Nov. 4, Americans will vote to select their 44th president. The two candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, are both current U.S. senators, but certainly bring different backgrounds to the table. Pundits may have their say and analysts can crunch their numbers to forecast a winner, but history may be just as interesting (and maybe as accurate) as a presidential prognosticator.

There’s no clear pattern, as it turns out, among the 42 men who eventually became president (Grover Cleveland was both our 22nd and 24th). Each took a unique path to the Oval Office.

Educated guess

For starters, George Washington never went to college. In his defense, schools of higher education were in short supply in early 18th-century America.

Eight other presidents besides Washington didn’t get an undergraduate degree…
Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20081013/sc_livescience/whatittakestobe
president;_ylt=AlMZAOf83n.SDbTCyzt_Mx6s0NUE

Pope at St. Patrick’s in New York: We Owe Bishop Hughes

April 20, 2008

When the Pope celebrated Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, a TV newsman reminded us that the cornerstone of that magnificent church was laid in 1858.  But I was reminded of one of the men who made that church possible: “Dagger” John Hughes….

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

John Joseph Hughes (1797–1864), Catholic Archbishop of New York, played three critical roles for Lincoln and the United States during the Civil War. He traveled to Europe in search of able-bodied Irishmen to enlist in the Union Army. He participated in tricky diplomatic missions to France and the Vatican to keep them out of the war. Finally, Hughes used his personal powers of persuasion and clout to help quell the 1863 draft riots in New York.

Archbishop John Hughes is also responsible for starting the project, raising the first monies and laying the cornerstone for St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York — where Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Catholic Mass this week end.

View of the cathedral from Rockefeller Center.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York
.
By the time of the Civil War, “Dagger” John Hughes was nearing the end of his influence and his life. He earned the nickname “Dagger” for two reasons: first, he signed his name to include a small cross, often confused for a dagger. Second: Hughes’ hard-nosed style and ability to toughly face difficult challenges earned him the reputation as the “Dagger” of the Irish community in New York.After the Civil War began in 1861, Lincoln desperately needed to keep up a dialogue of understanding with European monarchs. Lincoln wanted to keep European nations from assisting the Confederacy. Lincoln wanted a Catholic of stature to assist him in dealing with the Catholic leaders in Europe. He chose Dagger John Hughes.

Lincoln paired Hughes with Thurlow Weed to head the mission to Europe.

Harper’s Weekly reported on November 23, 1861 that “Mr. Weed [and Archbishop Hughes] left this port [New York] on Saturday last for Europe. He states himself that he goes on private business; the public, however, will be apt to suspect that his private business concerns the public interest. If the suspicion be correct, we may feel assured that our affairs will suffer no mischance in his hands. Few men in the country are such true patriots as Thurlow Weed.”


Archbishop John Hughes

European leaders wanted a divided nation on the American continent. In September 1861, England’s former Colonial secretary Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton stated that a permanent division of the United States would benefit the “safety of Europe.” A truly united United States “hung over Europe like a gathering and destructive thundercloud … [but] as America shall become subdivided into separate states … her ambition would be less formidable for the rest of the world.”

“Dagger” John understood his mission and President Lincoln’s concerns: even though he harbored no animosity toward the Confederacy. “My mission was and is a mission of peace between France and England on the one side, and the United States on the other. ….I made it known to the President that if I should come to Europe it would not be as a partisan of the North more than of the South; that I should represent the interests of the South as well as of the North; in short, the interests of all the United States just the same as if they had not been distracted by the present civil war. The people of the South know that I am not opposed to their interests.”

While Weed headed to London to apply his tact and persuasion on members of Queen Victoria’s government, Dagger John went to France to call upon Napoleon III.

Historian Dean B. Mahin wrote that “Napoleon thought an independent Confederacy would provide a buffer between royalist Mexico and the republican United States.”

Even so, Hughes convinced the monarch to avoid involvement in the American conflict.

Then Hughes went to Italy on two missions. The first mission involved convincing the Vatican to keep out of the conflict. Hughes’ second mission was to persuade Irishmen serving as mercenaries in the Army of the Vatican to join their Irish immigrant countrymen in America and fight for the Union.

Hughes accomplished both missions. The Catholic Pope stayed out of the war, despite intense pressure and diplomatic maneuvering from the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis sent Bishop Patrick Lynch of Charleston to the Vatican in 1861 and Father John Bannon in 1864. Nether could change the neutrality of the influential Pontiff.

In Rome, Hughes also met with leading and influential Irish mercenaries, including Miles Keogh and John Coppinger. Both agreed to join the Union cause and both persuaded others to join them.

A short time later General George McClellan described Keogh as “a most gentlemanlike man, of soldierly appearance,” whose “record had been remarkable for the short time he had been in the army.”

Keogh would serve in many engagements of the Civil War and die alongside George Armstrong Custer at the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876.

Bishop Hughes recruit John J. Coppinger also served with Custer. During the Civil War, General Custer wrote that Coppinger’s “ability as an officer is of the highest order. … As a soldier I consider him a model.”

Coppinger was still serving the United States during the Spanish-American War of 1898 when he was promoted to Major-General of Volunteers.

Hughes remained on his diplomatic mission in Europe until the summer of 1862.

Dagger John’s final, but perhaps most significant, contribution to the Union cause came during New York’s draft riots of July 1863.

The Irish, most of whom were Catholics, hated the Union Army draft. Most Irishmen lacked the funds to buy their way out of service, the way more wealthy men did throughout the war. The Irish also avidly read newspapers recounting the valor of the Irish Brigade and other units. But Irish losses appalled them — and seemed disproportionate to the losses of non-Irish units. Irish boys made up about 15 percent of the Union army – and they were dying in droves.

The Irish had also reacted badly to Lincoln’s January Emancipation Proclamation. The Irish, arguably members of the lowest echelon of free American society, believed Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves only added another large population to their small niche of society.

So when Lincoln called a draft of even more men, the Irish went wild.

The New York Times reported that, “It seemed to be an understood thing that the negroes should be attacked wherever found.” An orphanage was burned to the ground, stores were ransacked and dozens of police officers were killed or injured.

In three days of mayhem and unrest, 443 people were arrested, 128 wounded, and over 50 people dead. The rioters also burned down more than 100 buildings and damaged about 200 others. Many of the killed and wounded were free Black men. were killed. Irishmen were largely responsible for the rioting.

“In New York no one had to ask who ruled the Church,” explained Professor Jay P. Dolan of the University of Notre Dame in his book “The Immigrant Church: New York’s Irish and German Catholics, 1815-1865.”

“John Hughes was boss….He ruled like an Irish chieftain,” wrote Professor Dolan. A newspaper reporter of the time wrote that Archbishop Hughes was “more a Roman gladiator than a devout follower of the meek founder of Christianity.”

But Hughes and the Irish did not rule all New York. New York was rued by Protestants, who winked at the unruliness of the Irish Catholics. The historian E.P. Spann called New York City in the mid-19th century “the capital of Protestant America.” Protestant leadership, said Spann, “made no secret of their belief that Roman Catholicism was alien and inferior.” Though not condoning the riot, the Protestant leadership of New York largely considered the disorder “a Catholic problem.”

Hughes left his death bed to appeal to the Irish, their honor and their pride. Hughes challenged the Irish leaders with the words, “no blood of innocent martyrs, shed by Irish Catholics, has ever stained the soil of Ireland.” Thus Archbishop Hughes convinced the Irish to end the rioting and peace was restored in New York.

President Lincoln wrote that “having formed the Archbishop’s acquaintance in the earliest days of our country’s present troubles, his counsel and advice were gladly sought and continually received by the Government on those points which his position enabled him better than others to consider. At a conjuncture of deep interest to the country, the Archbishop, associated with others, went abroad, and did the nation a service there with all the loyalty, fidelity and practical wisdom which on so many other occasions illustrated his great ability for administration.”

Dagger John Hughes proved himself a formidable force in an era when a fighting bishop was needed. When the Vatican nuncio, Archbishop Bedini, asked an American priest to explain why people in America held Archbishop Hughes in such esteem, the answer was: “It is because he is always game.”

Dagger John Hughes: Lincoln emissary and leader of American Irishmen died in New York on January 3, 1864.

John Hughes is also the one man most responsible for the building of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
.
Catholics have made a very long and indelible contribution to the history of North, South and Central America.  It is appropriate at the time of Pope Benedict’s visit to recall Archbishop John Hughes.
****
Mr. Carey is president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.  He writes for the Washington Times.

Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary ... .
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI holds a Mass at Nationals Park in Washington ... 
From

REUTERS/Jim Bourg 

Pope Benedict XVI passes St. Patrick's Cathedral in New ... 
.
Pope Benedict XVI passes St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York while riding up 5th Avenue in the Popemobile following a Mass at the Catherdral April 19, 2008.REUTERS/Mike Segar 
  

 
 
 

 

 

Blair family had many historic roles

March 21, 2008

By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
February 23, 2008

One family participated in many historic and breathtaking moments of the Civil War. Its members helped Abraham Lincoln get elected twice to the presidency. On behalf of Lincoln, the elder statesman of the family apparently offered command of the Union Army to Robert E. Lee in 1861.

In 1865, that same Washington elder statesman tried to negotiate a peace settlement with his longtime friend Jefferson Davis.

One son served in Lincoln’s Cabinet, had his house burned to the ground by Gen. Jubal Early’s Confederate forces and resigned his high government post in a sort of political trade.
Another son served in Congress, became a general in the Union Army and then a senator after the war and led a life of brawling adventure.

Jubal Early

The family name still causes tourists to stop in awe and respect just one block from the White House, inside the nation’s Capitol and in front of a handsome bust in Vicksburg, Miss.

The Blairs of Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland and the District of Columbia played a uniquely influential role in American politics from the time Francis P. Blair Sr. became involved in the financial Panic of 1819 until the end of son Frank Blair’s Senate term in 1873.
.
Francis P. Blair Sr.
.
Francis Preston Blair Sr. (1791-1876) began a long and distinguished career of semigovernment service and influence during the 1819 crisis. He led the Relief Party and became an influential writer of newspaper opinion pieces on politics.
Montgomery Blair

His articles and support for Andrew Jackson so impressed the new president that Jackson urged Blair to move from Kentucky to Washington to become a full-time newspaperman.

In 1830, Blair established the Washington Globe, a party organ, and also published the Congressional Globe. He gained national importance as a political journalist and ran the printing business for Congress. However, he is remembered best as the leader of Andrew Jackson’s “kitchen cabinet.

Blair’s business partner, John Rives, described Blair as 85 pounds of bones and 22 pounds of “gristle, nerve and brain.”
 

Blair continued to run and edit his newspaper throughout the presidencies of Jackson and Martin Van Buren. When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, Blair excused himself from the newspaper business but not from his role as an influencer of government policy. He traveled all the way to Jackson’s home, the Hermitage, in Tennessee to visit the former president.
 

Blair supported John C. Fremont’s 1856 Republican presidential nomination even after he “retired” to his 20-room mansion, Silver Spring, in Maryland.
John C. Frémont 
John C Fremont

He aided Lincoln from the first days of the crisis between the states, offering a prestigious Union Army position to Robert E. Lee, apparently on the president’s behalf. (Controversy continues.)
 

He also crossed Union lines into the Confederacy more than once on peace missions, using a note Lincoln had written that read: “Allow the bearer; F.P. Blair, Sr., to pass our lines, go South, and return.”

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

President Lincoln was a frequent guest at Blair’s Maryland home, where Blair and his family entertained and persuaded the president.

Montgomery Blair

Montgomery Blair (1813-1883) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1835. He saw action in the Seminole War, established himself as a lawyer and served as mayor of St. Louis (1842-1843).
 

He moved to the nation’s capital in 1852. His family established residence at the town home (now called Blair House) owned by his father on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House.
 

He was U.S. solicitor in the Court of Claims from 1855 to 1858. He and associate George T. Curtis served as counsel for the plaintiff in the Dred Scott case of 1857. Scott and his wife sued in federal court for their freedom after their master moved them to Missouri, a free territory.
 

Blair and his partner represented Scott before the Supreme Court but lost the case when Justice Roger Taney ruled that a slave’s status did not change when he moved from territory to territory. Taney held that Dred Scott, a slave, was property. Thus, Scott was not a man and had no standing in federal court.
 

A fervent opponent of slavery, Montgomery Blair joined the new Republican Party. He became an ardent supporter of Abraham Lincoln for president.

In 1861, Lincoln appointed him postmaster general, but Blair’s influence far exceeded the standard definition of that office.
 

Modern observers would find it difficult to understand the importance of the postmaster in 1860. One line in Lincoln’s first inaugural address indicated the importance of the mail in those days. Faced with secession, Lincoln asserted: “The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union.”
 

Described as the most learned man in Lincoln’s Cabinet, Blair is credited by most with founding the Universal Postal Union, an international agreement that standardized postal rates and services. He also originated prepaid postage, free mail delivery in cities, money orders, and postal railroad cars.
 

House burned
 

Montgomery Blair became a key Lincoln confidant and leader of Lincoln’s kitchen cabinet. In 1861, he was the only Cabinet member who urged Lincoln to reinforce Fort Sumter, a subject far afield of his duties as postmaster. During the war, Montgomery Blair and his father frequently had the president’s ear.
 

When Gen. Jubal Early and his Confederate army invaded the North to pressure Washington in 1864, his troops sacked and burned Falkland, Montgomery Blair’s rural retreat in what is now Silver Spring.
 

Early recalled the day this way: “[W]hen in front of Washington some of my troops were very determined to destroy the house of Mr. Francis P. Blair and had actually removed some furniture, probably supposing it to belong to his son, a member of the Federal Cabinet. As soon as I came up, I immediately stopped the proceeding and compelled the men to return every article so far as I knew, and placed a guard to protect it. The house of his son, Montgomery Blair, a member of the Cabinet, was subjected to a different rule for obvious reasons.”
 

Letter from Lincoln
 

In May 1864, a convention of Radical Republicans selected John C. “Pathfinder” Fremont as their candidate for president. Fremont accepted the nomination and told the audience: “Today we have in this country the abuses of a military dictation without its unity of action and vigor of execution.” Lincoln wanted Fremont out of the race.
 

Fremont demanded the resignation of the man who had urged Lincoln to make Fremont a general earlier in the war, Montgomery Blair, who was disliked by Radical Republicans.
 

On Sept. 22, 1864, Fremont withdrew from the contest. On Sept. 23, 1864, President Lincoln sent the following letter to Montgomery Blair:
 

“My Dear Sir: You have generously said to me more than once, that whenever your resignation could be a relief to me, it was at my disposal. The time has come. You very well know that this proceeds from no dissatisfaction of mine with you personally or officially. Your uniform kindness has been unsurpassed by that of any friend; and, while it is true that the war does not so greatly add to the difficulties of your Department, as to those of some others, it is yet much to say, as I most truly can, that in the three years and a half during which you have administered the General Post-Office, I remember no single complaint against you in connection therewith.”
 

After the Civil War, Montgomery Blair rebuilt Falkland, which Early’s raiders had burned. He became active in Maryland politics and practiced law with his son, Woodbury. After Montgomery Blair died, Woodbury continued the law practice with his brothers Gist and Montgomery Jr.
 

Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring is named for him.
 

Frank Blair
 

Francis P. Blair Jr. (1821-1875), the younger of Francis P. Blair Sr.’s two sons, was commonly known as Frank.

A lawyer, Civil War general, attorney general of the Territory of New Mexico, member of the Missouri Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives, he spent his final time in public life in the U.S. Senate.
Francis Preston Blair, Jr. 

He probably drank too much alcohol, used too much tobacco and too quickly let his anger get the best of him. Yet he was a Lincoln man, a dedicated Union man and perhaps the best of Lincoln’s politically appointed generals.
 

Frank Blair certainly earned the right to be called the most colorful of the amazing Blairs. He exhibited his rambunctious nature at college. A professor at Yale said Frank gave him more trouble than all the other scholars combined. Frank also attended the University of North Carolina before ending up at Princeton.
 

Colonization
 

Although Frank, like the other Blairs, supported Lincoln and decried slavery, he was a bigot and owned slaves himself. When his brother Montgomery moved to Washington, taking Frank’s favorite slave, Nancy, Frank griped, “It is indispensable comfort to have a neat servant, particularly in this region of dirt and coal dust.”
 

As a member of the House of Representatives, Frank Blair generally defended Lincoln’s policies. Nevertheless, the Blairs and the president were not in complete agreement on the question of slavery. Every man in the Blair family, it seemed, favored separation of the races through the colonization of American blacks abroad.
 

On April 12, 1862, the day after slavery was abolished in Washington, Frank Blair said on the House floor that Liberia had “failed to attract the freed negro population in any considerable numbers” but stated his support for Negro colonization in Central America. “There is a vast difference,” he said, “between the idea of being colonized on our own continent, under our own flag, and being buried in Africa.”
 

Blair hoped colonization would serve to avoid present and future racial disharmony.
 

He also believed colonization might disrupt the political power of slaveholders in the South. Blair said, “We can make emancipation acceptable to the whole mass of non-slave-holders at the South by coupling it with the policy of colonization. The very prejudice of race which now makes the non-slaveholders give their aid to hold the slave in bondage will induce them to unite in a policy which will rid them of the presence of negroes.”
 

Blair pushed a bill through the House that authorized the president to spend $100,000 for colonizing the freedmen of the District.
 

A warrior
 

The Blair family made several efforts to persuade Lincoln to make Frank a general, but at first the president put them off. Finally, in the autumn of 1862, after Frank had raised five regiments of troops and said he hoped to raise two or three more, the president made Blair a general in the Union Army.
 

Despite much newspaper criticism, Frank Blair proved himself one of the better political generals. A very capable and fearless leader at Vicksburg, he gained Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s notice and praise. “There was no man braver than he,” Grant wrote of Blair. “No man obeyed all orders of his superiors in rank with more unquestioning alacrity.”
 

Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant

After a shaky start, Blair also established a lifelong mutual respect with Gen. William T. Sherman. The men served together during the campaigns for Vicksburg and Atlanta, and Blair commanded the 17th Corps during the March to the Sea. When newspapers criticized Blair as a political general, Sherman said Blair was “brave, cool and of ability.”
 

Franc B. Wilkie, a reporter for the New York Times, described Frank Blair this way: “He was a most interesting man in every respect. … He was versatile, doing everything well, from leading a charge to uncorking a bottle, and in all instances characterized by a calm, dispassionate manner. … Beneath all his outward calmness he had a tremendous force — a fact demonstrated by the momentum with which he threw his columns against the bristling, deadly heights of Chickasaw Bayou.”
 

A bust of Frank Blair causes visitors to marvel at Vicksburg. A statue of him campaigning in St. Louis entertains tourists in Missouri. Both were created with family money. In Statuary Hall within the U.S. Capitol, Frank Blair’s larger-than-life statue represents his state of Missouri along with a statue of Thomas Hart Benton.
 

The term “larger than life” perfectly describes the Blair family.

John E. Carey is a frequent contributor to The Washington Times.

Obama: Just An Extremist?

March 19, 2008

Senator Obama is certainly an extremist: labeled the most liberal Senator among the 100 in the Senate.  But apparently he may be a racist, or someone in his election campaign committee could be….

Because only 6% of U.S. media journalists describe themselves as conservatives, the liberal media has allowed Senator Obama to glide though the primary season without too much criticism.

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
March 19, 2008

And I will certainly be called a racist and dismissed as a racist, if not by Senator Obama then by his campaign committee.  That is their modus operandi.  I know this because they have already accused and trashed President Bill Clinton (“The First Black President”) and Geraldine Ferraro (twice).

Geraldine Ferraro
Geraldine Ferraro

Last Tuesday, March 18, 2008, the candidate that promised to transcend race and racism and unite all Americans for change, spoke with admiration about his pastor, a man that brought him to Christianity, married him, preached to him for about twenty years, baptized his children, took his donations of more than $22,000.00 (in one year), and prayed with him before the good Senator started his quest for the White House.

That pastor, one might surmise, is anti-American and racist because of the now infamous comments he has “preached” from the pulpit of his church in the name of Jesus Christ and God Almighty.
.
But don’t believe me, a White Man married to a “Person of Color,” just re-read some of the Reverend (some say Bishop) Jeramiah Wright’s sermons.  Or watch the videos and listen to the true bile this man has dished out for years in Christ’s name.

Reverend Wright told his congregation that the Government of the United States was waging a war of genocide against people of color using HIV/AIDS.

I tell you in all honesty: any person of any color who tells me the U.S. government is intentionally killing off its citizens by any means is divisive and deserves condemnation — unless certain proof can be put on the table. 

This came from the religious advisor of a candidate for President of the United States who told us he would unite us and rise above race and racism and condemn those that were divisive.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., ... 
Senator Obama and Rev. Wright.  Distance between them?

Rev. Wright called the USA “the KKK of A.”

In a sermon on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Rev. Wright suggested the United States brought on the attacks — by its own terrorism.

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

In a 2003 sermon, he said Black people, African Americans, should condemn the United States.

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

So, after participating in services orchestrated by Rev. Wright for twenty years, Senator Obama never said a disparaging remark about his pastor or made an effort to set the record straight.  Until Tuesday.

Senator Obama condemned his pastor for his less than truthful and uniting and honest language but he refused to distance himself by withdrawing from his church, the Trinity United Church of Christ in South Chicago.

And, while uniting us, Senator Obama, apparently seeking an excuse or some justification, invoked the names of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, his Grandmother, and Geraldine Ferraro (for the second time — but the first time since she resigned from the Hillary Clinton for President campaign).  He even made a veiled reference to “The First Black President.”

Win McNamee, Getty Images

The former President said during the New Hampshire primary about Senator Obama, “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”  And for this, and comparing the Obama campaign to the campaign years ago of Jesse Jackson, President Clinton was attacked as a racist.

In his speech Tuesday Senator Obama grabbed all his White racist relatives, friends, and historical icons and threw them under the bus.

For what purpose?  The record of racism by White people is pretty well established, I think, and White America has gone out of its way to atone, I think.

The “Great Uniter” who said he would “Rise Above Race” has played the race card like a two bit Kansas City saloon gambler in 1880.  How many race cards does he have up his sleeve?  And when will we discuss in detail the real issues?

Race is important, sure, but Ken Blackwell of the Family Research organization says Senator Obama favors $1 Billion in new taxes.  In this recession, that will push my bride’s small business into the red — and there are no buyers right now in this economy.

Apparently, and I could be wrong, while Senator Obama was a student at Harvard Law School, he learned how to use slick language and give wonderful sounding speeches.  But he didn’t learn how to make good argument and he missed the chapters on honesty and integrity entirely, I think, if  Tuesday’s speech is an example of his thinking and logic.

But I could be wrong.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) ...
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks to supporters during a campaign stop at the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia, March 20, 2008.REUTER/John Sommers II (Reuters)

Related:
Obama Camp Calls Ferraro Racist; She Responds “No Way!”

Bill Clinton Rejects Criticism Over Race

Michelle Obama Takes Heat for Saying She’s ‘Proud of My Country’ for the First Time

Media Still Mostly “Liberal Left”

“America Still Lacks Things I Long For,” He Said….

July 6, 2007

By John E. Carey
July 6, 2007

I have known Habib (translates to “friend”)  for some time. He works hard, keeps to himself, obeys the speed limit and loves his family.

You have already probably made a judgment or two about Habib, maybe. You think you might know what region of the world he comes from and what religion he follows.

Yet Habib, though an immigrant, is an American citizen who loves his new home. He votes and pays his taxes. His children go to the American public school and not “The Arab School” as some around here call it.

An educated man, he is familiar with the teachings of both Islam and Buddhism. I spent some time taking Habib to lunch, and slowly, as if prying open a can of tuna with a mall screwdriver, I started to learn more about the man, and, I dare say, the world.

Once Habib began to speak, his enlightened thought process amazed me. He said, “Americans are moving further and further away from Human Spirit.”

“What the heck does that mean?” I asked.

“In the Qur’an,” he began, “Allah said that He is a hidden treasure longing to be known. Allah made man so that He himself, Allah, would be known and appreciated.”

In my naivety I asked, “And Allah is God?”

“Allah is God,” he said. “Allah teaches that death is only another chapter. Not a beginning or an end but a passage.”

“And between the beginning and the end we must seek peace and tranquility and happiness.”

Between the begining and the end, I thought, we make money. He with the most toys at the end wins. But I quickly buried this thought.

After an awkwardly long silence, I again chimed in perhaps from ignorance or naivety, “How about the suicide bombers?”

“They have bastardized a great religion, a great way of life and happiness,” said Habib.

Maybe this guy Allah isn’t so bad, I thought.

Habib then said, “Listen to the reed flute. It is made from the reed growing in the river. But after it is cut down and removed from its rightful place, its home, you can hear it crying tender agony.”

As an American I am in too deep here.

Then Habib speaks of Buddhism.

“In Buddhist way, how much you endure, how much you go through without complaint — determines your happiness.”

I see fireworks like the Fourth of July. I know many people who have had an easy life. They were showered with gifts and material things – yet they are unhappy. And I also know a group I call “The Survivors.” Many went though war, many are refugees, some lost limbs and homes and relatives. Among this group I have experienced happiness and even joy. Joy of surviving, and not despairing. Joy of continuing against the odds.

Before we finish lunch, Habib offers this: “Do you know John, the biggest problem with America today?”

A basket full of answers leaps into my mind: the war, George Bush, Taxes, China, the Taliban….

Before I can speak a word Habib says, “Accusing and pointing of fingers. There is no ‘we’ in American politics just now. There is a lot of ‘them.’”

Habib finishes with this: “Politicians, and talk shows, and focus groups and web sites and blogs, all with tremendous opportunity to bring us together. But everybody seems accusing and nobody admitting.”

As we walked back to our destination in a calm silence, I though about President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln: an icon of American greatness. He brought his harshest critics into his Administration, for the promotion of the general welfare and good.

Old Abe: not a Finger Pointer.

Many today seem to have lost faith in the common good. And winning over the other party seems preferable to winning against forces outside America.

Visit our Flagship at:
http://peace-and-freedom.blogspot.com/