Liberty can not be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. John Adams
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. John F. Kennedy
The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time. Thomas Jefferson
I can't praise this book enough, but there is a line in it that I cannot pass over without negative comment. (Remember, I told you there was one line that really bothered me...) Goodwin writes, "Before his marriage Lincoln enjoyed close relations with young women and almost certainly found outlets for his sexual urges among the prostitutes who were readily available on the frontier."
Why does this bother me so much? And, why must I say something about it when I liked most of the rest of the 760 pages so much?
This is one of the greatest men that ever lived. He is not here to defend himself against such an unbridled and uncertain charge. Something so ugly should not be said about a great man without the provision of implacable proof.
In light of the moral failings of many of our political heros, both liberal and conservative, I believe it is a temptation to bring great men down to their level, to say that every great man has these moral failings. But, I don't believe that is true. And, I do believe that when we let this pass, and begin to believe what recent films and some books have said without substantive proof about some of those who have built our nation, it is another way of tearing it down.
This same book, Team of Rivals, tells about Lincoln as a man of unusual habits. He did not smoke, he did not drink. There are few if any real instances recorded where he lost control of his temper. He forgave those who publicly humiliated and were in other ways disloyal to him. He was kind to the point of exhausting himself. He was a servant of the people and a great leader at the same time. He was a most unusual man of near perfect moral character, not according to me, but according to those who knew him best. When traveling one day, he was approached by a group of former slaves who knelt before him sayinging, "... there is the great Messiah! Glory Hallelujah!" With his voice full of emotion, Lincoln said, "that is not right. You must kneel before God only, and thank him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy."
I am so thankful to God for the liberty that I enjoy and for the men and women through the ages that he has provided to preserve that liberty... may it go on forever.