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The war leader's religion is not fully represented in the film.
As the writer acknowledges, there are a number of religious references in the movie. Apparently, as a professor of religion, the writer would have preferred to have religion emphasized more than the actual passage of the anti-slavery amendment. Perhaps he should stick to teaching and not attempt to advise Steven Spielberg on how to make a movie.
Hawkeye is correct. The movie did not emphasize Lincoln's religion because the movie was not ABOUT Lincoln's religion. It was about the passage of the 13th Amendment. To have emphasised that part of the Lincoln persona at the expense of the main topic of the movie would have been to cheapen the whole thing. Professor Santurri deigning to counsel Stephen Spielberg on how to make a movie would be about on a par with owatonnabill trying to tell Chesley Sullenberger how to fly.
Like many of America's past leaders (the Founding Fathers especially come to mind), Lincoln's religious beliefs were deep and private. He did not parade them for the world nor did he attempt to impose them on others. He acknowledged a personal relationship with his maker and was not impressed with orthodoxy or doctrine. For him, God was a simple, powerful presence in his life. Through struggle and success, God was strength and love. That is what allowed him to navigate the horrors of war and the lose of those close to him.
If Christianity in Lincoln's day had been the variety that exists today, he would have had a fish symbol on the back of his carriage to announce to the world that he was an intolerant, authority obsessed reality denier. We certainly would have never heard "With malice toward none, with charity for all".
I wonder how Professor Santurri would regard a
movie about Adolf Hitler, which correctly
emphasized his Christian religion, his many references to it in his speeches and how he used it to further his aims: for example,
"My feelings as a Christian points me to my
Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited." (Munich, 1922).
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