Last week Americans remembered the beginning of the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln … the first assassination of an American president.
The Civil War began 150 years ago in 1861, and Lincoln was shot four years later.
It seems to me the Civil War was nearly unavoidable, given the Founding Fathers’ inability or motivation to address the issue of slavery in the nation’s beginning. Civilized nations could not understand our willingness to define one human being as another’s “property”.
There’s been discussion of “states’ rights” as the true reason for that great conflict, but it was a matter of states’ rights to declare themselves “slave states” or “free states”. The bleeding began here in Kansas several years before the start of the war, as the debate over slavery escalated to killings.
150 years later our nation has resolved the issue of people as “property” and guaranteed freedom for all. But race is still a big part of our society, and we never seem to conclude our discussion of it.
Our thought for today is from Abraham Lincoln:
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”