*** the American Civil War -- religion

Civil War: Religion

Civil War religion
Figure 1.--This is an impage from 'Harpers' Weekly' during the Civil War. The caption was 'Sunday at sea'. It is cerainly a ship's boy reding the Bible, probably the captain whjo may be ill. There is no further description. We are not sure if regular Sudsy serbvices were held on Civil War ships. The vessels were too small to have chaplains services, but the captains or others could have held services.

Religion is a poorly reported Civil War subject amid all the shot and thunder of reporting on the great battles. And based on eMails received on this and other sections of our website, a poorly understood one. Religion was very important to 19th century Americans. The Second Great Awakening (early-19th century) had stirred America's religious consciousness--vital to the growth of the one-reviled Abolitionist Movement. Perhaps more than any other comment, the modern secular view is to attack religion because the South used the same Bible read in the North to support slavery. While this is true, it is a total misreading of history based on a ideological view point. In fact, 1) the South was a minority, 2) the South lost the War because of their perverted world view, and 3) it was the Christian Abolitionist Movement that led the fight against slavery. It was the Abolitionist Movements in Britain and America that destroyed slavery. Opposition to slavery did not come from Government, academia, or the press--it came from the two great Christian Abolitionist Movements. And while White Southerns saw justification for slavery in the Bible, their slaves despite the religious instruction they received, saw hope and freedom with Moses leading the children of Israel out of slavery. It was the Abolitionist Movement more than any other development that drove the Southern Confederacy out of the Union--thereby dooming slavery. There was no legal challenge to slavery before the War--only the moral challenge of the Abolitionists which the Southen planters could not effectively answer. This led to the division of the major churches along sectional lines (1840s) and secession soon after. And it would be the Christian churches in the North supporting abolition that would be Lincoln's bed-rock support during the darkest period of the Civil War.


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Created: 1:25 PM 8/26/2023
Last updated: 1:25 PM 8/26/2023