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What If: The American Civil War As A Religious Conflict


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#21 BansheeOne

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 1253 PM

I knew of that, but it wasn't on my current screen. There's even reference to abolition, and a statement that "Mormons are no more allowed to vote here than negroes", so it's a useful example.

I actually think I've come up with something in a roundabout way after looking at US Catholicism. It's not in fact a good vehicle for slave state governments; numbers were very small before bolstered by massive Immigration from Europe (and also Quebec) from about 1840, mostly to the North, and by that time Pope Gregor XVI. had just issued the anti-slavery bull in supremo apostolatus. While some American bishops argued that it prohibited only the slave trade, and the Spanish and Portuguese governments seem to have largely ignored it, that's not a particularly sound theological base for governments to utilize.

Now let's just make a very simple reverse case: What if Abraham Lincoln hadn't come from an anti-slavery Baptist church, but been a Catholic? The short answer is probably that a hundred years before Kennedy he would never have been elected president, but if he was, it's easy to see that combination of denomination and abolitionism make his opponents go apoplectic. You wouldn't even need state churches; against the background of period anti-immigrant feelings, politicians, protestant preachers, slaveholders and much of the rest of the Southern population are likely to rail in unison against bloody Catholic invaders taking over our country and infringing upon our way of life. Voilá, instant religious moment to the ACW.
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#22 Harold Jones

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 1324 PM

It's still hard to get a really good inter faith hate going.  Unless you somehow get a majority of the house and senate to be Catholic, it's hard to see how the south can hate Lincoln more than they did.  


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#23 sunday

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 1341 PM

Competition for resources OR competition for control of the nation is an aspect that will push such a civil war. Deciding that they're less than human is also an aspect that allows such movements (cf St. Bartholomew's Day massacre).

 
That massacre did not happen in a vacuum.

Huguenots had tried to kidnap the King, make him, using whatever means, to become Calvinist, and, in application of that Cuius regio, eius religio thing, i.e. the religion of the country must be the same as the religion of the King, force all of France to become also Calvinists. After all, that had worked in England, and in several German States.


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#24 Brian Kennedy

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 1755 PM

I knew of that, but it wasn't on my current screen. There's even reference to abolition, and a statement that "Mormons are no more allowed to vote here than negroes", so it's a useful example.

I actually think I've come up with something in a roundabout way after looking at US Catholicism. It's not in fact a good vehicle for slave state governments; numbers were very small before bolstered by massive Immigration from Europe (and also Quebec) from about 1840, mostly to the North, and by that time Pope Gregor XVI. had just issued the anti-slavery bull in supremo apostolatus. While some American bishops argued that it prohibited only the slave trade, and the Spanish and Portuguese governments seem to have largely ignored it, that's not a particularly sound theological base for governments to utilize.

Now let's just make a very simple reverse case: What if Abraham Lincoln hadn't come from an anti-slavery Baptist church, but been a Catholic? The short answer is probably that a hundred years before Kennedy he would never have been elected president, but if he was, it's easy to see that combination of denomination and abolitionism make his opponents go apoplectic. You wouldn't even need state churches; against the background of period anti-immigrant feelings, politicians, protestant preachers, slaveholders and much of the rest of the Southern population are likely to rail in unison against bloody Catholic invaders taking over our country and infringing upon our way of life. Voilá, instant religious moment to the ACW.

 

But like you said yourself, it would have been really tough for a Catholic to get elected president in 1860; it was slightly dicey even for JFK. 

 

I don't actually know very much about Southern Christian support for the Confederacy, and that would be an interesting thing to read up on. 


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#25 Mikel2

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 0507 AM

The Klan was as fond of hunting Catholic priests as of torturing black people.


And republicans.
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#26 BansheeOne

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 0515 AM

As Harold points out, it might not have made much of a difference anyway. Though I was going less for hate of Lincoln personally, but a general pogrome sentiment against Catholics, and particularly the immigrants of the preceding two decades, triggered by one of their faith being elected to rule the nation.

Of course it might have sufficed if somebody came up with a successful mass campaign accusing Lincoln of being a crypto-Catholic. Sorta like Obama was claimed to be a crypto-Muslim - without the internet, but with an actual civil war coming up to act out the hate.
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#27 sunday

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 0607 AM

As Harold points out, it might not have made much of a difference anyway. Though I was going less for hate of Lincoln personally, but a general pogrome sentiment against Catholics, and particularly the immigrants of the preceding two decades, triggered by one of their faith being elected to rule the nation.

Of course it might have sufficed if somebody came up with a successful mass campaign accusing Lincoln of being a crypto-Catholic. Sorta like Obama was claimed to be a crypto-Muslim - without the internet, but with an actual civil war coming up to act out the hate.

 

On July 4, 1864 Abraham Lincoln had much to pre-occupy his mind. Grant’s drive on Richmond had bogged down into a stalemated siege to the south of Richmond around the city of Petersburg. Grant, due to the appalling Union casualties of the campaign, was routinely denounced as a butcher in Northern newspapers, a charge echoed privately by Mary Todd Lincoln. On June 27 Sherman had been bloodily repulsed at Kennesaw Mountain, and his campaign against Atlanta appeared to be very much in doubt. Lincoln suspected that he would not be re-elected and that the Union might very well lose the war. So what did he do on July 4? He, along with Mrs. Lincoln and most of his cabinet, attended a fundraiser held on the White House lawn to build a Catholic church.

In June of 1864, a group of black men, residents of Washington, knocked on the White House door and asked to present a petition to President Lincoln. In those simpler times they were ushered in after a short wait to see Mr Lincoln. Their spokesman, Gabriel Coakley, told the President that they were Catholics and that they wished to obtain permission to hold a lawn party on the White House lawn in order to build a Catholic church in Washington to serve the black Catholic population in the capital. Lincoln agreed immediately and told them to see General French, the commissioner of public buildings, and to tell him that he had given his permission for the function. A permit was issued by General French on June 30, 1864. It required the signature of the President, and Gabriel Coakley waited outside a cabinet meeting for several hours until the President came out. Lincoln saw him, was advised that the permit needed his signature, signed it, and told Coakley that he hoped the event would be a success.

Lincoln helped ensure the event was a success on July 4 by attending. The event raised over $1,000.00, a very large sum at a time when a private soldier earned $14.00 per month. With the funds the church was constructed, the Blessed Martin De Porres Chapel, with the foundations hand dug by parishioners. The church quickly attracted a large number of black Catholics, but also a sizable number of white Catholics. In 1876, the church was replaced by Saint Augustine Catholic Church, which is still going strong.

(...)

 

 
https://www.catholic...atholic-church/

 

However, Lincoln was mainly an Atheist that keep at home on Sundays caring for the children while Mrs. Lincoln went to attend the service.


Edited by sunday, 18 September 2019 - 0614 AM.

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#28 Harold Jones

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 1352 PM

This is interesting https://www.theatlan...r-worse/401633/

 

f18a47fea.jpg


Edited by Harold Jones, 18 September 2019 - 1354 PM.

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