Grothman: Same-Sex Marriage an Insult to Civil War Soldiers

I know, that seems like a weird headline. And it is. But Glenn Grothman, the Tea Party congresssman from Wisconsin, actually did make that argument. Allowing gay people to get married insults those who fought in the Civil War, he says, because they were fighting to make America more Christian. And he meant the north, for crying out loud.

“Our president during the Civil War was, of course, Abraham Lincoln, who was known as the most biblical of presidents, somebody who quoted the Bible a lot,” he said. “In the Civil War, some 600,000 people died in a country that was much less populated than that today. And it was a much more religious country and I think a lot of people who died fighting in that war felt they died fighting for a religious cause, you know, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and all that.

“I think it would shock those people who died in that war to find out the constitutional amendment which was ratified kind of as a culmination of their great efforts and their great deaths would be 150 years later, a little less than 150 years later, used by these five robed, arrogant, robed people to take this constitutional amendment and say that that constitutional amendment that was drafted after the Civil War was in fact an amendment designed to say that same-sex marriage had to be legal.”

He added that the decision is “particularly offensive” given that the 14th Amendment was “drafted by a people who felt they had just engaged in a strong religious war to further a Christian lifestyle by getting rid of slavery.”

Actually, the religious fervor was almost entirely on the pro-slavery side. Nowhere does the Bible condemn slavery, in fact it endorses slavery many, many times, including in the New Testament. The slaveowners taught Christianity to their slaves precisely because they believed it would make them more docile and less likely to revolt or try to escape. Every single secession declaration and the constitution of the Confederate States of America stated over and over again that they were seceding explicitly in order to maintain the institution of slavery, which was divinely inspired.

"No worries, glad to clarify for you. That's kind of shocking to me, and may ..."

OH Gov. Candidate Defends Franken by ..."
"You make me sorry I asked. It sounds to me like you have a whole ..."

Trump’s Blatant Hypocrisy on Sexual Harassment
"How do we know he didn't? There may yet be more to uncover..."

Tony Perkins Covered Up Sexual Assault ..."
"You got something against greasy fingernails and busted knuckles?"

Bakker Declares Victory in Mythical War ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Richard Smith

    used by these five robed, arrogant, robed people

    Apparently, their arrogance wasn’t nearly as important as their being robed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/eo.raptor.3 eoraptor

    One thing I’m always surprised to see: People like Grothman who, apparently, is able to write, but also patently unable to read. Of course, the same may be said of certain SCOTUS Justices (coughRobertscough) who seem to exhibit the same characteristics.

  • Jared James

    This is the weirdest “On behalf of The Troops…” argument I have ever heard, and Sarah Palin exists.

  • cptdoom

    My great-great grandfather fought for the Union for one reason and one reason only – to gain citizenship for himself and his whole family, who had been starved out of Ireland during the famine. I highly doubt that this Roman Catholic man thought he was making the country more Christian, as to him “Christian” could only mean Catholic.

  • Loqi

    Sarah Palin exists.

    *shudder*

    Careful about saying shit like that. There could be children or people with weak stomachs around.

  • John Pieret

    This is the way Lincoln tended to use the Bible, in this case the Second Inaugural Address :

    Both [sides] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.

    Not exactly proclaiming that the country had just engaged in a strong religious war to further a Christian lifestyle by getting rid of slavery.

  • Steve Morrison

    Come to think of it, Lincoln would have been scandalized at a black man being President. I guess we’ve been disrespecting his memory, too, by electing Obama. Remember: the only way to show respect for those who fought for our freedoms is by never exercising them!

  • colnago80

    Maybe I missed something but Lincoln was not considered particularly religious as those things went at the time.

  • D. C. Sessions

    cptdoom:

    I highly doubt that this Roman Catholic man thought he was making the country more Christian, as to him “Christian” could only mean Catholic.

    How so? As you say, he fought to get citizenship. Thus, by however small a measure, the country became more Catholic.

  • Synfandel

    I think it would shock those people who died in that war to find out…

    It would shock me if they found out anything. They’re dead.

  • Chiroptera

    I think it would also shock most of the soldiers during the Civil War to find out that today women can vote in elections.

  • matty1

    Let’s be honest compared to the shock of finding themselves alive in the 21st century anything else is going to be small potatoes

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    “he says, because they were fighting to make America more Christian. And he meant the north, for crying out loud.”

    One small step further down the road to Indignoranceville for the Clowngressman. One giant leap towards making his state Wississippi.

  • Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y

    Maybe I missed something but Lincoln was not considered particularly religious as those things went at the time.

    The religious reich feels it necessary to retcon any and all broadly admired historical Americans into devout evangelicals.

  • moarscienceplz

    Ooh, ooh! I can play that game too!

    -Women’s Suffrage is an insult to 19th century misogynists.

    -Child labor laws are an insult to 19th century factory owners.

    -Direct election of Senators is an insult to the framers of the Constitution.

    To avoid offending dead people, we must not change anything, anytime, anywhere!

  • Crudely Wrott, lurching towards recrudescence

    So we do things differently than things were done two hundred years ago.

    Two hundred years ago things were done differently than they were done four hundred years ago.

    Smart money is on things being done differently two hundred years in the future than they are done today.

    *dibs on band name “Two Centuries” and “Two Hundred Years Different” (good for me, got in before that Modus guy)

  • Hoosier X

    In my opinion, the most shocking thing to an American Civil War soldier transported to modern-day America would be … the Pride and Prejudice sequels!

    Or maybe the recent “Lincoln” movie where they had a paddy playing The Great Emancipator.

  • peterh

    “The slaveowners taught Christianity to their slaves precisely because they believed it would make them more docile and less likely to revolt or try to escape.”

    Actually, in the 1st Century CE, in the developing Christian mind, questioning or attempting to do away with slavery was of no consequence since “some of those standing here will not taste death” until the Second Coming; no need to go upsetting current political apple-carts which soon will disappear anyway.

  • StevoR

    I wonder how many of those US Civil (anti-slavery & treason) War soldiers were actually gay theselves?

  • StevoR

    Abraham Lincoln, who was known as the most biblical of presidents, ..

    He was /is? Really? I don’t think so!

    Of course Abraham is a very biblical and also Jewish OT name ..but , nah.. I think there are a few other contenders for the most religious (Dubya and Carter anyone?) plus I don’t actually think a single Us president ever did get his name in the Bible somehow. Not even if you include teh buk oo’Moron, er, Mormon.

  • colnago80

    Re StevoR @ #19

    It is reputed that Northern Cavalry General James Wilson was gay.

  • congenital cynic

    I always find it odd that the slaves went hook line and sinker for the slave owner’s religion. Why would you willingly adopt the belief system of someone who enslaved you? Wouldn’t that system be de facto bad from your perspective? We have the same thing here in Canada where a lot of the indigenous people are hardcore Christians of some flavour or other, even after that crap our government did to them. And in this case, most of that crap was dished out by religious orders in church run schools. Oy!

  • abb3w

    @0, Ed Brayton

    Actually, the religious fervor was almost entirely on the pro-slavery side.

    I don’t think that’s accurate. My impression is that in the north, the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, and especially the Quakers were religiously and fervently opposed to slavery, and most abolitionist groups were affiliated with churches. As such, it’s more fair to say that the religious were deeply divided — it’s the irreligious who were united, with almost all notable pre-civil war “freethinker” groups and individuals standing firmly opposed slavery.

  • Hoosier X

    If Grothman is so concerned about what Union soldiers might be insulted by, why is he picking on same-sex marriage? Wouldn’t they be more insulted by the fetishization of the Confederate flag and that fact that it still flies over official government buildings?

    Grothman is really reaching in his attempt to speak for the Civil War dead and is ignoring the elephant in the room.

    But that’s to be expected from people who are working so desperately to make Jesus look stupid, evil and intolerant.

    Which reminds me: Hi, dukedog!

  • dingojack

    I wonder if Grothman ever considered the highly Christian reason why many poorer Northern soldiers fought?

    Because they couldn’t raise the $25* to get some other poor bastard to die for them!

    Dingo

    ———

    * in 1863 that’d be equivalent to about $7,660 (Production Worker compensation) in 2014. As a share of the 1863 GDP it would be equivalent to around $56,600 as a share of the 2014 GDP.

    [Strangely, the price of a male, good-condition prime slave was estimated as worth (for compensation purposes) $25 a head at war’s end.]