A Reminder That the Original Gettysburg Address Did Not Include the Words ‘Under God’

Today marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and you’ll undoubtedly hear revisionist Christian historians talk about how even Lincoln’s address featured the words “Under God”:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate – we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Just one problem with that. It’s not the original version of the speech.

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Cardinal George’s Sad Attempt at Bashing Illinois Marriage Equality Law

As a newly adopted Illinoisan who is also super gay, I was overjoyed when my favorite state finally passed marriage equality earlier this month. This was long time coming for Illinois, historically one of the nation’s more liberal states, and many legislators and citizens alike were getting antsy and jealous as states around us began passing their own laws at a record pace. When the votes were finally counted, I had no qualms about running tearfully through my workplace to tell everyone the great news that minute.

That’s why it bums me out that, almost immediately, Christian groups started flailing left and right about how terrible same-sex marriage is for Illinois. For one, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield is actually holding an exorcism tomorrow, the day the marriage bill will be signed, as a means of condemning same-sex marriage. So there’s that.

But while some folks might write the bishop off as a little bit extreme, people may just listen to Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, who found it necessary to pen a letter to the state’s Catholics about why marriage equality is so bad. Unfortunately for him, like most pieces of Catholic PR lately, his letter doesn’t actually make much sense. Rather, it proves that now is exactly the right time to pass marriage equality in Illinois and hopefully nationwide.

Let go piece by piece, shall we?

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City Council Member Justifies $7,000 Budget Item for Child Evangelism Group by Claiming It’s Not ‘Religious’

Just as the Pierce County Council (in Washington) was getting ready to approve their 2014 budget last week, the council members decided to amend it to include one additional $7,000 expense.

That money would go to Child Evangelism Fellowship, better known to most of you as the group that sponsors the elementary-school-evangelizing Good News Club:

The money would go towards renting space at local fairs, according to the director of the Pierce County chapter Marlene Stoll.

“We just want to push God’s love for us and how it can make a difference in our life,” Stoll said Saturday night.

Jim McCune, the elected official who suggested the donation, offered justification for his lawsuit-worthy decision:

McCune said Friday night Child Evangelism Fellowship is non-denominational, and the money would not go towards religious items.

“Yes, (CEF) may come from a certain book (the Bible), but it’s not a so-called religious foundation. Completely separate,” McCune explained.


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Pennsylvania Legislator Proposes Resolution to Celebrate Addition of ‘Under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance

Pennsylvania legislators just can’t get enough of God in the government.

These are the Republicans who have sponsored legislation promoting the “Year of the Bible” and the “National Day of Prayer” and putting up the words “In God We Trust” in every public school in the state.

Now, they want to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the words “Under God” being added to the Pledge of Allegiance. The proposed resolution will be sponsored by Republican Rep. John McGinnis:

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Catholic Bishop Plans to Perform ‘Exorcism’ After Illinois Governor Signs Gay Marriage Bill Into Law

On the afternoon of Wednesday, November 20th, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign a law granting same-sex couples the right to legally marry.

So naturally, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki has made plans to lead a rite of exorcism “in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage” just after the legislation is enacted. Clergy and laity alike are invited to participate.

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