Scott Bailey drew my attention to a wonderful parody page on Facebook, taking a mythicist approach to Abraham Lincoln. Here’s one example of what you’ll find there:

I also like the parody book cover, Lincoln is Not Great: How Belief in Abraham Lincoln Poisons Everything.  :-)

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  • Bob Moore

    Isn’t there actually a smattering of unequivocal historical evidence that Lincoln actually existed?

    • Carson Weitnauer

      Bob, all of that evidence is produced by people who are biased to believe in Lincoln.

    • James F. McGrath

      I have yet to encounter any evidence which is sufficient to persuade someone determined to believe that a certain person didn’t live or a certain event didn’t occur.

      • VinnyJH

        Do you run into a lot of people who are determined to believe that Lincoln didn’t exist? If not, how do you determine what evidence would be insufficient?

        • James F. McGrath

          My reasoning is that, if people deny the Holocaust, denying Lincoln’s historicity would be a piece of cake by comparison. I am assuming that, if people manage to persuade themselves of the really difficult, then doing so with something easier would also be possible.

          • VinnyJH

            Who said anything about the Holocaust? Why do you always have to reach for that analogy?

          • James F. McGrath

            It isn’t an analogy. You asked how I concluded what evidence would be insufficient to persuade an alincolnist. I said that if people manage to deny the Holocaust despite it being more recent with living witnesses, then they will manage to deny the existence of Lincoln in spite of what evidence there is, if they were determined to do so.

          • VinnyJH

            Isn’t that reasoning by analogy?

    • Glenn Peoples

      Find me one person who accepts this who isn’t actually a Lincoln believer. But of course, the reports of believers is automatically to be mistrusted.

    • RD J

      just like Jesus / Yahusha !

    • Foritn

      Yep, there is historical evidence just like there is for Jesus. The page simply mocks the atheist mysticist and their denial of evidence. When you do present evidence to them of Jesus (from the records of Tactius, Pliny the Younger, Thallus, Josephus etc) then they simply call them forgeries at which point you know that these atheists cannot be reasoned with so it’s best to let them persist in their delusions. Admitting Jesus existed would invalidate and make them insecure of their own world-view after all.

  • Enopoletus Harding

    I don’t like the parody book cover either, for the same reason Bob referenced.

    • The Anti Lincoln

      Ever notice that atheists love to dish out ridicule, but can’t take it when it gets tossed back at em?

      • James F. McGrath

        I don’t think that is a fair comment, any more than saying the same about Christians. Most atheists don’t buy into mythicism any more than most Christians buy into young-earth creationism.

      • Enopoletus Harding

        If you don’t have evidence for the existence of God, please get out of the kitchen.

        • Luke

          The Kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21

        • RD J

          we have evidence . Want to hear it , or do you choose to reject it because you believe its biased simply by asserting what it asserts in the first place ?
          Atheists need to stop obsessing about proof and just use logic for once . Either abstract or rational logic , just use it . Many worlds previously unseen WILL open up , i assure of you
          The trait of a true critical thinker is not to reject everything because it may be wrong , but rather accept everything until evidence , logical , or moral reasoning proves against it , even the possibility that what you accept could be wrong .
          Atheists assume christians just accept things at face value but they forget that a lot of Christians actually go through a long , strenous process of analyzing the information and beliefs around them using critical thinking skills , and then coming up with the conclusion that makes sense to them – Christianity – and once they come up with this fire-tested , proven belief by their critical thinking , they hold to it .

          • Enopoletus Harding

            “choose to reject”- Hahaha!

            The trait of a true critical thinker is not to reject everything because

            it may be wrong , but rather accept everything until evidence, logical
            , or moral reasoning proves against it ,

            -Have you ever looked at the ads here? How can you survive while being so gullible?

            coming up with the conclusion that makes sense to them

            -Argument from effort is not an argument. The conclusion that makes sense to them is still wrong.

          • Foritn

            That’s hilarious Enopoletus Harding, your response is some typical atheist YouTube video and some quotes you’ve spilled out from it. You can’t think for yourself can you?

            You assert that God doesn’t exist so the onus is on you. No one here originally claimed to have empirical evidence for a god until you demanded some but I bet you claim all the time that “god is fake” which is an absolute claim requiring verifiable evidence…something that all of you atheists lack.

            So to you I say, instead of attacking an opposing world-view to your own, why don’t you break the atheist tradition of a lifetime and finally present some evidence for your own beliefs or at least an philosophical argument based on reason and logic instead of replying with the typical atheist garbage of “herp derp reLIEgon is so stoopid!” At the end of the day, I’m not holding my breath as you atheists can never present an argument, just insults, which says all that I need to know about the atheist’s mental age.

          • Enopoletus Harding

            You slave of religion, can you not see that the burden of proof lies on you, he who believes in an all-powerful being that should be visible in every aspect of the universe? Even Russell’s teapot should be easily proven to exist by a believer in it. God is easy to prove to exist, next to impossible to disprove to exist. The fact you muster no evidence for his existence says much.

    • Hemp for Victory

      “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp and playing my Hohner harmonica” Abraham Lincoln – 1855

  • Carson Weitnauer

    I summarize the evidence for aLincolnism here:

  • Glenn Peoples

    Glad you liked my pic. :)

  • Steven Carr

    Oh dear. This is such a depressing post by McGrath. It shows just what sort of person you have to be to be a mainstream Biblical scholar.

    • arcseconds

      Yes, it’s simply ghastly, scholars these days with their sense of humour. and as for his appalling taste in puns… (* shakes head sadly *)

      In my youff, anyone wanted to be taken seriously as an intellectual had to speak in a monotone, use big words all the time even when asking for the salt , and never, ever, laugh.

      at most a snort of derision might be allowed.

      • Susan Burns

        I understood Steven Carr’s comment differently. To me, he was lamenting modern Biblical scholarship and what is deemed worthy of discussion. To be a mainstream biblical scholar you must disdain all mythological evidence and at the same time support the evidentiary process. We regular people cannot help but notice the mythological similarities and wonder why we cannot look behind the curtain. To cordon off this line of questioning seems dishonest and kind of like the YEC insistence on rigid chronology. I guess to be a “mainstream biblical scholar” you must (at the very least) protect the sanctity of the historical Jesus. Scholarship is supposed to let the light of day into every shadowy corner of contention. Until the mythological questions are allowed to be discussed, I would agree with Steven Carr. I feel kind of depressed too.

        • James F. McGrath

          If it were true that this line of questioning were excluded in principle from the academy, then that would be depressing. But it isn’t true. Scholars should not have to waste their time on every unpersuasive idea that has been adequately dealt with in the past and yet persists in corners of the internet, should they?

          • Susan Burns

            Who was it that determined this line of questioning has been adequately dealt with? It could only have been mainstream biblical scholars who have had to pass the test of historical sanctity to get in the door. To answer your question; no, scholars should not waste their time on every crackpot theory. But if you are comparing mythology to aliens then your academy is very insulated indeed. Come out into the light of day – it is Candlemas after all! The day Jesus was presented at the temple (and a myriad of other coincidental events marked in human history).

            Anything dealt with “in the past” and yet persists, has not been dealt with. The curtain has been merely redrawn and the naysayers kicked out of Oz.

          • James F. McGrath

            If historians are not to be the ones to determine whether a topic of history has been adequately addressed by historians, then who is?

            I work at a secular university. I studied in a secular university. I did not have to pass any test of sanctity.

          • Susan Burns

            Any historian that determines a topic has been adequately addressed is not really a historian. Besides, I don’t think that is true. Historians never consider a subject closed and accept that myths do exist. In the recent past, all biblical scholars had to believe in the physical resurrection but now they must only believe in born of a woman. The dogmatic bar has been lowered but it is still in the way.

          • James F. McGrath

            Just asserting that all the experts are biased and that is why they disagree with you does not make it so. No one considers the matter of the historical Jesus closed if they are a mainstream scholar or historian, and no one in that category denies the relevance of myth. But we do not just pass our time asking whether figures exist if no new evidence or issues have been brought to bear on the topic and there is a well-founded consensus.

            Why not read what mainstream scholars have to say, instead of joining in with a chorus of critics from the sidelines?

          • Susan Burns

            I have read the evidence and am totally convinced that there was an historical person whose crucifixion caused a paradigm shift in human thought. My critique is not lack of agreement, it is the lack of integration of mythic principles that permeate all other ethnological studies. But besides that, many of the conclusions that have been built upon by modern scholars were formed in the past by magical thinkers. So, yes, I think there is bias.

          • James F. McGrath

            What gives you the impression that principles from ethnological studies are not drawn on to inform the study of the historical Jesus?

          • Susan Burns

            Mainly because the cross-cultural parallels of the NTSR/NSR trilateral root are totally ignored. The ability to compartmentalize the ethnological evidence so that each piece is scrutinized individually instead of as a unit enables scholars to justify their blind spot. To accept that Jesus was from Nazareth and not from the ancient tradition of NTSR/NSR holy men is just not plausible – especially since Nazareth has been surveyed.

          • James F. McGrath

            The surveys that have been done of Nazareth, as well as its mention in a Jewish priestly rota after that, both indicate that Nazareth was not just an invention by the Gospel authors. But it is not an either/or situation. The possibility that the Mandaean evidence is relevant has been and continues to be considered. It is the very fact that Nazorean does not seem to be derivable from the name of Nazareth that in particular has led to the exploration of both/and solutions,

          • Susan Burns

            I have never heard of the claim that Nazareth was an invention of Gospel authors. Of course the Mandaean evidence is relevant. ALL NTSR evidence should be evaluated if scholars were really looking for the historical Jesus. At least, that is what they would do with any other historical figure. I think that biblical scholars are really secretly deep-down afraid that Jesus is just a myth.

          • James F. McGrath

            If you never encountered the claim then you can’t have interacted with many mythicists.

            I don’t know any Biblical scholars, other than those in conservative Christian contexts, who would harbor such fears. Which non-conservative scholars have you spoken to who gave you that impression?

          • Susan Burns

            I have not encountered any mythicists nor have I spoken to biblical scholars. Also, I had not met a Jew until I worked in Israel for three years went through three cycles of holy days. It became very apparent to me that there was no way possible an unmarried Jewish man could travel around teaching Torah (I am referring to Jesus of course.) I am sure biblical scholars know how central the marriage tradition is to Jewish religion. An unmarried man teaching Torah would have been blasphemous. The entire Tree of Life is affected by an unmarried Jewish male. Biblical Scholars know this but continue to pretend marriage was a “choice”. The only way this lie has persisted is because of the firewalls built to compartmentalize problematic aspects of Christian tradition. Either Jesus was a eunuch, a nazarite and/or a married man. There is no other choice.

            If scholars were REALLY looking for the historical Jesus they would read their own ethnographic studies of 1st century Jews.

          • James F. McGrath

            The views you are referring to derive from later Rabbinic sources which historical Jesus scholars regularly discuss, but are cautious about using because of their late date.

            I would recommend that you actually read what mainstream scholars write about Jesus. I am not sure why you think certain things are being ignored but it can only be due to a lack of familiarity with what scholars have written – which is understandable, given the sheer volume of it. But what I can’t understand is your assumption that it isn’t there, apparently without checking to see.

          • Susan Burns

            So you are saying that scholars regularly discuss the marriage of Jesus but I have somehow missed it? That is possible, I was also unaware of Mythicists.

            I have no idea what you mean by “later” rabbinic sources. Are you implying that there is no evidence marriage has always been central to Jewish life? I am not the sharpest tack on the board so you will have to be more blunt. What are you saying? Will you post a link?

          • Susan Burns

            I greatly appreciate all of the information you freely provide to regular people like me. Thank you. If you could provide a link which suggests marriage was not always a defining characteristic of Jewish faith I would be most appreciative. I am sure a lot of biblical bloggers would be appreciative as well so that I might stop bugging them!

          • James F. McGrath

            It depends what you mean by marriage being a “defining characteristic.” Some Essenes appear to have practiced celibacy. Jesus is depicted as saying that some would be eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God and leave behind spouse and family.

            Your own specific claim was that an unmarried man speaking about the Torah would have been “blasphemous.” One can view ancient Judaism as having a positive view of marriage, and even of considering marriage important, without that claim of yours being true.

            Do you have any source from the time of Jesus or before that indicates that any Jews prohibited the unmarried from teaching? Or were you basing your claim entirely on the Rabbinic corpus which is significantly later and might not reflect views in Jesus’ time?

          • Jon Sellers

            Susan, James, I apologize for my late response.
            I have just recently discovered aLincolnism whilst researching.

            I am not a “mainstream biblical scholar” though I have a fruitful writing career and love the Bible.

            I also very much love Mythology, and believe most Christian scholarship is in its branch, as is Big Bang, and Darwin and Dawkins.
            Myth – Stories Told Traditionally.
            They are told in a third, forth, fifth hand, oral, fictitious, biographical fashions, rarely from sources copies, of which no originals exist. Just like Mien Kopf the original is nil.

            I know books of all sorts and only the most fringe; authors, scholars, people, automated computer writing systems, deny Jesus. I mean most words speak of Him. You speak much of his works. You fancy using His Name, and recognize its power.
            Both of you seem to value the most fringiest mystic ideas of our time. Denying Jesus is Laughable.

            Also it should be noted the Article does not mention His Name.

          • Susan Burns

            James McGrath, have you read the archaeological field reports of the Nazareth survey? No occupation during Roman period and no Jewish artifacts.

          • James F. McGrath

            You can’t have read the same report I did, if that is your impression of what it said. Please tell me you read what archaeologists wrote about their findings, and not the revisionist attempt to make the data say what he wants it to offered by Rene Salm who is not an archaeologist?

          • Susan Burns

            My comment on Nazareth survey was from memory. I am not able to read anything behind a pay wall or I would be living in poverty. Is there new information? I could not find it online.

          • James F. McGrath

            The report I was referring to is from 2007, and so it isn’t new. But that was about nearby farming terraces, since excavations beneath current dwellings and structures is limited. As I recall, in 2009 they found a house from the time of Jesus, but that is after the published report on the lengthier excavation project.

            Your local public library might give you access to scholarly journals, including online through their website.

        • arcseconds

          To me, he was lamenting modern Biblical scholarship and what is deemed worthy of discussion.

          Scholars should never post about silly irrelevancies like creationism, science fiction, or Lincoln mythicism. Either Dr. McGrath knows it’s a silly irrelevancy, in which case he’s a lightweight and doesn’t care who knows it; or he thinks it is a watertight scholarly argument, in which case he’s incompetent.

          Probably both.

          Either way, it’s certainly symptomatic of something or other at the heart of Biblical scholarship, if not the academy in general.

        • RD J

          Mythological evidence ? LOL . So you dont accept all evidence , if you dont like the evidence you call it “mythical” despite the fact that theres no evidence to prove its mythical in the first place .
          But you cant prove something is false , they say . Exactly . So please promptly end your illogical attempts at rationalization
          You know what real wise people do ? In the course of their life , when trying to discover truth , they go through an analyzing process . Before one embarks on critical thinking , you cant just label certain areas as false if you never embarked there . You have to label ALL areas as true before you embark on the analyzing process . BEFORE one discovers the truth , one goes through an analyzing process using logic , objective morality and critical thinking . People these days make up rules before going through an analyzing process . Like ” oh , we cant talk about spirituality or this or that , we have to just focus on science when we critically think ” . Um , excuse me ? How do you define mythology ? How do you define science ? You DONT , until you go through a critical thinking process to discover what is right and what is wrong . It is extremely foolish to use rules while critically thinking , because rules do not help you critically think , rather , they are derived from critical thinking in the first place . In order to truly critically think , one must examine EVERYTHING in this planet , and then , once investigated , you have the right to judge things as true or false . It is also extremely detrimental to true progress to label things as false just because they seem wierd . So theres a story that talks about a guy flying … So what ? Do you have any reason to disbelieve it ? Yes , it “feels” wierd , but rational people do not go on feeling , and they dont really go on “proof” either because “proof” is merely derived once you critically think , it is not something you use while critically thinking . Rational people do not go on “feeling” or “proof” but find the rational inbetween place of Logic and Objective Morality . It is logic , not proof , that guides one in the critical thinking process , before which you must be open minded about any possibility , even of flying reptile demons or angels , and after which you must derive a conclusion based on the critical thinking process during which you have to use logic and morality , and not limiting yourself by forcing yourself to use anything else in the process . If something feels right thats no reason to automatically believe it , and if something feels wrong that is no reason to automatically disbelieve it , rather , believe everytyhing COULD be true , then critically think using LOGIC AND MORALITY , nothing else , and then derive a conclusion . If all humans at a young age before going on their quest , banded together as brothers and believed anything COULD be true , and used logic and objective morality via critical thinking to then analyze which are true and which are lies , the world would know more peace than it does now .
          Basically , even if something feels “mythical” , dont be so close minded . Believe anything can be possible . Yes , even angels or something like that . Just because there is no record of them now , does not mean we should be so close minded as to discount their possible existence ? Africa does not exist to Europe , but it would be close minded for Europe to believe only their small world can ever be considered as the whole world , and to deny the existence of Africa !
          Basically , anything is possible , and its non existence is not determined from a lack of “proof”, but rather , by it being morally harmful and by its contradicting any other evidence . If there are many different beliefs that all contradict eachother , than go to each one and analyze and see which one makes the most logical sense . Even if it involves things automatically labelled “mythical” , do not be close minded enough as to call it illogical . Rather , determine any illogicality through whether the belief itself contradicts set systems of natural logic that all humans believe deep down .
          I have used above processes on my own and come to my own conclusions , and find the belief that something can control everything and be almighty yet have something equivalent to it as contradictory , and also the belief that nothing has a beggining as illogical , thus i reject poth polytheism and non-theism

  • Nick Gotts

    As an atheist, I’d like to register my…

    …amusement at this parody. I didn’t actually LOL, but I chuckled inwardly :-p

    The most ambitious historical denialism I’m aware of is Anatoly Fomenko’s New Chronology, according to which nothing is known about events before 800 CE, and (roughly speaking) ancient and medieval history were actually simultaneous.

    “The most probable prototype of historical Jesus was a Byzantine emperor, Andronikos I Komnenos (allegedly AD 1152 to 1185), known for his failed reforms, his traits
    and deeds reflected in ‘biographies’ of many real and imaginary persons.”

    Fomenko is a highly-rated mathematician, and has apparently recruited a few Russian fellow-mathematicians to the New Chronology cause.

  • Darkhill

    I used to be a Lincolnist but when I saw the light and became an aLincolnist I was free. I now realize that without Lincolnist absolutes, I can exercise my will-to-power and enslave minorities for my pleasure. Make them “cogs in the wheel of the state” as Stalin taught. How dare Lincolnists condemn my Nietzschean worship of self-affirmation and power!

  • Bill