Lincoln’s Legacy

Joel Bleifuss

The Christian right is up in arms over a video currently playing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. In the video, an actor reads the words of Lincoln accompanied by footage of demonstrators carrying signs that read “The Lord Is My Shepherd and Knows I Am Gay,” “Keep Abortion Legal,” and “Ratify the ERA.”“It stinks!” says Rev. Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition. “I am outraged that tax dollars are paying to promote such a lie that Lincoln would have supported homosexual causes, abortion rights and feminism.”Sheldon is asking his followers to write the National Park Service and demand that Lincoln not be “misused and abused” in order “to seduce Americans into believing fighting for homosexual sodomy and the murder of unborn children is the same as marching through Selma.”We will never know what Lincoln would have thought of all the fuss. However, after moving to Springfield in 1837, he did share a double bed for more than three years with Joshua Speed, who would later recall that “no two men were ever more intimate.”

Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.

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