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Hagee: Prayer Won the Civil War

Pastor John Hagee, one of the looniest of all the TV megapreachers, was on Glenn Beck’s internet TV show recently and claimed that the reason the North won the Civil War was because Lincoln proclaimed a day of prayer and fasting — two years before the war ended.

The thing that brought the Civil War, in my mind, to an end, was that Abraham Lincoln called for a day of fasting and prayer for the whole nation… and it was approved by the Senate and there was a specific day that he called all of the people of America to pray…

The nation was ripped apart by hatred as brother fought brother and father fought son but, when this man, this godly man, this man whose speeches are laced with bible verses, got down and asked our nation to pray, suddenly, things began to happen that brought the Union together and Robert E. Lee had the grace to surrender a battle that couldn’t be won, and the Union was preserved.

That day of prayer was March 30, 1863. The Civil War ended in June, 1865, more than two years later. In fact, the war went on longer after the day of prayer than it had gone on before that day. And in between, Lincoln was assassinated. Your mythical deity has an odd way of answering prayers. In fact, the way he answers prayers is indistinguishable from the way a non-existent god would do so. Funny, that.

But that’s the thing about prayer. If anything bad happens, you need to pray — even if lots of people have already been praying. If anything good happens after that point, it obviously happened after the prayer. And if bad things keep happening, that just proves how much you need to pray. Or maybe God is teaching you a lesson that you have to discern. Any set of events and facts can easily be explained — or explained away, if necessary. It’s a mobius strip of irrationality.

Comments

  1. tubi says

    Pretty sure Jeff Davis had his people praying for a Confederate victory as well. In fact, I’d be curious if there are any published reords of his comments to that effect. Did President Davis call for prayer and fasting for the South?

  2. says

    Both 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.

    Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural

  3. tubi says

    He did, February 28, 1862, getting his request in more than a year before Lincoln’s. God favors not the swift, apparently.

    …and I do publicly invite the Reverend Clergy, and people of the Confederate States, to appear at their respective places of worship, to humble themselves before Almighty God in prayer for His protection and favor to our beloved country, and that we may be saved from our enemies and from the hands of all that hate us.

    Source

  4. dingojack says

    So I suppose the 7,063 killed, 22,224 wounded and 11,199 captured or missing at Gettysburg, just over three months later, had nothing at all to do with it?

    Why does Hagee hate America and it’s brave military men so?

    Dingo

  5. IslandBrewer says

    You all remember that the Southern Baptist convention, today’s biggest evangelical denomination, was started as a pro-slavery/pro-confederate faction and split from the other baptist before the civil war, right?

    So, God hates the southern baptists, they should have this as their take home message.

  6. slc1 says

    Gee, according to fucktard Hagee, Generals Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and Thomas had nothing to do with Northern victory.

  7. says

    The nation was ripped apart by hatred as brother fought brother and father fought son but, when this man, this godly man, this man whose speeches are laced with bible verses, got down and asked our nation to pray, suddenly, things began to happen that brought the Union together and Robert E. Lee had the grace to surrender a battle that couldn’t be won, and the Union was preserved.

    So…if I’m reading this correctly and Ed’s date of 3/30/1863 is the correct day of prayer, that has some interesting implications.

    Specifically, it implies that god’s answer was to wait about four months, then tell Lincoln to appoint Grant to head the whole army. Then, after that, god’s plan was to have William Tecumseh Sherman destroy Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah, Phil Sheridan set the entire Shenandoah Valley on fire, and Grant and Lee to sit around watching their soldiers kill each other for another two years, give or take.

    Oh, and that means that Gettysburg was a freaking answer to prayer. Good to know that 10,000 or so deaths are all just part of the big, ol’ plan…

  8. MyPetSlug says

    Not to mention, the Confederate constitution specifically mentions god and is explicitly Christian, while the godless Union constitution does not. But, apparently, one little prayer proclamation from Lincoln can overcome that.

    We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent and federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity—invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God—do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

  9. says

    So God listened to the prayers of a big-gummint progressive liberal who wanted to undermine States’ Rights and use force to abolish slavery and at least get a start on ensuring equality under the law for all Americans; and God then helped the said Northern radical to win the War of Northern Aggression? That’s good to know, thanks.

  10. jakc says

    And Lee only had the grace to surrender the Army of Northern Virginia, and that after a futile and pointless effort to flee south. Men died needlessly in that week, and more would die after Lee’s surrender in other pointless battles because of Lee’s reluctance to surrender the Confederate armies. Some grace.

  11. says

    Anyone have even a scintilla of doubt that if Hagee were around back in 1863, he’d be on the the Confederate side?

    Also Ed, I know you have not control over the banner ads, but it’s funny that as I type this, there’s an ad for the ironically named Liberty University.

  12. says

    Gee, according to fucktard Hagee, Generals Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and Thomas had nothing to do with Northern victory.

    OTOH, it also allows Southern natinalists/apologists to avoid asking themselves why the South lost.

  13. DaveL says

    Ed, please. Hagee makes it perfectly clear he’s talking about the Civil War in his mind, not the actual American Civil War.

  14. dingojack says

    Raging Bee – “… a cheezy Christian version of ‘Inception.’”

    Called ‘Deception’, no doubt.

    Dingo

  15. dingojack says

    Raging Bee – ‘Never attribute to stupidity that which can be attributed to malice’. Dingo’s RW Dictum #34.
    Dingo

  16. Abby Normal says

    Someone may wish to mention to Hagee that Lincoln wasn’t the only president to call for a day of national prayer and fasting. Jefferson Davis did it first, on Feb. 20, 1862 while serving as provisional president. After his inauguration Davis issued 9 more such proclamations before the war’s end. If we take Hagee’s premise, that national prayer days affect the outcome of war, God grants victory to the side that prays the least.

  17. Abby Normal says

    I just noticed Tibi’s comment @5. Regarding the discrepancy between our dates, Davis issued the proclamation on Feb. 20. The 28th was the day he designated for prayer in that proclamation.

  18. says

    “Hagee is the creepiest of the creeps.”

    Agreed. Benny Hinn wins the award for most obvious fraud (though Robert Tilton is nearly tied), the Crouches win the award for most ostentatiously greedy, but Hagee is in the clear lead for most disgustingly evil creep. The guy just exudes vileness.

  19. iangould says

    So, if Hagee’s followrs believe this, why aren’t they calling for a massive cut in US defense spending?

  20. naturalcynic says

    Napoleon Bonaparte was the one that saaid “Gpd fights on the side with the best artillery”

  21. machintelligence says

    dingojack @ 20
    Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.

  22. slc1 says

    Re Jake @ #13

    In fairness to General Lee, (whose military abilities I have criticized on several occasions so I am no apologist for him) but he had no authority to surrender the other armies, particularly the one under Johnston. He was not the overall commander of Southern forces.

    Re naturalcynic

    I believe that the original quote was from Voltaire, “God marches with the big battalions.”

  23. slc1 says

    Re dingojack @ v#20

    Mr. dingo has it backwards. The actual statement is, ‘Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity.”

  24. dingojack says

    Further to the above: The original always struck me as being ‘pollyannaish’ and unrealistic, so I gave it more of a taste of realpolitik.
    Dingo

  25. laurentweppe says

    I believe that the original quote was from Voltaire, “God marches with the big battalions.”

    Actually, it was more something like: “They say God is always on the side of the big battalions, he’s not: he’s on the side of those who shoot best

  26. Michael Heath says

    As we ridicule Mr. Hagee, let’s not forget how enormously influential he is and the impact it has on U.S. policy towards Israel. He’s a major reason why conservative Christians now blindingly support whatever Israel proclaims its foreign policy to be, and expect American leaders to be servile to that policy. That wasn’t true a more than a couple of decades ago, when this population’s policy positions couldn’t be distinguished from the voting base from which they came from back then.

    Hagee’s way more dangerous and has done far more harm than say, Bryan Fischer.

  27. otrame says

    Hagee is about the only reason I sometimes wish there was a god and an afterlife. I only manage to still my nearly homicidal rage at that fucker by imagining him showing up on Judgement Day.

    The very first time I saw him was shortly before Halloween in 1988. He stated flatly that 1 million children are murdered in Satanic rituals every Halloween. But the media hides it because the liberals are okay with it.

    He’s a hatemonger and a liar and a prime example of what is wrong with Christianity today. And yet I do not believe that he believes most of what he says. He makes a lot of money–taxfree–and the sheep show up to be shorn at that ugly church of his every Sunday, by the thousands. He is the worst thing about San Antonio.

  28. says

    Michael Heath,

    He’s a major reason why conservative Christians now blindingly support whatever Israel proclaims its foreign policy to be, and expect American leaders to be servile to that policy.

    Another unsubstantiated generalization (stereotype). Perhaps it can be said with reasonable accuracy that a (ever shrinking) subset of conservative Christians– the dispensationalists– blindly support Israel because of a supposed pivotal role in the endtimes. Other conservative Christians–notably Calvinists–are not “left behinders” and support/don’t-support Israel based on their politics, not their eschatology.

  29. Michael Heath says

    heddle,

    Sarah Palin, a proponent of Hagee’s arguments though I doubt she knows the source (kinda like evangelicals aping Francis Schaeffer while being clueless to his existence), solidified conservative Christian support of Israel as I describe above. It’s now become an integral part of the Republican party platform in a way that not even the neocons were able to achieve within the W. Bush Administration.

  30. says

    Michael Heath,

    Well then say conservative republicans blindly support Israel–because conservative Christians, as a group, do not.

    Although given that Ron Paul is, I reckon, a conservative Republican–at least by some measure– I’m not sure that saying it that way is accurate either–but not being a Republican I’ll let someone else address it if they want. But the bottom line is your statement “conservative Christians now blindingly support whatever Israel proclaims its foreign policy” is, as it stands patently false.

  31. Michael Heath says

    heddle writes:

    Well then say conservative republicans blindly support Israel–because conservative Christians, as a group, do not.

    Again, when I use conservative in front of Christian I’m referring to politically conservative Christians. Starting in the late-1970s the base of the Republican party is no longer merely a political ideology alone but instead a political-religious ideology though the politics overwhelms the dogma.

    There are conservative Republicans who leverage this new blind zeal for whatever Israel wants to do – W. Bush laudably didn’t in spite of pressure from two conservative wings of the Republican party (the neocons and conservative Christians), but the blind submission to Israeli policy is a distinctly conservative Christian trait.

    Neocons for example, who are also predominately conservative Republicans, do not leverage Israeli policy blindly. Instead they’re perfectly capable of articulating their policy and why they prefer current Israeli policy. Whereas the group that Palin animated demonstrates little concern for Israeli policy, only that that U.S. politicians submit to do it. So for me to describe this group as ‘conservative Republicans’ would grossly misconstrue the impact a very influential group of conservative Republicans wield, the neocons, which is a distinct subset within the Republican party in spite of also being conservative. I.e., what Sarah Palin represents within the Republican party and what Elliot Abrams/Richard Perle represents are very different species of conservative Republicans.

  32. says

    Michael Heath,

    Again, when I use conservative in front of Christian I’m referring to politically conservative Christians.

    You are still wrong. Conservative Christians who are Calvinists– such as conservative Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists, tend to be politically conservative as well. But they do not have a “left-behind” eschatology–and in fact are often so disparaging of left-behind-ism that these conservative (politically and theologically) Christians are sometimes called antisemitic by hard-core dispensationalists like Hagee.

    They are in large numbers, and they are conservative in both senses of the word–and you claim they “blindly support Israel” while Hagee considers them antisemitic because of their lack of devotion to Israel. Two incorrect views on opposite sides.

    Furthermore, the hardcore dispensationalists like Hagee are a dying breed. The seminaries responsible for this view–the flagship being the Dallas Theological Seminary–have moved away from it. The younger generation of conservative Christians, both lay and pastors, are far more Calvinistic than the previous–and hence do not support Israel “blindly” i.e., because of eschatology.

    You are just wrong on this.

  33. Michael Heath says

    heddle writes:

    You are just wrong on this.

    I’ll trust the political scientists and those doing research on the conservative mind on this one, just like I always tend defer toward confidently-held consensus findings as they’re understood by the relevant experts. Findings which are easily validated in both election results and the marketing methods we observe politicians using to attract the conservative Christian vote.

    In fact one of the most ironic aspects of the Romney campaign is his picking one of the rare hybrids between the neocon and conservative Christian camps to be one of his campaign foreign policy advisors – that being John Bolton; though like some neocons he doesn’t like the label, in spite of happily carrying their water.

    Lastly and ad nauseam, in Michigan the notable Dutch Reformed families like the Prince, Van Andel, and DeVos families, are key financiers of nationwide conservative Christian causes. So while they may not share the same end-times fantasies as the evangelicals, they’re effectively promoting the policies shared by evangelicals – such as hatred towards Muslims and GLBTs.

    I remain perfectly cognizant of your theology. I instead comment on what is going on when it comes to the public square due to tens of millions of voters and their impact on public policy and the culture.

  34. lofgren says

    Heddle always reminds me of that one guy in The Life of Brian who shouts “I’m not!” while the crowd is chanting “We are all individuals.”

  35. laurentweppe says

    So, heddle, what you’re saying is that not all Christians are like that, just the loudest ones who have political power in the US?

    To be fair: neither the loudest, nor the most powerful of them is “like that”

  36. says

    Michael Heath,

    Keep those fingers in your ears. “La la la! Christians are exactly like my negative stereotype! La la la! I don’t want to hear otherwise! La la la!”

    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    So, heddle, what you’re saying is that not all Christians are like that, just the loudest ones who have political power in the US?

    Exactly, and in the same way that all the atheists are not like the loudest and most powerful/influential (e.g., Bill Maher and his dangerous pesudo-science, Sam Harris and his anti-Muslim tendencies, or even PZ and his vulgar self-aggrandizement.)

  37. laurentweppe says

    Sam Harris and his anti-Muslim tendencies white upper-class supremacism trying to disguise his Fuck the Rubes habitus as a courageous principled stand

    Fixed

  38. says

    Michael Heath,

    Lastly and ad nauseam, in Michigan the notable Dutch Reformed families like the Prince, Van Andel, and DeVos families, are key financiers of nationwide conservative Christian causes. So while they may not share the same end-times fantasies as the evangelicals, they’re effectively promoting the policies shared by evangelicals – such as hatred towards Muslims and GLBTs.

    Yes, that certainly is proof-positive of your statement “conservative Christians now blindingly support whatever Israel…”

  39. says

    I hate to agree with heddle on religious issues (it will kill ticket sales for the DemoHeddle tour where we were going to “argue” like Timothy bLeary and G. Hardon Liddle used to do, in front of a paying audience!) but I agree with him that most christians do NOT blindly support Israel’s hardline policies. The KKKristianist subset certainly does, though–and they are numerous and well heeled in a lot of cases.

    Hagee is a shit in serious need of being flushed from this plane of existence.

  40. Michael Heath says

    heddle to me:

    Keep those fingers in your ears. “La la la! Christians are exactly like my negative stereotype! La la la! I don’t want to hear otherwise! La la la!”

    Projection is never pretty. To falsely claim I’m a denialist while simultaneously claiming the religious right which dominates the GOP voting base isn’t conservative Christians is really kind of ironic. Here’s a Pew pie chart: http://goo.gl/YoMa1

    I think this blog post’s URL could be the funniest ever:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2012/10/02/hagee-prayer-won-the-civil-war/

  41. Michael Heath says

    So, heddle, what you’re saying is that not all Christians are like that, just the loudest ones who have political power in the US?

    heddle:

    Exactly . . .

    We’re talking about 36 million voters, which is the dominant voting group in the Republican party. But heddle knows one or two who supposedly isn’t like the group that dominates the Republican party, therefore we’re bigots for pointing out the attributes of those in the public square who: oppose climate change policy, persecute gays, and really hate pointy-headed experts when they conflict with their dopamine-inducing talking points, truisms, and faith.

  42. Michael Heath says

    democommie writes:

    I agree with him that most christians do NOT blindly support Israel’s hardline policies. The KKKristianist subset certainly does, though–and they are numerous and well heeled in a lot of cases.

    That used to be true as I noted earlier, but increasingly less so. Here’s a good poll http://www.pewforum.org/Christian/American-Evangelicals-and-Israel.aspx that shows where they were in 2005, before W. Bush left office. It’s important to note that since conservative Christian antipathy for Muslims, along with blind devotion to Israel, both ramped-up after W. Bush left office. He was an effective check on those items where the influx of populist Republicans into the House of Representatives have served to increase the amount of bigotry in the GOP, and devotion to Israel event at the expense of the U.S.

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