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Moral Politics in an Immoral World: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War

“Nothing discloses real character like the use of power. It is easy for the weak to be gentle. . . But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme test.” - Robert Ingersoll

A strict code of morality seems incompatible with a democratic society since governance inevitably requires compromise. The conflict between morality and political expediency is never more starkly seen than during times of war when political leaders—given enormous power—can easily conclude that the ends justify any means in order to achieve victory over a hated and malignant enemy. More than any other President, Abraham Lincoln resisted this path as he searched for a moral foundation for his actions, a foundation that he variously described as “the Divine,” “Providence,” “the Creator,” God, or “God of the Universe.” His effort to balance what one theologian has called a “prophetic sense of ethical mission with a tragic sense of the uncertainties of political choices” is as relevant today as it was 160 years ago.

This month's theme: Abundance

Speaker: Dan Carter

A native of South Carolina, Dan Carter attended the University of South Carolina and received graduate degrees in history from the University of Wisconsin and the University of North Carolina. From 1967 until his retirement in 2009, he taught at the University of Maryland, Emory University and the University of South Carolina with visiting appointments at the University of Wisconsin, London’s Westminster University, the University of Genoa in Italy, England’s Cambridge University and the University of Richmond. The author and editor of seven books on American history, he has worked with more than a dozen documentary film-makers beginning in the early 1980s. He and his wife, Jane, became summer residents of Brevard, North Carolina in 1991 and full-time residents in 2007. They have attended UUTC for more than fifteen years.
The first guiding Principle of Unitarian Universalism is the inherent worth and dignity of every person. UUTC welcomes all—persons of various ages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, theological and political beliefs, socio-economic status, educational backgrounds, abilities and ethnicities. Services are at 9:15 and 11:00am. The building is wheelchair accessible, dress may be casual and visitors of all ages, races, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, and beliefs are warmly welcomed.

Infant care is available during both services.

Join us for coffee between services at 10:30am

Earlier Event: August 17
Heartfulness Meditation
Later Event: August 20
Men's Group