Mark Szymcik

Abraham Lincoln’s Struggle with Divine Providence

There is an anonymous saying “It is easy to see the hand of God in the world; the difficulty is to figure out which way His finger is pointing.” Lincoln rejected the Hard-shell Baptist religion of his parents, yet struggled with discerning God’s will throughout his life. His articulation of that struggle has led Spiritualists, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, atheists, and others to claim him as one of their own, while Jews refer to him as Rabbi Abraham.

What were the stages of Lincoln’s spiritual journey? How did his contemporaries view his religious beliefs? What was his religious stance at the end of his life? Why do so many denominations claim him as their own? How have biographers and others distorted his faith in Providence?

[Recorded August 13, 2022.]

Mark Szymcik has been a history buff since grade school. He taught high school history for special needs students for several years. As an adjunct professor at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass, he works historical information and ideas into all his classes. He is a lifetime resident of Worcester county, and has a great interest in Massachusetts history, especially some of the state’s lesser known contributions to a growing America.

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