WASHINGTON—Each year, over three million Americans journey to this sacred place. Some crawl painfully up the fifty-seven steps on their knees, others race each other up the stairs to off-key renditions of the Rocky theme, but all are here for one purpose: to offer worship and sacrifice to their god, Abraham Lincoln.
Dedicated in 1922 amidst an outpouring of national piety, the Lincoln Memorial is a place where all Americans can come to worship the deity once known in mortal form as Abraham Lincoln. Entering our world on February 12, 1809, the Lincoln grew up in humble surroundings and went on to become the sixteenth President of the United States. Celebrated for abolishing slavery in the land of the free, as well as for creating a popular brand of building logs, the Great Emancipator has been worshipped and adored by Americans ever since his tragic murder in 1865 by the forces of darkness.
The memorial’s elevation and vast expanse of marble columns were designed to evoke the Parthenon, the ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Henry Bacon, the memorial’s architect and a devoted disciple of the Lincoln, stated at its dedication, “The ancients could not help but enter into the Parthenon with a feeling of awe in the presence of Athena. Could we do anything less for the Savior of the Country?”
Indeed, when pilgrims climb the great staircase and finally pass through the doric columns into the very heart of the temple, they can be observed worshipping in awed silence before the Lincoln’s image, a statue towering five stories tall. The divinity is depicted seated, as on a heavenly throne, striking both awe and fear into the hearts of his petitioners. One of the Savior’s hands is clenched, representing his refusal to accept those who are unworthy. The other hand is more open and relaxed, signaling that he has a fun side, too.
Above the statue, pilgrims find the inscription, “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” On either side of the temple can be observed some of the Lincoln’s sacred writings, enshrined in marble as indelibly as they are in their hearts of his followers.
Not all are pleased with the memorial, however. Some Christians protest that the temple is a direct violation of the Bible’s commandment against false gods and graven images. “Some of the people come here saying they’re not worshipping Lincoln, but are just honoring him and expressing gratitude,” said Jeremiah Flanders, part of a small group of protesters with loudspeakers who were promising Hell to all who worship the Lincoln. “But the way I see it, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it sure ain’t a giraffe.”
One onlooker, a wimpy-looking college student, argued that god or no, the temple is a wanton waste of money. “This temple cost our country three million dollars in the 1920s, back when you could get a Model T for two hundred bucks. That money could have fed, like, a LOT of people!”
Do Catholics Worship Mary? – Fr. Dwight Longenecker
Honoring the Saints – The Baltimore Catechism
Statues in Church – catholicbridge.com