Of all those who fought for justice and equality over the centuries, of all those who were martyred for their troubles, Abraham Lincoln is the one who is my personal hero. A homely man, a man not much loved by the people until after his death, he saw the United States through its bloodiest conflict. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves - not because he had to, but because itwas the just thing to do. And at the end of the Civil War he was murdered for it, his assassin proclaiming him a tyrant.
I love Gandhi, I love Martin Luther King. I love Nelson Mandela. but I revere Abraham Lincoln because he was not fighting against injustices done to his race, but rather by his race.
"Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature -- opposition to it in his love of justice."
The word 'slavery' could easily be swapped for 'racism' or 'prejudice' to make it relevant to the isues we are confronted with today.
I wish Honest Abe was with us today. In the face of global terrorism and suicide bombers deliberately targeting children and escalating racism and nationalism and religious fundamentalism, we could use such a man to guide America (and by extension, much of the world) through the dangerous waters we find ourselves in. Not just politically or militarily, but morally.
Instead, we have George Bush.