Monday, January 30

Lincoln on the Avot

We saw a quote in the new Lincoln biography which made us think of ongoing discussion of treatment of the Avot:

Years later, Whitney [a Lincoln legal colleague from 1850s] recalled a lengthy discussion about George Washington. The question for debate was whether the first president was perfect, or whether, being human, was fallible. According to Whitney, Lincoln thought there was merit in retaining the notion of a Washington without blemish that they had all been taught as children. "It makes human nature better to believe that one human being was perfect," Lincoln argued, "that human perfection is possible."
--Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals, pp. 151-52.


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