Some interesting points about Abraham Lincoln:
Youthful skepticism gave way to deeper respect for religion. And during the devastation of the Civil War, Lincoln’s self-made theology reshaped American history. The key to Lincoln’s belief system was a roughhewn version of predestination that he absorbed from his parents’ churches.
In Kentucky, Lincoln’s parents were devoted to the hard-shell Primitive Baptists; later in his boyhood, in Indiana, his father and stepmother joined the slightly more moderate Separate Baptists. Both were rigidly Calvinistic.
Young Abe had little interest in his parents’ churches. And while living in New Salem, Ill., in 1834, he wrote a “little Book on Infidelity” that contemporaries said attacked the divinity of Jesus. Then 25, he considered publishing it but friends persuaded him to burn it.
That was fortunate, since Lincoln was just launching a political career. As a champion of small and big business, his natural home was the Whig Party. Like today’s Republicans, the Whigs drew heavy support from Evangelical Protestants — roughly equivalent to today’s Religious Right — who wanted public piety and the abolition of slavery.
Lincoln would have gained politically by joining some church, maintaining a religious front and keeping doubts to himself. But that would have been completely out of character. “He was, quite literally, honest Abe,” Guelzo says.