Memorandum about Churches

March 4, 1864

I have written before, and now repeat, the United States Government must not undertake to run the churches. When an individual in a church or out of it becomes dangerous to the public interest he must be checked, but the churches as such must take care of themselves. It will not do for the United States to appoint trustees, supervisors, or other agents for the churches. I add if the military have military need of the church building, let them keep it; otherwise let them get out of it, and leave it and its owners alone except for causes that justify the arrest of any one.

A. LINCOLN.

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