PDA

View Full Version : A Biblical analysis of the heretical theology in the "Battle Hymn of the Republic"


Petr
03-12-2006, 09:06 PM
This tune is still quite popular in Europe as well...


http://www.cafes.net/smckamey/Oldrepublic/b_hymn.htm


A Biblical Exegesis on the Atheology of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”


By R. Steve McKamey, P.E. and Tom Pardue LTC USA-RET


The words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic (BHR) were written in 1862 by Julia Ward Howe as she visited Washington D.C. with her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe. The verses she wrote employed a vivid imagery, loosely based on the Bible, to motivate a somewhat indifferent and unmotivated Federal Army to continue an increasingly unpopular war. Many writers have addressed the context from which the BHR was written. A cursory summary of that history will be presented here but the main thesis of this essay is to examine the theology of the verses and the suitability of this hymn for use in Christian worship.

The tune to which the BHR is sung came from the abominable anthem, “John Brown’s Body.” John Brown’s Body was a morbid glorification of the heinous murderer and militant abolitionist, John Brown. Brown organized a band of low-lifes, cutthroats, and rapists who brutally killed innocent men women and children. Their youngest victim was only nine months old. John Brown was properly brought to justice and hanged for his crimes but his admirers wrote the words to the song to continue to glorify his murderous hatred for Southerners.

Samuel Gridley Howe was an early fan of John Brown and helped finance his “cause”. It may be speculation, but circumstantial evidence is overwhelming that Mrs. Howe took the earlier song and penned new words that would glorify the cause of John Brown to millions of people who would in ignorance sing the new words to the old tune. The BHR has, as the Bible describes apostates and false prophets, taken a form of religion while denying its eternal power.

Mrs. Howe was also a Unitarian and even preached to Unitarian congregations in New England. Unitarians do not view the Bible as the inspired Word of God. They deny the deity and virgin birth of Christ, and they believe in an egalitarian form of salvation whose guarantor is in governments of men. These Unitarian views are evident in the BHR. The following is a treatise on these verses by which an attempt is made to demonstrate that they are incompatible with the true faith and practise of the Christian Church and as such should be excluded from the order of worship.


1) “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord”

These are breathtakingly blasphemous words for a Christian to sing. Peter, James, and John were shown the glory of the transfigured Lord prior to the resurrection. (Mt. 17, 1-9) In Mt. 24:23, we are warned, “Then if any man say unto you, Loe, here is Christ, or there, beleeve it not.” Again in verse 27, “For as the lightening cometh out of the East, and is seen into the West, so shall also the coming of the Sonne of Man be. (1599 Geneva Bible) These verses show that 1) The apostles saw the glory of the risen Lord and this claim is one of the foundational claims to apostleship 2) The Lord will show his glory again when He returns. and 3) False prophets will claim to see him here and there. This claim is the work of a false prophet. Remember also, that attributing an evil or false work to any of the Trinity is blasphemy. The first line of the first verse of the BHR is, by the standards of the Bible, blasphemous and heretical – even to repeat in ignorance.


2) “He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored”

“Vintage” is a term for a winery. Wine is the biblical symbol for blood. Before modern machinery, grapes were “trampled” under foot to press out the juice to be fermented into wine. The “vintage” here is the seceding (Southern) states. The imagery suggests that God, embodied here in the armies of the North, was squeezing out the blood of Southerners to ferment it into something better. This reference to God is entirely pantheistic humanism. St. Augustine thoroughly refuted this idea of the militaristic manifestation of God in his “City of God” which was written in the aftermath of the sacking of Rome by the Visigoth Barbarian, Alaric in 410 A.D. The Bible does give a picture of the pagan usage of this imagery in Judges 9:27, “And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. (KJV)


3) “He has loosed the faithful lightning of His terrible swift sword”

The Word is clear on this point. The Sword of the Lord is his word. Salvation and proselytisation come only through the preaching and exhortation of the Word of God. It does not come at the end of a gun barrel. This is what separates the true Christian faith from all other religions on earth. God makes his point in his Word. Man makes his point at the end of a gun. Consider these verses; Rev 2:16, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth”; Is 49:2, “And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me.” (KJV) The implication here is clear. As the Church of Jesus Christ, we are to conquer the world by the Word, not by the sword. As conquest is foreign to the “Just War” doctrine expounded from the Scriptures by St. Augustine, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and others, so is the ascription of God’s Holy name to military conquest, a blasphemy upon His name.


4) “His truth is marching on”

This is the most worthy line in the entire poem. Unfortunately, the context in which it is placed taints the meaning of it as well.


5) “I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps”

This is another pantheistic reference to God and is entirely consistent with the heretical Unitarian theology.


6) “They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps”

Because the previous references to their god have embodied him in the army and its implements, the altar must be built to these. In any case, this altar is to a foreign god and is therefore, idolatry. The first and second commandments in Exodus 20 state, “ 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”(KJV)


7) “I can read his righteous sentence by the evening dews and damps”

This is a claim that “God is on our side” which is bad theology for any Christian to claim. The question is, are we on God’s side by walking in his Word? Consider Mt 7:1-2, “1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” and Luke 6:37, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”


8) “I have read the fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel”

This is the gospel according to the Roman Empire, not of Jesus Christ. The Romans conquered peoples of many religions and allowed them to continue in their religions with one additional obligation. That obligation was to burn incense on an altar to Ceasar once a year and proclaim, “Ceasar is Lord.” Consider that in the aftermath of the war that the BHR glorifies, there has been constructed a monument modeled after the Greco-Roman temple to the goddess, Minerva (Athena to the Greeks). That on this monument the symbols of ancient Rome, the “fasces”, that proclaimed “Kesar et Kurios” (Ceasar is Lord) are inscribed in four prominent locations. Two are on the parapet framing the steps leading up to the monument and two are on the front of the chair that the statue is seated on. The first three words of the inscription above the statue’s head are, “In this temple…”


10) “As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal”

There were strong sectional theological tensions present in the U.S. during this era. Wilkins summarizes these irreconcilable tensions as “Calvinist vs. Anti-Calvinist” and notes that “The South had increasingly become the last stronghold of the old Puritan orthodoxy.”

The Second Great Awakening formed profound cultural changes in America. Someone has noted that culture is religion externalized and made explicit. The culture of Mrs. Howe was one deeply affected by aberrant theology; perfectionism, transcendentalism, millennialism, universalism and illuminism. These beliefs evolved from earlier theological errors, e.g. the New Haven Theology, revivalism, the “New Measures” of Finney and Arminianism. Ian Murray reported “the innovations in evangelism and worship [of the Second Great Awakening] . . .were forerunners of spiritual barrenness.” Dabney cited a northerner, “Mr. Adams,” who noted “Spiritual rappings, biology, second-adventism, Mormonism, and the whole spawn of errors which infest us [northerners], do not find subjects at the South. . . . [T]here is more faith, less infidelity, at the South, than at the North.”

On the other hand, Snapp reported that “Unlike the North, where the Second Great Awakening contributed to a near abandonment of Calvinist theology, in the South Calvinism gained in influence.”

Notwithstanding hyperbole defining the South as the serpent, historical testimony supports the assertion that the spiritually barren northern theological ethos was far more serpentine. The northern religious ethos more closely depicted the “thesis”. While not an entirely perfect match the Southern religious ethos more closely depicted the “antithesis,” CF. Gen. 3:15.


[I][B]11) Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,[/B][/I]

It is ironic that Howe wrote with approbation of Christ. Her description hardly gives honor to God, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. This is especially poignant when one contemplates her true testimony of Christ. Howe stated "Not until the Civil War [sic] did I officially join the Unitarian Church and accept the fact that Christ was merely a great teacher with no higher claim to preeminence in wisdom, goodness and power than many other men."


[B]This is not a North-South issue or dispute. It has nothing to do with either political view of the war. Even those who believe that the cause was just or that the issue is “settled” should take issue with these symbols and the hymn that glorifies them precisely because they are not an affront to any man but upon the person, majesty, and attributes of Almighty God himself.[/B]

The Battle Hymn is a passionately popular ditty in contemporary America, even the world. Its fame has increased since 9-11. It is synonymous with patriotism now as it was in the northern culture of the 1860s. It appears that one of the purposes of this jingle was to inspire by appropriating language from another world-view. The undiscerning listener, then as now, failed to recognize the hymn and the underlying presuppositions as a counterfeit gospel.

It has always been the manner of the “thesis” to plagiarize the themes of the “antithesis.” Mrs. Howe’s theology was the prototype of the social gospel. The mainline liberal Protestant institutions as well as Roman Catholicism advocate this theology. Superficially it resembles the true gospel with its emphasis on Christian love. Yet, it too is a counterfeit gospel that does not recognize Christ as God, the Redeemer of the Elect. It is a gospel incorporating the ethics of Christianity while rejecting the crown rights of King Jesus.

The gospel of Battle Hymn is a gospel of reform. It is not a gospel of true reformation, but a gospel of forced reform by civil government. Before the Great Unpleasantness of 1861-65 the United States was known internationally for Christian missions to the world. After the Great Unpleasantness this Christian mission was gradually supplanted. The religion of the state little by little became the religion of the republic. The armed force of the government first used in 1861-65 as a method of reform eventually has become the norm. In contemporary interventionist America the military, not the Christian missionaries, are dispatched to trouble spots like Bosnia and Kosovo to “save the world for democracy.”

[B]The gospel of Battle Hymn is a “postmillennial” gospel. Its ambition is human perfection fashioned by biological and cultural evolution resulting in perfect cultural harmony. The missing component is Christ.[/B]

Scripture gives the Christian examples of hymns. Hymns are for thanking and praising God, C.F. Neh. 12:27,46; Acts 16:25. The Battle Hymn of the Republic praises and thanks. It does not praise and thank the God of the Bible. Based in heretical, corrupt and hypothetical theology, it praises and thanks nothing more than a hypothetical god. Thus, it is nothing but idolatry.

Idolatry does not belong to God and those who worship Him in spirit and truth.

The remaining verses retain the same themes, imagery, and theological problems of those examined. Smith1 has addressed some of these verses. [B]The conclusion that must be reached is that the Battle Hymn of the Republic is reflective of a gospel foreign to the Christian faith. It surely reflects the Unitarian view that there is no heaven or hell and that judgement must be effected by the institutions of man. A far more honest hymn would be “Imagine” by John Lennon. At least its blasphemy is overt. [/B]

I write this critique as an attempt to put into practise the words of the Apostle, Paul, in 2Cor 10:3-5, [I]“3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”[/I](NIV)

May God bless my words that are true to His Word and wipe those away that are not. Amen.


[B]1William H. Smith, “A Hymn of Hate”, [I]World Magazine [/I]Vol._ No._, June 22, 1996.[/B]

ironweed
03-12-2006, 09:32 PM
Sheesh. And when all is said and done its just a song. :rolleyes:

One that's a heck of a lot easier to sing than the Star Spangled Banana.

The organist at our Church couldn't even completely muck it up, and he makes everything sound like the Captain and Tenille. (Muskrat Love for the slow songs, You'd Better Shop Around for the upbeat ones). They used it as the recessional hymn on the Sunday closest to the 4th of July this year. I honestly hadn't heard it in at least ten years before then. Its "too religious," or "too martial" for public consumption nowadays. At least in the liberal Northeast USA, though I've heard that's quite popular down South for some mystifying reason.

In sum, the authors of this picked a very strange windmill to tilt against. A battle where they stand shoulder to shoulder with secular humanists, pacifists and atheists. They all hate the song, too.

Keystone
03-12-2006, 09:43 PM
The heathen North!

I take it these were Southern gentlemen who wrote this piece...? :D

"May God bless my words that are true to His Word and wipe those away that are not. Amen."
I'm sure they think He blessed every word.

WFHermans
03-12-2006, 11:18 PM
Interesting. I always assumed it was much older.

Sinclair
03-13-2006, 12:49 AM
Isn't the tune to "John Brown's Body" swiped from an older English or Irish song?

"When Johnnie Comes Marching Home" or something.

Unless that's newer than "Body".

Kodos
03-13-2006, 05:45 AM
The South did not become a very religious society till after the civil war Petr... Northern colonists went sometimes to make money sometimes for religious reasons. Colonists in the South went almost exclusively to make money.

Petr
03-13-2006, 06:09 PM
The South did not become a very religious society till after the civil war Petr.
Even if true, it's highly irrelevant to the main point of this article, namely that "Battle Hymn" propounds heretical Unitarian theology.


Petr

Kodos
03-13-2006, 06:17 PM
Even if true, it's highly irrelevant to the main point of this article, namely that "Battle Hymn" propounds heretical Unitarian theology.


Who cares( I mean even you) its not as if many people in the Union Army became Unitarians.

Petr
03-13-2006, 06:25 PM
Who cares( I mean even you) its not as if many people in the Union Army became Unitarians.
Are you really this (ahem), simple? This song is a textbook example of Unitarian cultural takeover just as surely as Hollywood movies are a sign of Jewish cultural takeover.


Petr

Kodos
03-13-2006, 06:35 PM
Are you really this (ahem), simple? This song is a textbook example of Unitarian cultural takeover just as surely as Hollywood movies are a sign of Jewish cultural takeover.


Petr

I don't think the average union soldier thought about it any deeper then "it means we're going to kick their asses because god is with us"...

Lenny
03-25-2006, 03:18 PM
The heathen North!

I take it these were Southern gentlemen who wrote this piece...? :DBitter neo-Confederates say the strangest things :rolleyes:

I don't think the average union soldier thought about it any deeper then "it means we're going to kick their asses because god is with us"...Absolutely correct. The author of the article attempts to create meaning that isn't there, all the Battle Hymn of the Republic is is a patriotic song, it is not an exhaustive attempt to expound deep theology!

Petr
03-25-2006, 03:22 PM
The author of the article attempts to create meaning that isn't there, all the Battle Hymn of the Republic is is a patriotic song, it is not an exhaustive attempt to expound deep theology!
Yeah, and Catholics aren't really worshipping statues and relics, but merely "venerating" them...


Petr

Lenny
03-25-2006, 03:23 PM
Petr, if you want to talk about religion in the US Civil War, read the below. I find it much more alarming than any supposed "unitarian propaganda" secretly included in the Union's Battle Hymn:

Abraham Lincoln is recorded as having said the following in late 1861:

"Unfortunately, I feel more and more, every day, that it is not against the Americans of the South, alone, I am fighting, it is more against the Pope of Rome, his perfidious Jesuits and their blind and blood-thirsty slaves, than against the real American Protestants, that we have to defend ourselves. Here is the real danger of our position. So long as they will hope to conquer the North, they will spare me; but the day we will rout their armies (and that day will surely come, with the help of God), take their cities, and force them to submit, then, it is my impression that the Jesuits, who are the principal rulers of the South, will do what they have almost invariably done in the past. The dagger, or the pistol of one of their adepts, will do what the strong hands of the warriors could not achieve. This civil war seems to be nothing but a political affair to those who do not see, as I do, the secret springs of that terrible drama. But it is more a religious than a civil war. It is Rome who wants to rule and degrade North America, as she has ruled and degraded South America, from the very day of its discovery. There are only very few of the Southern leaders who are not more or less under the influence of the Jesuits, through their wives, family relations, and their friends. Several members of the family of Jeff Davis belong to the Church of Rome. Even the Protestant ministers are under the influence of the Jesuits without suspecting it. To keep her ascendancy in the North, as she does in the South, Rome is doing here what she has done in Mexico, and in all the South American Republics; she is paralyzing, by a civil war, the arms of the soldiers of Liberty. She divides our nation, in order to weaken, subdue and rule it."

Petr
04-24-2012, 07:12 PM
Returning to this issue, we can see that Battle Hymn is a textbook example of how heretical Babelist (pantheistic, unitarian) theology can be camouflaged with seemingly pious, pseudo-Biblical language.

In short, this shows how deeply liberalism has infiltrated modern Christendom.

http://ironink.org/2012/04/transcendentalism-the-battle-hymn-of-the-republic/

Transcendentalism & The Battle Hymn Of The Republic

April 24, 2012

“We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
American Transcendentalist Man of Letters
Essay– The Oversoul

“We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds…A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
American Transcendentalist Man of Letters
1837 Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Address
When Ralph Waldo Emerson advocated this pantheistic ideology and so thought that all men were part of the Divine, he opened the way for human events to become Divine Events, and thus every man could become an avenging god destroying a sinful world with fire. This is precisely what happened as the US Government was captured by this ideology that taught that as all was a part of god therefore no part of god should be subservient to any other part of god. This Transcendental Jacobinism that animated the Radical Republicans (abolitionists) was set ablaze with the intent of making the world anew in the image of Emersonian Transcendentalism (i.e. — Jacobinism).

Another Transcendentalist of the time, Julia Ward Howe (http://womenshistory.about.com/od/howejuliaward/a/julia_ward_howe_1_early.htm), gives us the proof of how Transcendental ideology, clothed in Christian language, captured the imagination of the Northern public and is found in the Yankee Battle Song that Howe inked.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
The Transcendental nature of this stanza is found in the fact that the coming of the Lord is seen in the eyes of Howe as the marching of the Union Armies. Her eyes have seen God’s judgment glory in the marching Union Armies. The Union Armies, as truth marching on, are the glory of the coming of the Lord. This coming that is being referred to here is a judgment coming as seen in the fact that the transcendentalist god is trampling his grapes of wrath and hath loosed its terrible swift sword.

In the second and third lines of the first stanza that coming of the Lord in the Union Armies is seen by the fact that those Armies are trampling out vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. Now, the place where the Union Armies were trampling was the South, and so the grapes of wrath that the transcendentalist god (Union Army) is trampling and out of which the vintage is coming are Southerners. Let us not miss the poetic imagery. The Union Army, as the Transcendentalist god, are trampling vintage out of gods wrath grapes, which is just another way of saying that the Union Army is trampling vintage blood out of those, for whom, god has stored up His wrath.

Union Armies = god // Trampling Southern blood = good

The third line finds the Transcendentalist god (Union Army) loosing the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword, once again communicating that the Union Army, as the Transcendentalist god, is visiting god’s judgment on the South.

Finally, all of this is bound up with Truth marching on and “Hallelujah,” literally means “Praise God.” Praise god that he is killing and maiming, raping and ruining, pillaging and destroying Southerners.

Howe the Transcendentalist goes on and the North sang along with her,

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His day is marching on.
The idea that god equals the union Armies is clearly given us in the first line, or alternately she sees god in the actions of the Union Armies, which is much the same thing.

The idea of building an alter is interesting since most commonly what happens on altars is some kind of blood sacrifice. Are the alters which they (Howe slips into a distinction here between god and those who are doing god’s bidding) “builded” a reference to the work of blood sacrifice that the North is offering of the South?

Since all of this is in the context of blood and judgment one wonders if “The righteous sentence” of which Howe speaks as to do with something like, “the soul that sinneth shall surely die?” If that is the case White Southerners are souls that must die and the Transcendentalist god army is that which executes God’s judgment. The fact that we are still in judgment mode here is seen in the line, “His day is marching on.” This “day,” is a reference to the “Day of the Lord.” A Biblical idea that is commonly associated with God’s judgment visitation upon those who are His enemies.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.
Note

1.) The fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel are the Yankee Bayonets and war machine.

2.) Second line — Gospel defined as grace extended to those who crush God’s contemners (scorners). The scorners of God are the Southerners. Yankee’s are earning God’s grace by crushing the South.

3.) Hero born of woman is Jesus as incarnated in the Union army and the serpent being crushed with the Yankee heel is the South. Another Biblical reference.

4.) God marching on = Yankee Armies marching on. As Sherman and his Bummers burned Atlanta and raped Columbia god was marching on. As Sheridan torched the Shenandoah valley so that a crow flying over would need to carry its own provisions god was marching on. When Grant starved out Vicksburg and used his men as canon fodder god was marching on. When Gen. “Beast” Butler was insulting Southern women god was marching on.

5.) Hallelujah = Praise god all this is happening.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.
Sounding forth Trumpet = Judgment language.

The second coming (characterized as a judgment coming) in the bible is a coming of judgment against God’s enemies and in the Bible this coming is introduced by the sounding of a Trumpet. The “Day of the Lord”, in which He judges mankind was prophesied by the Old Testament prophet Zephaniah to be “A day of trumpet and battle cry. The idea of the Union Army being equivalent to God’s judgment is laced all the way through this song.

Sifting out the hearts = In the bible, judgment includes sifting out wheat (good) mixed in with the chaff (bad). God, as incarnated in the Union Armies, is sifting out hearts before Him. Obviously the enemies of the Jacobins are chaff that needs to be sifted from the wheat.

Please understand that in all this the Devil is being painted as god and so though the language of “god” is used what all this is actually describing is the judgment of the devil against his enemies.

Oh, be swift, my soul… = The idea of calling people to rally to god’s side.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free;
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.
Here the fact that the War Against the Constitution was a Holy War is clearly set forth. As Christ died to make men Holy, the members of the Union Army were called to die to make men free.

So the next time your Church heats up the organ to belt this song out just remember what it is that you are signing.

Petr
04-24-2012, 07:33 PM
I understand that this hymn is being sung in many otherwise quite orthodox Christian churches. It is thus a real "Trojan Horse" of heresy:

http://www.hcsedu.com/custpage.cfm/frm/47009/sec_id/47057

The fifth and final verse gives the ultimate expression of the warped and anti-biblical theology which possessed the radical abolitionists.

In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

To Julia Ward Howe the work of Christ was incomplete. It was up to men through civil government to bring about a utopian society. She was quoted in her biography, “Not until the Civil War did I officially join the Unitarian church and accept the fact the Christ was merely a great teacher with no higher claim to preeminence in wisdom, goodness, and power than any other man.” (emphasis added)

The “Battle Hymn” theme has nothing to do with Christianity or God. It is a political-patriotic song about the destruction of the South, written in religious terminology. It is a clever product. Howe deliberately created the idea that the North was doing God’s work. She paints a picture of a vengeful God destroying His enemies—the South, and elevating the North’s cause to that of a “holy war.” Howe successfully portrayed the South and its people as evil and the enemy of God.

As a Unitarian, Julia Ward Howe believed the Unitarian doctrine that man is characteristically good and he can redeem himself by his own merits without any help from a saviour. She rejected basic biblical truths such as a literal hell—“I threw away, once and forever, the thought of the terrible hell which appears to me impossible.”

Mrs. Howe also refuted the exclusive claim of Jesus, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) by saying, “Having rejected the exclusive doctrine that made Christianity and special forms of it the only way of spiritual redemption, I now accept the belief that not only Christians but all human beings, no matter what their religion, are capable of redemption. Christianity was but one of God’s plans for bringing all of humanity to a state of ultimate perfection.”