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| It was written by a lying abolitionist wench. The tune had its beginnings as a camp-meeting song with a "Glory Hallelujah" refrain by William Steffe, written about 1856. This tune was in turn used for what became the Union marching song, "John Brown’s Body." John Brown was a terrorist. Fellow abolitionist of Julia Ward Howe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said John Brown made "the gallows as glorious as the Cross." I have no respect for the woman who wrote it or the the man who inspired it. The words to it are taken from Biblical text mainly based on "The Judgement" by our Lord in the last days, but Howe is insinuating His judgement on the South. I cringe when my church sings this song knowing that just outside in the cemetery lies Confederate soldiers, my ancestors, whom Howe hated and believed that they should feel "the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword."
This is how I hate the Battle Hymn of the Republic.