The NSA Controversy, the Founding Fathers, and the Fourth Amendment

My latest post for The Federalist Papers reflects on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, which protects citizens against “unreasonable searches and seizures,” and requires that warrants be justified by “probable cause.” What was the historical context of the Fourth Amendment, and why were the Founders so concerned about what they called “general warrants”? More [Read More...]

“Great Pillars of Human Happiness”: How Religion Frames American History

In February I spoke at Regent University’s annual Reagan Symposium. This year’s theme was religion and presidential rhetoric, and C-SPAN has posted video of the event, with lectures by others including historians Daniel Dreisbach, Richard Gamble, Paul Kengor, and Gary Scott Smith. In my lecture, titled “Great Pillars of Human Happiness”: How Religion Has Framed [Read More...]

Christmas in 1776

From the Patheos archive: ‘Tis the season to argue about religion. Or more specifically, to feud about whether to say Merry Christmas or Seasons Greetings…to call it a Christmas Village or a Holiday Village…or to allow a crèche or menorah to stand on public property. What would Americans at the time of our nation’s founding [Read More...]

David Barton, Civil Religion, and Patriotic Idolatry

Guest Post by Miles S. Mullin, II, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s J. Dalton Havard School for Theological Studies A few weeks ago, popular Christian history writer David Barton presented his standard two-hour presentation at a church in my area.  At the urging of colleague John Wilsey, who has written against the concept of Christian America [Read More...]

A Balanced Evangelical View of America’s Founding

I recently reviewed David Aikman’s excellent book One Nation Without God? for Christianity Today. As I note in the review, Aikman’s book takes a balanced view of America’s Christian heritage: In the chapter on history (the longest section of the book), Aikman reviews modern Christian providentialist literature, led by books such as Peter Marshall and David Manuel’s The Light [Read More...]

The Founding Fathers, Barack Obama, and “Taking Care of Our Own”

Here’s a piece that I wrote after Obama’s acceptance speech at the DNC.  It originally appeared at The Way of Improvement Leads Home, but I thought Anxious Bench readers might be interested in it as well.   For those who have already seen it, I apologize for the cross-post. – The Founding Fathers would have been [Read More...]

Patrick Henry, Homeschooler

Here’s a popular post I wrote last year at Patheos: Patrick Henry, the greatest orator of the American Revolution, was homeschooled. Born in 1736 as the second of eleven children, he attended a small common school until he was 10. After that, his father took primary responsibility for his education. He read classics of Greek [Read More...]

The Top Five Forgotten Founders

When Americans speak of the “Founding Fathers,” they usually have a group of about six men in mind: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams, for sure, and maybe Alexander Hamilton or Samuel Adams. These Founders are endlessly fascinating, but if all we do is focus on this short list, we get [Read More...]


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