The case for a North American century

Many have been saying that  America is in decline, that our political, cultural, and economic contributions are slipping. China, some say, is the up-and-coming nation.  Others say that the age of the dominant world power is over.

But an op-ed piece by former General David Petraeus and Brookings Institute researcher Michael O’Hanlon say that the United States, in partnership with Canada and Mexico, has economic and demographic advantages over all comers that may make for a “North American Century.” [Read more...]

Luther, Madison, and the Two Kingdoms

Rev. Matthew Harrison, the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, discusses a letter President James Madison sent to a Lutheran pastor in 1821 upon reading one of his sermons:

It is a pleasing and persuasive example of pious zeal, united with pure benevolence and of a cordial attachment to a particular creed, untinctured with sectarian illiberality. It illustrates the excellence of a system which, by a due distinction, to which the genius and courage of Luther led the way, between what is due to Caesar and what is due God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations. The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.

 President Harrison then goes on to give a very clear and perceptive explanation of the Doctrine of the  Two Kingdoms, which Madison was picking up on, which gives an alternative both to the view that the church should try to rule the world and the view that Christians should withdraw from that world. [Read more...]

The American themes of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Columnist Paul Greenberg has written a wonderful column about It’s a Wonderful Life.  Read it all.  After the jump, I excerpt his points about how the movie deals with some distinctively American themes.  He also cites a critic who thinks it’s tragic that George Bailey had to give up his big dreams because of the responsibility he felt for his family and his community, a reaction that is tragic in itself. [Read more...]

Florida passes New York to become #3 in population

The U. S. Census Bureau released new population data revealing that Florida has passed New York in population.  The most populous states are  now (1) California (2) Texas (3) Florida (4) New York. [Read more...]

China passes USA as largest economy

The United States no longer has the world’s largest economy.  China just passed us.  Ever since Ulysses S. Grant was president, the American economy has been  number one.  Now we are number two. [Read more...]

Be thankful for rivers

Why has America, among all the world’s nations, always been so prosperous?  Lots of reasons.  But, according to a new book, it begins with our rivers. [Read more...]