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...]

Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

[Read more...]

Call to prayer from the Continental Congress

Very often, in the early days of our nation, Congress would call for a day of “fasting, humiliation, and prayer.”  (Google the phrase and compare the resolutions from the Continental Congress through Lincoln.)  This was the kind of resolution that led to the holiday of Thanksgiving.  (I’ll post Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation tomorrow.)

After the jump, I’ve posted a resolution from the Continental Congress passed on March 20, 1779, in the midst of the War for Independence.  (The victory at the Battle of Yorktown, in which the British army was decisively defeated, would take place two years later, though the Treaty of Paris ending the war would not be signed until 1783.)

My point in doing so is not to open the debate about whether America or any other nation can be a “Christian country” or to discuss “civil religion.”  I’m just struck by the language of the resolution, the richness of the Biblical allusions, and the earnest tone of humility (that this war is a “just punishment of our manifold transgressions”). [Read more...]