Martin Luther King, Jr. – Letter from Birmingham Jail

Dated April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King wrote a letter from jail in Birmingham during the non-violent campaign there. In the letter, he defended the strategy of non-violence used in the Birmingham campaign. One of the striking elements of the letter is King’s disappointment with the white clergy in the South. If I could paraphrase King for today, I might ask the Trump evangelical advisory board, “Who is your God? Where are your voices of support when the president said... Read more

James Robison: Are We Going to Rip Amazing Grace from Hymnal Because John Newton Was a Slave Trader?

Gateway Church apostolic elder and member of Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board, James Robison, today asked God if Amazing Grace should be removed from the hymnbook because John Newton was a slave trader. Although he doesn’t mention Confederate statues, in a video titled, What Must We Do When All Hell Breaks Loose, Robison appears to signal his views on removing symbols of the past. Watch: He first asks God to release healing and asks for peace, joy, and wisdom. He... Read more

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – The Powers of Congress

August 16, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes) Summary The delegates took up debate on the powers of Congress. They easily agreed that Congress should have power to lay and collect taxes, regulate international and interstate commerce, coin money, regulate foreign coin, fix standards of weights and measures, and to establish post roads and post offices. They voted down a clause allowing Congress to print paper money (“emit bills”). Influences on the Delegates The one biblical reference in today’s proceedings was... Read more

Donald Trump: First Robert E. Lee, What’s Next George Washington and Thomas Jefferson?

Donald Trump made the same argument that many defenders of Confederate symbols make. If we take down statues of Lee and Stonewall Jackson, what’s next Washington and Jefferson? Watch: Trump knocks it out of the park by asking the media about whether George Washington statue is next to be removed. — The Columbia Bugle (@ColumbiaBugle) August 15, 2017 In this clip, Trump also defends participation in the Unite the Right rally if the participants weren’t white supremacists. He said... Read more

Donald Trump Evangelical Advisory Pastor Equates KKK with Mainstream Media

Rodney Howard-Browne is a pastor on Donald Trump’s advisory committee who has come to Trump’s defense after Charlottesville. To give an example of how difficult it is going to be to make progress on the points I raised in my response to Charlottesville, I offer this tweet from Rev. Howard-Browne. We strongly condemn all white supremacists, KKK, Antifa and Black Lives Matter, Main Stream Media in the strongest of terms !!!!! — Rodney Howard-Browne (@rhowardbrowne) August 14, 2017 I don’t... Read more

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Presidential Veto Debated

August 15, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes on the day) Summary The delegates debated the way bills would be introduced in the legislature and then moved to affirm the power of the president to veto legislation. Madison struck out after four tries to get a committee of revision for legislation. Instead the veto was established as a way for the executive branch to negative bills. Influences on the Delegates Mr. Mercer appealed positively to the example of Great Britain: Mr.... Read more

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Avoiding Aristocracies

August 14, 1787 (Click to read Madison’s notes on the day) Summary A lot of debate today with little action. The delegates decided that the legislators should be paid from the National Treasury and debated over their fears of creating an aristocracy. Influences on the Delegates The delegates worried a lot about creating a system which would be exploited by men wanting power and wealth. Sherman summed up by saying: The Constitution should lay as few temptations as possible in... Read more

The 1787 Constitutional Convention – Citizenship Requirements Debated

August 13, 1787 (click the link to read Madison’s notes) Summary Again, the delegates spent this day fine tuning details of the working of Congress. A major focus was the number of years of citizenship required to serve in the House and Senate. Influences on the Delegates In light of the Russian involvement in the last election, the debate over citizenship instructs us that the delegates had the same concerns we now have. Mr. WILSON and Mr. RANDOLPH moved to strike out “seven years,”... Read more

Woman Killed by White Supremacist in Charlottesville; League of the South President Says His Warriors Had a Good Day

A woman died today in Charlottesville, VA after a white supremacist protester plowed his car into a crowd. Two police officers died in a helicopter crash as they were attempting to do their jobs during the protest. Most responses to the violence and white supremacy on parade has been revulsion. However, the president of the white supremacist organization League of the South thought today went pretty well. Earlier today, Michael Hill tweeted: The League of the South had a good... Read more