Category: American Character

Individuals who have exhibited Biblical character qualities and have had a positive impact on American history.

The SOTU on Abortion & Socialism

If President Trump would always speak like he did last night in the State of the Union Address—on script, reasonable, avoiding inflammatory campaign rhetoric—he would become a much more effective chief executive. Thank you, presidential speechwriters, for the two major highlights for me: exposing the abortion/infanticide lies and a strong denunciation of socialism. Neither made the Democrats in attendance very comfortable. Good. As one looked over the House chamber on the Democrat side, it was almost as if one couldn’t… Read more »

Religion & the Presidents

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a new course that would examine the religious beliefs of the presidents. The course would also attempt to determine how those beliefs may have influenced the policies each president followed. That proposed course will now be reality this semester as I teach, for the first time, “Religion and the Presidents.” It will be a little different in structure than my other courses. First, no exams—how does one adequately “test” students… Read more »

Presidents & the Apostles’ Creed

The funeral service for George H. W. Bush was as genuine as the man himself. It was one of those very few times when politics could be set aside to remember the character of an honorable person who embraced the Christian faith and lived a life of service undergirded by that faith. Such times are rare indeed anymore. The Christian faith espoused by Bush is no longer as pervasive in our country as it was earlier in our history. Yet… Read more »

John Adams, Facts, & Brett Kavanaugh: A Primer

It was March 1770 when a crowd of Boston colonists began angrily harassing a British sentry. Soon other soldiers came to his aid. In the confusion, amidst the clamor, the throwing of snowballs, ice, and stones, and even being threatened with clubs, the soldiers misunderstood a command from the officer in charge and began firing into the crowd. Five colonists lay dead and six more were wounded. It became known as the Boston Massacre. Emotions ran high. Would the soldiers… Read more »

Jeremy Lanphier & the Prayer Revival of 1857

I teach about this man when I cover the Civil War era. This account is taken from a Christian History e-mail I receive daily. I thought it was worth sharing today. JEREMY LANPHIER was born in Albany in 1809 but he made his mark in New York City. He moved there to find employment and became a success as a clothing wholesaler. Although he attended church to sing in the choir, he was not a Christian. While attending the Broadway… Read more »

Great Power or Great Responsibility?

So many people want to be president. Perhaps it would do them some good to remember comments by America’s first three presidents. When Washington was elected to the presidency, he wrote to Henry Knox: My movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution: so unwilling am I, in the evening of a life nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful… Read more »

A Man I Respect

Reposting from my very first month of Pondering Principles back in August 2008. When people say that there are no principled men in government, I must disagree. There are men and women who are living their principles in public life. One of the men I respect most is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. For the record, Justice Thomas does not know me personally and would not recognize me if introduced. I did meet him twice–once at the Supreme Court when the government school… Read more »