Episode 25: Thinking Historically About Charlottesville

In our opening episode of Season 4, host John Fea and producer Drew Dyrli Hermeling catch up on some of the important historical work that still needs to be done in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville. John shares his thoughts on “Make American Great Again” as a historical statement. They are joined by historian … Continue reading Episode 25: Thinking Historically About Charlottesville

National Museum of African American History and Culture Issues Statement on Charlottesville

It’s been out for about a week now: We, at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, are saddened by the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va. Our hearts are with the families of the victims—the three who lost their lives, the 35 injured and the millions across the country who are traumatized by … Continue reading National Museum of African American History and Culture Issues Statement on Charlottesville

Annette Gordon Reed: Why Jefferson Matters in the Wake of Charlottesville

I have been trying to say something like this throughout the week, but I can’t say it as well or with the expertise and authority of  Annette Gordon-Reed: Today, a time of intense focus on the personal and of misplaced faith in the importance of sincerity, we question whether Jefferson really believed the words “all … Continue reading Annette Gordon Reed: Why Jefferson Matters in the Wake of Charlottesville

The National Park Service Responds to Charlottesville

In the days following the events at Charlottesville, the National Park Service made a change to its description of Arlington House, Robert E. Lee’s pre-Civil War home that now looks over Arlington National Cemetery.  Here is a taste of Russell Berman’s piece at The Atlantic: As of August 4, according to a cache of the page accessed … Continue reading The National Park Service Responds to Charlottesville

Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: Trump Should Not Apologize for Charlottesville Statements. “He Did Just Fine”

Here is court evangelical Robert Jeffress on Fox Business News last night. He rightly condemns racism, as he has been doing all along.  This is good.  But he also defends the POTUS,  saying that Trump wants to condemn “all racism.”  I’m not sure what he means here by “all racism.”  Is he somehow referring to … Continue reading Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: Trump Should Not Apologize for Charlottesville Statements. “He Did Just Fine”

Another Court Evangelical Doubles Down on Trump’s Charlottesville Remarks

Over at the Federalist, a writer named Daniel Payne has a piece titled “Trump Spoke Truth About ‘Both Sides’ In Charlottesville, And The Media Lost Their Minds.”  As the title suggests, this piece defends Trump’s remarks on Tuesday and seems to have no problem with his attempt to put the white supremacists in Charlottesville on … Continue reading Another Court Evangelical Doubles Down on Trump’s Charlottesville Remarks

Trump’s Words About Charlottesville May Have A Silver Lining

Trump’s failure to unequivocally denounce racism in Charlottesville and his decision to make this all about monuments has hopefully made Americans more appreciative of what historians do. Think about it. Over the course of the last week Americans have been offered history lessons on race, African-American history, the Confederacy, the Civil War, the difference between … Continue reading Trump’s Words About Charlottesville May Have A Silver Lining

Sadly, What Happened in Charlottesville IS American

As Bruce Springsteen likes to say, “I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream.” Sadly, there is often a great gulf that separates the promise of America and American reality.  I thought about Springsteen’s quote as I read Joshua Zeitz‘s piece at Politico: “What Happened in Charlottesville Is … Continue reading Sadly, What Happened in Charlottesville IS American

How Did Your Church Respond To What Happened in Charlottesville?

Yesterday I was proud of my largely white evangelical church.  My pastor took time to condemn the racists who came to Charlottesville on Saturday and reminded us that “God grieves” at such behavior.  He asked us to pray for the victims and their families.  He asked us to pray for changed hearts among the white … Continue reading How Did Your Church Respond To What Happened in Charlottesville?

Season 4 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast is Almost Here!

We were all in the studio today recording Episode 25 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast.  This is our first episode of Season 4. In this episode we discuss race and Charlottesville with Kelly J. Baker, author of the highly acclaimed Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930. The … Continue reading Season 4 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast is Almost Here!

“Pluralism and the Art of Disagreement”

Last week we wrote about Princeton University president Christopher Eisgruber’s criticism of the religious questions posed to federal judge nominee Amy Coney Barrett by Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Today we call your attention to Eisgruber’s speech at Princeton’s opening exercises entitled “Pluralism and the Art of Disagreement.”  It is a clear statement … Continue reading “Pluralism and the Art of Disagreement”

The Author’s Corner with Kevin Levin

Kevin Levin is a historian, educator, and the proprietor of the popular Civil War Memory blog. This interview is based on his new edited collection, Interpreting the Civil War at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2017). JF: What led you to collect and edit the essays in Interpreting the Civil War? KL: With the United States … Continue reading The Author’s Corner with Kevin Levin

What About Confederate Reenactors?

Over at Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin reflects on Confederate Civil War reenactors in a post-New Orleans, post-Charlottesville world. Here is a taste: It should come as no surprise that reenactors who don Confederate gray and display the Confederate battle flag are meeting more and more resistance from people who question their motivation. A group … Continue reading What About Confederate Reenactors?

Today the Founding Fathers Were Invoked…

For their fear of a president like Donald Trump For creating three branches of government For opposing gerrymandering For trying to protect the country from the tyranny of the majority For instituting a way to amend the Constitution in order to protect the states For growing weed For being “living men” and fallible humans For … Continue reading Today the Founding Fathers Were Invoked…

What Some Non-Court Evangelicals are Saying About the Court Evangelicals

Should Christians be advising Donald Trump?  Over at Christianity Today, Kate Shellnut has collected responses to this question from court evangelicals and evangelicals who do not have access to the court. Here are some of the non-court evangelical responses: Gary Burge, visiting professor at Calvin Theological Seminary: Pastors need to weigh the difference between beneficial access to … Continue reading What Some Non-Court Evangelicals are Saying About the Court Evangelicals

Historians Discuss American History in the Age of Trump

Tom Ashbrook interviews historians Judith Giesberg and Julian Zelizer on his WBUR-Boston show “On Point” Listen here. Themes discussed and things learned: Julian Zelizer is writing a book about Newt Gingrich Zelizer says that we should be careful not to place Trump solely in “long term continuums.”  There is a lot about him that is unique, … Continue reading Historians Discuss American History in the Age of Trump