It was announced on June 6, 2018. Here is the press release: The issue of Jefferson’s paternity has been the subject of controversy for at least two centuries, ranging from contemporary newspaper articles in 1802 (when Jefferson was President) to scholarly debate well into the 1990s. It is now the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s view that … Continue reading It’s Official: Monticello Affirms Thomas Jefferson Fathered Children with Sally Hemings
Will be giving a Full Pardon to Dinesh D’Souza today. He was treated very unfairly by our government! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018 D’Souza is right-wing pundit and conspiracy theorist. We have written about him several times here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. And to think this guy used to … Continue reading Trump: Dinesh D’Souza is a “great voice for America”
We will be in Louisville on July 12 and Raleigh on July 15. We are looking for stops on July 13 and July 14, 2018 in one of the following cities or surrounding regions: Cincinnati, Lexington (KY), Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Columbia (SC), Charlottesville, Charleston (WV), Lynchburg (VA) or Roanoke (VA). Let me … Continue reading The “Believe Me Book Tour” is Looking for Stops on July 13 and July 14, 2018
As far as I know, University of Virginia sociologist James Davison Hunter coined the term “culture wars” in his 1991 book The Culture Wars: The Struggle to Control the Family, Art, Education, Law, and Politics in America. Over at The Wall Street Journal, Jason Willick has a feature story on Hunter titled “The Man Who Discovered ‘Culture … Continue reading James Davison Hunter Talks About “The Culture Wars”
Yesterday Mike Pence appeared before a group of court evangelicals and Christian nationalists and exhorted them to “share the good news of Jesus Christ.” Here is a taste of a Christian Broadcasting Network piece on Pence’s appearance at the Watchman on the Wall Conference: In a last second surprise appearance before a pastors conference in … Continue reading Mike Pence Tells Pastors to “Share the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Here is a taste of Frank Rich‘s piece at New York Magazine. I don’t always see eye-to-eye with Rich, but he is right about this: Yes, Trump was sending a message with the horror show he orchestrated in Jerusalem. But the message had nothing to do with his administration’s purported goal of seeking peace in the Middle … Continue reading Frank Rich on Trump’s “Horror Show” in Jerusalem
Here is a taste of her report: The girls in red, white and blue plaid skirts and boys in khaki pants climbed aboard the bus with their parents before it pulled away from the Red Lion Inn in Arlington, Va. The 46 Mississippi sixth-graders from Tupelo Christian Preparatory School were headed to the Mall for … Continue reading *Washington Post* Reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey Joins a Christian Nationalist Tour of D.C.
This is a great piece on the noted American historian. A taste of Gary Robertson’s article at Richmond Magazine: In a life that continues to be marked by leadership, accolades and influence, Ed Ayers — the son of a Tennessee used-car salesman and a fifth-grade teacher — says that when his feet hit the floor every … Continue reading Ed Ayers
Next weekend Episode 38 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast will be available via ITunes and most other podcasting sites. Our guest is Randall Stephens of Northumbria University. We will be talking with Randall about his new book The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ‘n’ Roll. It is a great … Continue reading Season 4 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home is Coming to an End and We Could Use Your Support!
Today a national reporter from a major news outlet asked me if I knew of any evangelical leaders (broadly defined) who supported Trump in November 2016, but are now critical of him and his presidency in the wake of Charlottesville, Stormy Daniels, or other issues related to character or policy. Is anyone aware of evangelical … Continue reading Are There Evangelicals Who Have Changed Their Minds About Trump?
Apparently Liberty University has lost so many students in recent days that it now has fewer students than Grand Canyon University, a for-profit Christian college in Phoenix. Here is a taste of Alison Parker’s piece at Shareblue Media: Liberty University has long touted itself as the “world’s largest Christian university.” It’s president Jerry Falwell Jr. … Continue reading Is Liberty University Still “The World’s Largest Christian University?”
I have never heard of the blog Pulpit & Pen, but apparently they spent a lot of time offering readers “theology,” “polemics,” and “discernment.” The website is run by a Southern Baptist pastor in Montana named JD Hall. You can read more abou this website here. It should also be noted that Hall is not new … Continue reading Watch Out For the Evangelical “Marxist Brain Trust” Who Gathered at Wheaton College This Week!
Last weekend Edward Ayers gave a stirring and inspiration presidential address at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Sacramento. (See our coverage here). The title was “Everyone Their Own Historian.” I was not in Sacramento for the conference, but I followed along eagerly as Liz Covart of “Ben Franklin’s World” fame … Continue reading Edward Ayers on Confederate Monuments
Historian Caroline E. Janney wonders if we can “right the past.” “Re-Righting History” was the theme of an episode in Katic Couric’s documentary mini-series America Inside Out. You can watch it here. Here is a taste of Janney’s post at AHA Today: This film offers a powerful reminder that memory is always about the present—about using the past … Continue reading A Historian of Civil War Memory Reviews Katie Couric’s “Re-Righting History”
I am not really sure where to begin with this video. Let’s take, for example, the scene of Lee and Grant shaking hands at Appomattox. How can this be interpreted apart from Trump’s famous “very fine people on both sides” line after Charlottesville? I think David Blight might have something to say about this. What … Continue reading Trump and Huckabee Do American History
I was happy to contribute to Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s piece at The Washington Post. Here is a taste: Trump’s speech mimics a long American tradition of using religion to address a national tragedy. “We expect our president to address evil and calm fears in this way,” said John Fea, a professor of history at Messiah College in … Continue reading Trump Follows the Presidential Script in the Wake of the Florida School Shootings
It is not pretty. Kilgore says that the book should actually be titled Our Faith in Donald Trump. Here is a taste of his review at New York Magazine: But ultimately, as the increasingly hagiographic tone of the book shows, Brody and Lamb and the conservative Evangelical thought-leaders they represent are working hard to overcome any doubts … Continue reading Journalist Ed Kilgore Reviews Brody and Lamb’s *The Faith of Donald Trump: A Spiritual Biography*
A new genre is emerging in popular religious writing in America. Let’s call it the “I am no longer an evangelical because of Donald Trump” genre. I have flirted with this genre many times here and elsewhere, but never to the degree of Illiff School of Theology profressor Miguel De La Torre. In a scathing … Continue reading The “I am no longer an evangelical because of Donald Trump” genre
According to Khari Johnson of Venture Beat, American history podcasts are “having a moment.” We believe that The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast is part of that “moment,” but we could use your support to keep things going. We are lining up some great guests for the rest of Season 4. So far this … Continue reading The Popularity of American History Podcasts
I was going to do some posts on this today, but Warren Throckmorton has things covered pretty well. Read his post here. I will make a few comments based on Throckmorton’s post: Eric Metaxas appears to have lost his way. Even his fellow New York City evangelical and The King’s College chancellor Greg Thornbury has called … Continue reading Evangelicals Respond to the President’s Racist Remarks