Founding Fathers Friday: David Brearley

David Brearley, the New Jersey delegate to the Constitutional Convention, made one of the most goofy proposals during the convention. But he also sat on the one of the most influential committees during the convention. Born in 1745, in Spring Grove, New Jersey, Brearley was one of five children. His father was a landowner, but […]

Founding Fathers Friday: William Livingston

Almost every man who signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were lawyers. And William Livingston was no different, though he didn’t choose the law . . . it was chosen for him. Livingston, the fifth of nine children, grew up on the banks of the Hudson River in New York, among the […]

Founding Fathers Friday: Robert Yates

Those who supported the ratification of the Constitution—the Federalists—had their Publius, like New York’s Alexander Hamilton. And those who didn’t support the ratification of the Constitution—the Anti-Federalists—had their Brutus, like fellow New Yorker Robert Yates. Born in 1738, in Schenectady, New York, Yates was the oldest of twelve children. He became a surveyor—developing the first […]

Why the State Must Regulate Marriage

Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve written something that—as we like to say in Texas—has gotten the tail up on the skunk. My article “Religious Liberty: One Casualty in the War Over Marriage” has caused a stink among some of my readers. One claimed that if I liked traditional marriage so much I should move […]

Founding Fathers Friday: John Lansing Jr.

John Lansing Jr. was a man of mystery . . . at least his disappearance and death was mysterious. Born in 1754 in Albany, New York, Lansing was a wealthy patrician lawyer. During the American Revolution he served as the aid de camp for General Philip Schuyler. But the military life wasn’t for Lansing—he only […]

“What Is Marriage?”: A Review

On March 12, 2013, in Belief, Bible, Books, Culture, Family, Government, Love, Marriage, Philosophy, Politics, Same-Sex Marriage, Sex, Truth, Virtue, by Derrick G. Jeter

What is marriage? This seemingly straightforward question is proving difficult to answer these days. But it’s the question the Supreme Court will have to wrestle with and answer as it considers 1996 The Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as being between one man and one woman, and California’s Proposition 8, which amended the […]

Founding Fathers Friday: Alexander Hamilton

John Adams called him the “bastard brat of a Scotch peddler.” New York Governor Dewitt Clinton called him one of “the two great pests of the World.” Abigail Adams said “the very devil” was in him. Others called him “a man of insatiable ambition and not to be trusted,”  a “turbulent and intriguing spirit,” and […]

Speeches That Made History: Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain”

Winston Churchill was a forced to be reckoned with. With bulldog like features, Churchill was pugnacious and not easily ignored. A solider and statesman, he is perhaps best known as a speaker. In an earlier article (“Churchill 101”) I described Churchill’s oratorical prowess like this: Winston Churchill marshaled words like a general marshals men. He […]

Founding Fathers Friday: Oliver Ellsworth

Tip O’Neill was a burly Irishman . . . and a powerful political figure in the 1980s. Though he served as Speaker of the House of Representatives, O’Neill’s political philosophy was “All politics is local.” It’s highly doubtful that O’Neill had Oliver Ellsworth in mind when he developed his philosophy, but he could have. Ellsworth […]

The Aspirational Inaugural

Barack Obama, at his second swearing in, placed his hand on two Bibles, one owned by Abraham Lincoln and one belonging to Martin Luther King Jr. One man white, one man black, both committed to civil rights. The symbolism was rich. Too bad, however, neither the spirit of Lincoln’s magnanimity nor the spirit of King’s […]