This is Sunday in the country I have heard many red spectrum people say America was founded on Christian principles, and even America was founded as a Christian country, although it's Declaration of Independence, authored by the Deist Thomas Jefferson, makes no mention of Christianity, but does mention Deity four times in ways that do not resemble Christian lingo.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Thomas Jefferson later led the charge to successfully prevent his home state Virginia's legislature establishing Christianity as that state's official religion.
Be that as it may, here are two quotes attributed to Jesus in the Gospels:
Matthew 7: 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
October 1, 2021
For those of you exhausted by this week’s news, you can take a break tonight. Lots of moving pieces are in play, but nothing that would hold a historian to her desk a hundred years from now, so skip this letter with a clean conscience.
For those of you who do want some reflections, I am struck today by the media’s breathless recounting of how the ongoing negotiations over the two infrastructure bills shows that the Democrats are in disarray and President Joe Biden’s agenda is crashing and burning. The New York Times called a delay in the vote on the measures “a humiliating blow to Mr. Biden and Democrats” and wondered if “Biden’s economic agenda could be revived.”
Exactly a year ago, the news reported that Trump adviser Hope Hicks had coronavirus and that she had recently traveled with White House personnel on Air Force One. The stock market dropped 400 points on the news. The previous day had been the infamous presidential debate when Trump yelled and snarled at Biden, while his entourage, including Hicks, refused to wear masks despite a mandate that they must do so. We did not know who else might be infected.
Hours later, we learned that the president and First Lady were both sick, and within hours the president would be hospitalized.
The rest of the news provided a snapshot of the Trump presidency:
•A study of more than 38 million English-language articles about the pandemic between January 1 and May 26 showed that Trump was “likely the largest driver of…Covid-19 misinformation.”
•Trump’s former national security adviser, retired Lt. General H.R. McMaster, told MSNBC that Trump was “aiding and abetting Putin’s efforts” to disrupt the November election.
•We learned that Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, had not disclosed that in 2006, she signed an anti-abortion ad in the South Bend Tribune. It appeared near another ad from the same organization that called for putting “an end to the barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade and restore laws that protect the lives of unborn children.”
•A tape leaked of Melania Trump complaining about having to decorate the White House for Christmas—“I’m working… my a** off on the Christmas stuff, that you know, who gives a f*** about the Christmas stuff and decorations?”—and then said of criticism that she was not involved with the children separated from their parents at the southern border: “Give me a f****** break.”
•News broke that Donald Trump, Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, had left the Fox News Channel after an employee complained of sexual harassment, saying she required the employee to work at her apartment, where she would sometimes be naked, and where she would share inappropriate photos of men and discuss her sexual activities with them. She denied any misconduct, but FNC settled the case against her for $4 million.
•The House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief measure. No Republicans voted for it.
•Right-wing conspiracy theorists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were charged with four felonies in Michigan for intimidating voters, conspiring to violate election laws, and using a computer to commit a crime.
•Claiming he wanted to prevent “voter fraud,” Republican governor Greg Abbott of Texas limited the number of locations for dropping off mail-in ballots to one site per county. While Republican counties tended to have just one location already, Democratic Harris County, the third largest county in the country, with a population of more than 4.7 million and an area larger than the state of Rhode Island, had previously used 12. Democratic Travis County, which includes Austin, previously had four.
That was one single day in the Trump presidency.