A waste or an inspiration? 7-3-14
The place of college chapels: 7-5/6-14

But first, an amendment: 7-4-14

On this national holiday of independence, I know many of you are busy blowing things up and burning dead animal flesh on grills. So I'll be especially brief today.

XianflagI just want to give you the wording of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to ask you to think about what it means to you today:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I invite you to pay special attention to the first part of that, the establishment clause, and to imagine what the shape of religion in the U.S. might be today if, like so many other countries, we had a state-established religion.

Then you might want to thank God (and our founders) that we don't. And that the flag you see here is not, in fact, our American flag.

Happy Fourth.

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When the Nazis ran Germany they ran a contest to find a photograph of a baby to represent the perfect "Aryan" child. It can now be revealed that the kid whose picture they chose was Jewish. The baby survived, against the odds, and has grown up to be an American professor.


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