We started talking about Daniel Webster yesterday, and I was concerned that the discussion would take up a whole lot more time than I wanted to spend for the day so we'll finish up talking about him today. We finished the day with a portion of his December 1820 speech to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention; and in a minute, we'll go back to it for some more.
Let's see if we can finish up with a couple of Supreme Court decisions today -- decisions, that is, that took away more of our First Amendment guarantees to religious liberties in America. One thing that I think you will find interesting in this Coffee Break is a link to Justice William Rehnquist's argument in the Wallace v. Jaffree case; and I believe that many of you will find his (lengthy, but) complete argument very interesting reading. Here's the link: http://www.belcherfoundation.org/wallace_v_jaffree_dissent.htm
Let's talk about someone whose name is synonymous with education and learning, and someone whose name is likely more used today than even that of George Washington. We're talking, of course, about Daniel Webster, whose name is on the overwhelming majority of the dictionaries used in schools and institutions of higher learning.
Last week, I started sharing a statement from David Barton concerning some notes that James Madison wrote concerning the Federal Convention of 1787. I realized later that I cut off what he was saying, so let’s go back today and get the first part, and then finish with James Madison’s full statement concerning that convention. "Although authorized by the Congress of the Confederation, the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was nevertheless cloaked with secrecy and confidentiality. The official papers of the Convention sat in the Department of State, untouched, until 1818. Yet in retrospect, the gathering reveals both the men and the issues they faced during the founding era. Through analysis of both the Philadelphia debates and the various ratification conventions, we realize the concerns and needs of a developing nation.
In last week’s Coffee Break, I deviated somewhat from the discussions on our nation's founding fathers -- those who were actively involved in the politics and policies that brought those American colonists together to form a cohesive nation under God -- to talk about a couple of preachers (Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield) whose lives, whose teaching and preaching became integrated into the thoughts and decision-making processes that formulated our Articles of Association in 1774; the Declaration of Independence in 1776; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 and the United States Constitution in 1788.