Remembering George Washington’s Second Inauguration

Today, Barack Obama will be re-inaugurated (again!) as President, but he is only the latest in a long string of sitting Presidents to take the oath of office before embarking upon a second term. The original precedent was set by the nation’s first President, George Washington. He began his second term in office on March […]

“Separation of Church and State” celebrates its 211th birthday

Many Americans believe that the phrase “separation of church and state” originates with the United States Constitution.  It does not.  Instead, its first use in a constitutional context was in a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson 211 years ago today.  Jefferson’s letter did not reflect the views of the founding generation regarding their Constitution. […]

This Day in History: Washington, Religion, and New Jersey

Today’s Supreme Court may believe in a strict separation between church and state, but George Washington certainly did not. A letter that he wrote on this day in history is a small window into his perspective on the subject. (A more complete discussion of his views can be found in my book with Joe Smith, Under […]

Washington’s Forgotten Thanksgiving Proclamation

Washington’s first Thanksgiving Proclamation (1789) is a popular post today, but I thought I would do something a little bit different. Washington’s second Thanksgiving Proclamation (1795) is often overlooked – or even completely forgotten. It should not be. Washington issued this latter proclamation in 1795 on his own initiative.  In sharp contrast, he had issued […]

A nice surprise in my Twitter feed!

Thanks to Professor Derek Muller for his review of Enlightened Democracy‘s 2nd edition.  I very much appreciate the recommendation! Library of Law and Liberty: Tempering Faction with the Electoral College’s Reasonable Majorities