I learned long ago not to use God to justify my actions, to act like I'm superior to anyone else, or to rationalize my false need to control the lives of my fellow man and woman. Instead, I try my level best to cultivate my decency, and pray for other Americans to do the same.
While our politics have become a shouting match of pander and slander, name-calling and talking points, celebrity media and instant misanalysis, C-SPAN shines as an exemplar of what a free press in a free nation should be.
When Washington died, the phrase which spread the country was: "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." While this may be almost universally true today, it was not when the man held office.
With no George Washington on the horizon to save the country, it is more than discouraging that such a large, diverse country has yet to produce one, just one, individual worthy of Washington's mantle.
Why has a work by the African-American artist Fred Wilson -- an installation piece that riffs on the topic by assembling authentic slave shackles, slave chains and Revolutionary-era icons -- been such a sore point with critics? We must have struck a raw nerve.
In a strange twist of timing, I found myself reading Ron Chernow's new biography of George Washington at the same time that I just happened to be reading Jan Swafford's Charles Ives: A Life with Music.