Sunday, April 15, 2012

Return Of The Native To His Mid-Atlantic Constitutional Roots

Gerald Boerner has written an excellent short introduction to John Whiterspoon's star student at Princeton and 'father of the constitution' James Madison.

James Bratt, Professor of History at Calvin College, who once wrote a great book on Abraham Kuyper (he considers the speech Maranatha as best representing Abraham Kuyper's theme, tone and purpose), has an excellent post on Calvinism and politics in the United States. He thinks there were three types of Calvinist politics in early America of which carefull constitutionalism flourished in the Mid-Atlantic states (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, etc). John Whiterspoon, the successor to Jonathan Edwards as President at the small presbyterian college in  Princeton, is (according to James Bratt) the godfather of this tradition.

Charles Hodge, a successor at Princeton, also stands in this constitutional tradition, argues Bratt:
'Lost in between—and leaving Charles Hodge, quite literally, in tears—was the constitutionalism that middle-state Presbyterians had endorsed as the best means of maintaining ordered liberty in a mixed society.'
This provides a beautiful symbolic context for Republican Ron Paul's return to Pittsburgh where he will speak at the Soldiers & Sailors memorial hall next friday at 7 PM.


Anonymous said...

Hi Vincent-

So, according to you, this is the goal of your blog:

Colored Opinions is a blog exploring the possibilities new media offer to migrants from countries like Congo, Rwanda and Burundi to spread "political" buzz through new media, building long-term visibility for alternative views.

I think this is a fine, if fairly vague, goal and early on you seemed to be reaching it with posts about Rwanda, Congo, Burundi, etc.

Well, I'm curious. What's with all the posts about religion and Ron Paul of late? Have you changed the aim of the blog?

As an avid blog reader, I like to get as many views as possible on your topic de jure and, well, you seem to be fairly off topic of late.

This isn't a criticism for, after all, its your blog and you can do with it as you please, but I am curious to the predominance of posts that are neither about Central Africa or migrants.


Anonymous said...

And to be clear, it is entirely possible I have misjudged the aim of your blog.

I assumed this would be a forum for migrants of the region to freely discuss everything about the region using a "new" medium- blogging.

But, it could also be construed that the aim isn't necessarily about discussing the region for migrants but anything at all- hence your non-regional posts of late.

I guess I'm not clear on the aim hence my seeking clarity...


Vincent Harris said...

Hi Mel,

I do agree that my blog sometimes seems more like a quest for identity.

Blogging on Congo, Rwanda and Burundi was/is for me an 'easy' way to test the possibilities new media offer to migrants to spread alternative views. In that I resemble somewhat the many foreign diplomats and policy makers to which (in my opinion) 'Rwanda is something else then a country on a map, it's a concept that exists in their minds'.

In similar fashion I attempt to reconcile my American Presbyterian and Dutch (neo)Calvinist roots and write my alternative narrative from this 'immigrant' perspective.

I wrote a blogpost on Polish President Donald Tusk which might clarify the aim of my blogging.

The idea to explore the impact of migrants on democratic development at home and abroad through this blog originated after my involvement in the Dutch shadowparliament for development cooperation 'the third chamber' in writing the proposal 'Migrants Ambassadors for democratic development' together with Innocent Nimpagaritse, former Burundi Minister of communication and transport.