Sunday, November 30, 2014

Abraham Kuyper en Democratie in Amerika

Wie kent niet de naam van Alexis de Tocqueville als het over het Amerikaanse 'experiment' in democratie gaat? In zijn lezing 'Het Calvinisme, oorsprong & waarborg onzer constitutionele vrijheden' uit 1873 maakt Abraham Kuyper duidelijk hoe fundamenteel die negentiende eeuwse Amerikaanse geschiedenis in zijn denken was. Daarbij geïnspireerd door het uit 1835 daterende boek 'la démocratie Americaine' van de Tocqueville.

Herman Bavinck parafraseert de titel van die lezing uit 1873 in zijn Gereformeerde Dogmatiek aldus: 'De Klaarblijkelijkheid van de Schrift is oorsprong en waarborg van onze politieke en religieuze vrijheden'. Dat we de hoofdrol van deze stelling in de Gereformeerde politiek en theologie moeilijk kunnen overschatten blijkt uit het feit dat Klaas Schilder in 1934 de Klaarblijkelijkheid van de Schrift als hart van de afscheiding van 1834 aanwijst. Dat J.C. Baak het in 1945 nodig vindt om, met instemmend voorwoord van Herman Dooyeweerd, een artikel te wijden aan het onderuithalen van de door Abraham Kuyper aangehangen stelling, bewijst voldoende dat we hier niet te maken hebben met een onbelangrijke voetnoot uit de Gereformeerde politieke en theologische geschiedenis.

Hoe paradoxaal is het dan dat de Amerikaanse schrijvers en denkers die zo bepalend zijn geweest in die Amerikaanse geschiedenis voor de meeste mensen volkomen onbekend zijn gebleven. De Tocqueville en inmiddels ook Kuyper zelf genieten in Amerika meer bekendheid dan de Amerikaanse thoughtleaders die die geschiedenis zelf vormden.

Historicus John Fea hield onlangs een lezing over de vergeten hoofdrol van Presbyterianen in de Amerikaanse revolutie.  Een verslag van die conferentie vind je hier. Randy Barnett, hoogleraar aan de rechtenfaculteit van Georgetown schreef in 2013 een helder verhaal over de constitutional abolitionists, de vergeten hoofdrolspelers in de strijd voor de afschaffing van de slavernij die uiteindelijk leidde tot de verkiezing van Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Twee voorbeelden die de stelling van Abraham Kuyper uit 1873 ondersteunen.

Je kunt een parketvloer leggen met de biografiëen over Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Abraham Kuyper, Jonathan Edwards en George Whitefield, maar waar zijn de studies naar het werk en leven van hoofdrolspelers als John Mitchell Mason, Elias Boudinot, John Jay, William Jay, Robert Hamilton Bishop, John Finley Crowe, James Blythe, Erasmus Darwin Mac Master, Jonathan Blanchard, Samuel Schmucker, Benjamin Parham Aydelott en Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase?

Zou je de stelling kunnen verdedigen dat Abraham Kuyper, net als de dochter van één van de oprichters van de Republikeinse partij in Illinois (Jane Addams), juist worstelde met de erfenis van de constitutional abolitionists? De vraag die Jane Addams zich stelde 'how do we nurture and sustain our democratic birthright so that we... can pass it on?' illustreert in ieder geval hoe zij worstelt met Lincoln's erfenis.

Schaeffer's L'abri, vaak in verband gebracht met het Kuyperiaanse denken van Dooyeweerd, zou met netzoveel recht in rechtstreeks verband gebracht kunnen worden met de vraagstelling van Jane Addams. De naam L'Abri is in ieder geval rechtstreeks terug te voeren op Hull House in Chicago. De titel van het artikel 'Jane Addams: A Pilgrim's Progress' heeft veel weg van Herman Bavinck's 'Grace restores Nature' motief. Je zou kunnen zeggen dat het spanningsveld tussen realisme en idealisme niet specifieke een karaktertrek van het neocalvinisme is. Er is verwantschap tussen de manier waarop Abraham Lincoln zijn coalitie smeedde en de aanpak van Kuyper, Bavinck en Jane Addams. De stelling dat Abraham Kuyper slechts een vorm van idealisme promote, lijkt mij daarom onjuist. De manier waarop Abraham Lincoln het Duitse idealisme gebruikte, sommigen kunnen dat nog steeds niet waarderen, doet denken aan Abraham Kuyper. Lincoln's temperance address uit 1842 lijkt bijna een toepassing van Bavinck's 'grace restores nature' motief. Lincoln's onverwachte invalshoek uit die speech zorgt ervoor dat hij in staat was aansluiting te vinden bij de gematigde kiezer in Kentucky, vertegenwoordigd door Robert Breckenridge, the temporary chair of the 1864 Republican National Convention, en de bekende presbyteriaanse theoloog Charles Hodge. Lincoln's bekende woorden 'I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.' staan symbool voor die strategie. Tegelijkertijd passen ze prima bij de visie zoals verwoord door Reverend Benjamin Parham Aydelott in een verwijzing naar de Apostel Paulus: 'quit yourselves like men, be strong' en zijn ze te vergelijken met het begrip discipelschap in Mark zoals uitgelegd door Hans Bayer, of zoals hij het samenvat:
'the account of Acts is intended to give a description of external and internal growth, despite external opposition and internal tension'.
Of zoals Benjamin Parham Aydelott de strijd tegen Puseyisme en slavernij in de context van discipelschap plaatst in verwijzing naar Paulus onderweg naar Rome:
'And yet there is such a thing as a manly spirit, a spirit which, recognizing equally in one's self, as in all others, the great attributes of a common human nature, refuses to bow down in abject servility to any; and dares to attempt anything to which Providence calls, whatever difficulties may lie in the way.'
Al met al genoeg aanknopingspunten om de stelling van Abraham Kuyper te toetsen aan wat er zich nu werkelijk in de Amerikaanse geschiedenis heeft afgespeeld. Het is daarvoor vandaag echt niet nodig om blind te varen op enkele observaties van Alexis de Tocqueville.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Makemie, The Strategist

After having read scattered elements of his work I come to the conclusion that he was much more than just the apostle of presbyterianism to the Colonies. He was a strategist of Empire. A comment in the Oxford History of the British Empire: The eighteenth Century, volume 2:
'in the spirit of what he saw as a new religious epoch for the Empire in the heady aftermath of the Glorious Revolution, Makemie wrote Truths in a True Light'

and in the New England Mind:
'They marked the skillful strategy of Francis Makemie, who wrote from Barbados a book published in Edinburgh in 1699, copies of which soon reached Boston, Truths in a True Light...laid down for Dissenters the line which seemed, after 1689, to be most promising: they agree with the Church of England on all essential matters, therefore, differences should not be magnified, and all Protestants should stand together.'
Too bad this short pamphlet 'truths in true light' isn't yet available online.

Friday, September 19, 2014

American Exceptionalism & Natural Rights

Senate candidate Ben Sasse from Nebraska said in an interview:
"What motivates me first is the identity we have as Americans, and we have to celebrate the Constitution, and we have to be having these discussions. And if we don’t have more people who run for office for the purposes of having that civic conversation, we will lose the republic. I don’t think that’s going to happen, because I think people are going to demand more serious leadership that talks about these issues. The next generation does not wake up in the morning understanding American exceptionalism and the fact that natural rights predate government, and government is just a tool to secure those rights. And we’ve got to teach it.”
The identity we have as Americans? Understanding American exceptionalism? Natural rights predate government? Codephrases that function as sjiboleths among today's Republicans. No wonder Marvin Olasky eagerly retweeted this interview. And it is true, you can find American Exceptionalism on the GOP website as part of the partyplatform. But is American exceptionalism really something we should teach our children? Is it really something we inherited from our parents? Does American exceptionalism represent the history of the party or the early history of America?

Intuitively to me American exceptionalism comes across as an example of the influence of 19th century Romantic nationalism on American politics. Romantic nationalism as imported by folks like Philip Schaff. Using the term American exceptionalism is equal to capitulating for attempts by folks like De Tocqueville or contemporaries like Seymour Martin Lipset. The book American Exceptionalism by Deborah L. Madsen proves that Ben Sasse can't use the term without creating confusion.

To pretend that the American revolution took place in a vacuum and had no relationship whatsoever to other events in the history of the world, like for example the slave revolt in Haïti, is untennable. In addition Ben Sasse ignores the huge role Presbyterian and Episcopalean missionaries from England and Scotland played not just in the period leading up to the American revolution, but long after. The builders of Ohio, the state where the Republican party emerged, were in part funded by the English Anglican church. John Mitchell Mason, a leading federalist pastor, started a seminary with help from Scotland. He educated hundreds of missionaries that subsequently preached across the west.

But then we get to the declaration of independence and the claim that natural rights predate government. I'm not sure exactedly what that means. First of all, the emphasis on natural rights means very little outside of the Calvinist context from which they emerged. It was the link with the right to private judgment that made the abolitionist movement so strong. And secondly, government and natural rights both have their place simultaneously. One does not predate the other.

To avoid confusion, and to avoid alienating some voters it would be best if politicians could develop a sensibility to these difficulties involved in just spreading around codephrases like 'American exceptionalism' or 'natural rights'. Instead qualify your statements, be precise and educate your electorat on history and be honest about your own position in these debates.

Monday, August 18, 2014

South Sudan: 50,000 children may die this year of war, disease, famine


Yida Refugee Camp, South Sudan, June 29, 2014
Photo: Paula Bronstein, Getty Images

The United Nations says that the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is now the "worst in the world" and warns that 50,000 children could die this year unless aid is increased. However, South Sudan's crisis has been overshadowed by strife in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, and Gaza. Aid agencies say they've found it difficult to raise money to fund operations in South Sudan, despite a growing threat of famine.
Peace remains out of reach, even as as famine looms and rain drenches refugee camps plagued with cholera. Riek Machar, commander of the forces fighting the government of Salva Kiir, says that the ongoing presence of Ugandan troops supporting President Kiir violates the agreement signed between the two parties.
Machar also said that mediators from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, who include Ugandans, should step aside and let the two warring parties negotiate directly with one another.
At the conclusion of last week’s U.S.-Africa summit, President Obama announced that Uganda is one of six African countries to be included in a new military collaboration with the United States. The U.S. will invest $110 million a year for three to five years in this initiative. Ethiopia, which is widely believed to be supplying the opposition force in South Sudan, will also be one of the six partners.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Quit Yourselves Like Men, Be Strong!"

Both William Jay and Benjamin Parham Aydelott were leading opponents of the high Church movement in the episcopal Church. At the same time they were both leaders in the abolitionist movement. An Aydelott quote, referencing the apostle Paul, that makes the connection:

'a spirit which, recognising.. the great attributes of a common human nature, refuses to bow down in abject servility to any'

A symptom of this same divide is the battle for and against the American Bible Society. The focus on the rights of man is equally present in Elias Boudinot's speech to the Cincinnati where he speaks of the rights of women. I also think of the divide between federalist Alexander Hamilton on the one hand and Jefferson / Washington on the other concerning the slave revolt in Haiti.

Salmon P. Chase and Abraham Lincoln's constitutional abolitionism can only be understood in this context. Barnett has written several valuable articles on the constitutional abolitionists.

Exploring this link also helps us in distinguishing federalism and constitutional abolitionism from conservatism as understood by Russell Kirk.  Rowan Strong writes:
'In 1790 Edmund Burke had published his Reflections on the Revolution in France; in which he warned that 'Rage and phrensy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation; and foresight can build up in a hundred years.' Pusey agreed and quoted from the book in the second Enquiry. there is a lengthy passage in xhich Burke draws the distinction between the obstinate, who reject all improvement, and the thoughtless, who are tired of everything they own. This distinction Pusey applied to theology'
Isn't it curious that the son of William Wilberforce, Samuel, became a a major figure in the preservation of the Oxford Movement.

I believe this sufficiently establishes that abolitionism wasn't just a moral question, but part of a broader theological debate among protestant Americans since the revolution. Do we see this reflected in the writings of Charles Hodge? It doesn't look like Hodge was a fan of Reverend Pusey:
'In the early Church, however, there were some who held that there is no forgiveness for post-baptismal sins—a doctrine recently reproduced in England by the Rev. Dr. Pusey. The advocates of this doctrine make this passage teach that Christ was set forth as a propitiation for the forgiveness of sins committed before baptism, that is, before conversion or the professed adoption of the gospel. Rückert and Reiche, among the recent German writers, give the same interpretation. This would alter the whole character of the gospel.'

This  1836 quote from Hodge's commentary on the letter to the Romans would link Pusey to Novatianism :
'Novatian declared the lapsi blasphemers of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jerome’s Epistle XLII), an unforgivable sin'
 In Charles Hodge's correspondence Pusey and Puseyism comes up regularly, for example in a december 1855 letter by BISHOP M ILVAIN from Cincinnati who defends himself against Hodge's criticism:
'Apostolical succession is held in my opinion as much in one Church as the other the difference between the so holding and high-churchmanship in both, being when it is not held in such a sense as to exclude by the inferences drawn from it all other ministers than its own from validity and reality, nor other Churches from being real Churches of Christ whatever it may think of their defective conformity to the Apostolic pattern. Such Apostolic succession is vastly removed from that of Romanism and Puseyism, which not only makes a ministry so de- scended, essential to the being of the Church, and essential to the reality of all sacraments, but makes the communication of saving grace essentially dependent on the sacraments of that succession and thus it is the exclusive succession of the gifts of the Spirit as well as of a certain office.'
Along with John Henry Newman, Pusey was one of the most important leaders of the Oxford Movement. The contrast between Samuel Wilberforce's conservative opposition to evolution and Charles Hodge's development appropriation of evolution points to another key difference. Bradley Gundlach, in his book Process and Providence, writes:
'a close look at the course of Princetonian interaction with evolutionary notions reveals aa different pattern. Instead of refusing to think in categories of historical change, they came increasingy to see development over time as a very helpful category indeed: helpful not only in providing new insights into sacred and secular history, but also in furnishing the orthodox with potent arguments against relativizing the teachings of the Bible or revising the confession of faith. In their hands developmentalism supported calvinist orthodoxy and biblical authority.'
In an earlier post I characterized Princeton as the project that attempted to reconcile Edwardses idealism and Witherspoons realism. which in turn reminds us of Bavincks 'grace “restores” and “perfectsnature' 


Paul C. Gutjarh writes in his biography of Hodge:
 'It was the stress on the invisible, universal church that madde Hodge stand so adapmantly against theologies that emphasized the visible church like the catholics, the Oxford Movement and those at Mercersburg with their "Romanizing tendencies'
In 1860 at the General Assembly(the minutes of the GA in Pittsburgh may 1860)  Charles Hodge argued that Thornwell embraced "superlative high churchism". Taking into account the context of the looming civil war, this comment once again suggests a link between the abolitionist battle against slavery and the fight against the oxford movement. The characterization of Southern presbyterianism as 'high churchism' goes to the heart of the debate. This indicates to me that Thornwell's theory of the 'spirituality of the church' was not the central issue of contention to Charles Hodge.Thornwell, just as Episcopal Bishop Hobart opposed volontary organisations (like the American Bible Society ?) Hodge took the opposite view and argued that the larger scriptural principle of preaching the gospel message to every creature took precedent. Note that Thornwell had accused Hodge of supporting a move towards high churchism at the 1843'd general assembly. 
Albert H Freundt writes about this:
'Thornwellian polity, it seems to me, must indeed be recognized as an expression of a kind of High Church Presbyterianism. It was in part the kind of reaction which had its counterparts in other denominations.'
Note that this same controversy pops up at the Gettysburg College after Schmucker and in the discussion between Nevin and Hodge. The high church - low church question was a hotly discussed topic, as attested by Reverend Shimeall's 1852 book 'End of Prelacy: including a demonstration of the Romanism of the system, so called, of evangelical low-churchism' which mentions Aydelott's book The Present Condition and Future Prospects of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United states. Reverend William Meade(Episcopal) of Virginia is mentioned on the cover of the book:
 'the battle of the reformation is again to be fought'.
The claims of Episcopacy refuted by John M Mason is mentioned in Shimeall's book. John M. Mason(who lived between 1770 and 1828) wrote it at the beginning of the 19th century. John M. Mason's views can be learned from this short anecdote during his time as pastor in New York.

The leaders of the high-church faction inside the Episcopal church, Hobart and Onderdonk, also surface concerning black episcopaleans in antebellum New York:
'Qualified black priests faced nearly insurmountable barriers to ordination. Williams' advancement from lay reader to deacon and, finally, to ordained priest, was painfully slow due to the Hobart's paternalism.'
'Though shy and cautious, the newly consecrated leader of St. Philip's tried to balance loyalty to his bishop's High Church traditions with his growing involvement in the early abolition movement and opposition to the American Colonization Society. The result was nearly disastrous. Although Townsend does not discuss any collaboration between Williams and other African-American clergymen, such as Presbyterian ministers Rev. Samuel Cornish and Rev. Theodore Wright, an anti-abolition mob made St. Philip's Church one of its main targets during the riots of 1834. Perhaps more damaging was the response of the new Episcopal bishop, Benjamin Treadwell Onderdonk. He demanded that Williams immediate resign from the American Anti-Slavery Society and renounce all activism not related directly to his church duties'
In 1836 future Supreme Court chief-justice and member of the Episcopalean diocese of Ohio, Salmon P. Chase, was among the forty friends that came to the defense of James Birney when his press was destroyed, once more, during the Cincinnati riots. In 1834 Birney had declared himself an abolitionist. In 1835 James Birney had moved to Cincinnati to protect his anti-slavery paper. Unsurprisingly Aydelott's Ohio diocese uses the Carey affair to pass a resolution in 1843 condemning Onderdonk. So while high-church Onderdonk succeeded in having reverend Peter Williams resign from the American Anti-slavery Society('and renounce all activism not related directly to his church duties'!), his opponents inside the Episcopal diocese of Ohio took note. Peter Williams had been involved in the starting of the first African-American owned and operated newspaper published in the United States, the Freedom's Journal. Michael Hines discusses this same period in his 2013 paper on Learning Freedom: Education, Elevation; And New York's African american middle Class 1827- 1829.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Iraqi Blood and Oil 2014


Antonia Juhasz, author of The Bush Agenda and The Tyranny of Oil
KPFA Weekend News Anchor Anthony Fest: Continuing with our coverage of Iraq, Fortune Magazine recently reported that Iraq is the world's sixth largest oil producer, and that China's four oil companies buy more Iraqi oil than corporations based in any other nation in the world. Some U.S. oil executives, officials and pundits have complained that the US fought the Iraq War but China won the spoils. As the current conflict in Iraq escalated and President Obama deployed hundreds of U.S. Special Forces to Iraq, headlines pointed to China's concern over its Iraqi oil stakes. 
Oil and energy investigator and analyst Antonia Juhasz, however, says that US and British-based oil corporations' determination to gain access to Iraqi oil was decisive in the lead-up to the 2003  invasion of Iraq, but not now, in President Obama's deliberations. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Antonia Juhasz spoke to KPFA's Ann Garrison. 
KPFA/Ann Garrison: In 2009, Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens complained that "we," meaning the people of the United States, had sacrificed 5,000 lives, 65,000 wounded soldiers, and one and a half trillion dollars in Iraq, and that "we," meaning U.S. oil corporations, were therefore entitled to Iraq's oil, but that the oil contracts were all going to China. Oil and energy investigator and analyst Antonia Juhasz said, on the contrary, that the Iraq War served US and UK based oil companies very well. 
Antonia Juhasz: I certainly do not think that they had any reason to complain. American and British oil companies did remarkably well. Prior to the invasion, U.S. oil companies were totally shut out of operating within Iraq, and following the invasion, all of the major American and British oil companies were given incredible access to one of the largest pots of oil remaining in the world.

KPFA: Prior to the Iraq War, Yuhasz said, Iraq's oil fields were neither privatized nor open to foreign investment, but Saddam Hussein was negotiating oil contracts with China, Russia, and France, in hopes of winning their support for lifting the punishing financial and trade embargo that it had imposed on Iraq four days after the 1989 invasion of Kuwait, and then for the next fourteen years.  
Antonia Juhasz: Certainly the Chinese also got contracts, but really it's best to step back a little bit to understand why that is still a victory from the perspective of the U.S. oil companies. If you go back to the period of time when the decision making around the Iraq War was taking place, at the very beginning of the Bush Administration, we know that the Cheney energy task force was meeting and that was the oil guys within the Bush Administration and the oil guys from outside of the Bush Administration holding meetings, right at the very beginning of 2001, and one of the things that they did was look at a series of maps and lists of countries and companies that Saddam Hussein was starting to negotiate oil contracts with, and basically, what they realized was that if the sanctions against Hussein were lifted . . . and at that time there was an incredible amount of organizing going on to try and get those sanctions lifted from a humanitarian perspective, due to the humanitarian costs. . . if the sanctions were lifted, then Saddam Hussein was prepared to sign contracts, oil contracts, for the first time with foreign companies and these were companies that very much did not include American and British oil companies. So this huge oil pile was about to be opened up and American and British oil companies were about to be completely shut out.

Fast forward through the invasion, and following the invasion, and instead what we have is essentially American and British oil companies given the opportunity to move in on those contracts, get contracts of their own, and partner with the Chinese, partner with the Russians, partner with the French, in contracts Saddam Hussein had already signed. So, really, from an American and British oil company perspective, they mooched in on contracts that were already being signed and got their own contracts for Iraqi oil, so I would say they did remarkably well, and from the rest of our perspective, tragically well. Really the outcome of this war was that Iraq has been pitched into incredible suffering and instability, the Iraqis have suffered, obviously, Americans have suffered, the world has suffered tremendously but Western oil companies have really come out on top.  
KPFA: Yuhasz does not think that the Obama Administration's military deployment is motivated by U.S. oil companies dissatisfaction with their share of Iraqi oil, or with China's.
Antonia Juhasz: The current instability in Iraq and the current upheaval in Iraq isn't about the United States or the Europeans trying to get China's oil in Iraq. That is certainly not what's happening. From the perspective of western oil companies, they're doing great in Iraq. That doesn't mean that they wouldn't want more but they're certainly not, I would say, willing to risk further instability in Iraq at this point to try and get more oil. From their perspective, I would say they're doing great with what they got in Iraq.

In the current conflict, however, ISIL, is certainly. . . one of thing things that motivates its activities in Iraq . . . is gaining greater access to Iraqi oil. ISIL took over oil fields in Syria It's one of the things that's fueling, literally fueling, that movement, and they targeted oil fields and refineries and pipelines in Iraq. It's certainly been a focus of what they've been doing. But is a motivator for the Obama Administration sending military into Iraq right now to try and get the Chinese out of Iraq? I would say absolutely not. 
KPFA: And that was Antonia Yuhasz, author of The Bush Agenda and the Tyranny of Oil. For PacificaKPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.

Monday, June 23, 2014

We Believe In Redemption. We Believe In A Second Chance

"It is something that is consistent with my religious beliefs as well as my lawmaking that you should get a second chance." Rand Paul reiterated today.  Sofar the implications of Rand Paul's words at a Republican convention in Iowa for the ongoing debate concerning immigration reform, his outreach to evangelicals and his effort to repair his alleged Southern racist/ civil rights act 'problem' have been overlooked.

Most commentators have focused on the effort to reach out to minorities. And that is certainly part of it. The need for change in this regard is central to his campaign as his friend and seasoned fundraiser Nate Morris said in an interview last week 'the GOP needs to change in order to succeed'. But there is more.

Rand speaks the language of Evangelical republicans while staying true to himself. Something similar happened at the faith and freedom Coalition Conference when he quoted Os Guinness: 'America's problem is not wolves at the door but termites at the floor'. His message on talkradio “I think that our country needs a spiritual cleansing, I really think we need a revival in this country — and I do need your prayers and I do need the strength to go on with this, because this isn’t always easy.” obviously resonates with anyone familar with early US history and the history of the Republican party. Folks that think they can take Rand Paul down in Iowa like they did with Ron Paul a few years ago, will have a rude awakening. But there is more.

Rand's words also draw a sharp contrast with the tea party rhetoric against illegal immigrants 'breaking the law'. He makes clear he isn't part of this 'novationist' faction inside the republican party that thinks illegal immigrants that 'broke the law' should not have a second chance. Novatianists were early Christians that followed Antipope Novatian, who refused readmission to communion of those baptized Christians who had denied their faith or performed the formalities of a ritual sacrifice to the pagan gods. The novatianists were declared heretic by Rome.

The 'we believe in redemption' approach strikes at the heart of the 'rule of law' argument used by the anti-illegal immigrant crowd (and Ted Cruz), it firmly establishes Paul's thoughtleadership among the different subgroups of the Republican big tent coalition and it adresses his own weakness.

And this last point is precisely why the 'we believe in redemption. We believe in a second chance' approach is a brilliant strategy to break away from the tea party and the libertarian groups and break in to larger segments of the Republican base and beyond.  But it is even more brilliant because it adresses his own baggage and history, his own weaknesses and shortcomings as potential candidate for President of the United States. 'We believe in Redemption. We believe in a second chance' is in the first place good news for Rand Paul himself.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Surrendering FDLR & Their Congolese Families

Lambert Mende on the Congolese family of surrendering FDRL rebels:
“Some of them are genociders really, but others are not because I visited the camp the MONUSCO set up in Kanyabayonga, 200 kilometers from Goma, and I witnessed that a majority of them are less than 20 years.  These young men of 15 years, 16, 17 you can’t call them genociders ... there is a lot of Congolese women who are linked with them, fiancé or wives and we have to take care of these compatriots.”
 Lambert Mende on the nonsense pushed by Congolese opposition and civil society concerning this process:
'On ne voit très pas bien par quelle alchimie ces actions préalables pourraient être utilement conduites d’un coup de baguette magique en quelques heures pour satisfaire ceux qui prétendent que la RDC ne devrait plus tolérer même un mois de plus des gens désarmés et en attente de départ sous le contrôle de nos forces de sécurité alors qu’elle les avait subi armés et offensifs pendant ces 20 dernières années. C’est tout simplement insensé'
On Congo - Rwanda border tensions concerning an Eucalyptus tree:

'Les Rwandais se déploient comme s'ils allaient attaquer. Ils avancent jusqu'à quelques mètres de nos positions, nous disent que cet arbre leur appartient et que nous devons le couper de gré ou de force'



Saturday, June 14, 2014

La 'Société Civile' Congolaise & Le FDLR

Le succes du désarmement du FDLR dépend des assurance du gouvernement de leur sécurité après leur reddition. Meme les théoriciens conspirationalistes les plus tetus devraient le reconnaitre. Si le gouvernement ne peut pas garantir leur sécurité après cette reddition qu'est-ce-qu'il leur poussera a rendre leur armes.

Hier la dite 'société civile' en equateur s'est ajouté à cette cacophonie:
'Le gouvernement congolais planifie de regrouper les ex-FDLR qui ne désirent pas rentrer dans leurs pays dans un camp militaire à Irebu avant leur transfert dans le centre d’instruction des Forces armées de la RDC à Irebu, dans le Territoire de Bikoro (Equateur).'
Et pendant ce temps les théoriciens de conspiration continuent de promulger leurs théses, par example:
'Joseph Kabila » est juste un pion entre les mains de l’élite anglo-saxonne et alliés.'
Voilà l'approche populistes qui n'apportera aucune stabilité au pays. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Why Are Rwanda And Congo Fighting?

Yesterday Martin Kobler called for 'restoration of calm on the border between the DRC and Rwanda'. In reaction to the @Monusco tweet Sheikh Habimana Saleh, 'head of political parties, nongovernmental organizations, and faith-based organizations for the Rwanda Governance Board', tweeted:




SheikhHABIMANA Saleh @SheikhSalehh 22h
very simple engage the hall world against FDLR the same style used against M23,


When asked, Sheikh Habimana Saleh refused to clarify the meaning of this statement. See below:


I replied:

in other words: Rwanda attacks Congo because it disagrees with 's approach


he:

in your view , 's approach against M23 was just because of the Language


me:

so you agree with my interpretation of your words


he:

, l wish you know where BUSASAMANA is then you interpret, sorry


me:            
you don't want to confirm or deny my interpretation. Trademark of dishonesty


he:
interpretation with hate or ignorance is indeed trademark of dishonest


me:
as long as you don't clarify your statement my interpretation remains entirely plausible


he:
follow our Hon Minister for clarification, the State of Law&Order






Note that he did not contradict my interpretation but claimed instead that I was ignorant (not knowing where BUSASAMANA is, implying the problem at the border started with Congo entering Rwandan territory) and hatred (implying I have sympathy for FDLR).




Today's account in JeuneAfrique of what happened does not exclude my interpretation. Note that these incidents take place at a crucial phase of the FDLR surrender process. This process gives FDLR the option to lay down their arms. Something that was proposed to m23 as well. If FDLR decides to not surrender, it will be rooted out.  In both cases military action is the ultimate solution.


Why is the RPF unwilling or unable to defend the solution to the FDLR problem? Is it a smart strategy or just a sign of weakness?












The former(?) Mufti quoted above was also involed in the ouster by the Rwandan Governance Board(!!) of the head of the Pentecostal Church of Rwanda.



























Tuesday, June 10, 2014

What The FDLR Surrender Debate Tells Us About 2016

In today's aljazeera's blogpost on the ongoing FDLR surrender process Catherine Wambua-Soi  writes:
'I asked their executive secretary Colonel Wilson Irategeka why so few fighters came. He said it was a process and more would leave the forest soon.'
Sunday's FDLR press release, visible online at least yesterday morning, makes clear it's leadership is closely following the debate on their relocalization among politicians from different parties and régions and 'civil society' in the DRC:

It's no rocket science to understand why 'the FDLR wants their safety guaranteed'. Yesterday's critical comments by UK's foreign office concerning the succession of acts of violence and violent rhetoric against the Rwandan opposition can be seen as a contribution to the ongoing FDLR surrender process as well.

In this sensetive context last week's words by Rwanda's president Paul Kagame
  'We will arrest or shoot anyone posing a security threat'
were clearly meant to discourage FDLR to consider surrender. The strong symbolism, Kagamé loves sublimation, wasn't missed by the opposition.

But the FDLR surrender process is also separating sheep from goats of the Congolese political class leading up to the 2016 elections. Knowingly or not, political parties and politicians that oppose a pragmatic solution to the FDLR problem are inflicting immense damage on their brand. I'm convinced the statement
 'Nord kivu : la population est contre le cantonnement des FDLR dans sa province....et veulent qu'il rentrent chez eux au Rwanda' 
(obtained through redactrice en chef  at OASIS CONGO FM TV inNord-Kivu  @TynaDolce , Follow her!!!) by the president of North Kivu's opposition party coalition, Lumbu-Lumbu will do lasting damage to national parties like Vital Kamerhe's UNC and to the credibility of Vital Kamerhe himself.

If Congo ends up in 2016 without even a serious alternative to Joseph Kabila, it will be just as much the fault of populist politicians that didn't do their job. Now is not the time for counterproductive nonsense. It's time to build a serious political party and I would think Goma to be the ideal place for such a new force to emerge. This is a huge opportunity for any political party to break free from this North-Kivu alliance by making clear it supports a pragmatic solution to the FDLR problem. Goma's location reminds me of Cincinnati where the Republican party was born. A party that similarly emerged from a split in the Whig coalition.

UPDATE: Lambert Mende responds today:

« Il s’agit d’une opération militaire. Je n’ai pas souvenir que dans notre pays ou d’ailleurs dans quel qu’autre pays, les opérations militaires se discutent avec la société civile ou les notables »

Monday, June 9, 2014

Do We Really Need Liberal Foreign Policy Wonks?

As neither a conservative nor a progressive (or neoconservative, whatever that may be) I still think it's pretty unhealthy when folks outside of electoral politics form a network, any network, in an attempt to take over US foreign Policy. Read this piece in the National Journal and chiver.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Pacifica/KPFA Radio's new 8 am host and the Congo conflict

Sonali Kolhatkar
KPFA's new 8 am host

The most serious complaint against yanking Pacifica's KPFA-Berkeley's 8 am Morning Mix off the air to replace it with Sonali Kolhatkar's Uprising, a syndicated show from KPFK-LA, is that she displaced racially and intellectually diverse local voices who are on the ground in local struggles in the station's Northern California fm signal area. Those voices include Richmond residents trying to keep Chevron from buying their next Mayor and City Council, cities and counties' trying to become clean energy buyers' co-ops, and the campaigns for justice for Andy Lopez, Alan Blueford, Alex Nieto, and other victims of police violence.

However, there are more reasons to protest the sudden placement of Uprising in KPFA's 8 am slot, including Kolhatkar's coverage of U.S. wars in Africa, which she consistently fails to understand as such, despite her credentials as an opponent of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Kolhatkar has repeatedly reproduced corporate and militarist narratives that mask U.S. involvement in African conflicts, particularly in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, which includes Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In 2010, on Pacifica's KPFK Radio-Los Angeles, Kolhatkar interviewed Louise Arbour, the President and CEO of the International Crisis Group (ICG). The ICG Board and Senior Advisory Group are composed of former top state department, UN, and military officials and top corporate executives from around the world, including former NATO Allied Supreme Commander Wesley Clark, and Canadian mining and oil baron Frank Giustra. Giustra became the most generous donor to former President Bill Clinton's foundation, after Clinton helped him secure exclusive rights to mine Kazakhstan's uranium.

Kolhatkar, however,  did not identify any members of the International Crisis Group, and without question, allowed Arbour to characterize it as a "civil society group." She did not ask Arbour why, as the former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, she protected Rwandan "President" Paul Kagame from prosecution for the assassination of his predecessor, Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, and Burundian President Cyprien Ntaryamira. Instead Kolhatkar presented Arbour as a leader and thinker qualified to propose peaceful solutions for DR Congo, not as part of the problem, even as Kagame covertly continued his catastrophic war and plunder there.

Louise Arbour 







As the ICTR's Chief Prosecutor, Arbour suppressed the evidence delivered to her by UN Special Investigator Michael Hourigan and accused him of working outside his brief, even though he had been officially tasked with investigating the assassination of the two presidents with a missile that shot their plane out of the sky, as they flew home after signing a peace agreement to end the 1990-1994 war between the Rwandan Army and Ugandan army troops led by General Paul Kagame.

Hourigan later testified that he had submitted firsthand witness testimony that Kagame ordered the assassinations, but that Arbour had suppressed his report. The KPFA Evening News reported on Hourigan's death and the significance of his work in 2013.

After assassinating two African presidents and seizing power in Rwanda''s capital Kigali, Kagame and his mentor, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, invaded neighboring DR Congo, starting the First and Second Congo Wars and ongoing conflict that have cost well over six million lives. The U.S. backed those catastrophic invasions, which displaced France as the dominant power in the DRC, as even Newsweek reported in 1997, but Kolhatkar made no mention of that.

Information about the International Crisis Group and about Louise Arbour's role in protecting President Kagame is readily available online. Indeed, Arbour offered ICG's website, crisisgroup.org, to Kolhatkar and KPFK listeners.

This 2010 interview with Louise Arbour, former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, is just one example of an collaborator and advocate for U.S. wars in Africa featured on KPFK-Uprising's airwaves after being introduced as an advocates for peace.  Since the names of others are no more familiar to American audiences than Louise Arbour's, I can't simply list names and expect the list to be meaningful without context.  That will have to be the subject of another, longer article, on Pacifica's broader trend toward advocacy of US wars.

I have no evidence that Sonali Kolhatker or any other Pacifica host has been intentionally promoting advocates for war as advocates for peace, but ignorance is no excuse, especially with so much information about any public figure now so readily available online.

And the Pacifica Radio Network is, by name, committed to peace.

To listen to Kolhatkar's 2010 interview with Louise Arbour, click segment #1, "Arbour," https://archive.org/details/DailyDigest-041510.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Bilingual Dutch Republic

The francophone history of the Netherlands is often described in terms of tolerance for religion. The Dutch generously received Huguenot refugees in the 18th century.

Based on the huge influence of both the Walloone Calvinists in the 16th century (first two Dutch Reformed Synods were bilingual) and the direct link between Guillaume d'Orange and French Huguenots it might be more helpful to propose a different reading; The Bilingual Republic.

So many hard to understand facts of Dutch history fall into place once we accept this heuristic. But let's add Emden to the mix.  At the 1571 Emden Synod three documents were adopted:
 'The synod affirmed the presbyterian character of the Reformed Church, organized churches within a geographical region into "classes", adopted the 1561 Confession of Faith (later known as the Belgic Confession), and approved use of the Heidelberg Catechism in Dutch-speaking congregations while promoting the Geneva Catechism for French-speaking churches'
The bilingual character of the Dutch Church is obvious from this short statement. The influence of Petrus Datheen is obvious as well. He became president of the bilingual synode in 1578. Also note the synods of 1566/1567 where armed revolt is authorized against a government that suppresses religious and civil liberties. The tensions between Petrus Datheen and Guillaume d'Orange that led to Datheen's eventual exile might have had a linguistic diminsension as well.

Did Datheen meet Knox in London and Frankfurt? Their Relationship and the refugee churches in Frankfurt might be of interest. Much emphasis has been placed on political thought and the Dutch revolt. Both a 19 century discussion of the proceedings of the 1571 Emden synod and Martin van Gelderen's misleading comment that the adoption of the French confession of faith was (merely) in recognition of the link with the French protestant churches are illustrations of how the French aspect of Dutch protestantism is not properly understood by most historians. Dutch historians dissmissing the factual claim concerning the Walloone origins of the founder of New York last year, illustrate this same phenomenon.

In Wyger Velema' 'Republicans: Essays on Eighteenth-century Dutch Political Thought' we read:
'The fact that in the third quarter of the century at least six French editions of the Esprit des Lois were published in Amsterdam alone therefore tells us very little about the Dutch reception of the book. What it does suggest, however, is that iti was readily avaible to the contemporary bilingual Dutch elite-readership, well versed in both French and Dutch.'
 Here we see, once again, clear evidence that the Dutch Republic was a bilingual republic. However, the reference to a supposed 'elite-readership' is a symptom of the popular and persistent myth in Dutch society that associates French with the elite. Margaret Jacobs argues that radicalization among the french speaking community in the Netherlands was directly related to the persecution in France and the subsequent, related invasion of England. William the third, a direct descendend of Gaspar de Coligny, recruited his guard almost exclusively from among the Huguenot community. That in itself tells us a lot. The story of the Walloons by William Elliott Griftis might give us additional information of the role of this large community in the Dutch Republic. In the first lines of his thesis, La Grande Arche des Fugitifs? Huguenots in the Dutch Republic after 1685, Michael Joseph Walker repeats the misleading assumption that the Walloons were refugees in the Netherlands. Without Walloons The Republic would not exist. But he also acknowledges the fact that :
in the Netherlands, the Huguenots retained their separate culture and identity for the longest time of any of the areas of resettlement,arguably into the nineteenth century'
A possibility is that Napoleons occupation ended this, in similar fashion as German separete identity in the US ended after the second world war.

The impressive list of Walloon pastors in the Netherlands in the acts of the Walloon Church of 1603 - 1697 does not mention the fact that Petrus van Mastricht was raised in a Walloon church in Cologne where his grandfather Nicolas de la Planque was pastor. There was a  College Walloon in Leiden (1606- 1699) where for example Hendricus Reneri studied with the huguenot theologian André Rivet, tutor of William II (Archibald Alexander discusses him). Hendricus Reneri also met Pierre Gassendi, who had worked in Aix-en-Provence. An article about this Walloon College states that Daniel Massis was it's director from 1643- 1668. Interesting details on how student life and the focus of the studies. The nomination as professor of André Rivet, who had been the moderator of the Vitré Synode (Synode Nationale de l'église Réformée de France), , 'after the purges at Leiden in 1620' might be an indication of the success of the Walloon Church's 'course of religious moderation in theological matters'(I would have to investigate to understand what 'moderate' means in this context) and it's close ties with the French Reformed Church (factual). In 1632, André Rivet 'came to The Hague as tutor to Prince William of Orange and brought with him a wealth of connections'. Throug Rivet Anna Maria van Schuurman connected with  the Palatine princess Elisabeth. His son Frederique Rivet became counsellor 'to the illustrious Raad van Prinsen van Oranje'.

van Mastricht started his career in a Cocejan congregation, after which he wrote a forerunner of his work TPT, and later moved to Frankfurt to a church with a lot of Hugenot members which reminds me of Walloon village of New Pfaltz, a name that refers to Pfaltz which hosted many Huguenots at the time. Petrus Datheen fled to Frankenthal(Pfalz) in the 16th century where he translated the Heidelberger Catechism. Note that van Mastrichts brother married a le Brun, who's brother was involved in William Penn's Pennsylvania company in Frankfurt. TPT clearly builds on Cocceius and is closely related to the controversies since the synod of Dordrecht and his experience in different churches.

Petrus van Mastricht's statement that 'the Voetius-Cocceius disagreements did not have to be as vitriolic as they were' confirms my impression that van Mastricht did not belong to either camp, worked in a Cocceian environment in Germany and deals with the same problems. John D. Heusden insists that 'Edwards favorite Mastricht continued to insist on the covenant ideas of Ames and Cocceius in a time of great theological change'.

In a way Petrus van Mastricht's synthesis of Voetius and Cocceius reminds of how natural law was merged with presbyterian thought by Francis Hutcheson and John Witherspoon. In the post-synod of Dort world of the late 17th century it's Petrus van Mastricht who provided the best solution to the Arminian question, although Paul Helm thinks otherwise. The link to Edwards  through the scottish students Erskine and Carstares.  Petrus van Mastricht connection to Voetius and Utrecht was through his pastor in Cologne Hoornbeek. The church in Cologne had regular meetings with the German and Huguenot members(see footnote on the international contacts of the consistory page 28 of this book).

- The Walloone archive in Leiden.

The history of the Collège Wallon by Posthumus Meyes might be great source. The College Wallon was closed in 1699 when the states stopped funding it. Bertrand Van Ruymbeke and Randy J. Sparks suggest this was caused by 'the intesified refugee problem'. A lot of conjecture in the book edited by these two. For example the claim by Willem Frijhoff that the States feared Huguenot (and Walloons) wanted to introduce theocracy:
'Obviously they quickly provoked ome irritation, be it for their moral claim, for their eschatological view of political reality, or simply for poverty, which presented a challenge to Dutch society'
and:
'In the eyes of the Dutch, the true stanger was he who did not recognize the primary of the country's civil power but desired instead to promote that of the ecclesiastical authorities'
Which Dutch and which Huguenots? The ones that thought 'armed revolt is authorized against a government that suppresses religious and civil liberties'?. What evidence does Willem Frijhoff present to justify these strong claims? None. Amazing, such huge oversimplifications of the role of Calvinism in Dutch(and Huguenot) politics by this Free University professor. Let's read his CV to see what baggage he brings to his academic work. In the book Theology, Politics and letters at the crossroads of European civilization we can read the exact opposite: Dutch Reformed Church fighting 'heterodoxy' among the Huguenots inside the Walloon church.

Parking Guillaume d'Orange(Caspar Fagel introduced William Carstares to Guillaume d'Orange and Willem Bentinck, who's close friend he became) for a second, political philosopher Pieter de la Court sounds like an interesting entrance into tracing the political influence of French speaking protestants in the Netherlands. Let's see what David Onnekink has written on this topic in this article investigating how Huguenot exiles 'imagined their own identity'.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Huguenot Roots of Constitutional Abolitionism

Benjamin Parham Aydelotte's role in laying the foundation for the constitutional abolitionist movement in Cincinnati and across the US has sofar received little attention from scolars. A comment by Jonathan Blanchard in an april 1842 letter to Thaddeus Stevens reads:
'Chase, may be considered at the bottom of the political enterprise in this City. They have started a Liberty roll, which I see is signed by Henry Starr, a very wealthy Lawyer of this place: Dr Aydelotte, President of Woodward College and other men who are regarded by the people as Dr. Schmucker is by the people of your neighborhood as to standing and influence'
Well connected with friends like Daniel Drake, who had taught with James Blythe at Transylvania University, Aydelotte knew everything about the debate on slavery in the region. Aydelotte's commencement speech at Woodward College june 29th 1843 is one of the strongest constitutional abolitionist documents that I have ever read. One comment stands out:
'This is a subject that has awakened the thoughts and touched the harts of men of all parties, from Washington and Jefferson, down to Adams, and Jay, and Key of our day. And the wise and the pious of every religious domination have, with the Edwards, and Benezets, and Finleys, of former times, united their counsels and their prayers for the removal of this great national evil.'
An interesting comment while closely related to his own family background. His son John Henshaw aydelott, who was a city missionary in Cincinnati, wrote this about his father's background:
'Benjamin Parham Aydelott, M. D., D. D., was born in Philadelphia, in 1795, being on his father's side of direct French Huguenot blood, while his mother came of the original Quaker stock, who were the first settlers of Philadelphia. His father being an officer in the US Navy, was necessarily absent from home the larger part of his time, and for this reason his boyhood training fell almost entirely upon his mother, whose great ambition was that her son should become a physician. He was sent while quite a lad to the "Protestant Episcopal Academy" at Cheshire, Conn., where he graduated, and then entered the "College of Physicians and Surgeons" of New York City, from which he graduated in 1815. In 1816, he was united in marriage to Miss Caroline Dob, of New York, by Rev. Christian Bork.'

It gives insight in how the Aydelotte family continued to consider itself Huguenot, allthough founding members of the first presbyterian church in the US in Snow Hill. He had apparently attended Princeton, but I haven't yet found a lot of details about that. But his ideological link with Anthony Benezet (a huguenot Quaker), John Jay (a huguenot Episcopalian) and Princeton, through Snow Hill, obviously play a huge role in how he understands the American revolution.

It's also interesting to note how much his mother wanted him to be a physician. Might have been triggered by the experience of the yellow fever in Philadelphia in 1793. The large number of french speaking Haïtian refugees that arrived in Philadelphia and Baltimore and the French revolution made politics and theology a hotly debated issue in early 19th century America. Aydelotte would most likely have read Age of Revelation by Elias Boudinot as well.

Still wondering which Finleys he is alluding to in the above comments. I myself would think it to be Samuel Finley, the architect of the American revolution & uncle of Benjamin Rush, and not Robert Finley, the founder of the American Colonization Association. The ambiguity might be intentional. And I find it highly unlikely that Aydelotte would praise Robert Finley while the opposition to slavery at Princeton fractured in 1816 between the Elias Boudinot - and the Robert Finley approach. Or was the warfair between the two approaches not there at that time? Robert Finley had married the foster daughter of Boudinot. And he was connected to the above mentioned Key.

Elias Boudinot's views on religious tolerance and opposition to slavery led him to found the American Bible Society in 1816. Samuel P Chase was the president of the Young American Bible Society in Cincinnati. This society was founded in 1816 as an abolitionist society, the same year the American Colonization Society was founded. Elias Boudinot worked closely with William Jay in preparing the constitution of this society

These competing societies are at the heart of the debate on slavery in the first half of the 19th century. Let's see what William Jay thought of the American Colonization Society in 1835 as written down in his Inquiry into the character and tendency of the American Colonization , and Anti-Slavery Societies. It includes, as expected, a frontal attack of Henry Clay (just search on Clay in the document). It closely follows John Birney's letter on colonization of july 14 1834.  September 15th of 1834 John Birney had an interview with Henry Clay of which we can find a transcript in his Birney's biography:
'He spoke of Mr. Robert J. Breckenridge having put himself down in popular estimation by his having advocated emancipation, and that he and Mr. John Green - two gentlemen of great worth - had disqualified themselves for political usefulness by the part they had taken in reference to salvery'
Robert J. Breckenridge 'became a hard-line member of the Old School faction, and played an influential role in the ejection of several churches in 1837. In 1849 Robert J. Breckenridge had lobbied for a new Kentucky state constitution providing for gradual emancipation. His article on this topic in the Princeton Review of october 1849. In 1857 Breckenridge gave a speech on Henry Clay, might give some interesting insights. It was Breckenridge who made sure Kentucky stayed inside the Union in 1860 and he presided over the Republican National Convention that renominated Abraham Lincoln in 1864. He was rewarded for his Old School Presbyterian stances by being elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly in 1841'. In October 1835, Birney and his family moved to Cincinnati. January 8th 1836 James Birney states (see James Birney and his times page 231)
 'Mr. Clay has deliberately enrolled himself among the opponents...of the liberty of the press and of speech'
Elias Boudinot descended from one of the founders, and the first elder, of the French Church in New York:
'It is a suggestive incident that among the acts of hostility to which he had been subject before his emigration, was a judicial prosecution for employing a private tutor of the Reformed faith in the education of his children.'
William Jay talks about a local president of the American Colonization Societ blocking the opening of a shool for colored girls in Connecticut:
'In the signleness of its object it has often been compared to the Bible Society; what would have been thought of SUCH an appeal to the American Bible Society?'
From John Jay's correspondence with William Wilberforce, Elias Boudinot, Benjamin Rush and Anthony Benezet emerges a clear picture. Especially Jay and Boudinot's involvement in the 1819 campaign to prevent Missouri's admission to the union as a slave state is noteworthy while it coincides with John Quincy Adams/Henry Jay's efforts in removing James Blythe as President of Transylvania University. Note that:
'Leadership of the drive to restrict slavery in Missouri had been assumed by Presbyterian and Congregationalist churchmen'
The James Blythe vs. Henry Clay lawsuite on land in Missouri further indicates that these two were not on friendly terms. In addition during this time Henry Clay threatened to break up the Union. Elias Boudinot at that time was President of both the Society of the Cincinnati and the American Bible Society. John Jay's november 1819 letter to Elias Boudinot on 'the Missouri question' gives us insight into their approach at the time.

One other common denominator of the different leading Huguenots seems to be their choice to become more then Huguenots. This idea is reflected in the constitution of the American Bible Society.

The join-or-die spirit summarized by Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the declaration of independence. Working together in spite of differences. The tensions among the different presbyterians (English, Scottish, French) at Princeton were managed well by Samuel Finley. Working together with Whitefield, Edwards and finally bringing back together the Old- and New Lights. Attracting John Witherspoon closed the circle. But tensions remained, half of the teachers left when John Witherspoon arrived. The problems surrouding Samuel Stanhope Smith later on are symptoms of the same problem.


The bulletin de la Société de l'histoire du protestantisme Francaise discusses how historians have perceived the influence of Huguenots in the US. One detail is overlooked (page 73), the fact that in the presbyterian leadership Huguenots played a huge role, as mentioned above (Boudinot, Aydelotte,  Annis Stockton Boudinot, Julia Rush Stockton ), not just Scots-Irish and New England puritans. The beauty and strength of Princeton (during the time of Samuel Davies and Samuel Finley) was the ability to bring together people from so many different backgrounds which was essential to it's thoughtleadership leading up to the American revolution.  This probably explains why Samuel Finley was a New Sider, but working hard for reconciliation with the Old Siders.

further reading , a letter to Henry Clay   ,