This weekend, I started reading Jon Meacham's book, American Lion, Andrew Jackson in the White House.
I am finding it fascinating and am intrigued at where it overlaps with times today. Perhaps, things really don't change that much. The media was vicious then, too, and, his wife, who couldn't handle the attacks, probably died as a result.
I was surprised to learn that we used to have mail delivery seven days a week. It was considered essential for a well-informed citizen to have access to information seven days a week. The church wanted mail delivery six days a week, not seven, and wanted Andrew Jackson to not travel on Sunday.
Colonel Richard M. Johnson, was in charge of a congressional committee that ruled to continue delivery seven days a week. Johnson wrote:
"It is not the legitimate province of the Legislature to determine which religion is true, or what false. Our government is a civil and not a religious institution." Later he said: "The advance of the human race in intelligence, in virtue, and in religion itself depends, in part, upon the speed with which ... knowledge ... is disseminated. The mail is the chief means by which intellectual light irradiates to the extremes of the republic. Stop it one day in seven, and you retard one seventh of the advancement of our country."
He would be thrilled with the "irradiation" of the news today, or perhaps shocked at what is considered news.
Here is a thoughtful, in my opinion, look at what we still are dealing with, in the discussion of science and religion. Even then, America was seen as rather strange in how religion and politics intertwined.
Sam Harris writes about the nomination of Francis Collins to direct the Institutes of Health, The director controls an annual budget of more than $30 billion dollars.