Reference point

"With malice toward none; with charity for all"

My brother was the first to call. We chatted about Barry Bonds: What justice is there in his going four for 27 in the 1991 play-offs as a Pittsburgh Pirate (our favorite team as young fans), and then, as a San Francisco Giant, hitting 73 home runs, four of them in his last six times at bat? Suddenly my brother let me have it. “Are you sure it was the Second Inaugural?” he asked. It was one of those stunning moments when something becomes instantly clear. “It was the Annual Message to Congress,” I replied.

“You said it was the Second Inaugural in the Christian Century. You’re in trouble.” He was referring to my citation of Abraham Lincoln’s words in our October 10 issue: “As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country.”


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