The dual anniversary of Joe McCarthy’s “Red Scare” and Jerry Falwell’s “Purple Scare”…

Two notorious warnings about threats to the American way of life are linked to the date February 9th. In both cases, the quotes generated national attention when they were reported in the press. But the results were considerably different. On February 9, 1950, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy made an ominous announcement in a speech to … Read more

“A wife is to submit graciously to…her husband.”

In 1998, the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention decided to update the provisions of the “Baptist Faith and Message,” a set of principles adopted in 1925 to provide guidance to the millions of members of Southern Baptist churches in the United States. The text of the 1925 version primarily focused on fundamental aspects of … Read more

“I’ll die young, but it’s like kissing God.”

On August 3, 1966, the brilliant, boundary-stretching and, unfortunately, drug-addicted American comedian Lenny Bruce was found dead in the bathroom of his home in Hollywood, California. A syringe and other drug paraphernalia were on the floor next to him. The cause of death was ruled to be an accidental overdose of morphine. Bruce was just … Read more