Yesterday I drove down to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a lecture at LancasterHistory.Org, the product of a merger between two historical organizations in Lancaster: The Lancaster Historical Society and the James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland. As I have written before, LancasterHistory.org has taken the name of a web domain and thus has a significant online presence, but the organization is housed in a new and very impressive building with a lecture hall, exhibits, a museum store, and a research library.
I am guessing that about sixty or seventy people came out for a late afternoon lecture on a beautiful central Pennsylvania Holy/Maundy Thursday. I cut back on my standard "Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?" talk in order to leave more time for questions from the audience. We had an interesting conversation about Jefferson's prediction that religion would eventually disappear from American life, the words "In God We Trust" on currency, how to define "Christian Nation," and the Treaty of Tripoli. I even met a former student. Sarah Huber took my United States survey course seven or eight years ago when she was a student at Messiah. It was good to touch base. I also met Jack Fischel, a retired Jewish Studies professor who teaches a course on the Holocaust at Messiah.
I have never had my speaking style described as "evangelical" before, but that was the word President and CEO Tom Ryan used to describe the lecture. I am not sure what to make of this.
Thanks to Tom and Felice Ethun (Director of Education and Public Programming) for the invitation to speak.