Ronald Wilson Reagan Part 59 (Was he a Christian?)

In December 1967, an angry Gov. Reagan called upon San Francisco State College officials to take “whatever action is necessary” to maintain law and order during a sit-in on the campus, which was then a hotbed of political activism and the scene of sometimes violent confrontations between student demonstrators and California law enforcement officials.

Kentucky Wildcats beat Princeton by 2 and Louisville loses to Morehead State by one in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

I will be quoting from an article “Five Myths about Ronald Reagan” (Washington Post, Feb 4, 2011) by Edmund Morris.

4. He was only a campaign Christian.

On the contrary, Reagan was a “practical Christian,” that being the name of a mainly Midwestern, social-work-oriented movement when he was growing up. At 11, young Dutch had an epiphany, prompted by the sight of his alcoholic father lying dead drunk on the front porch of the family house in Dixon, Ill. In a moving passage of autobiography, Reagan wrote: “Seeing his arms spread out as if he were crucified – as indeed he was – his hair soaked with melting snow, snoring as he breathed, I could feel no resentment against him.” It was the season of Lent, and his mother, a devotee of the Disciples of Christ, put a comforting novel in his hand: “That Printer of Udell’s” by Harold Bell Wright. Dutch read it and told her, “I want to declare my faith and be baptized.” He was, by total immersion, on June 21, 1922.

I read a speckled copy of that book in the Library of Congress. Almost creepily, it tells the story of a handsome Midwestern boy who makes good for the sins of his father by becoming a practical Christian and a spellbinding orator. He develops a penchant for brown suits and welfare reform, marries a wide-eyed girl (who listens adoringly to his speeches) and wins election to public office in Washington.

Shy about his faith as an adult, Reagan was capable of conventional pieties like all American politicians. He attended few church services as president. But on occasion, before critical meetings, you would see him draw aside and mumble prayers.

Jim Mone / Associated Press

No. 24: Duke’s monster rally

Final Four, March 31, 2001 — No lead is safe. The Blue Devils trailed ACC rival Maryland 39-17 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half, but staged a comeback that you had to see to believe. Behind a flurry of 3-pointers and defensive pressure, the Devils trailed by two just minutes into the second half. They closed on a 19-7 run and claimed a 95-84 win. Yes, that’s 78 points in roughly 27 minutes. Loyola Marymount, eat your heart out.

n pictures: Japan earthquake and tsunami

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