I originally intended to publish a column on the 1803 Supreme Court decision Marbury v. Madison last week, 22 November. In fact, I had the column finished, edited, and scheduled when Diane read what I had written and suggested that, instead of publishing the Marbury column then, that perhaps I should preface the Marbury column with a much more autobiographical “Skeptic’s Collection” column (1) narrating how I had become interested in that landmark case in order to (2) give some context for the Marbury column itself, and then (3) subsequently publish the Marbury column the Thursday after – as it turns out, 6 December. Diane’s suggestion was very astute. So the following is a kind of intellectual autobiography of my very-much-ongoing love affair with Marbury v. Madison. Quixotic as it n
Well, it looks like I missed the Party! I knew about the Party, all right. But notwithstanding, I missed the Party, anyway. I missed the Party because – quite candidly, and despite being aware of the Party – I honestly didn’t know, still don’t know, what we were supposed to celebrate, rather like being expected to celebrate when your doctor tells you that you need four consecutive colonoscopies on four consecutive days. How happy duzzat make ya?!
OK … not to be obtuse ... the Party I missed was the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. For convenience, many church historians – with quite good reason -- date the Protestant Reformation as having “officially” begun on 31 October, 1517, the date when an Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, nailed his legendary “95