At a speech in January at the conservative Liberty University in Central Virginia, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump began by praising Jerry Falwell, a long-time advocate of Christianity as the only true religion. Mr. Trump then told the audience he would "protect Christianity," further stating that "our country has to band together around Christianity," stopping just short of saying he would prefer to preside over a Christian nation.

Yet Mr. Trump's much beloved daughter Ivanka is an Orthodox Jew, raising Trump's three grandchildren in the Orthodox Jewish faith.


Moreover, Mr. Trump consistently says the U.S. must stop doing business with foreign countries, especially with China. Yet among daughter Ivanka's lovely line of clothing and accessories, most of her scarves were manufactured in China.

Nevertheless, Donald Trump has daughter Ivanka introducing him at many gatherings, preferring her over his wife or local politicians. And it appears his fondness for Ivanka is reciprocated. While neither brash nor blunt like her father, Ivanka is often seen standing proudly behind him.

Fathers and daughters: an unbreakable bond.

Think: directors John Huston ("The Maltese Falcon," "Moulin Rouge" among other award-winning movies) and his daughter Angelica Huston (winner of one Academy Award, plus two nominations); Francis Ford Coppola ("Patton" and "The Godfather") and daughter Sofia Coppola, who received an Academy Award and is well known as a screenwriter, director, producer and actress. Or actor Ryan O'Neal, best known for "Love Story," and daughter Tatum O'Neal, who won an Academy Award at age 10 for her performance in "Paper Moon," in which she starred with her father.

It took a bit of time before I followed my own father, a teacher (then an administrator and professor) into his profession. I was graduated from college with a liberal arts degree and worked in advertising and publishing for several years before I was drawn to teaching. Full confession: I was born with the teaching gene on both sides since my mother also was a teacher.

Father daughter connections come not only in careers but in other areas as well. Take style, for instance. My friend Heather, who makes her own jewelry, sometimes wears an attractive feather boa to complement an outfit. She apparently gets it from her dad: She told me that when her elderly father lived with her, she worried when he would cross busy Charles Street to run errands, but as soon as she could see the sprightly feather in his hat, she knew he'd returned safely.

I have friends who talk of attending sports events with their dads, especially when there were no boys in the family. Many of those friends have become avid sports fans as adults. Although my New York friend Camille has often criticized her father, especially for his conservative views, she chose nursing as a career (her dad was a physician) and she subscribes to The Wall Street Journal (another of her father's faves) preferring it to all other newspapers.

As for shared pastimes, one of my first memories of doing something only with my dad was having him pull me, seated in my red wagon, to a nearby brook. Then I would throw stones in the water, observing the design of the ripples. When I am on Joppa Road going to Graul's Market, I pass a brook and think of Dad.

It was Dad who first pointed out to me a rare and beautiful wildflower called a Lady Slipper. I feel sure that my early love of nature was the reason that I chose 19th century Romantic poetry as my main focus in graduate school. But then again, it was my mother who inspired my love of indoor plants, of which I have many.

Where once it was a given that a son took over his father's business or succeeded him in his profession, today it is often the daughter. My good friends Ernest and Rosemary have four professions between them. Ernest was, in his 20s, a lawyer, then became a minister. Rosemary was a lawyer in Scotland, but when the family moved to the U.S. nearly 40 years ago, Rosemary became a French instructor, then a lawyer again. Both daughters followed their father's profession. The older one is a church organist and a music teacher and the younger daughter is a minister.

Bill and Melinda Gates have three children, two daughters and a son. I wonder who will eventually head their parents' foundation.

Lynne Agress, who teaches in the Odyssey Program of Johns Hopkins, is president of BWB-Business Writing At Its Best Inc. and author of "The Feminine Irony" and "Working With Words in Business and Legal Writing." Her email is