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G.K. Chesterton wrote this in his book, What I Saw in America:
America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence; perhaps the only piece of practical politics that is also theoretical politics and also great literature. It enunciates that all men are equal in their claim to justice, that governments exist to give them that justice, and that their authority is for that reason just. It certainly does condemn anarchism, and it does also by inference condemn atheism, since it clearly names the Creator as the ultimate authority from whom these equal rights are derived.
There are many reasons to rejoice in tomorrow’s Celebration of Independence. The Supreme Court reminded us that the Constitution is indeed still the ruling law of this great land. And the current members of the Supreme Court are there because for decades good Americans believed in the rule of law and that they could make change through the electoral system which our wise founders envisioned. This is the creed Chesterton spoke of, and it is a wonderful thing.
But I’m also a little sad because people close to me have said this year they can’t celebrate our nation this Fourth because a “right”, that was certainly never granted by the Creator, the “right” to take the life of a child in the womb has “taken” from them. It used to be the left and right could still at least celebrate the right to differ and yet be one nation.
I really would love to have Chesterton’s take on all this madness.
(This is a post for the “Quote of the Day” series for July 3, 2022.)Published in