A Creed Worth Celebrating

 

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.)

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  1. Concretevol Thatcher
    Concretevol
    @Concretevol

    Great quote and points for sure.  I have had many conversations with Mexican and Mexican American employees of mine about how the rule of law is fundamentally what makes America great and what has always held Mexico back.  It is a country with diverse geography, resources, demographics, and economic strengths.  It is also a country that does not offer equal protection under the law and at a basic level seems to operate on a system of bribery.  America of course has it’s flaws but last time I checked you don’t need to carry gifts and cash with you when driving across the country to pay off police and officials you will encounter along the way. 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    • #2
  3. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Even if we can’t know Chesterton’s take on the current division in our country, this quote suggests that he might think we’re having a theological argument.

    My sister-in-law just posted that popular meme about not celebrating the 4th, signed “sincerely, Women.” She had also posted about God’s judgment of people who aren’t supportive of women who have had abortion, and just generally accused many people of not being sensitive or compassionate. Another “friend” posted this:

    People who aren’t at all religious, and are in fact, hostile to Christianity, are sure focused on God and religion in their rants.

    *****

    The month is young…you can still sign up here to do a QOTD post!

    • #3
  4. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    Well, my wife has decreed that we will not grill or otherwise celebrate a country that has made her a second class citizen. 

    • #4
  5. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    Well, my wife has decreed that we will not grill or otherwise celebrate a country that has made her a second class citizen.

    Is there another class of citizen with rights she doesn’t have? Can she explain? If I am a women who doesn’t share that belief, what does she make of that?  I am not sure how we are going to stay together as a country if people take every political issue as a reason to hate the country overall. That concerns me far more than the outcome of any Supreme Court decision. 

    • #5
  6. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    The biggest issue I have with this framing of what America is is that it makes us incredibly fragile.

    Rome was not always a republic, but it was always Roman. A shift in political governance didn’t change that, and so Roman civilization continues even after.

    But America is so defined, that it’s changing people with their changing views of political governance can not remain when that governance shifts. It makes us very fragile. And we see the fault lines becoming more and more clear and tenuous as we continue to diversify in morals, culture, faith, language, and core values.

    • #6
  7. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    Well, my wife has decreed that we will not grill or otherwise celebrate a country that has made her a second class citizen.

    How does that marriage work.

    • #7
  8. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Eustace C. Scrubb: 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 can’t speak to the people you reference, Christian holidays are easily and often celebrated in a Christ-free manner as a matter of course – the same is surely true of patriotic holidays. 

    • #8
  9. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    Well, my wife has decreed that we will not grill or otherwise celebrate a country that has made her a second class citizen.

    Then don’t celebrate or grill in honor of Iran or Afghanistan. 

    • #9
  10. garyinabq Member
    garyinabq
    @garyinabq

    I really would love to have Chesterton’s take on all this madness.

    So much.  And C. S. Lewis.  And Tocqueville.

     

    • #10
  11. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    Well, my wife has decreed that we will not grill or otherwise celebrate a country that has made her a second class citizen.

    Is there another class of citizen with rights she doesn’t have? Can she explain? If I am a women who doesn’t share that belief, what does she make of that? I am not sure how we are going to stay together as a country if people take every political issue as a reason to hate the country overall. That concerns me far more than the outcome of any Supreme Court decision.

    Me as well. I figure it’s emotion more than anything, but not sure yet. 

    • #11
  12. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    Well, my wife has decreed that we will not grill or otherwise celebrate a country that has made her a second class citizen.

    How does that marriage work.

    Worked for more than 32 years so far. I suspect it’s my parents being opposites politically (though both Democrats). 

    • #12
  13. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    garyinabq (View Comment):

    I really would love to have Chesterton’s take on all this madness.

    So much. And C. S. Lewis. And Tocqueville.

    Hell, why stop there, how about comments from the guys who wrote the founding documents? 

    • #13
  14. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    Even if we can’t know Chesterton’s take on the current division in our country, this quote suggests that he might think we’re having a theological argument.

    My sister-in-law just posted that popular meme about not celebrating the 4th, signed “sincerely, Women.” She had also posted about God’s judgment of people who aren’t supportive of women who have had abortion, and just generally accused many people of not being sensitive or compassionate. Another “friend” posted this:

    People who aren’t at all religious, and are in fact, hostile to Christianity, are sure focused on God and religion in their rants.

    *****

    The month is young…you can still sign up here to do a QOTD post!

    You gotta serve somebody.

    • #14
  15. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It makes me sad, too. They won’t “celebrate,” but they’ll have their barbecues and day off from work.

    Well, my wife has decreed that we will not grill or otherwise celebrate a country that has made her a second class citizen.

    Seriously?

    • #15
  16. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Eustace C. Scrubb:

    I really would love to have Chesterton’s take on all this madness.

     

    I could swear it was Chesterton who said a right that is immoral is not a right.  You do not have the right to do something evil.

    • #16
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