Happy Independence Day! I think it is wonderful to be an American. I am grateful for our ancestors who sacrificed, and worked to bring a new country to life, all the way from our founding fathers who debated their way to our Constitution, through the over two centuries of those who preserved it with their very lives. Each generation has its own opportunity to contribute. Our parent’s generation has been known as the “Greatest generation.” I wonder what history will say about us.
From an article by Robert George today:
On this 240th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, our beloved country is, alas, in trouble and badly in need of reform. At the heart of our woes is what has so often been at the heart of our woes whenever we have had woes, going all the way back to the original sin of slavery—infidelity to our Nation’s founding principles. Those principles include our formal constitutional commitments as well as the moral and cultural norms, practices, and understandings that those commitments presuppose for their intelligibility and force and without which they cannot long endure. The promise of America remains great, but in many crucial areas we have gone astray. If America is to fulfill her promise, things must be turned around. It will not be easy, nor can it be accomplished without sacrifice; but it can be done.
We must renew our national commitment to limited government and the rule of law. This will include the restoration of the constitutional separation of powers and the recovery of the principle of federalism. More broadly, we must demand respect for the principle of subsidiarity, not only for the sake of individual liberty (though that is certainly very important), but also for the sake of the flourishing of vitally important institutions of civil society. Those institutions begin with the family and religious and other private associations that: (a) assist the family in forming decent and honorable citizens—people who are fitted out morally for the burdens and responsibilities of freedom; and (b) play indispensable roles in the areas of health, education, and welfare, including the provision of social services and assistance to those in need.
We must also restore to its rightful place the democratic element of our republican system, by reversing the outrageous usurpations of legislative authority regularly and indeed routinely committed by the executive and judicial departments. Such reform will, substantively, enable us to make critically needed gains in the direction of restoring in law and culture even more fundamental principles, beginning with the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions; marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and respect for religious freedom and the rights of conscience; along with other basic civil liberties. Social liberalism is riding high, especially after eight years of extremely aggressive promotion by a president who is willing to stretch and even breach the constitutional limits of executive power at every turn, in order to institutionalize his socially liberal values and weave them into the fabric of our law and public institutions (including the military). But what he and the courts have done can be undone. It is a matter of political will—the willingness to “pay any price and bear any burden” to accomplish what is needed in the cause of moral-cultural renewal.
Read the rest here.
And from Mother Teresa:
Yours is the one great nation in all of history that was founded on the precept of equal rights and respect for all humankind, for the poorest and weakest of us as well as the richest and strongest. As your Declaration of Independence put it, in words that have never lost their power to stir the heart: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” A nation founded on these principles holds a sacred trust: to stand as an example to the rest of the world, to climb ever higher in its practical realization of the ideals of human dignity, brotherhood, and mutual respect. Your constant efforts in fulfillment of that mission, far more that your size or your wealth or your military might, have made America an inspiration to all mankind.