Independence Day, 2015

Let freedom ring.

Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)
Detail, Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses; Peter F. Rothermel (1817-1895)

Another national holiday rolls around, and Americans ponder where we have been, and where we are going.  For those who are deeply troubled by recent events, taking time to celebrate a spirit of liberty and a national declaration that remain unequaled in human history may be a welcome break.  But it can’t instill a sense of complacency.

Now is not the time for the emptiness of false cheer.  But it is a time for taking courage from the remarkable deeds and thoughts of our political ancestors.  What they did was as impossible as what we may need to do.

So please give serious consideration to two selections from LU for Independence Day.

The spirit of liberty Continue reading “Independence Day, 2015”

The sound of freedom

The sound of freedom: noisy, challenging, the source of enduring greatness.

Do Americans today understand the deep, life-or-death difference between a society ruled by the sound of silence, and one ruled by the sound of freedom?

The sound of silence

Perhaps we are beginning to recall that difference.  We had better knowledge of it in the period of the Cold War, after World War II, when the examples of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and Maoist China towered over our imagination.   It was truly said of these dreadful regimes that they were ruled by terror and silence.  Indeed, the two go hand in hand; Elie Wiesel said that “silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

German Protestant pastor Martin Niemoller, who spent World War II in concentration camps, spoke of silence in these famous terms: Continue reading “The sound of freedom”

1,338 Words that Changed the World

Let freedom ring.

Eleven score and fifteen years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  There has never been another document in history like the one Thomas Jefferson wrote in June 1776. Continue reading “1,338 Words that Changed the World”