A New Birth of Freedom, by Robert Royal

Fulton Sheen’s July 4 ‘Declaration of Dependence’, by Joseph Pronechen
July 5, 2022
Saint of the Day for July 5: St. Anthony Zaccaria
July 5, 2022

*Image: Central Park, New York City, July 4th by Maurice Prendergast, c. 1900 [private collection]

By Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, July 4, 2022

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent books are Columbus and the Crisis of the West and A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.

Robert RoyalIt may appear mythical to younger readers (and some not so young), but there was a time, and not so long ago, when the Fourth of July was not a day of contention about seemingly irreconcilable notions of freedom. Virtually all Americans, of whatever political stripe, could come to this day with differences, sometimes deep ones, and yet celebrate the principled tolerance, the live-and-let-live mutual respect, that had made this country both prosperous and relatively peaceful – two things that anyone who looks around today with a clear eye will quickly see are not to be taken for granted.

Our current divisions, however, are not without precedents. And those very precedents should make us all the more vigorous in seeking better days, what we might even call a “new birth of freedom.” Christians in particular shouldn’t deceive themselves. We live in a fallen world. And it sometimes requires the greatest of sacrifices to retain even ordinary human goods. …

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