The Labor for True Greatness, by Robert Royal

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September 7, 2021
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*Image: An early flag of the United States of America by an unknown artist/sewer, 18th century [Chicago History Museum]. The flag is representative of the type Betsy Ross made.

By Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, Sept. 6, 2021

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., and currently serves as the St. John Henry Newman Visiting Chair in Catholic Studies at Thomas More College. 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 RoyalI don’t know if America is “the greatest nation in human history.” By many measures – military power, global cultural influence, GNP, a large middle class, extensive governmental provisions for the poor, personal liberties, basic equality before the law, religious and ethnic tolerance (at least until recently), a welcoming of immigrants (around 1 million legal immigrants yearly), the orderly transfer of power over centuries (America remains the oldest continuous modern democracy), and the ability to correct itself, even go to war, over large evils like racism and slavery – the evidence certainly points that way. And it’s something to be deeply grateful for, especially given the “butcher’s block” of history. How this counts as greatness, however, depends on what you think greatness means. Of which more below. …

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