July 4, 2014

FROM THE ARCHIVES : HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY:

Happy Independence Day! (Peter Lawler, July 4, 2012, Big Think)

Even or especially the Darwinians say that we find our purpose and significance as parts of groups or tribes or wholes greater than ourselves.  We become too personally obsessive to ever be happy if we don't believe that there are people and personal causes worth dying for. We can't live well with the homelessness we can't help but experience as self-conscious persons if we don't experience ourselves as in many senses at home.  Today, we should thank God as Americans that we're not stuck with only being displaced persons. 

We Americans, of course, know that we're not merely or even most deep down citizens.  We're free from political domination, as Madison, for one, wrote, to discover our conscientious duties to our Creator--who's the God of all and so not the God of America in particular.  We also know, of course, that our personal identities includes an awareness our irreducible individuality.  We're not Spartans, thank God.

As social or relational beings, our religious and familial attachments are more personal and so inevitably trump our political attachments.  Even that doesn't mean that America doesn't require and deserve our personal attention and cultivation.

We're also not Marxists or hyper-libertarians hoping and working for "the withering away of the state."  We're not "statists" because we don't understand our country as an alien and oppressive state.

[originally posted: 7/04/12]
Posted by at July 4, 2014 4:08 AM
  

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