June 19, 2015


Why We Celebrate the Magna Carta : THE CHURCH'S ROLE IN GUARANTEEING OUR FREEDOMS (Eric Metaxas|Published: June 15, 2015, Breakpoint)

[I]n 1215, rebellious barons were objecting to what they saw as King John's infringement on their traditional rights, including unlawful imprisonment and excessive taxation.

With the disagreement threatening to turn into a civil war, the Archbishop of Canterbury, working as an intermediary between the King and the barons, helped to draft a proposed charter that would settle the dispute.

The Charter was not limited to the barons' concerns. As historian David Carpenter has written, what made the Magna Carta beloved by the likes of our Founding Fathers and Nelson Mandela was that the Charter "asserted a fundamental principle--the rule of law. The king was beneath the law, the law the Charter itself was making. He could no longer treat his subjects in an arbitrary fashion."

As Carpenter says, "in 1215 itself both John and his enemies would have been astonished had they known that the Charter would live on and be celebrated 800 years hence." In 1216, they fought the war the Charter was intended to avoid. But John's successors reaffirmed their commitment to the Magna Carta, and in 1289 made it part of the laws of England.

Since then, virtually every opponent of despotism and tyranny in the English-speaking world has drawn inspiration from the Magna Carta, which declared, "To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay, right or justice." When the Founding Fathers complained about "taxation without representation," they were appealing to the Magna Carta.

Posted by at June 19, 2015 4:48 PM

blog comments powered by Disqus