Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Myths of the Fourth of July
From LRC
I’m thinking I’m going to fast. Although it’s a festive day, I’m not proud of my country, especially my government, right now.

I’ll also pray the Office of the Dead for those who have died due to my country’s recent actions, either directly or indirectly, whether friend or foe.
Jorge Sánchez

Reasons given for American independence (the real grievances were Parliament’s not the King’s fault):
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
[...]

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent.
(Gary North gives the real history of this issue.)
David Henderson in antiwar.com

Something like a third of Americans were loyal to the King, a third wanted independence and a third didn’t care. It really was a civil war: about 8,000 Americans, particularly in the South, served in the British forces.

Although of course I like the classical liberalism, connected to ‘the great tradition’ of Christendom at least somewhat (exalting ‘reason’ in the sense that Aristotle, the Schoolmen and classic Anglicans understood it), behind the American experiment as part of the English ‘Enlightenment’ (after all there is a statue of Washington at Westminster)...
...universal education [fine but not by the state ideally], freedom of the press, and separation of church and state [a relative good that gives Catholics the freedom to flourish and spread the faith by example]...
...considering what the founding fathers believed on matters of faith a churchman has got to admire the honour and courage of Christians who kept their oath to the King instead.

Charles Coulombe (via Taki) gives a few historical facts regarding liberty:
...in Massachusetts alone, the King intervened in the internal affairs of the colony twice in the early 1770s: to secure the rights of the Baptists of Ashfield, and allow them to support a minister of their own faith rather than the Congregational; and to restore self-government among the Mashpee Indians, freeing them from the rule of provincial commissioners--much to the annoyance of Mr. Hancock.
Archduke Otto von Habsburg says he is neither a monarchist nor a republican but a legitimist (whatever form of government works best for a people, place and time). ISTM that although its founders’ vision of a small, peaceful republic trading with all would be the legitimate American government today, once you take away the myth from today’s bank holiday the legitimate government of the colonies was in fact... under George III.
Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.
— Thomas Jefferson
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
—Galatians 5:13-14
...if we looked to the sky last night, and celebrated first the community of good friends, and a family of brothers and sisters in Christ, instead of a national holiday, or freedom at a cost we cannot bear, we might have seen fireworks, and in that community a way to follow.
Trevor Bechtel

Many thanks to Hoosier Musings for the last three quotations.

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