September 11, 2007

Special morning...

Firefighters raise our flag in WTC ruins

Photograph �2001 The Record (Bergen County, N.J.). Photo Credit: Thomas E. Franklin, Staff Photographer


Charlene and I went to the 6:30 Mass this morning. We've been trying to do so once a week. Afterward she jumps on a bus for downtown, and I drive home.

As I was driving back I passed a fire station, and saw the firefighters lined up, raising our nation's flag. I felt rather awed. I wish I'd had a camera. I hurried home and put out our flag.

One of the many thoughts in my head is that America is not just a country, like other countries. It is an authoritative tradition, handed down to us from our forefathers and from God. America is an idea. (I wrote about that here.) "The rights of Englishmen are derived from God, not from king or Parliament, and would be secured by the study of history, law, and tradition." The rights of Englishmen are what we fought the Revolution for, and their origin is exceedingly ancient, and mysterious, and not something created merely by men.

And I think America makes demands on us, analogous (not the same, but analogous) to the claim made on us by God. And, analogously, we resist that claim in a thousand squirrely ways. We invent heresies, to put it bluntly. Certain people suddenly discover they are pacifists or internationalists. Someone this morning mentioned a prayer-intention for the victims of the disaster on 9/11. Nuh uh. It was not a disaster, it was a murderous terror attack on our nation and on innocent fellow-citizens.

And an attack on our land makes claims on us. It requires that we put our own concerns second and rally to the defense of our country, even at the risk of our lives, or the loss of elections. And, analogous to the other, greater sphere, many people answer non servum.

Posted by John Weidner at September 11, 2007 8:29 AM
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