Occasional thoughts on the soul of the nation

The Soul of a Nation: America as a Tradition of Inquiry and Nationhood

When I look through the recent history of the United States, I cannot help but think that we are in the throes of a crisis of faith, in the technical Roman sense of fides, which really has no direct correspondent in contemporary US English.

We like to say that we are free, but we seem more and more to understand freedom as license – and the government as the power charged with protecting our freedom thusly construed from the encroachment of our fellows, even when their “encroachment” takes the form of an argument or a claim of right, say the right to be taken at one’s word, or kept to it.

Scene_at_the_Signing_of_the_Constitution_of_the_United_States

Image: Howard Chandler Christy‘s interpretation of George Washington presiding over the signing of the Constitution, 1940


I am thinking specifically, though by no means exculsively, about marriage, and what we have done to it, and…

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