Memorial of St. Sebastian
In Witness to Hope, his biography of Pope John Paul II, George Weigel notes that solidarity is the primary authentic attitude toward society, in which individual freedom is deployed to serve the common good, and the community sustains and supports individuals as they grow into a truly human maturity. This, the pope maintains, is what allows man to find the fulfillment of himself in complementing others. President Bush has laid out a foreign policy that both embraces America's roots and raises a standard for solidarity under which the history of the 21st century may march.
Here are some excerpts with a flavor of solidarity that caught my fancy:
"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom."
"We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."
"From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time."
"Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen... Our goal... is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way."
"In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty."
"Eventually, the call of freedom comes to every mind and every soul. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery."
"In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character... Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people. Americans move forward in every generation by reaffirming all that is good and true that came before--ideals of justice and conduct that are the same yesterday, today, and forever."
"In America's ideal of freedom, the exercise of rights is ennobled by service, and mercy, and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism, because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time."
"We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom... History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty."
"America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength--tested, but not weary--we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom."
May God bless America.