The Corner

Fourth of July Deaths

This one, from 1596: Blessed Henry Abbot, who was martyred in York, England, for daring to explain the Catholic faith to a minister pretending to want him to (who turned him in for doing so). He was among four condemned, Abbot’s execution saved for July 4, 1597. There are so many reminders of how precious freedom is and how devoted we must be to its protection, but those July 4th ones do have a way of making a special impression.

I understand the frustration with George W. Bush’s insistence that we can bring all our freedoms to parts of the world who don’t seem to want it — I share it. But I also get where he’s coming from, and it’s not a bad thing to encourage, at least on a civics level. What’s more precious? What’s a greater gift, other than life itself, which is innately tied to freedom? (If our parents don’t protect our freedom to live, there is no life….)

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