Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Fourth of July

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.  

Since the last July the Fourth holiday, hundreds if not thousands of new laws and declarations have appeared, along with new wars and rumors of wars.    

When Americans celebrate the Fourth of July, Independence Day, we glimpse again the story of that hot summer day in 1776 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA. We say of ourselves, "We remain a democracy" and "the strongest democracy on earth. ..."    

C. S. Lewis wrote in Screwtape Lettersin the epistle called "Screwtape Proposes a Toast," about Democracy and them--those who value the word Democracy, who due to that value could be among the most vulnerable for exploitation. They were, therefore, among Screwtape's list of intended converts to his devilish philosophy. He is teaching one of his new disciples to use the word Democracy to "lead them by the nose": 

"It will never occur to them that Democracy is properly the name 
of a political system, even a system of voting, and that 
this has only the most remote and tenuous connection with what 
you are trying to sell them. ... You are to use the word 
purely as an incantation...for its selling power. 
... it is connected with the political ideal 
that men should be equally treated." 

Screwtape, a chief of hell's fictional angels in Lewis' work, further advised on the work of converting "them":  

"As a result you can use the word Democracy to sanction in his thought 
the most degrading...of all human feelings*. You can get him to practise, not only 
without shame but with a positive glow of self-approval, 
conduct which, if undefended by the magic word, 
would be universally derided."

The feelings* that Lewis said that he meant were "... that which prompts a man to say I'm as good as you." 

You can read the full Screwtape Proposes a Toast in the Screwtape Letters excerpt "Lead Them by the Nose" in A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works reading for July 1. 

Copyright (c) 2013 Opinari Writers.

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