Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God bless us

to the exclusion of lesser borders,
we have been given favor
because our Constitution was formed in His truth,
He gave unto us a ripe and virgin land
barely spoiled by the animal-men here before,
a stain easily under-rug swept to make way for providence.

"A man can be a Christian or a patriot, but he can't legally be a Christian and a patriot - except in the usual way: one of the two with the mouth, the other with the heart. The spirit of Christianity proclaims the brotherhood of the race and the meaning of that strong word has not been left to guesswork, but made tremendously definite - the Christian must forgive his brother man all crimes he can imagine and commit, and all insults he can conceive and utter - forgive these injuries how many times? Seventy times seven - another way of saying there shall be no limit to this forgiveness. That is the spirit and the law of Christianity. Well - Patriotism has its laws. And it is also a perfectly definite one; there are not vagueness's about it. It commands that the brother over the border shall be sharply watched and brought to book every time he does us a hurt or offends us with an insult. Word it as softly as you please; the spirit of patriotism is the spirit of dog and wolf. The moment there is a misunderstanding about a boundary line, or a hamper of fish, or some other squalid matter, see patriotism rise, and hear it split the universe with its war-whoop. The spirit of patriotism being in its nature jealous and selfish is just in man's line, it comes natural to him - he can live up to all its requirements to the letter; but the spirit of Christianity is not in its entirety possible to him.

The prayers concealed in what I have been saying is, not that patriotism should cease, and not that the talk about universal brotherhood should cease, but that the incongrous firm be dissolved and each limb of it be required to transact business by itself, for the future."

-Mark Twain's Notebook

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