I continue to keep an ever-growing quote file, things that spark a connection, helping to clarify the principles that lead to freedom, prosperity, and civilization. Maybe, after the heavy writing of the last couple of weeks, it’s a good day to share a few words from other minds.
These first few were quoted in a speech by Judge Thomas B. Griffith, US Circuit Court of Appeals. The speech was called , “The Hard Work of Understanding the Constitution,” given at BYU September 18, 2012.
Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.—Adlai Stevenson
The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.—Teddy Roosevelt
The work of citizenship is hard work that calls upon us to use our best thinking,
our most careful study, our most rigorous analysis.—Aristotle
Following the law places a judge in a role that is in large part clerical, where he labors largely as a functionary, applying and implementing the law. The judge’s primary task is to find and follow the law.—BYU Law Professor Brett Sharp
Nothing you learn here at Oxford will be of the slightest possible use to you later, save only this: if you work hard and intelligently, you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot. And that is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education.—Harold MacMillan, Prime Minister of Great Britain, Chancellor of Oxford from 1960-1986, to an Oxford graduating class
This final, longer quote is from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the beginning of “Men Have Forgotten God,” the Templeton Address, 1983:
More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.
What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.