“We believe we are inheritors of a distinct Western Civilization, and that our traditional culture safeguards our identity as a free people.” This new Idaho Republican Party Platform Plank, which I co-authored, declares that we are stewards of the only culture that developed a functional system of freedom. The legacy of Jewish, Athenian, Roman, Christian, Germanic, English and Enlightenment traditions together assert the supremacy of individual conscience.
The Jewish faith exemplifies a dedication to transcendent values beyond pragmatism. Athenians asserted the intrinsic value of creativity in pursuit of excellence. Rome’s Republic offers a blueprint for a popular government that lasted twice as long as ours. Rome’s Empire is an example for our immigrant nation of a diverse society where a person’s choices, not their race, determines identity.
Christianity makes the radical claim that the Creator personally loves each of us, inspiring a hope that helps people be self-governing. Rome’s Germanic conquerors saw themselves as free men willingly serving worthy Kings. Englishmen limited the power of their Kings; eclipsing them with a sovereign Parliament. The Enlightenment developed philosophies of inalienable rights and a social contract into our Constitution.
Preserving a living memory of these traditions is essential to our freedom. Much of today’s bitter divisiveness stems from the fact that we have forgotten Western Civilization. This must change!
Ralph K. Ginorio