Share This Post


Memorial Day and the freedom ‘for’ which we fought, one nation under God…..

Memorial Day and the freedom ‘for’ which we fought, one nation under God…..

…from pp. 15-17 of the draft

The real experience of the desire for the infinite and the transcendent is because God has placed his own image within every human in order to give us hope. That image is only finally realized by being brought into greater participation and likeness to God. Likeness to God begins by elevating and integrating all human desires into intelligence, truthfulness and love. The experience of this transformation is the beginning of the movement into the happiness humans ultimately seek…resting in God [as symbolized by the Seventh Day of Creation]. Simultaneously, resting in God is inseparable from consolidating God’s will and life within the human soul, deification through Christ (cf. CCC #460). The pursuit of happiness ends in the only true God and participation in the life of the Most Holy Trinity. Nothing will ever stop man’s desire for eternity, because human intelligence and the intelligent desires and loves which the image of God generates always beckons for the infinite and truly eternal.

Totalitarian regimes have tried to stomp-out or redirect this longing for the infinite which the image of God in man necessarily generates.[1] Pharaohs refocused such longings upon worship of themselves as sons of the gods and onto perverted pantheons. Roman emperors likewise promised salvation as gods and kept the perverted pantheon of the Greeks and prior Egyptians. After the Scientific Revolution, secularists and Freemasons (a powerful naturalist philosophy at America’s founding) redirected longing onto autonomy unhampered by divine revelation. Marxist soviets similarly redirected longing for the infinite on to the State while Nazis redirected human hope and longing onto eugenics, now become transhumanism.

They all worked against the truth of the image of God within humans and the importance of freedom, truth and love. The democratic republic of the United States and its Christian culture refused to ignore natural moral law and the best practices of antiquity. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America made a stand for truth and freedom: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The First Amendment was established because as a predominantly Christian culture Americans had always valued most the freedom to worship the one true God as revealed in Jesus Christ. They valued most the worship of God “in spirit and in truth,” because they knew that humans become like what humans worship. America was a nation dedicated to human freedom because Christians whole-heartedly believe that Christ came to bring humans into ultimate freedom, into the life transcendent, the eternal life. Following Christ’s words, Americans believed “the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). Saint Paul made clear that Christians are a people dedicated to human freedom and development, “For freedom, Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1). Where the truth prospers, freedom prospers.

Laws were established, protections and Amendments were enshrined, to ensure that those who value eternal life and the transcendent were upheld in their “pursuit of happiness” as promised by the Declaration of Independence. The First Amendment must find its contextualization within and upon the Declaration of Independence. Law was never first and foremost about freedom FROM violations of personal choice and autonomy, as truly important as autonomy, free choices, and protections are. Law was first and foremost about assisting the freedom FOR attaining true goods and happiness.[2]

The Founding Fathers did not necessarily always get the prioritization of freedom from and freedom for correct as concerned implementation and interpretation of the Bill of Rights. Afterall, their Christianity was also oddly mixed with the false teachings of Freemasonry. Nor did the judicial system necessarily receive or know the correct theoretical priority of freedom for over freedom from. The prioritization of a freedom “from” eventually makes personal autonomy the greatest value. The prioritization of freedom “from” eventually leads to strange “rights” to abortion and pretending to be a gender that goes against physical objectivity. Such a development is due to a strange kind of logic from skewed first principles. Christian culture prioritized and favors freedom “for” while Deist or Masonic culture prioritized and favors freedom “from.”

A liberty that prioritizes freedom “for” establishes goodness as the foundation for law and bases all law upon natural inclinations for: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as the Declaration of Independence does. Freedom “for” establishes truth as what makes us free and establishes natural moral law as having a priority in civil law. Freedom “for” allows the attractive experience of beauty to be a guide assisting human free choices. With prioritization of freedom “for,” civil law thereby prioritizes individual human flourishing in authentic goods and reality (truthfulness). It makes room for the logic of the common good and the right to or FOR “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” for every human being. Autonomy is thereby contextualized by truth and goodness and not vice-versa. Truth and goodness are guides to freedom and not hindrances. Notice Saint Paul said, “FOR freedom, Christ has set us free.” Paul was speaking of freedom for living in the Spirit…Eternal Life.

Freedom is about development in authentic goods and the flourishing of human persons in divine life. With the primacy of freedom “for” instead of “from,” we recognize a reality that precedes human existence and acknowledge reality and nature as having wisdom for leading humans to happiness. Free choices exist to consolidate goodness within us and not simply as an end in themselves. Autonomy remains subject to truth and goodness since humans are not the authors of creation but are being led by creation back to the author.

Western Law was not founded primarily so much upon protections of personal autonomy, but first and foremost (before Enlightenment/Freemason distortions) upon the goods to which we have natural inclinations and needs. Such law simultaneously and correlatively respected our personal dignity and autonomy as made in the image of God and needing protections from tyranny. Our first subjective and “autonomous” experiences as infants were not the desire for protection from others, but rather about relying on others for fulfilling human needs and desires which the natural inclinations to goodness began within us: good nutrition, good clothing, good shelter, and good affection. Such inclinations were the beginning of being led into deeper realizations and deeper intelligent realities as reason developed within intelligence.

Natural inclinations towards the need for affection and food eventually led into the deeper needs for friendship and truthfulness as we matured out of infancy and self-centeredness. Before, but especially upon the age of reason, parental guidance continued nature’s tutelage. Divine laws permeated such natural guidance and furthered human maturity within rational experiences. Divine law perfected humans to become loving persons, caring for infants and the vulnerable as we once were helped by those who came before us. All true law worked to develop us into becoming like the Persons of the Most Holy Trinity. All of creation was a womb for producing the likeness to God in the summit of creation: human creatures who were brought into existence in order to be made sharers in the divine nature (cf. 2 Peter 1:4).

Aquinas, Renaissance, America and the West

The most impactful Western philosopher of the 13th Century – and thankfully still studied in philosophy departments of Ivy League colleges in the United States and Cambridge and Oxford in England – opens a window into what was traditional to the thinking behind America’s eventual Declaration of Independence and what became the Bill of Rights. The Summas on theology and law of Thomas Aquinas – written both for Islamic scholars and later for Christendom’s leaders – said something a bit foreign to the dominant economic thinking and prioritization of “autonomy” in what has become modern American and Western thought today. Certainly, Aquinas was not central to the Founding Fathers of America, but his impact upon the West and understanding of law and happiness unmistakably imprinted and shaped Western thought…

[continued in links below…]

The PDF draft and continuation of the above Ch.1 is here: Click Here for Chapter One

Feedback and suggested edits are appreciated as work resumes this summer on the project: matthew.tsakanikas @ subject line: transcendence More drafts are at

To read more about the Transcendence After America Project click here

Please subscribe to this Substack. It’s free and articles only appear monthly.

[1] cf. Christoph Schonborn, From Death to Life (Ignatius Press, 1995), pp. 58-63.

[2] cf. Servais Pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics (CUA Press, 1995). The whole work moves through freedom “for” and freedom “from.”

Services MarketplaceListings, Bookings & Reviews

Entertainment blogs & Forums

Share This Post

Leave a Reply