Is something missing from the US constitution?

French Constitution | US Constitution | Bible | Fraternity

In 1790 the phrase ‘liberte, egalite, fraternite’ (liberty, equality, fraternity) began to be spoken and used among French people. It appears to this day in France, on statues, letterheads and public buildings.

The US constitution, on the other hand, was written just three years earlier in 1787 and states “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.” No mention of fraternity, solidarity or any obligation to each other.

I can’t help wondering what the legacy of this omission is.

Living in Alabama right now, it feels as if Americans don’t like each other much. There’s a lot of fear. This is outworked in policy too; the right to bear arms, no universal healthcare and an unwillingness to modify lifestyles in the face of climate change, an issue which demands a collective response. It’s no surprise that many Americans don’t want to welcome immigrants when they seem to dislike the people they already live with so much.

Personally, all this saddens me, and I feel compelled to pray John 13:35 for Americans: By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. With so many Christians, wouldn’t it be wonderful if America was known for being the most loving nation on earth?

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