The Best Thing We’ve Read All Day: John Courtney Murray/Saint Patrick’s Day Edition

It would be pointless to argue the relative merits of the diverse applications – for instance, to argue the question, whether the constitutional law which governs 28 million Catholic Spaniards is “better law” than the constitutional law which governs 32 million Catholic Americans.  The argument would be pointless because the situations are incommensurable.  It would be like the famous drunken argument on the question, which is greater – St. Patrick or the Fourth of July? The more decisive thing is to know the right manner of argument for either of these legal decisions, for or against any legal decision affecting the relation of human law – that is, the state – to the order of religion. (Bold added for purposes of humor.)

John Courtney Murray,

“Government and the Order of Religion,”

Religious Liberty, 113.

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