Classic for a reason. An effective sermon on Cain and Abel. The implication that some people are more agentic, more fully human than others - and that their choices therefore have greater moral consequence - is surprising. Compare to Augustine, who thought that sinfulness made us less fully human.
We all have that heritage, no matter what old land our fathers left. All colors and blends of Americans have somewhat the same tendencies. It’s a breed—selected out by accident. And so we’re overbrave and overfearful—we’re kind and cruel as children. We’re overfriendly and at the same time frightened of strangers. We boast and are impressed. We’re oversentimental and realistic. We are mundane and materialistic—and do you know of any other nation that acts for ideals? We eat too much. We have no taste, no sense of proportion. We throw our energy about like waste. In the old lands they say of us that we go from barbarism to decadence without an intervening culture. Can it be that our critics have not the key or the language of our culture?
Has anyone ever written a more convincing paen to the idea of America as a nation of immigrants?