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Clarence Thomas addressed the connection between liberty and personal responsibility in a powerful commencement address yesterday, lamenting what he called “a bygone era” of the “hallmarks of my youth.”

“I admit to being unapologetically Catholic, unapologetically patriotic and unapologetically a Constitutionalist,” the Supreme Court Justice told Hillsdale College graduates.

“Do not hide your faith and your beliefs under a bushel basket, especially in this world that seems to have gone mad with political correctness.”

Using his upbringing on a farm as a frame of reference, Thomas said that these days, “hallmarks of my youth, such as patriotism and religion, seem more like outliers, if not afterthoughts.”

“There could be no freedom without each of us discharging our responsibilities. That was first and foremost,” he recalled.

“In that context, when we heard the words ‘duty,’ ‘honor,’ ‘country,’ no more needed to be said. But that is a bygone era.”

“Today, we rarely hear of our personal responsibilities in discussions of broad notions such as freedom or liberty.”

Watch his full speech, above.


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