August 4 of 1265 marks the death in battle of Simon de Montfort, hero and… um… anti-Semite.
Though Montfort genuinely was instrumental in the development of self-government because he invited the common people into the Parliament of England, we cannot overlook or excuse his bigotry because it was common then.
But we also cannot consign the entire past to the rubbish heap of history and consider ourselves infinitely superior even to the heroes of the past, because while we lack some of their failings we have others.
And for that matter anti-Semitism is increasingly resurgent in the modern world.
So we must be inspired by Montfort not only to defend liberty under law, but also to scrutinize our own hearts for failings that might baffle and horrify posterity or, for that matter, those who have gone before us.