Independence Day reflection, 1 of 4

July 4. Independence Day. Our national holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Our national holy day celebrating the consecration of freedom as a sacred value.

Declaration of Independence

Briefly recalling the story…

The people of the 13 colonies had grown restless, rebellious about paying taxes to England without benefit of representation in the English Parliament. The First Continental Congress, although unhappy with England, did not declare war. However, British troops marching on Concord, Massachusetts, Paul Revere’s stirring alarm, “The British are coming”, and the subsequent battles of Lexington and Concord with “the shot heard ‘round the world” signaled the war’s unofficial commencement. The Second Continental Congress, unable to resolve the conflict with England, formed a declaration draft committee of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. At an initial tally, nine colonies were in favor, two opposed, one undecided, and one abstained.

Now, 240 years later, we cannot know fully the hope and despair our founding forebears faced in reaching their momentous decision. I am glad they decided! Though my joy is subdued for honesty compels the confession that the Declaration’s bold pronouncement “all men are created equal” included neither all men nor all people.

Nevertheless, it is a common human experience to be caught in the crucible of historic events with which every era is laden (indeed, overladen!). In our time, among many, contentious electoral politics, ever-widening economic gaps between the poor and rich, renewed and heightened racial tensions, and the threat and reality of international and homegrown terrorism. In this, I see parallels between America at its founding and now.

4 thoughts on “Independence Day reflection, 1 of 4

  1. I’m glad our forefathers decided too!! I believe I’m a good leader but when it comes to contentious matters and political debate I’d rather leave that to others. Now 240 years later I feel as though we’ve gone so far back. Maybe not all the way, but not far off. Your parallels are right on point! And for me, the future is pretty scary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well stated Paul. When I ponder the state of politics and political messaging in our nation which of course can’t help but include being frustrated by a lack of action on issues that could be addressed while we are distracted by inane issues, I constantly come back to faith and hope. Not in a Pollyanna way, though I both see nothing wrong with Pollyanna’s point of view, and have learned to live with being accused of being like her. I come to faith and hope as a place to put my action and belief that those continuing to teach a higher road hold such promise. Enter the practice of all things spiritual which frankly in my view includes logic. And of course faith and hope includes believing that ethics and integrity grow stronger in our world for all people through true spiritual strengthening. Bless you my brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you. I, too, hold fast to faith and hope AND love, especially in troubling, difficult times in the past and in this era of human history. Trusting in the power greater than all things, I rely on my faith, confidence, and hope, belief that God’s word in Christ is true, and love, assurance in the unconditionality of divine benevolence to gird up my loins when all that I see seems to be falling apart (as well as my very inner self!).


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