Friday, July 1, 2016
The quest for freedom in America was a royal pain for King George, III. The freedom established by our forbearers in this remote agrarian backwater has miraculously survived and thrived. Today, we are party to the longest-running revolution in the world. So, we celebrate America’s birthday party, July 4. Parades, speeches, cookouts, picnics, Sousa marches, doubleheaders, demonstrations and fireworks are all part of Independence Day.
America’s contribution to the world is in the realm of ideas and ideals. This county is still the biggest market for foreign goods and the most powerful magnet for foreign capital. Our greatest challenge is in the area of values. What do we cherish for ourselves and our neighbors?
The Lady in the Harbor cries, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
Robert Bellah poignantly stated, “Freedom is the most resonant deeply-held American value.” America embraces freedom from arbitrary authority. We want nothing imposed in terms of work, family, politics or religion. Less than half the people on this planet have the freedom we do!
The freedom we celebrate on July 4 was a religious concept long before it became a political concept. It is the nature of God to give freedom to all people. For me, there are two great symbols of freedom; the Statue of Liberty and the Cross of Christ. No, you cannot equal the two. Political freedom is built on the formation of spiritual freedom; the majority will govern but the minority will not be oppressed. Every freedom we have was paid for by somebody else. That’s worth pondering.