Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy (Sort of) 4Th of July

Usually, I like the 4th of July. Our family has a slew of holidays and birthdays running from October through the end of May, and I get incredibly bogged down in celebrations. Then there's a break, and we have the 4th of July. There's not a set of expectations with this holiday unless you count hot dogs and sparklers, and the possibility of a fireworks display, so there's little planning on my part. We simply get a day off to celebrate our incredible freedom. Increasingly, though, I have a harder time celebrating something that is so precious, and treated in a manner so disrespectfully.

I'm thankful for the people who have protected my freedom, but at the same time, I'm angered by the unncessary use of our military around the world, as political leaders deem imperialistic dalliances as the defense of freedom. I'm angered by the loss of life by our soliders and innocent civilians as we fight a war that we cannot even agree as to what would define the end, and that could very well produce a government just as evil as the one overthrown.

I'm thankful for my comfortable home, nice paved streets and the ease in which I can live out my life. Yet I'm totally embarassed by our national trash output, greedy use of resources, and, especially people's defense of our gluttonous lifestyles. I'm even more embarassed when I hear people speak of those things as "God's blessings" on us, without even questioning if it's truly God's blessing or just a national movement to take advantage of those less fortunate.

I'm thankful for my freedom of speech, and yet embarassed that my fellow citizens use that speech to promote pornography, stupidity and cirular thinking. I'm also embarassed when my fellow believers choose to use that freedom to spread hate or American Civic Religion rather than the love of Christ.

I'm thankful that even during a recession my fellow citizens still have access to food, shelter and education. I'm embarassed and frustrated that many of them still don't understand the need for solid local government and services and the need to take care of each other.

I'm thankful for the freedom of religion that allows me to write and read the writings of Christians from around the world. I am completely embarrassed to be a part of a movement, though, that abuses that freedom by profiting from it by marketing cheap romance novels, knock-off fiction, and bumper stickers as ridiculous as Christian Pirate Bumper Stickers.

I'm thankful for the Americans that have come before and fought against the injustices of their day and worked to make this nation more Godly. I'm embarrassed by the people who have glossed over the tremendous sins of our history and tried to manipulate us into a theocracy that fits their needs.

Perhaps there will once again come a time when I can fully enjoy the 4Th of July. Until then, I'll remind myself of the good that can come from our country, and the ways that God has redeemed the sins of our past. May He continue to heal our land.

No comments: