Note: this is similar to the post I wrote last year. It’s just updated with some of what is going on now.
My most favorite song to listen to on the 4th of July is Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA”. It gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. After the events of 9/11, this song was played all over the country. We stood together as a nation and believed that we were all American brothers and sisters.
It’s strange. I am having a difficult time celebrating Independence Day now. I’ve had a hard time with it for the past few years. Seems that the brotherhood has faded away into the land of that’s all about me, myself, and my beliefs – and they are the only things that count any more. Turns out that if someone doesn’t wear the flag on their lapel, they aren’t American. If our hands aren’t over our hearts, we don’t believe in what the flag stands for. If we don’t support the war, we apparently don’t support the troops. If we believe that ALL Americans should have equal rights, then that means we don’t support what the “founding fathers” built this country on. By writing this entry today, I know some people will mark me as Un-American even though the First Amendment says I have this right to speak.
I don’t know. I just don’t feel right about celebrating today. I am having a hard time celebrating Independence Day and what it stands for when:
- the poor may finally be able to get the medical help needed, yet they are “freeloaders”
- the sick child will finally get the life-saving procedure she needs, yet we are socialists
- people still carry their American and Confederate flags down the street, yet ignore the homeless veteran under the bridge, and never visit the veterans suffering with PTSD
- a sweet 10 yr old girl who is fighting osteosarcoma, is not able to fight it completely because they are waiting on paper pushers to approve the drug that will help
- children cannot get a strong public education because nobody wants to put money towards improving schools and teacher’s pay
- when state governments want to require those on welfare to take drug tests, however the same people who run those governments aren’t willing to take the same drug test, and sit in the ball parks cheering on the athletes who take drugs every single day.
- when the same governments are willing to put those welfare recipients who fail the drug test in jail, while those representatives ignore the elected official sitting beside them as they are taking and supplying their own drug addictions
- people are willing to fight for the rights for everyone, unless those rights infringe on their personal beliefs
- when ministers stand behind the pulpit and tell their congregations that gays and lesbians need to be locked up in cages, or beaten up until they starve to death or are cleansed of their sin
- children and women are being sold as slaves in underground sex trafficking and more of America’s money is going towards wars that were built on lies
- people stand to pledge this beautiful flag, saying “with liberty and justice for all;” yet don’t really mean “for ALL”
- when an articulate and intelligent student from the University of Indiana stands up to talk about being raised by two loving female parents, people ridicule him and anyone who supports him; yet when defenseless children are locked up in their closets without food, the neighbor turns away
- children are starving and dying of AIDS and Malaria in third world countries and the richest nation that claims to be “under God” would rather spend the money on ourselves
- when one county has two different public school “systems” because the county is afraid to provide an equal public education to the east end schools, so they can cater to the west end schools
- when it’s ok to mix guns and alcohol in bars because of the 2nd Amendment, yet in April my colleagues and I needed to minister to 31 different Richmond families who wondered how their loved ones were shot and many killed
I don’t know. I am proud to be an American but on this day, it’s hard to celebrate when I know that somewhere someone is crying because this wonderful nation of liberty and justice for all, isn’t willing to stand and fight for the freedom and protection of all.
Happy 4th of July. May God bless the USA and all nations fighting for liberty and justice for ALL.