If we had lost the Revolutionary War would we be suffering through “Tea Hour” rather than “Coffee Hour” after church? It makes me wonder. Actually the very thought makes me cringe. Chatting with parishioners over a cup of Sunday afternoon chamomile is sleep-inducing. But, fortunately, “God shed his grace on thee” and we won. Okay, that’s not quite how it went theologically. But it’s hard to imagine eating Shepherd’s Pie for Sunday brunch.
To mark this day I re-read the Declaration of Independence. It’s an amazing document, one that takes a prophetic stance on the issues of justice and human rights. We have yet to fully achieve the lofty ideals set forth, of course. But working toward helping everyone attain those “inalienable rights” endowed by our Creator is a worthy goal for all of us.
If we are all created equal by God, the deep disparity in how many of our brothers and sisters cannot adequately pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is a disgrace. So while it’s reasonable to celebrate our own independence on this day, it’s also important to remember in prayer those throughout the world who remain shackled by political, economic, and racial oppression. I encourage you to say a prayer before you eat one of the 150 million hot dogs that Americans will consume today.
And consider taking a gander at the Declaration — it never disappoints. Especially since it includes some great digs at the King of England. This document may well be the first recorded instance of “sticking it to the man.”