So another 4th of July has come, this time in 2015.
I awoke at our beautiful farmhouse lodging where Jim and Jennifer (sweet and good peeps!) have again blessed many of our Grrr Records artists with a place to be while doing lots of shows, seminars and hanging at AutidoFeed Festival here in Illinois.
You can read my brain (!) in my last post re. AF Fest offering a place of grace, refuge and fun for many who used to attend the annual Cornerstone Festival, rock with the bands, camp out and interact on a zillion issues, the arts, music styles, sports and at core fellowship with people of like and even dis-like (ha) minds over these days each summer.
When one considers history, one must check the facts. Then again, your “facts” and my “facts” are tilted by what are in reality, perspectives, sometimes shared and at other times not even close to similar. This is real-world though at times not the world we would like it to be, or not at least as we may wish to see it become.
I’m on record as loving my country, supporting our service people and veterans, but my perspective from long study of history past and present is that our independence as well as continuing decisions are sometimes what puts us at odds with one another and the larger world.
Today I am thankful and again say THANK YOU to the many military and support services who enable our nation to be free. Perfect, no. Free, yes.
I deeply love my country but at times am frankly ashamed when I hear us talk of deploying troops to “protect and preserve our way of life”. Really? WHOSE “way of life” and is this not a sometimes far too simple way to say what we really mean?
If you are non-white in this country, your history is still not always considered when “our way of life” is the phrase used.
The freedom to live without “legal” persecution re. personal and shared freedoms is a mixed bag and has been right throughout our history. Of course, the same is true of most nations, but my focus is the one I love most.
At times the particular government in power (with and without popular approval, take your pick) REGARDLESS of party… has taken measures that have polarized this or that group, sometimes in extremely difficult (for this or that side of an issue) to enjoy the protection of freedoms for our “way of life”. Face it, this is true.
Local, state and federal governments have taken up weapons and fired on citizens marching for the establishment of unions. Corporate (economics, political power-brokers) have long held clout over when and if we enjoy various freedoms in our American life. We can be some of the most kind-hearted, sharing people or some of the most racist, thick-headed and arrogant on earth.
This or that lobby has often held sway. Election reforms have been nearly impossible to see take place. Justice system reforms likewise.
When is the last time popular voting was offered as to whether we waged war in this or that foreign land?
Regardless of your position on any of these and other matters in the U.S., you must know I am both thankful we have the freedom to disagree, march and demonstrate and live here as opposed to plenty of other nations on the planet! BUT let’s not be so quick, particularly as white Americans to think we speak for all in our land when we talk about freedom and the “American way of life”.
In short, if you are only thankful for your freedoms but not troubled by the lack of them for others in this nation, I think you need to consider your heart, mind and willingness to face both beautiful as well as ugly truths about both blessings -and- problems in our land.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. Yet there CAN be (in me, you as individuals) compassion and a “selah” (Old Testament word for pause and think about it) regarding OTHERS and their view of the liberties we celebrate on July 4th.
If you are black, red, asian, an immigrant or just someone who dresses, speaks or enjoys a very different music style than “the norm” in your neck of the woods, I wonder how free you feel around most of America?
I am not talking about blatant acceptance of “whatever!” morals, nor violence nor status-quo, but I am certainly saying there are harsh, hard and frankly, ignorant ways of living and attitudes that we have always seen in America that do not constitute a “way of life” worth smacking others down for nor deploying troops to preserve this “way”.
Jesus commands us to love one another. With HIS love. With sacrifice, patience and grace.
I expect such is in truth, a minority worth living and dying in, regardless of the nation you love most.
Things to consider as we picnic today.
Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn