I love the 4th of July. For me it is a celebration that we live in a land where freedom is possible, if not yet rea
lized for many. Listen to these bold, visionary words penned by our Founding Fathers, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
So where, you might ask, is this domestic tranquility, this more perfect union? Where is this justice? Indeed we, as a people, have not yet realized the grandeur of this dream, this dream of securing the blessings of liberty for all, and it will remain a dream until enough of us call upon our powers, the same powers that our Founding Fathers had, to fight for what is right. More of us have to want equality and freedom for all and work towards that end.
Our founding father’s staked their lives, their property, and their sacred honor on something they could only imagine and they didn’t achieve all these lofty dreams in their lifetimes, but they did plant the seed. From where they stood I don’t think they could imagine that one hundred years later at the end of an awful war, blacks would be freed from slavery and following that, women would rise up to fight and insist that man and women were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
From where we stand we can’t see the end results of all our efforts toward good either. Despite all that’s wrong in our country we have to keep going forward, keep doing all in our power to make some a kind of heaven out of this imperfect world. We have to band together to “stand on the side of love” as Unitarian Universalists. Our faith is built on the desire for freedom and justice and doing better than we’ve done in the past, both as individuals and as a church community.
All that is corrupt and wrong in our society can be overwhelming, but we can’t give up. The people that gave birth to our proud nation went up against one of the strongest governments in the world to declare their rights of freedom. We too need to acknowledge when things are not right and be about making the world a better place- each in our own sphere, and in our own way. If we can’t change the world overnight at least we can speak up and plant seeds of “rightness” that will bear fruit over time.
It is a great privilege to be a Unitarian Universalist and join with others in our endless quest of creating more love and acceptance and justice in this world. This year when we sing, “My country, tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,”… let us remember our proud heritage and that now it is our turn to do what we can in order to further the quest of equality and freedom for all.
Janen Wright, Director of Faith Formation