For those of you living in the United States (including myself), today marks the day our country attained its freedom from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. So happy Fourth of July!
We are fortunate here in the US to have so many guaranteed freedoms that people in many other countries could only dream of. Of course, we have a long way to go, but you’ve got it pretty good if you can criticize the government out loud (and, as I’ve seen, out front of the White House itself!) without fear of punishment and can worship whatever deity you choose… or none at all.
This is an especially important holiday when you consider the freedoms you have in your own life. What freedoms do you personally have? What freedoms would you like to see more of? (I could think of quite a few.) Can you imagine living without these freedoms, and can you imagine having all the freedom in the world?
We’re incredibly lucky. I can list my arms to the heavens and give thanks to the gods and goddesses that give me life. I can raise and lower my fork to whatever food I decide. I can marry someone who both worships another and who has a different dinner plate from me. And best of all? I can do all of this because I, like you, am free.
Today, Matt and I are celebrating our own independence with our neighbors and a few handfuls of sparklers. While this year is understated compared to the last, when we went down to our nation’s Capital to check out live music, food, and fireworks, we’ll still be enjoying the fact that today, and pretty much any other day, we have the liberty to be whomever we want.
Happy Independence Day, everyone, and blessings to those of you both in the US and out! And now, a blessing for unity!
Gods of liberty, goddesses of justice,
watch over those who would fight for our freedoms.
May freedom be given to all people,
around the world,
no matter what their faith.
Keep our soldiers safe from harm,
and protect them in your light,
so that they may return to their families
and their homes.
Goddesses of liberty, gods of justice,
hear our call, and light the sky,
your torch shining in the night,
that we may find our way back to you,
and bring people together, in unity.