…if anything is more than utter atheism,
it is this attempt to equate God and country,
and to make God serve our own purposes.
Dorothy Day, June 1956
Yesterday the United States celebrated its independence from British colonialism. Independence from any imperial power is something to celebrate – even though the Declaration of Independence and the subsequent Constitution did not give immediately independence to blacks or women.
But I think that we should also be mourning.
There is still racism in the US, as seen in recent events in various parts of the US.
But worse, the United States is not seen as a beacon of liberty in the world.
All too often it is seen as a military and economic force that brings a new type of colonialism and imperialism.
Many do look to the US but as a place to escape the poverty and violence that they encounter – poverty and violence that are often related to US policies.
And so I didn’t celebrate Independence Day. I didn’t seek to find other people from the US for fireworks. I didn’t eat hot dogs and hamburgers (mostly because I’m a vegetarian.)
What will I do next year?
Probably spend time in prayer and service to the poor around me.