Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thinking about the Declaration of Independence

I always love NPR's reading of the Declaration of Independence, the whole thing. It's wonderful to hear the various NPR voices read this document. I've been listening long enough that I've been through several changes of beloved voices, as people die and new people arrive. Go here to hear the whole thing.

I've always been a Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights geek. I love, love, love these documents. The NPR reading always reduces me to tears by the end of the reading.

I think we often forget what these founding parents risked as they launched this fight. I think we forget that the odds were stacked against them. I love these stories of the fight for justice. And to my friends who would tell me of the imperfections of the American story, I would concede some points. But to me, the important thing is that we continue to try to get it right. We continue to try to set free the oppressed and to keep the lamps of liberty lit. We acknowledge the times we've gotten it all frightfully wrong (slavery, the genocide of the Native Americans), but we keep trying to get it right. I see Independence Day as an interesting point where Liberation Theology meets politics and revolution and the world will never be the same.

Here's an interesting thing to ponder on this Independence Day: for what would you be willing to pledge your life, your fortune, and your sacred honor?

No comments: