I post here as both an American and an Orthodox Christian. I’ve read a number of posts today from other Christians who claim they are unable, or less than enthusiastic about our patriotic celebration. They cite the deteriorating values of our modern society. Let me say that I am a Christian first and American second: God, family, then country.
I join my brothers in my dismay for modernism and the “anything goes” attitude of modern society. I grieve for the state of our primary school system. I think separation of powers isn’t operating the way I feel it should according to our Constitution. States have less teeth than they did two hundred years ago. This list could continue for some time.
I am not a historian, but I enjoy our country’s history. I like reading biographies of our founding fathers. I am currently reading an excellent biography of George Washington by Ron Chernow. I highly recommend it. My reading of history leads me to the following conclusion, things weren’t perfect then either. Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel of “honor”. Thomas Jefferson actively paid newspaper men to write derogatory comments about Washington. The problem is that he was on Washington’s cabinet! He was Secretary of State! Many of our founders enjoyed their lifestyles on the backs of slavery! I could continue with this list too. My point is this, our country has struggled with moral issues, shady politics, disunity, and the like since its inception.
Through all of this, the United States has been a beacon of hope for many for quite some time. I am Orthodox because people in persecuted countries came here to make a better life for their families and to freely practice their faith. They shared their faith with others who shared it with my family. Now I proudly embrace that same faith.
Yes, we have work to do. Yes the moral fabric of our society is hanging by its last thread. But I am proud to be able to freely and openly practice my faith. I am proud of those who served in our armed forces to help preserve this right, including many in my own family: my father, my uncle, and both of my grandfathers, who all served in the USAF.
Let’s not take this for granted. Let’s take advantage of this by participating in the full life of our Church. Let’s pray for our country and for one another. And politically, let’s voice our support for political leaders who support this way of life.
Happy Independence Day!