Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July 4th: What are we celebrating?

This is quite a lengthy article. I'll just post this initial portion and if it interests you, do go read the rest.

(Coptic-LA) - We find ourselves at the gate of another Fourth of July weekend, a time when family and friends gather to celebrate the birth of this nation with barbecues by day and fireworks by night.

When it comes to celebrating July 4, we certainly know what we’re doing. Our mailboxes are filled with circulars advertising various cuts of meat, meal pairings, and flag-themed napkins. This weekend, the brave will flock to local beaches despite overcrowding in honor of the birth of this nation. There will be joy, rest, and camaraderie throughout the land.

In the midst of these celebrations, there is a nagging question that needs to be answered, but often is not: What exactly are we celebrating? What is this weekend all about?

To find the answer, I decided to search through the traditional ballads of American patriotism, the very songs people sing on July 4 to honor this nation with words like these...
Complete article here.

1 comment:

  1. As a first-generation American, the author naturally focuses on the later period of American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny rather than the Anglo-Celt frontier orneriness and Lockean principles which fueled the Revolution and Declaration which is the actual basis of the July 4 (1776) holiday. The immigrant view of America has a much more compressed timeline.

    This compressed view of America can also be found in the institutional juvenescence of the Church in the US. Converts in particular revel in the comparison of modernist secular America to the pagan Empire of 33 A.D. They experience a frisson in imagining themselves as +Paul speaking truth to Agrippa, and resist any vision of the Church as a mature institution, an organic part of the nation wedded to Her people through a succession of baptisms, weddings and funerals. To modern Orthodox Americans, the US with its multiculturalism and global dominance becomes practically the Divinely successor to Byzantium. As the US dissolves over time (as all multicultural polities do), Orthodox will remain mired in their current quandary: unable to construct an ecclesiology that relates to a world where the Empire has vanished and is not coming back.