Today the United States celebrates Independence Day, the day we celebrate our birth as an independent nation.
It is a good day on which to ask ourselves what we stand for.
The most recognizable phrase we associate with the Statue of Liberty is
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
We can’t make a claim we stand for those words, as we allow refugees and migrants to sit in unsanitary and unsafe conditions at our border, and allow children to be separated from their parents.
Our Declaration of Independence claims
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
We certainly don’t stand for that – and even when those words were penned, they didn’t really mean every one.
We have a slogan of “one person, one vote) which supposedly means that one person’s voting power is roughly equivalent to another’s within the same state. But gerrymandering and efforts to disenfranchise minority voters have given lie to that.
So what do we stand for?
I know what I stand for as a Christian. But I no longer know what the United States stands for. It certainly doesn’t mean what I thought it did growing up.
As I said, good day to ask the question.