Today is July 4th. Here in the US we celebrate our Independence Day. A day devoted to the idea of freedom.
But there seems to be a problem.
We, in the US are having a problem with a common understanding of what freedom is. How do we define it, as a nation? Depending on who you talk with, you’ll get a different definition. Without a common understanding of some fundamental things that our country was founded on, we shouldn’t be surprised that we have some troubles in our nation.
It is disconcerting that there are different understandings of the idea of freedom. Does this bother anyone else? How is a nation supposed move forward and function properly and serve its people when we have two major political parties, and groups within those parties, who all have different understandings of what freedom means. And that’s not counting those unaffiliated with either political party who see the parties as an obstruction to freedom with their very existence and who they promote for leadership.
So what is freedom? On July 4th we think about political freedom. But there are other freedoms – freedoms that have nothing to do with politics. That’s because politics isn’t the end-all, be-all of life.
In religion we talk about freedom too. It’s freedom from sin and death. Martin Luther wrote about the freedom of a Christian – free to serve our neighbors.
Today we celebrate freedom, but what kind of freedom are we celebrating?