July 4, 2022

On this Independence Day, we placed our American flag in front of our house as we do every year.

Despite the fact that there is much to bemoan about our country at this point in time and much to fear as we look to the future, we still proudly display the flag. For, as so many have written so eloquently over the past few days, our country is worth believing in and working for.

Over the past few weeks, decisions by the Supreme Court have codified into law the direction that the United States has been moving in for the past few years. While not surprised, I am still shocked by the rulings in the matters of Roe v. Wade, gun possession, regulations intended to address the climate crisis and, as I discuss in my podcast to be posted this coming Thursday, the public school prayer decision. (wrestlinganddreaming.podbean.com)

Each of these rulings have been so horribly upsetting to so many and, in fact, in some cases, the majority of Americans clearly disagree with the direction the court has taken. This fact, in and of itself, should deeply concern us for the future (but also should provide us some hope).

In addition, as more details emerge about the January 6 insurrection and more political candidates embrace the lie about election fraud, we appropriately fear what actions might surround the mid-term elections and the 2024 Presidential election.

There is so much to fear.

But, there is hope.

The hope lies in those of us who disagree with the direction of the court and reject those who continue to raise doubts about election integrity and who refuse to follow the lead of those who are moving in this country to disenfranchise others and to act as a nation without compassion or concern for equal justice. We must continue to raise our voices and continue to work for a different direction in our country.

In his second inaugural address, President Lincoln spoke the immortal words: “With malice towards none, with charity towards all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds”.

There were many who questioned how he could have said these words when there were such sharp divisions in the nation and the wounds were not bound up neatly by any means.

Similarly today, it is hard to imagine how we might show enough lack of malice and enough charity and compassion attitudes to work to bring our nation together when the divisions are so deep. But, we can’t give up on the United States of America. We must speak loudly and clearly and seek common ground where it can be found to move away from extremism and to work together to the extent possible to repair this nation.

We must all continue to be proud in the hope our flag symbolizes.

May we all bring the spirit of hope to all we do in the days to come.

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