Monday, July 05, 2010

fifth of july

i found this fishy flag in the window of a pasadena art gallery.  what an interesting symbol.  i wish i knew more about the artist's intention.

i hope you all had a wonderful family and firework filled fourth.  there is so much about this country that i struggle with - yet it is my current home, and it can be a wonderful place to live and learn.

i'm a canadian-american with ties to several african nations, and deep european roots.  i come from a faith tradition that has been persecuted and tormented, and yet in pasadena, a person with such mixed background can find relative freedom to live almost as i wish - especially compared to some other parts of the world.

yet i'm also painfully aware of how frequently our military might, power, political decisions, boundaries, and money have abused and destroyed the fabric of our world.  certainly the usa is not alone its destructive forces - yet it was with mixed feelings that i "celebrated" independence day.  one very touching moment was when our church congregation sang this incredible hymn (audio here).

i hope that wherever you were yesterday, you were blessed with both joy and discomfort.


Petrea said...

Well put, Ben. And yes, it seems I always am.

Bellis said...

As a Brit, I second that, Ben. I often wonder about the emphasis here on being "the land of the free." We're all free in Canada, Australia, and Britain, we also have free health care, and you can't buy your way into politics with heavy spending on TV ads. But thank goodness the good-hearted people of the US came to the rescue in the Second World War - that's the kind of America I love.

ben wideman said...

Great point Bellis. Although I feel like WWII is often used as a crutch. The pacifist in me wonders how a war like that ever happened - why didn't peaceful people step in and prevent Germany from falling to Hitler? The just war theorist in me wonders why the USA didn't join the campaign much much earlier.

These are subjects that we could debate all day.

Dirk said...

I try to focus on the joy--after all, it's just a birthday party, it should be innocent and fun and nothing more. The discomfort is very much there the other 364 days of the year.