The 4th has come. A day to celebrate independence which always comes with interdependence (though we do not mention that). Here's to singularity and standing up for your beliefs. Here is to compromise, to listening and not talking. Here's to thinking and measured response. Here is to valuing all opinions, and being open to change.
I am always struck that to so many, "Being American" signifies a rigor around what is right and wrong...something very analog, very black and white, something that doesn't have edges, but issues and ideas that are cleanly broken into the answer and the question. We are either pro-abortion or anti-abortion. We love everyone or hate everyone. There are haters (but no polarities there) but there are no lovers. We approve or disapprove. The concept of a spectrum of understanding, of belief or philosophy is not "being American" but something irrational and insane.
Watching the largest group of presidential contenders being fielded--points up this thought--and I am dumbstruck to think that any of these men (yes, folks--they are men...there is a woman in there for "shits and giggles" but not someone to fear or be competitive with) live such a bi-polar existence or right and wrong, yes or no, oatmeal or eggs, tea or coffee, awake or asleep--life. It seems at odds with how we are as functioning beings, that this limited, approved and market-tested view on any topic can be a way to embrace one's beliefs. This approach may appear to be the "safe" road to travel, but it is the most heinous and frightening. Yes, it is predictable--but so limited and slim an channel, that very few can navigate it..and leaves many of us out of the process of being engaged and included.
We have so much promise, opportunity, energy, people and treasure. Why can't be be wise enough to take everyone on that journey. It will be far more interesting--and to my thinking, far more Christ-like to embrace the whole and not the privileged few. Aren't those privileged few those that we escaped in our Independence? Must we revolt again?