Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

It's Independence Day here in the U.S., celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Today America is brimming with cookouts, fireworks, and heartfelt displays of patriotism. Some Religious Right voices are also marking July 4th with online commentary.

- In a recent Washington Update commentary, the Family Research Council spoke warmly of Samuel Adams' legacy as a patriot. However, the commentary also dismissed claims that Christians are trying to impose their beliefs on others. Rather, the commentary claimed that anti-abortion and pro-marriage (read: anti-LGBT) advocacy are merely efforts at upholding the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. The right to life spoken of by anti-abortion advocates is endowed by the Creator, and heterosexual marriage is under the aegis of "nature's God," the piece argues. (See www[dot]frc[dot]org/get.cfm?i=WU11G01&f=PG07J01)

- In an excerpt from a Focus on the Family interview with Wallbuilders founder David Barton, Barton argued that the U.S. had a strong Christian heritage. The transcript excerpt is available at CitizenLink at www[dot]citizenlink[dot]com/2011/07/01/friday-five-david-barton-on-america%e2%80%99s-true-spiritual-heritage/)

- In a July 3rd talk posted at the Coral Ridge Ministries website, Dr. D. James Kennedy described religious liberty as the most important liberty enjoyed by Americans. Such religious liberty, he claimed, is under attack, as atheists and humanists allegedly see Christianity as a huge obstacle to their takeover of the world (!). (See www[dot]coralridge[dot]org/medialibrary/default.aspx?mediaID=CRH1127_S)

When Religious Right voices try to associate America's quintessential identity with Christianity, it leaves little room for inclusion or pluralism. In a country with such rich religious diversity, to reduce American identity to right-wing Christianity is to deny that identity to millions of non-Christians. As Infidel753 eloquently observes, America does not just belong to those with a certain set of beliefs, but to all Americans, regardless of religion.

This Independence Day, let's express gratitude for the many freedoms we enjoy, including freedom of religion. Let's celebrate the diversity that makes us a rich and vibrant country.

For additional commentary, visit the following links.

Huffington Post: A Religious Reflection for Independence Day, 2011

CNN: Why the U.S. is not a Christian nation

Infidel753: Independence Day Post: This Land Is Our Land

Killing the Buddha: An American Eden, Dead on the Fourth of July


  1. Excellent post!

    I resent the efforts of the Religious Right to marginalize those of us who are not Evangelical Christians. This is indeed a good day to remember that the country belongs to all of us.

  2. Thanks for the link!

    Such religious liberty, he claimed, is under attack, as atheists and humanists allegedly see Christianity as a huge obstacle to their takeover of the world

    Atheists are taking over the world? Why wasn't I told? I'm not greedy -- can I just get a nice little county somewhere on the west coast as my share to rule over?:-)

  3. PS -- You might want to remove the "#links" from the end of the URL in the links to my posts. Clicking on the links goes to the end of the comment thread, not to the top of the post.

  4. Paul -- Yes. This is every American's country, and it does not belong to one religious group alone.

    Infidel753 -- No one told me either about the sinister world takeover, and I'm mad! Why wasn't I included in the fun?

    I'll correct that hyperlink. Thanks.

  5. Speak for yourselves. I have every intention of taking over the world and forcing all Christians to work in retail.

    //removing tongue from cheek//

  6. Cognitive Dissenter -- Retail! That's RUTHLESS! But I guess it would stimulate the economy, so it's not all that bad.

  7. As usual, when the RR extols "religious freedom" they mean for their beliefs, and not those of others.

  8. Donna -- That pretty much sums it up. The religious freedom of non-fundamentalists never appears on the radar.

  9. I think it's true that the United States has a strong Christian heritage. When I go there, I never fail to find the strong devotees.

    I disagree in that such heritage is a good thing. It is an unfortunate truth, in my opinion. But if we told that to the saints, we would be burned at the stick.

  10. Exfundy -- Aye, Christianity has played a role in America's heritage. What troubles me about fundamentalists is that they ignore the place of other groups in our heritage, and try to make their version of Christianity quintessential to American indentity. Aspects of our heritage that contradict their vision, such as separation of church and state, are conveniently ignored.


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