I share some of your misgivings about how Independence Day has moved from its origins and spirits. That would include other popular holidays; Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've lived long enough to see a few former important holidays corrupted, denigrated and discarded onto the trash heap for the purpose of revising history with little debate, if any at all; Columbus Day, Washington's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday. I was intrigued by four interesting facets extracted from this blog.
1. Distortion and usurpation of our celebrations. How our holidays have been commercialized that can diminish the spirit of these wonderful holidays.
Is Easter only about chocolate rabbits, jelly beans and marshmallow peeps? Though known as a Christian holiday recognizing the resurrection of Christ, it also falls suspiciously near enough to the beginning of Spring.
Thanksgiving is fairly straightforward. Celebrate and give thanks for the bountiful harvest before the coming of winter. We have had large dinners with family and friends and it is a great excuse to catch up and enjoy their company. But look at its companion holiday, Black Friday. Its not a racial term, but rather a business term. Its supposed to mark a time of sales where businesses go from the red (loss) to black (profits). This in and of itself is not a bad thing, but it has become a little overdone by merchants and customers alike. Nothing like watching a brawl break out at a shopping mall in the news.
Christmas was sold as a celebration of the birth of Christ. Falls kinda close to the beginning of winter! I view it as more of a celebration of the coming of spring as we had just passed the dead of winter and the longest night; at least in the northern hemisphere. It was a time for another family feast with family and friends. Early on, gift were primarily for the young. Christmas too has been commercialized. Not bad but overdone. I remember at time when it was expected that gifts were given and received. Evolving for a brief period; when you would 'draw' a name of a person (family, friend, co-worker) and be responsible for getting them a gift. I'm glad that the last two tradition died out by unanimous consent. Breaking bread with family and friends is a much better reason.
A few holidays have all but disappeared locally and don't seem to be taught in US History as once they were.
Columbus Day celebrated an explore to the New World and often associated with the discovery of America. Aside from the legitimate questions of who discovered America, his name and reputation has been tarnished with accusations of extreme cruelty to those around him. Humans aren't perfect and the world was a very different place. The captain was the law for the most part. He may not have even owned the ship, but was responsible to bring it back in one piece. I think it was the first more recent attempt to scrub history, but I digress.
We used to celebrate both Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in America. Lincoln was associated with the American Civil War and more loosely with the end of slavery. George Washington a general in the American Revolution that eventually lead to the America many were familiar with. He was also the first president of the United States. There have been attempts to unfairly tarnish his reputation as he had slaves, but there is more to that story that historical revisionist would want to reveal as it wouldn't fit a less than honest agenda.
I hope these holidays will be reintroduced in the future.
2. Loss of the historical significance of Independence Day.
Independence Day is a celebration of the first move toward independence from the British crown after many years of attempting to redress the differences between the colonist and England. The crown was indifferent to the trials and tribulation of a people months away by sea and continued to interfere with new ideas concerning people governing themselves. Such an idea was sparked by the Mayflower Compact; Where future Americans had their first brush with socialism/communism. The commune system was a complete failure and nearly destroyed a colony in Massachusetts. I am not a practicing Christian, but these links provide a decent synopsis.
The blog left out all of the escalating grievances that were presented in the Declaration of Independence and the fact that the 'trigger' was pulled when the British attempted to disarm the colonist in Lexington and Concord. Good thing we had our own experienced warriors of British descent. The colonist understood British tactics. The British soon learned weren't fighting thieve and cutthroats after all.
After the American Revolution was won. We did not immediately have a government. In fact, we started with the Articles of Confederation. They were very quickly judged a failure. As I loosely understand it. The central government had little power and could only function if all of the states could agree and enforce what was passed. Just look at today's government and see how easy it is to get us 50% of the vote. You get the picture. The state were a little wary of any strong central government as they just fought a bloody revolution against a strong central power.
But as a new form of needed. So the Constitution with the bill of rights was born. The founders went to work, busily researching, discussing and debating what the next form of government should be. They had to look at former styles of governing; looking at the weaknesses and the strengths. High and Low. When the dust settled. I remember learning of something Benjamin Franklin said to a woman who asked him what form of government they would get. He replied, loosely, a representative Republic, if you can keep it. You see, the founders knew that since man had his strengths and weaknesses. Power needed to be concentrated but separated. The individual was king and self governance would be a must and would required a just, compasionate, independent people to make it all work. Its not about the fireworks, the food or the football games. But read on....
3. How was Independence Day originally celebrated?
Listen to John Adams....
The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more
How about Jefferson....
In June of 1826, Thomas Jefferson sent a letter to Roger C. Weightman, declining an invitation to come to Washington, D.C. to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. It was the last letter that Jefferson, who was gravely ill, ever wrote. In it, Jefferson says of the document:
“May it be to the world, what I believe it will be ... the signal of arousing men to burst the chains ... and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. ...For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."
- Thomas Jefferson
June 24, 1826 Monticello
Such men of passion...
Interesting both Adams, Jefferson and James Monroe all dies on July 4th.
I do realize that Teal and others of her generation, likely never had exposure to this information. I do remember that many a canon were made inoperable,for the public safety ... or course (sarcasm) over the years. Some of those canons are still around if you know where to look. I do remember getting to sit in a tank at the local park. (Some soldier got into trouble for forgetting to lock down the turrent.) LOL. They brought them in by trailer escorted by jeeps with 60 caliber machine guns. They even fired a few blanks from the machine guns of the jeeps along the parade route. You were able to get a brass casing as a souvenir. Careful the casings are hot. In our local area, there also used to be reenactments. History before your eyes. There were also musket cap guns and sparklers for sale. Alas. The sane days have long since passed where learning about history has passed. Afraid of people deciding for themselves? Afraid of people who mistreat cap guns and sparklers. Miss some of those days.
4. The age old circular arguments of Vegan vs. Omnivore.
Hear are some note of my continuing analysis of Vegan versus Omnivore. There was 'something' not quite right about the 'passion without fire' enmity between both points of view. As you can see, its a very very old debate. There are side in both Christianity and Buddism if you care to research it.
Dueling Gospel Traditions — Pro-Meat and Pro-Veg
Jesus ate meat. And Jesus ate fish.
For the Easter meal (Passover), where people ate lamb, Jesus had His disciples make preparations: “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” (Jesus in Luke 22:8; NIV)
This is what we read about the resurrected Jesus: “he asked them, ‘Do you have anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.” (Luke chapter 24, verses 41-43; NIV).
1)Jesus was not a vegetarian. The Bible records Jesus eating fish (Luke 24:42-43) and lamb (Luke 22:8-15). 21).
2)In a vision to the apostle Peter, Jesus declared all foods to be clean, including animals (Acts 10:10-15).
3)After the flood in Noah's time, God gave humanity permission to eat meat (Genesis 9:2-3). God has never rescinded this permission...
When Jesus appeared to His disciples, who had spent the night fishing on the Sea of Galilee, on the shore of the water, He prepared fish on a charcoal fire: “When they had disembarked, they saw a charcoal fire on the ground and fish placed on it and bread (next to it). Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught!'” (John 21:9; NLT).
Here is a reference of some people debating whether Jesus was a vegetarian.
If He was, then He was no savior.
Let’s look at the Passover: it involved killing a lamb, cooking it, then eating it. The Passover was referred to as “sacrificed”, e.g. Paul says “our passover has been sacrificed”, which refers to the lamb. The Passover is spoken of as being “eaten”, and that isn’t a generic reference to the whole meal, but to the lamb. If there wasn’t a lamb that was sacrificed and eaten, it wasn’t a Passover.
Indeed anyone who did not eat of the lamb was cut off from Israel! In the original Passover, it wasn’t just putting the blood on the doorposts, it was eating the lamb that protected the Israelites — blood on the doorpost meant nothing without the blood being inside them due to eating the meat.
So if Jesus was a vegetarian, He was no longer part of Israel, and no savior. At the very least, then, Jesus ate meat thirty-some times, once a year at the Passover.
But that’s not all: many sacrifices involved offering part of a killed animal on the altar, and then eating the rest of it. Thus feast days were generally also “meat days”. If Jesus had refused to eat meat at those times, he would have been disobedient to his parents — and as just another sinner, he would have been no savior.
The feast part is revealing, though: meat wasn’t cheap, so it tended to be for special occasions. So while Jesus was no vegetarian, neither did He consume meat the way modern Americans and others do, practically every day and not just at one meal; we probably eat more meat in a week than He did in a year.
One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:2–4).
On such issues, each of us stands before the Lord to give his own account. Don’t become lords, judging each other on this issue. That’s the main message. Then he says, “I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died” (Romans 14:14–16).
Finally, he says, “Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble” (Romans 14:20–21).
Don’t cause a brother to stumble into sin and destruction by what you eat. That’s not love. In Paul’s mind, the issue of vegetarian versus meat eater is not an issue of health. It’s not an issue of attaining the ideal of pre-fall or post-sin eschatological conditions. It is an issue of love. In that sense, it’s a great issue, but in only that sense. It’s not a great issue in and of itself.
These third paragraph above, loosely, comes the closest to where I philosophically stand. I treat plant, animal and mineral equally. Would you pet a rabid dog infected with rabies? Hard questions? Some further thought experiments.
1. Everybody is not alike. Differing dietary needs sometimes dictated by genetic, historical culture and local plants and animals. To demonstrate:
Lets say everyone is restricted to 10 miles from your current location. What would you have to do to survive. This includes those currently at sea. It not easy to answer that, is it? We live in a modern world that could be sent to the Dark Age with a powerful CME.
2. Could it be that Adam and Eve did not know of death, nor any of the creatures withing the garden. For that matter there were no children either? Until the fall when they took the first bite. A new awakening, like puberty. Knowledge of good and evil and a loss of innocence? Or an awakening and expansion. They get kicked out of the garden, know death and birth. Creation and Destruction. Symbolic of the resistance and symbiosis of the two?
Enough for my evening..... further pondering in progress.......