If you know me, you'll know that I probably won't take a particular party's stance on anything. Instead, if I were to compare our current political climate to anything it would be children (yes, children) in the marketplace (only these children would never deign themselves to enter the marketplace until reelection time rolls around) yelling at one another, "We played the flute for you, and you didn't dance. We wailed and you did not mourn."
The Daily Show, as always, portrays this childish back and forth quite well.
All of this, with The 4th of July upon us as well, has me thinking about the difference between Independence and Freedom. We celebrate the 4th with its official title, Independence Day, to our detriment. Before you accuse me of being one of those anti-American Episcopal priests, let me explain.
Though the fight in 1776 was to gain our independence from the crown, our goal was not, at least I don't think, to isolate ourselves in an individualist utopia. That is to say, moreso now than ever, independence is impossible. As the world grows flat and the economy is increasingly global in scale, we are more dependent on more people than ever before. Over the past 200 or so years, we have bastardized the Gospel to make it about independence rather than about freedom.
Jesus never offered independence. He offered a yoke, that is, by its very nature, an instrument of dependence. Jesus did, however, offer freedom. His yoke is gentle, his burden is light. The freedom Jesus offers is by way of loosing the bondage of sin. He wants us to be free to be in right relationship. Free to be dependent, you might say. Oxymoronic, sure, but truer to the message of the Kingdom than either the "I'm OK, you're OK" message of the left or the "Personal salvation" hope of the right.
Now, all I need to do is throw this all away and find something that will preach. Here sermon, sermon, sermon!