Danny Glover performs Frederick Douglass' famous speech. 

While I love fireworks and cookouts as much as the next person, and will be enjoying food, friends and family today, I refuse to allow patriotic sentimentality to overshadow the hypocrisy of the United States. Where independence and freedom were proclaimed, dependence on African slavery persisted. As Jesus was preached in this land, everything that Jesus taught against was practiced. So, no, I don't celebrate the independence of the United States. In fact, the United Kingdom formally ended slavery decades before the United States did, and only after a deadly and violent internal war. As my pastor preached yesterday, it is not time to proclaim our independence where we find comfort in our own prosperity, military power, and political manuevering, but instead we must proclaim our dependence on God. Where God is present, and where the reign of God is manifested visibly, in such a place one can find true and perfect peace. 

How do you navigate valuing the United States as your home while remaining honest about what it has meant for millions of people (especially Native Americans and Black Americans)?

Drew G. I. Hart

Drew G. I. Hart is an author and professor in theology and ethics. His blog Taking Jesus Seriously is hosted by the Century.

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