The 4th of July Christian-Activist Dilemma
The 4th of July is a hard one for me. On this day we celebrate U.S. independence from England in 1776. Yet, if I lived at that time as a Chinese-Mexican I would be considered less than human. My Mexican side might have been able to finagle its way into U.S. society on a limited basis, but my Chinese side, forget about it.
And for my Native American and African American friends the 4th of July is even much more troubling. The entire U.S. nation(with limited exception such as Rhode Island which was purchased in a relatively fair way) is founded upon stolen land. Even worse, much of it was stolen on the twisted theological grounds of Manifest Destiny, or the idea that God had given Anglos the right to seize the land.
If my Black friends were living at the time of our nation's founding, they would be considered chattle.
This is the 4th of July Christian-Activist dilemma. As a follower of Jesus I know that God made people of every nation equally, and distinctively in His image (Genesis 1:27: "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them"), and yet, the U.S., for the vast majority of its history has not treated People of Color according to this biblical truth.
As an alternative celebration of the 4th, my friends and I have celebrated what we call the Freedom Ride. (Yes, we did rip off the name from the Civil Rights Freedom Rides which are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. I don't think Rev. Martin Luther King would mind). For the Freedom Ride we drive around to historic sites of racial struggle throughout the city of L.A.--e.g., the sites of the Watts and Rodney King Civil Unrest, the Santa Anita Race tracks which were Japanese internment camps during WWII, etc. At these sites we reflect upon the historic events through the lens of biblical justice and pray for healing. Why don't you and friends create your own Freedom Ride this year?
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36.
Thankful that Jesus is the God of Freedom,
P.S., our next Jesus for Revolutionaries event will be Saturday, July 12 in L.A. Topic: The Congo Genocide. http://www.jesusforrevolutionaries.org/gather/upcoming-events/