Jesus and the 4th of July

By: Autumn Elizabeth

This may be God’s country, but this is my country too, move over, Mr. Holiness and let the little people through. –  from”God’s Country” by Ani Difranco 

American independence day has always been a hard holiday for me. Don’t  get me wrong, I love fireworks and most days, I even love America, but when I go to church that raises the American flag, or see 4th of July services, I get a little worried.

I’ve read the bible a good bit and part of the reason I think Jesus is such a radical guy is because he puts the little people in front of government, so much so he was killed for it.

Yet, I see lots of people in America, and other parts of the world, trying to join Christianity and government. I see a lot of the debate about gay rights, reproductive rights, women’s rights from religious perspectives.  But how would Jesus feel about this?

I wonder if Jesus would be comfortable with his followers aligning themselves with any government or political movement. For me, I am a christian first and then an american, but this doesn’t mean i need to make america a christian nation. Quite the opposite actually. I am bound as a follower of Jesus to align myself with those the government has shoved aside, with the folks who are not rich, powerful or seen on T.V.

I had a friend recently post their 4th of July plans to take care of veterans, I and thought “YES”. If Jesus were an american celebrating 4th of July, I think he would be at a soup kitchen, or taking a bunch of orphans to a fireworks show.

My wish for this 4th of July is that more Christians work on creating a nation of Christians instead of a Christian nation.  I for one think Jesus would rather be the leader of a border-less group of people who love everyone, than president of the United States of America.