Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Five: A Day of Independence

The Rev Pat has posted a  Friday Five that has a belated Fourth of July theme.  But since we cover many other countries we need to open the idea of Independence. 

In honor of the 237th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence  I invite you to participate in today's Independence Day edition of the Friday Five! We'll be looking at all kinds of "independence," so please join in!

1. How does one typically celebrate your native /adopted land's Big National Holiday?

Since I was small, the Fourth of July meant gathering with neighbors for a cook out and watching fireworks or setting off one's own.  This continues to be the way that people celebrate the Fourth in small town USA. There is usually a parade in which local residents and vets get to parade. But in the city we generally don't know our neighbors and we have been here too short of time to to be able to invite them for a BBQ.  Picnics are the general theme for July 4th but in TX it is a bit too warm to really enjoy being outside all day. Then there are usually fireworks in the evening.

2. How do you personally celebrate the holiday described in #1? Any unusual twists on the typical celebration? Is it something you enjoy or endure?

Yesterday J and I enjoyed reading, gardening and having a steak grilled outside and POTATO SALAD--a
necessary component for a Fourth celebration. It was quite quiet in our neighborhood.  After sundown I did hear some fireworks going off.  J watched the fireworks on TV but fireworks are quite hazardous in TX due to drought conditions.  The police patrol pretty carefully to keep the possibility of fires down.  

3. What does the word "independence" mean to you, whether in a political or personal mood? How has that understanding changed throughout your life?

Independence and freedom go pretty much together for me.  I grew up after WWII and knew the cost of freedom from the vets who lived in our neighborhood.  My father had been a bit too old for the draft and had worked for a business that supported the war and did not have to serve.  But many of the fathers of my playmates had served in the Pacific.  They never talked about their experiences but every Christmas we joined one family to drink to his buddies who never returned.  He was the only one in his group that returned from the battles in jungles of the Pacific.  The 'unsaid' spoke volumes about the cost of freedom.  

Independence meant that we were our own country.  It wasn't until I
worked as a missionary in Mexico in the early 70's that I found about the reality of the US involvement in the government of other nations.  It was when Allende was murdered in Chile that my 'red-white-blue' patriotism began to shift.  It was also during the Vietnam war when we were so badly led that I began to stand in the hermenutic of suspicion that I continue to stand in today.  This does not mean that I am not patriotic--I still cry when they play the Star-Spangled Banner at the Olympics.  But I am much more uncomfortable with the type of jingoism that has been used of late and most of all, the co-option of religious principles by those who have conflated faith and patriotism.

4. When did you first feel that you, personally, had gained independence? Was there a 'rite of passage' you would like to share?

Perhaps the first time was when I moved away from home and to the college dorm (which was perhaps more restrictive that my home had ever been.)  But I had to make my own decisions and that was the most liberating thing I had ever done.  But the most liberation I have ever known was when I finally surrendered to Christ.  THAT changed my life so radically that patriotism isn't that important to me.  The globalism of faith is much more important.  I am much more interested in what I have in common with people from other countries through faith.  The other
time was when I was outed by a colleague in 2003.  I refused to deny my being lesbian even though it cost me my parish. I figured that if Bishop Robinson had to wear a flack jacket in order to be consecrated bishop, I could damned well claim who I was.   

5. Tell us about your favorite "indie" film, music label, book store...

I had to look up what 'indie' meant.  I don't listen to popular music.  I am a classical music buff so I listen to classical all the time.  If the classical music station is not available to me I will sometimes listen to a little country and
western but I don't know what is 'indie' and what isn't.  I don't buy tunes.  

I don't go to enough movies to know what is 'indie' and what isn't.  I do like documentaries that I watch on PBS.  

Bonus Question: Is there a time you remember going "against the tide" of advice or precedent, or in some other way? Or perhaps a time you wish you had done so? Share it here!

My whole life!!  I am a priest in an unchurched family.  I am a lesbian that isn't 'in the life' and have lived with a straight gal for almost 40 years!  I have supported civil rights for persons of color since I was a child refusing to drink at 'white' drinking fountains during Jim Crow days.  I went to Selma but did not march because I was afraid. J. went to Selma and did march.  Her boyfriend, Jonathan Daniels, was murdered there for doing voter's registration in Alabama.  Freedom is not just something abstract to us.  That the Voter Registration Act has been overturned in our lifetimes means that Freedom is still just for certain people--not all.  Discrimination is still  alive and well.  But the young no longer listen to us.  We are experiencing the most dastardly discrimination of our whole lives these days.  The discrimination of older people.  It is quite disturbing.  


Teri said...

I'm listening!

Thanks for your blog, your witness, and your faithfulness. I'm glad to know you!

Rev. Pat Raube said...

Thanks, +Muthah, for your play, which really sets some historical context for your understanding of citizenship, patriotism, and, yes, independence. So grateful for all you've share and for who you are.