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The Fourth of July

We declare our independence; we pledge our allegiance; we treasure our freedom. These mark our identity as Americans, and we reflect on that identity with pride. And, as people who also believe in God, we pause especially on this day to give thanks for those precious and hard-fought gifts. But as we do, we also become aware of another set of standards. As citizens, we declare our independence – but as those baptized into Christ, we declare our deeper dependence upon God. To insist on our own independence is to repeat the same mistake that humanity has been making ever since the Garden of Eden. We pledge allegiance to a flag – but we pledge our ultimate allegiance, not to any flag or country,