Sunday, July 04, 2010

Thoughts on July 4th

I have been thinking lately about how fortunate we all are to be living in country where we have the freedoms we do. I was joking with Merilee that we will probably get a lot of politics couched as patriotism during Sacrament Meeting today and that I should probably get up and say how fortunate we are to live in a country where everyone is allowed to voice their opinion, no matter how misguided and uniformed it may be. Most of the people I know would probably take that as a not-too-subtle dig at the 'opposition', but I would know that it would be directed at the empty rhetoric I have been hearing entirely too much of lately. At least I would get a good personal laugh out of it. I would never do that, however, because I honestly feel there is no place for that in church and testimonies should speak of Christ and how we feel about him, not about anything even remotely political.

Though I often feel out of place in my current political environment, I do love our country. I have spent some time abroad in Sweden and I have seen what life can be like there. While they are by no means oppressed, there is just something different there. I can see it in my kids and some of their attitudes as they become adults. I am always glad to return home, back where I know I am allowed to speak my mind and I have the freedom to live my life as I see fit.

I also love the amazing natural beauty we are blessed with here, especially in the West. Anyone who knows me can tell you how much the natural beauty around us means to me. It is something precious that I feel must be protected. I spend time in nature to help rejuvenate; to escape the demands of everyday life and get in touch with the essence of what makes me who I am. I fear that many of these irreplaceable treasures, especially here in Utah, will be traded for the expediency of fulfilling the short-sighted demands of those who would use the land only for what they can take from it. Would our time not be better spent looking for and focusing on resources that are renewable and less destructive, while preserving the natural places that cannot be replaced if we destroy them in the name of energy or wealth? Call me a tree-hugger if you will. I am proud to align myself with the "greenies" that people like Rush Limbaugh hold in such disdain. The land we live in is a gift from God and I truly believe we will be held accountable for what we do with that gift. In another country, I may not have even had the chance to support causes that help protect the land because the government would do whatever it wanted.

So Happy Birthday USA! May we always remain free and may the great public discourse that is democracy continue for all generations to come. Long may freedom ring!

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