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4TH OF JULY Has Meaning for People Of Faith

“How should Americans view this holiday (July 4th) from a faith perspective?”

Below is my response about the question: “How should Americans view this holiday (July 4th) from a faith perspective?” - The Indianapolis Star, the largest newspaper in the State of Indiana. The article was published in slightly abbreviated format in The Indianapolis Star Faith & Values column on July 3, 2010 under the heading: “4th of July has Meaning for People of Faith”
 

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The human heart and spirit yearn for freedom of thought, liberty to hold sacred cherished traditions and values, find success and happiness that we universally strive and pray for, and celebrate major and meaningful events in our lives and in the life of our great nation.

For Americans, the Fourth of July is more than a historically significant event in American history; it is much larger: a day to rejoice and celebrate the journey of the American Republic with friends and family, to rededicate ourselves for what the holiday stands for and to strengthen our faith in the sacred ideal: " One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Generations of Americans have nurtured and advanced this great vision of our Founding Fathers. Today, many faiths, cultural communities, and people from distant lands flourish all around us. The American ideal that "All men are created equal" echoes and affirms spiritual inspiration and understanding. Countless millions extend a hand of personal friendship to one another. America lends its power and prestige to advanced and developing nations in friendship and in times of crisis.

This American innate goodness and generosity is faith and spirit driven, revealing that our values are anchored in enlightened founding principles and familiar proclamations and commandments enshrined in many faiths. People and cultures have converged in this blessed land as if by some Providential direction to create a place in which "all tribes of humanity" may prosper in peace. American tradition reminds us in the majestic Statue of Liberty to make room for those who suffer and struggle, those who dream big and help build a nation that stands as a beacon of hope to the farthest corners of the human universe. Many in desperation, others in anticipation abandon the comfort of the familiar for the uncertainty of a brighter future on a wing and prayer.

Along the journey, each wave of the modern day pioneers has transcended traditional frontiers and offered unimagined gifts to their new nation. Together we have explored welcome common perspectives, witnessed growing vitality, colorful heritages and breathtaking innovations taking shape across the American landscape to benefit all humanity.

We see this as faith and our collective hopes and visions at work here. The Fourth of July family gatherings, fireworks, and festive expressions are a celebration of our pride in each other and our intertwined destiny as a human family. The Fourth of July is a sacred day in America, yet the impact of this living manifestation of our proud history ripples across the globe. We can see the American presence on the Africa Mercy Ship in Lomé, Togo, the streets of New Delhi, or the power corridors of nations. An unmistakable cultural anchor defines our character and our celebrated secular holiday, and reminds us that today many spiritual inspirations converge and enrich our heritage and annual commemorations; that is a worthy moment to be proud of.

A very happy Fourth of July to all from Paris, France.

Kanwal Prakash Singh
Hotel Queen Mary
Paris, France

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