Independence Day has always been a time for reflection in the United States. The opportunity for the nation to collectively consider whether it has lived up to the ideals embodied in the Declaration of Independence.
Over two centuries ago, a revolution gave birth to a new nation and a new Church. But independence does not have to result in isolationism or ingratitude. Instead, we must find new ways to connect with and learn from one another.
Here's John Adams on Thomas Paine's famous 1776 pamphlet "Common Sense": "What a poor, ignorant, malicious, short-sighted, crapulous mass." Then comes Paine on Adams: "John was not born for immortality."