Flag Day was my grandfather’s birthday. Born as he was in the last years of the 1890s, he lived to 102 and to see a world of horse-and-buggy to an age of space exploration. We too are experiencing an amazing pace of change. My grandfather also lived through the Depression—and now we will be able to say we lived through the Pandemic of 2020 and an insurrection in 2021. As glad as we are that our news has calmed down again, we know that the times we are living in are not without their conundrums.
One of the stories that slipped into our feeds this week was the one about how 100 scholars of democracy had signed a statement that spoke to their fears about threats to US democracy. They suggest that we cannot afford not to watch the incursions on democracy which are more ongoing and not tied to a limited set of incidents. Democracy and its fragility was very much on my heart as I thought about our service on July 4th weekend. It seems to me that time spent thinking about our flawed and yet precious form of governance needs not to be reserved for holidays.
Just as some religious traditions entertain particular periods for contemplation such as Lent or Ramadan, perhaps we who care so deeply about democracy should spend some of the space between Flag Day and July 4th reflecting on what we are willing to do to preserve voting as a right of all.
You can read more about this statement here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltnietzel/2021/06/01/more-than-100-scholars-issue-warning-that-american-democracy-is-in-danger-call-for-federal-reforms/?sh=3ec0043026f7 and a link to the actual statement is here.