Happy Birthday, USA! 

For many of us living in the center of the continental United States, this Independence Day comes among new worries and uncertainties. Anyone who lives in farm country knows the markets have grown unexpectedly treacherous and volatile, while social and economic divisions sometimes seem to have opened into yawning chasms.

Yet the quest for freedom that formed this nation remains an important value today–and it is one we dare not take for granted. This is because anytime the freedoms and prerogatives of one group seem to trample those of another, our liberty, our freedom, the very fabric of our national ethos is in peril.

We will not find prosperity, nor security, nor freedom, as long as the needs and rights of the most vulnerable among us are trampled in the name of a more dominant group’s comfort.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Freedom Quotes on Facebook and BBC News, for this image and quotation from Liu Xiaobo.