The 4th of July can be a wonderful time … fireworks, parades, picnics; decorations of red, white, and blue; a summer day spent with friends and family. Independence Day, the 4th of July, is a great holiday, an opportunity for rest, refreshment, and renewal.
But the maintenance of the republic whose birth we celebrated two days ago … that is no holiday, but an ongoing and challenging task. William Sloane Coffin was ordained in the Presbyterian Church, was one of our great preachers and was also known as a peace activist. During the civil rights movement, Coffin, then the chaplain at Yale University, put it well when he said,
“Democracy is a form of government that demands more virtue of its citizens than any other form of government, but I do not think we can say that democracy guarantees that the virtue will be exercised.” … Read full sermon here (PDF)