In honor of Independence Day, I thought I'd share some fragments from the English poet, artist and visionary William Blake's "America: a Prophecy." In these days of putrefying empire, it is enlightening to recall that the uprising by the good burgers of this continent against the king in the old country (Albion) was once hailed as a portent of human liberation.
I'm currently in New England where this old vision (1793) of America as a beacon of liberty has slightly more resonance it they might among the malls of most of the country. But here too the yeoman vision of the founders seems mostly a quaint curiosity to be marketed to tourists. And the equation of that uprising with the risen Christ seems a mockery when "Christianity" has been appropriated by war-worshipping apostles of Americanism and repression.
I am particularly struck by Blake's lines
"Till pity is become a trade, and generosity a science,
That men get rich by, & the sandy desart is giv'n to the strong..."
Was he anticipating the non-profit sector?
My rector has pointed out that the collect (prayer) for today urges "a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance" -- that seems about right.