The Archbishop’s encyclical for Independence Day – July 4th – was disappointing. There was no mention of the number 240. Archbishop Demetrios spoke about “liberty in Christ” as follows:
“Our liberty in Christ is freedom from the captivity of death. This liberty is given to us as a gift from God. Through the power of His Resurrection, His power to create and give life, our Lord frees us from the chains of death, into the perfect liberty of salvation.”
However, the liberty that was gained 240 years ago has nothing to do with “liberty in Christ.” Jesus had no involvement in it. It has to do with political liberty and national independence and was the result of a difficult struggle by the colonists against England. A lot of blood was shed to gain the freedom that all of us enjoy today. But the Archbishop left out even the slightest mention of the heroic fighters or those individuals who wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence with their wisdom and strong patriotism. These two historical texts are masterpieces that embody the desire for a life of liberty, peace, and happiness.
And of course, the encyclical offers no “thanks you,” no expression of gratitude for the opportunity given to Greek immigrants to build a better life for themselves and form the Church headed by Archbishop Demetrios.