This is the Fourth of July weekend. Yesterday a friend and I drove to my brother’s house where the three of us enjoyed the traditional barbeque to celebrate the holiday. We talked a bit about the food that we each prepared for the feast – the ingredients, the freshness, the fact that much of it was grown locally. Then, like all leisurely conversations, it segued into a related topic, genetically engineered produce – which products – strawberries, tomatoes, corn – the impact of bees, the impact on people, etc. None of us approved of genetically engineered corn as that process is killing bees while no one seems to know for certain how it effects humans. None of us are in the fields of botany, anatomy or economics. Our information comes from articles in print and documentaries on visual media. With our limited knowledge, we agreed that economics was the driving force behind the engineering in the name of “helping to feed the world”, the words of Monsanto, the giant seed producing company. We did not come up with any new ideas on how to stop Monsanto, nor how to better feed the world.

By the time we reached dessert, we began talking about gratitude. We were all grateful that through no input of our own, we were born in the United States. Yes, we lamented the fact that religious liberties, guaranteed by the Constitution were under attack. And, the fact that the number of people in the work force actually working was equivalent to the number working in 1977.
The diminishing of bees, of organized religion and of jobs in the United States will effect future generations, just as World War II, the Civil Rights Movement ( race, women and gays), and The Pill effected our generation. Of course we hope that future generations will have the skills, leadership and courage to counter any lessening of the power of the Constitution. Nevertheless, we agreed that we are grateful to live in the United States of America. We did nothing to deserve to be born here. We may be doing less than we should to deserve it. But, we are grateful to be American citizens. May God continue to bless America, whether we deserve it or not.

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