6th July 2022

I am writing this on 4 July, celebrated as Independence Day in the United States of America. On 2 July 1776, the thirteen British colonies in North America voted for independence; to be no longer subjects of British monarch George III; to be free from British rule. Two days later they adopted the Declaration of Independence, outlining how they planned to organise this task.

The former British colonies had partly been formed by those fleeing Britain, seeking freedom to practise their own version of the Christian faith. In the nineteenth century, millions from all over Europe became economic migrants to the USA as they escaped from poverty and sought freedom of opportunity there. About the same time millions of others who had been transported from Africa against their will were just beginning their long road to freedom within the American model. Recent changes in federal law have allowed individual states to be free to make abortion illegal, and put more restrictions on all Americans regarding firearms, which many Americans feel strongly they should be free to carry.

Our experience of Covid has taught us valuable lessons in how dependent we are on each other in so many different ways. War in Ukraine has robbed people across the world of everyday essentials. Strikes remind us how much we rely on others for the normal things of life. Global warming tells us that if we do not work together, we are doomed.

To be separate from others is not an option; international commerce and finance make being independent from others impossible. Co-dependence is the order of the day; co-operation is our future.

Dave Bell