Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy Birthday USA - Rector's Rambling for July 2, 2017

Today we anticipate, with thanksgiving, the independence of our country.  Although July 4 is marked as the holiday, in fact it was on July 2 that independence was formally declared by the Continental Congress, but not publicly announced until a few days later (some say it was so that the signers could get out of town and avoid being arrested for treason, but this is doubtful).  The formal copy of the Declaration of Independence, signed in large script by John Hancock, was actually signed on August 2 after an original document had been sent on its way to King George.
Although there is much debate about  the religious sensibilities of our country’s founders, there is no doubt that all of them were religious in one way or another.  From Thomas Jefferson’s Masonic deism to John Adams’ New England Puritanism turned Unitarian Congregationalism, a broad spectrum of religious belief was held by those who declared these colonies free from England’s rule.
Thirty-two of the 56 signers were members of the Church of England.  This means that 57% of the signers were members of a church that had clergy who took an oath of allegiance to the King of England at their ordination!  It took some time after the Revolution for what was left of the Church of England to organize themselves into what would become the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America.
To read the Declaration is to see an acknowledgement that our liberty comes from God:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.