Friday, July 1, 2011
Health Care and July 4th
During the hot summer of 1776, when representatives from the colonies stood resolute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and put their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor all on the line, the country was bracing for war. When the last of 52 signatures were penned on the Declaration of Independence, those men announced to a waiting public, and to the world, that Americans were a free and independent people and no longer captive to a British monarch over 3,000 miles away. Bells tolled, huzzahs sounded, and America moved toward what would be a long, bloody struggle against an overwhelming force. Yet, with divine Providence, the nation survived intact and won our freedom against seemingly insurmountable odds.
Fast forwarding to 2011, our nation once again faces huge issues that would seem to tear apart the fabric that holds it together--political, spiritual, financial, and moral. Now, more than ever, Americans must focus on the importance of our singular spirit and what makes our nation great. Too often, families are torn asunder by strife. A multitude of pressures force men and women into impossible circumstances, creating stress that sometimes blows up homes and lives. Those topics that not long ago were taboo to discuss are now flaunted without regard to consequence, and America faces enemies both foreign and domestic.
More than just a fun weekend or day to shoot off fireworks and enjoy backyard barbeques and local home town parades, this day--July 4th--has a far deeper meaning. Beyond all the holiday sales and media events including TV and blockbuster movies in theaters, this Holiday represents all that is good about our nation. Americans come together to remember our founding, our history, and our reason for being as a people who celebrate freedom and liberty.
Fireworks are fun, and so is celebrating with family and friends. The Fourth of July is a great time to relax, and it's also a phenomenal time to reflect on the good things about America--freedom to worship, to assemble, to speak your mind, and all the guarantees as provided by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote the following words after he toured the fledgling country in the early 1800's:
"I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers — and it was not there … in her fertile fields and boundless forests — and it was not there … in her rich mines and her vast world commerce — and it was not there … in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
The goodness of America is not in her health care, her government, her media, her military, or any other aspect of the nation except for the goodness of her people. America is great because she is good. Why do you think that everyone in the world wants to come to her shores, and why do you think we are esteemed above most nations? Regardless of the negative stories in the media, or political hype from liberal politicians, or the horrific hate that comes from other peoples and nations, nowhere else on earth do you find the deep satisfaction of people who live here and love America--citizens or not.
Where does that goodness come from? Many would say it is due to good feelings about the country, or positive thinking about our greatness as a people--Americans. Some would argue it's due to all of the technological advances and standard of living most Americans enjoy. It has been said that the worst day here is still better than the best day somewhere else, especially when you consider life in most of the rest of the world.
However, I would suggest that you consider that the reason America is good is because it was founded on Biblical principles and still relies on Judeo-Christian ethics for its moral backbone and laws. I would also suggest, contrary to the opinion of some--including Presidents--that America is still a Christian nation. The day we forget that is the day we lose our soul as America. Reliance on the mercies of a loving God is the true path to freedom and liberty. After all, the phrase "the Truth shall set you free" was not based on a book or a mere thought. It is based on the One Who is Truth. Knowing Him will be the real source of your freedom.
Enjoy the Fourth of July. Remember how it started and why we still have it to celebrate. Think about the sacrifices made to keep it a Holiday. Then give thanks to those who keep our nation free, and ask God to keep our nation good. Thank Him for all He provides, and remember:
To lose your freedom is to lose your soul!
Until next time.