God, Bless America

01 Jul, 2019

 

When the 4th of July comes around, America gets pretty excited. Talk about family cookouts, fireworks and American flags galore. When the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, our country officially declared its independence from Great Britain and thus, invoked a great amount of national pride. Fast-forward over two-hundred years and we see a country that has come a very long way. The United States has grown immensely, in many ways fostering an environment of unity, unique and set apart from any other country in the world. Is America a perfect country? Of course not. Like any other country in the world, we have room to grow and this is not necessarily a negative thing, for growth signifies room for achievable improvement. Despite the country’s room for growth, America is irrefutably a beautiful country, a place where its citizens are all blessed to live.

However, as the years have passed and as people have become more accustomed to living in the U.S., some of us have lost sight of how blessed we are to live here. And as a result of neglecting to see how blessed we are, appreciation for what we have has declined and humility towards one another has dwindled. People have become so consumed with worldly attributes like money, fame, the media, technology, etc. And as a result, people are being divided for simply having different political stances and beliefs. We have lost sight of the blessing America is, so much that some people regard our flag with distaste. Not too long ago, a student in my college class stated that she did not like the word “patriotism” because it reminded her of “the American flag and people singing ‘God Bless America.’” Weird reasoning, in my opinion, for it seems as though she has forgotten how our country was founded in the first place. America was founded by pilgrims seeking religious freedom and since then, many have fought and died in order for us to have the liberty to wave our beautiful flag — our symbol and reminder that we live in a free nation.

The United States of America is a free country, meaning that every citizen has a voice; every person can speak their own mind and their beliefs, all because of our constitutional, unalienable rights. America has come such a long way, as we can now truly say that women and men are considered equals in society. Despite what the media might tell you, there is no right that a man has that a woman does not; therefore, it isn’t up to us to say who has and who doesn’t have rights. Everyone, from the unborn to the elderly are cherished, beloved and seen as equal in the eyes of God. Just as God sees us living our daily lives, He sees the precious, invaluable lives of the unborn babies just the same. The Declaration of Independence itself strongly asserts, “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” (National Archives). Note that it does not proclaim that all are “born” equal, but rather declares that all are created equal. And a human being, a precious baby, is created from the moment of conception — this is the beauty of life. So, even though that unborn child is still in the womb, she or he has rights that cannot be taken away or usurped by anyone else.

As Billy Graham said in 1961: “Certainly on this Fourth of July weekend, we should be upon our knees, thanking God for all that He has given us … Let us declare our independence from sin, tyranny, intolerance, hatred, bitterness, injustice, selfishness, immorality and greed” (BGEA). And in declaring our independence from all these things, may we see and acknowledge the irrefutable life and the unalienable rights of the unborn children. And let us remember what Independence Day is really about and may it invoke a true appreciation and genuine gratitude for the fact that we get to call this amazing, free country our home.