I’ve got a good bit on my mind this morning. I held back from posting anything negative about our nation yesterday (apart from a call to repentance - but that was me as a Christian, not as American; I would feel that way about whatever nation I called home). “Happy Birthday America - you suck!” just seemed inappropriate.
However, our nation does have many, many flaws. I’m not ready to discard her, by any means; but I see, at nearly every turn, her people and her government making the wrong decisions, and continuing her slide towards mediocrity and insecurity, under the guise of improving both. In nearly every issue, the underlying cause appears to me to be the same – an inability to dispassionately, rationally evaluate a situation, policy, etc. on its merits alone. This is displayed on both sides of the political divide, where talking points and comebacks are slung back and forth, and seems to be what passes for civil discourse. It isn’t!
This originated as a Facebook post, but I thought it was more appropriate for the blog; heaven knows it’s had some cobwebs for a while, and hits its tenth anniversary next month. Were I to blog each of these issues individually, though, I’d end up with thousands of words that no one would read, save to search it for keywords so they could post their comebacks in the comments (see above). Does it matter that I can’t succinctly express what’s on my mind? The problems I see aren’t succinct problems with succinct solutions. An exclusively inward focus seems wrong; I should be trying to leave a better nation and world for my children, right?
But, as I look back at those nearly 10-year-old posts, the issues are the same. “Gay Bishops – A Big Deal?” Well, I (regrettably) have been vindicated in my view that this gave license for people to just ignore parts of the Bible with which they disagree; at this point, were a hair’s breadth away from forcing people to behave in ways they feel are contrary to the Bible, because others disagree with parts of It. “The Ten Commandments – A Monumental Controversy” was about a man’s personal decorations in his office, yet the intervening ten years have seen a continuing push to eliminate every vestige of our Christian heritage from the public square. “Abortion – A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Passed” has seen some progress as of late, but the Todd Akin/Wendy Davis dichotomy prove my point about civil discourse; neither side is immune. However, since that post, there is one political party that has decided they should be for it at any time, for any reason, at no cost. I’m no legal expert, but I don’t think that was quite the point of Roe v. Wade, or even Griswold v. Connecticut. How does one rationally argue against such an irrational, yet quite passionately-held, position?
America is not beyond hope. We must change course, though, or we will find ourselves swimming in self-induced mediocrity, while we are crowing over how advanced we are. To get God’s blessing, we must turn to Him; to elevate civil discourse, we must teach reasoning. (Morgan Freeberg had a great (and succinct!) summary of this where he dissects Dennis Prager’s statement that he’d prefer clarity over agreement.)
p.s. The ambiguity in the title of this post is intentional; whichever meaning is appropriate will be up to us going forward.
236 years ago today, the United States of America became a nation, kicking off one of the most successful experiments in self-governance recorded to date. As we enjoy today’s festivities, we should remember a few things. First, we should remember that our freedom was both gained and preserved at a high cost; over a million individuals have lost their lives in US military conflict. Second, we should remember that this freedom has no lasting ties here; we are not immune to the human lust for power that has created so many dictatorships and totalitarian regimes. If our freedom is to be preserved, it must be defended from “all enemies, foreign and domestic” (to borrow a phrase some of you may recognize).
So, on our nation’s birthday, reflect on the great sacrifice that has been made for us to be able to live in this great nation. Tomorrow, get back to the work of defending this freedom, so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy the same freedom we have enjoyed.
This past Wednesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared that this July 4th will be known as “Energy Independence Day” and focus on global warming issues. This is absolutely ludicrous - can they not let us celebrate the founding of our nation without trying to make us feel guilty over our success? I guess not - they feel that the mandate from their November win entitles them to force their earth-centric religion on us.
I wonder what would happen if a Republican politician stood up on the House floor and declared that July 4th will be known as “Sin Independence Day” to remind us to fear a holy God. How long would it be until every leftist organization in the nation called for his removal? The issue is the same. In fact, I think it takes more faith to believe in global warming than it does to be a Christian.
Global warming is based on flimsy science, a short-sighted view of natural weather cycles, outright fraud, and an arrogance that we, as man, can control the weather. If we’re so powerful, why can’t we make it rain when areas go through droughts? Why can’t we keep hurricanes from going whatever way they want? Why can’t we drop the humidity in the Southern states? The global warming crowd has no answers for this. Even if we unplugged everything and lived in tents for the next year, it would have no effect on the weather.
The outright fraud is perhaps the most disturbing of the global warming crowd’s claims. For example, I’m sure you have seen the picture of two polar bears floating on a piece of glacier. This picture supposedly shows that these poor bears are floating and are going to drown because of the glacier melting. In fact, this picture was taken of young polar bears playing on the piece of ice. A picture of something beautiful in nature is presented as a problem.
And this claim by the Democrats to want energy independence is pretty rich. Which party has been opposed to drilling in the area of the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) that was set aside for that purpose many years ago? Which party vilifies the energy companies for making profits? Without profits to invest in research of alternative sources and uses, how much progress do they expect to be made?
Don’t fall for this. July 4th is Independence Day - our nation’s birthday, the day we declared independence from Britain, and the day we formally began the most successful experiment in representative republicanism to date.
I had originally planned to post something on the 4th of July, but that day came and passed with little time. So, a week later, I thought I would post it less as an Independence Day item and more of just a general item.
I am currently out of the county - have been for about two months, with another two months to go. In my day to day life, I tried to be appreciative of people and things, but this has given me a perspective that I didn’t have. There are four or five of us that work together, and on the 4th, we were all down. We missed our families, and we missed our country. We didn’t see any fireworks, no parades with American flags, no concerts, no cookouts, no little kids in cute, patriotic outfits.
I’m not looking for pity - I’m doing what I swore an oath to do, and am fortunate to have not had to do it before now. What I am saying, though, is to stop and think about the familiar things in your life. Do you hug or kiss your spouse before or after work? Do your kids shout “Daddy!” and come running to you, and almost knock you over because they’re happy that you’re home? Do you get to sit down at a table with your family and eat? Do you wear a t-shirt that has the American flag on it? Do you pick up the phone and call your friends? Do you go to church with your family on Sunday mornings?
These are all things that I would be doing this summer, were I still at home. And, they’re also some of the things that I’m missing (though there are many, many other things as well). So, for my sake - make that hug or kiss count. Fall over and roll around in the floor and tickle those kids. Talk to those people sitting around the dinner table with you, and thank the Lord that you can display or even wear the flag without making yourself a target. Go to church, hang out with your friends, go to the grocery store, mow the grass, take a walk with your family - then ask yourself how you might feel if you could not do those things. I can tell you how I feel - it’s not good, and it’s the reason I’m taking the time to post this here.
Carpe diem is not just for intellectuals or party-hearty-ers. Enjoy the people in your life, and the things with which you have been blessed. Take that little extra time to take in the things you enjoy, and let the people who mean the most to you know that. You never know when you may not have the chance again.