Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, America

I grew up with the idea that America meant something. America was a grand experiment in democracy laid out by our founding fathers whose vision allowed us, as a nation, to grow and prosper as a bastion of freedom for all of her citizens, or so I was taught…

In the earliest days, America started out as a home for people who wished to worship an almighty God differently than what was ordained by the Church of England. Facing dangers and disease, those brave few suffered and died for this idea of freedom to worship God, or so I was taught...

As the population grew and colonies were established, a handful of God-fearing men decided that England’s taxation was unfair and set out an edict with these immortal words: 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. These men risked their lives for this notion of freedom and acknowledged “Nature’s God” as their inspiration for action, or so I was taught...

In declaring the right to freedom, many men lost their lives but eventually independence was won and the grand experiment, America, began and it began with the right to speak freely and the right to worship freely, or so I was taught....

Years later other wars against oppression, both external and internal, were fought to correct injustices that existed. Not all wars involved weapons, but also words and ideas. Each time freedom, not only for America, but for all peoples, was the goal. Brave men and women gave their lives for this freedom and are still doing so around the world, or so I was taught...

So what does America mean? I find the ideas behind the founding of America have been lost. They have been stolen and twisted by politicians, on both sides, who would rather posture themselves and argue against the other side instead of standing for something they believe. America has been torn apart by special interest groups who tell us whether or not what we say or believe is acceptable in their eyes.

America began because of religious persecution, but now I live in an America where freedom to worship is fine as long as you hide yourself so that no one else can hear you. I live in an America where I, as a Christian, cannot proclaim myself or exercise my rights as such without offending someone. I live in an America where freedom for Christians is quickly becoming a lie.

So who is to blame? We can only blame ourselves for letting our freedom slip away, but that’s what happens when the freedom is man-made and when we ourselves relinquish our rights by not standing up for them. Our forefathers believed they were God-given rights. Brave Americans have fought and died for our right to worship and we have thrown it all away.

Thank God that freedom, real freedom does not come from the hands of man, or so I proudly believe.

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