You can call me old-fashioned. Or, out-of-touch. Or, narrow-minded.
But, I still prefer being called an American.
Nowadays that term has fallen into disrepute and disrepair. Years ago the mere mention of the word conjured up pictures of Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill.. .the Wright Brothers launching their first flight at Kitty Hawk. ..catchin’ a big one down in the pond near the barn. . .sippin’ iced tea on a neighbor’s front porch swing. . .eatin’ Grandma’s apple pie. . .and gettin’ goosebumps when they played the national anthem before shoutin’ “Play Ball!”
Yes, back when I was a boy times were tough, wages were small, but patriotism was strong. Folks prided themselves in “an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s labor” and taught us kids to be seen and not heard when company came. Likewise, we were to always say “Yes, Sir” and “No, Ma’am,” in addition to opening car doors for ladies and keeping our elbows off the table while eating. And, we certainly didn’t get up from the table without first asking, “May, I be excused?”
But, what’s happened?
Where did common decency and respect for one’s fellow man go? Since when was it wrong to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of class each day and then bow your head while the principal gave a morning prayer? And, how did we reach the place where it’s okay to talk about Jesus and give out Bibles in the local jail, but dare not try to do that at the local elementary school?
What’s happened to us?
It would seem to me we began listening more to Dr. Spock than we did the Ten Commandments and believed burning bras and draft cards were somehow acceptable behavior. And, in the process our pride in being the world’s “melting pot” blinded us to the current “meltdown” we’re experiencing in these once great “United” States.
Let’s face it:
We’re no longer the United States; we’re the Divided States: Democrats vs Republicans. Whites vs. blacks. Bureaucrats vs. beggars. The rich vs. the poor. And, in our “enlightened” quest for tolerance, pluralism, relativism, humanism, hedonism, etc., we have severed our tethers to the moorings of morality and common sense and now more resemble a rudderless, captain-less, sinking sailboat with tattered sails than a once powerful icebreaker plowing the high seas.
Again, what happened to us?
We’re simply reaping what we’ve sowed. Psalm 9:17 says “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God.” In our pluralistic quest to discard absolutes and a rejection of any type of authority in our lives, we have turned our back upon the One Who blessed this nation in her formative years. And, now like the oil that once was so coveted by men as “black gold,” but now so despised as it pollutes our waters and shores. . .killing our wildlife. . .destroying families’ livelihood, etc. . .we are a dying nation who realizes the painful validity of God’s warning through King David’s words.
Regardless, I believe we can still see God bring a revival to our nation, which is gasping for air like someone on life support. By heeding His words in II Chronicles 7:14 we can witness His miracle of forgiveness and healing. But, this won’t happen unless we “humble ourselves, passionately pray, desperately seek His Face and turn from our wicked ways.”
Anymore it would seem the meaning of the word “American” is up for grabs—i.e., dependent upon the one defining it. However, to me, it’s time for us to once again say “An American is one who believes in Almighty God. . .adheres to the Judeo- Christian values upon which we were founded. . .advocates the rule-of-law in every arena of life. . .and is unashamed to say ‘We are still one nation under God and I will do everything I can to ensure that we stay that way’.”
Here’s hoping you feel the same way, dear Reader—especially as we observe our nation’s 234th birthday this Sunday and remember all those who’ve fought for the freedoms we enjoy and too often take for granted. God bless you. And, God help us to once again be “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 582, Coushatta, LA 71019 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org).