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Why Our Nation Struggles to Celebrate Itself

Today, one of the most serious issues we face is that we no longer know what any of these words mean.

Do I believe the United States is a great nation?  I do—I believe it is as great as a nation can be that is filled with sinful humans.  I don’t expect perfection, but I do appreciate the glorious freedoms we are afforded. 

Do I believe all people living in the United States experience the same blessings that I do?  Unfortunately no.  But I do believe that this is the only nation in which there is recourse and this level of opportunity to fight against injustice.  Our constitution, particularly our Bill of Rights, has proven to be, humanly speaking, an effective way for protections and even important changes, when necessary. 

That is why I am proud of this nation but more concerned for her than ever.  I believe that there is a concerted effort today, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to dismantle the very fabric of our society, including the undermining of our constitutional freedoms.  This is dangerous, it is foolish, and it is destructive.

Our Declaration of Independence records these 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.”  Did the founders live up to these words?  No.  But have these words been a guide that has allowed change and awakening?  Yes.  Then why such angst today?

Today, one of the most serious issues we face is that we no longer know what any of these words mean.  Think of this, the following words from the Declaration are disputed (irrationally) and are part of our conflict:

“truths”—many reject that objective truth even exists

“men”—or, humans.  We cannot even agree that humans are either male or female.

“created”—many believe that we exist without a design, arbitrarily (perhaps accidentally) arriving at our current existence

“Creator”—how few today are willing to acknowledge and submit to the One God who many, if not, most of our founders believed in

“rights”—is there any agreement on what constitutes a right?  Is everything we want rightfully ours?  The Declaration affords the right to “pursue happiness” not that we will achieve happiness.

“life”—how many question when life begins and how it ought to be defined?  If we can’t agree on what life means, how can we protect it?

“liberty”—this was never meant to be licentiousness and a free for all.  It had to do with human dignity not human autonomy.  It was grounded in our relationship with God not in opposition to Him.

This is our problem.  Throughout the years, words and their meanings have been eroded and we don’t even speak the same language any longer.  The reason?  We have rejected the One who gives words, concepts, and life meaning.  We have rejected what the founders believed was essential, the sine qua non of the republic’s existence.

Today I celebrate the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth.  But I worship God.  It was upon Him that this nation was built and without Him there is no hope.

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