Each year I spend Independence Day feeling a great sense of gratitude to my ancestors, both direct and collateral (uncles, brothers, cousins), who fought in the Revolutionary War, and in the Civil War (both sides), and in WWI, and in WWII, or have been a member of the military during peace time, to uphold our freedom.
I am grateful we have so many freedoms in the United States. Have you read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? I don't want to see any of those rights taken for granted, or slowly fade away into the sunset as if they aren't relevant anymore.
If you read history, you know, after two hundred years, the initial ideas of new countries, with their ethics, morals and standards, are questioned, tried, and put to unwanted tests. I believe we are on the cusp of that time, if not already crossed the threshold.
If you read history, or scripture, you know how that pans out, and you know what causes the demise.
When we get soft; when we forget what makes us great (humility, gratitude, service); and when man thinks he is better than God, or forsakes God's hand in our lives altogether, the downfall is imminent. Pride takes over when we think it was us, our very limited selves, who deserve all the credit. Pride goeth before a fall. Read the history of any great empire and tell me what you find. Greece. Rome. France. Spain. England. Has America hit that crossroads now? Are we so proud that we forget Who forged this country, and what this country stands for?
In years past, no matter the immigrant, they had hard times to prove themselves when they came to this great land, until the next group of world-weary travelers landed. They, also, had to prove themselves--and could, finding great opportunity here for those who worked hard.
The Puritans, the Catholics, the Huguenots, the Jews; the Germans, the Irish, the Chinese, the Italians--all had to put aside the notion that this country gave them everything--unearned. They had to prove they were worthy of the freedoms they sought. And prove it, they all did.
I am part of the great American melting pot. My ancestors are European--Bohemian, Moravian, Huguenot, Catholic; German, Swiss, Scots-Irish, English, French. Our blood mingled and blended with other blood until they could no longer say "I am German," or "I am English." Those nationalities fought alongside each other in all the wars to end all wars.
One word should describe us all--American. I am an American. I'm not European American. I know a lot of black people who do not consider themselves African-American. They never lived in Africa. They always lived in America, and don't want to be set apart from the nation like that. I am a full-blooded American. I'm not immigrant, or first generation even, still struggling with the English language.
Those who come to America, should take on this pride of country. If you live here, and you have taken the oath of citizenship, you are now an American, striving to do your part to build up this great nation. You are not Mexican-American, Cambodian-American, or Persian-American. If you live here and reap the benefits, you are just plain old American. Your oath is to this country now.
I know there are still more than 50 good people in our nation, that the angels might not destroy us. Tongue-in-cheek, but the time might come, and perhaps already is on the doorstep, when that number will dwindle due to lack of caring or action, or knowledge of history, and those of us who are God-fearing and still love our country and our constitution, will hearken back to what our country initially stood for--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; one nation, under God, forged from Judaeo-Christian principles.
Other principles are not like Judaeo-Christian principles. Think about it. It is ridiculous to think any other way will work, unless we want to be guided by fear and corruption, mostly fear, as in monarchies, dictatorships, or terrorists' groups and Sharia law. If you moved here, and became a citizen, you are now part of that Judaeo-Christian culture. It was your choice.
Oh, God, please let freedom still be our cry--the real definition of freedom, as written in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Please rain down your tender mercies on us so more will be for freedom than against it. Please don't ever let us forget what this country stands for. Let us always remember Thy hand in our creation. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and Redeemer, I pray. Amen.