There’s a popular song sung by Lee Greenwood entitled “God Bless the USA.” Some of the lyrics go like this:
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free ...
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
and defend her still today.
This song will be sung a lot during Independence Day week this year. Are you proud to be an American? I know I am.
Oh, there are things I am not so proud of:
- I agonize over the issue of same-sex marriage. Why would we, as a nation, ever want to destroy the institution of marriage defined as a union between a man and a woman?
- I worry about the easy availability of pornography over the Internet. I see its hold on so many men and women — even in the clergy. I wish our laws in America were stricter.
- I still can’t believe that abortion is legal and that it is such a powder keg of opinion. Why is it that the school requires parental consent to give a child an aspirin, but the same child can get an abortion without notifying a parent?
- I see racism growing in America. If we would only take seriously Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech! But folks still seem to make too many decisions based on the color of one’s skin.
- I wish politics in our country were not so dirty. The science of getting elected has become more about what’s wrong with a person than what they believe.
- It bothers me that there are so many people in poverty, that we import so much oil, that church attendance is declining, and that our education system is lacking.
But I’m proud to be an American because I'm free to say what I just said, and you can say what you want to say. That, as a country, we care for others who are less fortunate. And that we do have a faith-based heritage and a democracy that gives all men and women an opportunity to become what they want to be. I’m blessed by the fact that our United States House and Senate open their sessions with prayer, and that we support our troops who serve in harm’s way. I’m proud when we sing our national anthem and offer a pledge to the flag. I love it that we have a National Day of Prayer and print “In God We Trust” on our currency.
I am proud to be an American because it is my country and I have inalienable rights as its citizen. I can vote, and so can you. And it would be a shame if we did not take advantage of our freedom. This Independence Day, celebrate your freedom. Be proud to be an American. I know I am.
“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).
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