Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”
Gearing up for my 4th of July sermon this past Sunday morning I was briefly distracted and disheartened to see an article in USA Today about a group of Georgetown University students who said they were “embarrassed” to be Americans in recent campus interviews with College Reform. While I am no political commentator (nor do I ever wish to be) I have also been astounded by the number of politicians and public officials who seemed to take a particular caustic form of joy in celebrating July 4th by denouncing America. In the past week I have read quotes off those who claim: the Statue of Liberty is not a symbol of freedom but of rank hypocrisy, the stars and stripes is too polarizing, the national anthem doesn’t speak for a ‘majority’ or Americans; and pledging allegiance is an affront.
What’s missing? Awareness of the price in blood, sweat, and tears that freedom and liberty has cost. As recent as 2014, reports showed that an abysmal 18% of American high school kids were proficient in U.S. history. With colleges no longer requiring Western Civilization classes and high schools proposing changes to their curriculum so that history is taught only from 1877 onward … we ought not be surprised that socialism and tepid liberality is eroding the temper of our patriotism and veiling the providence of God from our neighbors.
In 1789 George Washington said in his inaugural address, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of Providential agency.” Our hope as a nation is God alone - a fact Frances Scott Key captured well:
O! thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the foe's desolation;
Bless'd with victory and peace, may our Heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just --
And this be our motto -- "In God is our trust!”
May God bless America as we turn to Him this July 4th. Oh, and those College Reform students who were asked about their feelings of embarrassment being American? They would be willing to move out of the country or even renounce their citizenship because of how they felt about the nation. Howeverhen asked if they could name a better country, nobody could come up with an answer. Perhaps the question is not one of patriotism … but one of simple, base consumerism.