"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free/ And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
"And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today/Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land! God bless the U.S.A." —Proud To Be an American, Lee Greenwood
The July 4th weekend is for most of us a joyous occasion celebrating the birthday of this great nation. A day off work to enjoy family, friends, fireworks and festivities that lift our spirits.
This in spite of the results of a recent poll of 400,000 college students where 57% of the liberal students answered no to the question "Are you proud to be an American?" And how about the heavyweight hammer throwing Olympian who showed contempt by refusing to honor our flag and National Anthem on the platform in the trials?
Without suggesting escapism, might it do us some good if this week we lingered a bit in the good of what this nation represents and has accomplished in the global scheme of things? Personally, "I'm proud to be an American."
In the book, The 5000 Year Leap–A Miracle That Changed the World, the authors point out that "From the beginning of recorded history until the founding of the American nation, human civilization made relatively little progress. Those who came to the New World in the 1500s and 1600s were still plowing fields behind animals, moving about in ox carts, and hand-weaving cloth the same way they had for thousands of years."
"Then, beginning with Jamestown and Plymouth, something remarkable happened—the human spirit was set free, creativity flourished and experimentation abounded. Americans were learning how to experience freedom. After the proven principles of liberty were institutionalized by the U.S. Constitution in the 1780s, it took less than 200 years before men were walking on the moon!"
With the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, a political achievement unprecedented in human history was launched. Government was no longer by a monarchy, oligarchy or by tyranny; it was "of the people, by the people and for the people." No nation in history has endured this long with the same constitutional framework in spite of discontented, ungrateful, people trying to promote their "far superior," progressive plans.
An Idea Changed the World
The seminal, revolutionary idea at the heart of America's success was self-government rooted in morality and a virtuous people forsaking selfishness for the common good. They knew their fallen condition but believed people could be redeemed, embrace checks and balances, then govern themselves in our history-making, new republic.
Their divinely inspired purpose was not to be self-focused but to bless mankind as a "city on a hill" and demonstrate what ordered freedom could bring. James Madison said: "The happy union of these states is a wonder; their Constitution is a miracle; their example the hope of liberty throughout the world." Abe Lincoln said it best, declaring, "America is the last best hope of the earth!"
Christianity, Creativity and Freedom
The freedom we have was never meant to be unrestrained licentiousness. Rooted in basic Christianity, it was intended to enable individuals to conduct themselves in such a way as to enjoy peace and prosperity, restrain and punish evil, and release each person's creativity and God-given potential.
How has this great "American Experiment" worked? Acknowledging our sins and errors along the way, we persevere towards progress and that "more perfect union." Have our virtuous emphasis and ordered freedom released blessing, helping people throughout the world?
In a little over 200 years, the human race has made a 5,000-year leap. While honoring other nations' achievements, we should feel mighty grateful for how God has blessed these United States of America and accelerated human progress throughout the entire world through this "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
God is first revealed in Scripture as Creator. Our Founding Fathers honored this, declaring, "All men are created equal." I invite you to take time with your family and friends to celebrate a compilation of over 175 American achievements. Have a little fun discussing what our lives would be like without them!
America's Innovations and Inventions
— Free-market economics, harnessed electricity, internal combustion engine, jet propulsion, nuclear energy, automobile assembly-line, telephone.
— Sustained air travel, electric light, electronic hearing aid, Franklin stove, lightning rod, catheter, bifocals, cotton gin, refrigeration.
— Suspension bridge, fire hydrant, coffee percolator, circular saw, telegraph, sewing machine, dental floss, combine harvester, steam shovel, Mason jar.
— Ice cream maker, grain elevator, rotary printing press, baseball, volleyball, American football, basketball, softball, stock car racing, racquetball.
— Duckpin bowling, gas mask, dishwasher, inverted microscope, fire alarm box, burglar alarm, jackhammer, electric stove, vacuum cleaner, escalator.
— Ironing board, roller skates, motorcycle, denim jeans, silo, urinal, dental drill, sanitary pad, metal detector, electric iron, thermostat, machine gun.
— Photographic film, gasoline dispenser, electric food mixer, pay phone, recording gramophone, ballpoint pen, touch typing, tractor, zipper, blender.
— Remote control, mousetrap, medical gloves, rechargeable battery, toaster, safety razor, windshield wipers, automatic transmission, flushometer toilet.
— Paper towel, electric blanket, electric traffic light, supermarket, bulldozer, tow truck, polygraph, adhesive bandage, cotton swabs, instant camera.
— Hot dog, hamburger, garage door opener, power steering, drive-thru, nylon. garbage disposal, ice cube tray, pressure washer, stop sign, Teflon.
— Smoke detector, sunglasses, frozen food, electric guitar, radio telescope, trampoline, disposable diaper, digital computer, fluorescent lamp.
— Rock 'n' roll, blues and jazz, automated teller machine, deodorant, aerosol dispenser, earthmoving equipment, bazooka, steam locomotive.
— Microwave oven, Tupperware, credit card, supersonic aircraft, hairspray, blow dryer, defibrillator, cable television, video game, teleprompter, laser.
— Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, nuclear submarine, videotape, Spandex, weather satellite, child safety seat, communication satellite, minicomputer.
— Computer mouse, balloon catheter, cordless telephone, CD, copiers, GPS, central heating, handheld calculator, lunar module, Email, laser printer, Virtual Reality, personal computer, MRI, iPhone, iPad, texting, Internet, digital camera, contact lens, DNA computing, tilt-n-roll luggage, voicemail.
— Space shuttle, nicotine patch, Heimlich maneuver, drones, scoreboards, whole body scanner, catalytic converter, microprocessor, backpack.
— Gas and electric lawnmowers, taser, muffler, flyswatter, cupcake, washer and dryer, air conditioning (In this heat, let's end here, but there are many more).
Here's the Deal: Instead of listening to whining, angry malcontents spewing nonstop, negative narratives of profanity-laced, polarizing pronouncements of "systemic racism," "wokeness," phobias, demands, "oppression" and "corrupt capitalism," let's look to our good God, then to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, torch held high. She shines a light and conveys an invitation of freedom, virtue and generosity to all the world. May we humbly honor our heritage and God-given accomplishments as we reconsecrate ourselves to the ideals upon which we were founded and that God has so richly blessed.
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Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 50 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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