When I was growing up, I always looked forward to February. I knew that we would have two days off from school to celebrate the birthdays of two of our more famous presidents, Abraham Lincoln on the 12th of the month and George Washington on the 22nd.
These were federal holidays, but in 1971, they were adapted as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Thereafter, a single federal holiday was to be patriotically celebrated on the third Monday of February and known as Presidents' Day, to show honor and respect to all of our former presidents.
Patriotism seems objectionable to the progressives of our modern generation. Their "cancel culture" has problems celebrating great national milestones, tolerating and praying for authorities and leaders, as prescribed in Scripture here and here or demonstrating individual maturity and self-control to be able to peacefully protest perceived social hurts and harms in our present society.
Our nation's common history, culture and values need to be acknowledged, articulated and honored by school children, brave members of our military and the cultured elite alike, "from sea to shining sea." Some would add "at athletic events" as well. Unless mutual respect, civil tolerance and civic pride again prevail among us, everyone will soon "bite and devour one another" (Gal. 5:15a).
Instead, let us consciously come together and restore honorable patriotism to our nation. If we fail to remember and respectfully reflect on our uniquely American heritage and freedoms, selfishly use or abuse them for personal or political gain or fail to courageously secure and support them for others, we all will be in danger of losing our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms:
— Freedom of religion.
— Freedom of speech.
— Freedom of the press.
— Freedom to peacefully assemble.
— Freedom to protest our government.
— Freedom to elect our leaders.
All of these freedoms became our American creed and have been secured by the wisdom and dedication of our Founding Fathers, former presidents and congressional leaders for nearly 250 years.
Law and order must again prevail in our land. Anarchy is, ultimately, an expression of "the lawless one," whose work will be empowered by Satan (see 2 Thess. 2:9). Historically, it yields to tyranny, which maintains its powers by suppression of God-given freedoms and by cruel, violent oppression or death. May that never succeed in this "land of the free and home of the brave!"
For all its human faults, this great country's mutual freedoms and liberties still provide, as Abraham Lincoln correctly described it, "the last, best hope of earth." May our Creator and sustainer continue to restrain evil and protect and bless the USA!
Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys' California Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.
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