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The separation of church and state is a glorious reality. I am so thankful that we don’t have a state church, as much as Episcopalianism would like to act like it’s ours, and that the state stays out of our private worship (at least for now).
Pastors, please do your congregations a favor and don’t sing “God Bless America” this weekend. Just last week, LifeWay Research released data showing that 53% of Americans think God has a special relationship with the United States.
I would agree if, by “special,” we mean as a father has a “special” relationship with his troublemaking child.
Regardless, I am proud to be an American. I am so thankful I live in this country. Just this week, the President of the United States was in Nashville. I saw Air Force One take off from the airport and was keeping track of the president’s activity on Twitter. The office of the president has always fascinated me, and Susie and I are watching through West Wing right now, which only intensifies that interest.
On the way to an event at an elementary school, he picked a woman up at her home! How cool is that? He remarked that it was likely the first time anyone had ever been picked up at their house by the presidential motorcade. Regardless of political preferences, that’s really neat. Here’s a picture:
President Obama walks to the house of Kelly Bryant to give her a ride to his town hall today in Nashville. pic.twitter.com/zogW9t81qp
— petesouza (@petesouza) July 1, 2015
Can you imagine? Wouldn’t that be so cool!?
In the United States, We have so many benefits that other countries do not. I would rather live no where else, even as our government continues to move away from a biblical morality, I am thankful I live here. Why? Three simple reasons:
1. We have a significant amount of freedom.
I don’t ever have to worry about whether or not something I do is legal. Granted, I live a boring life compared to many, but seriously. I can read my Bible in public. I can criticize the government. I can speed in my car (whoops?). I could make popcorn, sit down, and watch anything I want on Netflix.
I know a lot of that sounds lame, but really, I live my life without any fear of government intervention or penalty. I have freedom to do basically whatever I want. I could start a business tomorrow if I wanted, or decide to work for another one. I could bash the president tonight on Twitter, and decide to run for the office in 20 years.
We have a great amount of freedom to do whatever significant or silly things we want, and we shouldn’t take it lightly.
2. We help others in crisis.
Sure, we’ve seen our fair share of wars and unnecessary conflicts. I wasn’t around for Vietnam, but I was around for Operation Iraqi Freedom and other such conflicts that can sometimes be frustrating as lives are lost without clear and present danger to the homeland.
All of that to say, whether through war, air, or other means, the United States is often the “first responders” to crises throughout the world, and I am thankful for this. I always wish we’d stay out of other countries’ conflicts, but at the same time, I am appreciative of the ways in which we engage in dangerous situations for the good of other people. This may, truly, be the most Christlike thing about our country. We play Good Samaritan as much as anyone, and that is a really big deal. We should be proud of that.
3. We create great culture.
No joke. Look at all of the incredibly music, food, movies, and other pieces of culture we create. Other countries have great culture too. I love the laid-back nature of Latino culture and the food in Italian culture, but America is a great melting pot of a variety of rich cultures.
I’m thankful that this is a place where others can settle with their families and bring their cultures in order to create a mosaic of arts and customs. Stained glass windows are made up of various colors and shapes of glass, but all together, they are a a thing of beauty.
I love the diversity and depth of American culture, and it makes me proud to be a part of it. I enjoy contributing to it in any way I can, too.
I love our country, and I’m so thankful to be with friends and family enjoying a restful Independence Day weekend. I hope yours is as good as mine.
Why are you proud to be an American?