America the Beautiful

Being American is not so much protecting your own rights as it is protecting the rights of your neighbors. And the land. Yes, definitely the land that we share with those neighbors.

Our truest patriots have always been selfless. Look at the men who signed the Declaration of Independence. They didn't fare well. What about those who have given their lives in war and peace for the defense of our nation? Not everyone gets to come back to the states.

What makes our nation great is how we join together for a common good.

Is it just me, or is that what makes America beautiful?

I was told recently that the ideals shared in Church (Jesus-talk, I think was the point) bodes well for how we should live our lives personally, but it would be disastrous for the United States to adopt policies that make sense in Church. This specifically was directed to the respect for life and the avoidance of violence and oppression. In your personal life, you should turn the other cheek (Jesus-talk) but if the United States did that, we'd get run all over (sensible, logical, and nationalistic talk)

To put it another way, Christ is for sissies. America, is not. What America really needs is to beef up our own infrastructure, stop caring about everyone outside of the USA, and be serious about doing what we do best - dominating the world and pushing people around with our might.

I would beg to differ. Look, I love Intercontinental missile defense systems as much at the next guy, but being American isn't just good for America (and bad for Korea, China, Uganda) - being American can be good news for everyone. It might help if I conjure a biblical image.

Remember that country Israel? The one we read about, not necessarily the one that exists today. But the one in the Bible. Prophets of old spoke of a place that was different. It was a nation not ruled by mere humans. But by a god. Not just any god, but THE god, YHWH. This god had a distinct idea about who his people (Israel) would be. Their role, as the chosen ones, was to be a blessing to the world. It was through this nation that others would find healing and prosperity.

In a world tired of war, greed, and destruction, people would flock to Israel to learn how to be peaceful, loving, free, and above all, alive. The only problem is that Israel didn't pull this off very well either, so, you know...the whole forgetting who they were, needing to be reminded thing kept happening. The whole Bible is a journey remembering who we are and remembering who God is.

I would love for America to be that country. To be a country where all the other countries in the world place their trust, come for help, and expect not manipulation but cooperation. To be a place that is holy and special and distinct.

Isaiah 52:7 says,
7 How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
"Your God reigns!"
To come back to my point, America can do something that isn't for sissies, its for the toughest among us. Are you tough enough to give up your own rights for someone else's? Are you tough enough to live on less so that some kid doesn't starve? Are you tough enough to not match nuke for nuke? This is the kind of country Israel is and its what the Kingdom of God looks like.

I believe America is beautiful. It has been, and it can be. Because wherever we go, we can bring with us a selfless nature and a determination to make the world a better place. We can proclaim peace, bring good tidings, and proclaim salvation - not domination. America might not be the biblical Israel. But it sure can emmulate it.

I believe in that America, and I think you do too. This country is supposed to be about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I know a God who has always been about those things - and he knows more about them than I do. So I'm going to try to make America as much like the Kingdom of God as I can.