Throughout America’s storied history, worthy wordsmith’s endowed with a hearty sense of awareness have sounded forth the clarion call to celebrate, and with great clarity, appreciate and recognize just what a special place we have to call home. The United States of America. In fact, according to the Population Reference Bureau and United States Census data, 99% of all recorded humanity has never experienced the freedoms we have enjoyed and do enjoy here and now in America.
In his first inaugural address, January 20th 1981, President Ronald Reagan shared a brief but poignant warning from Dr. Joseph Warren, the President of the Massachusetts Congress, “Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question upon which rest the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”
Did you catch that phrase? Act worthy of yourselves! Tom Malone in the Objective Standard describes the occasion on which Dr. Warren spoke those words. “It was March 6, 1775, and an immense crowd gathered at the Old South Meeting House in Boston to commemorate the anniversary of the Boston Massacre of 1770. Thousands of people attended; inside was standing room only. More than forty British troops showed up, and rumor had it that they would arrest or assassinate the orator.” It was on a difficult day in a challenging season of our nation’s history those words rang out. They could however, have been spoken this past week and found themselves immensely appropriate.
John Adams wrote in 1776, “You and I, my dear friend, have been sent into life at a time when the greatest lawgivers of antiquity would have wished to live. How few of the human race have ever enjoyed an opportunity of making an election of government, more than of air, soil, or climate, for themselves or their children!” In other words, opportunities for freedom don’t come along very often. We should know, appreciate and pass long to a new generation the delicate ground on which our freedom was planted.
There are unfortunately forces at work making every effort to tear down, or deconstruct our grand history so as to re write and fundamentally change this land of the free and the home of the brave. The result of deconstructionism is a steady flow of belittling and negative portrayals of Western institutions, beliefs, and values. Tearing down timeless perspectives such as George Washington who readily recognized, “We’ve done, as to my sentiments, with respect to the new
constitution, it appears to me little short of a miracle. It demonstrates is visibly the finger of Providence as any possible event in the course of human affairs can ever designate it.”
Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee once observed, “The reason that America is a great nation is because America is a special nation. And the reason America is a special nation is because it was founded by people who were first on their knees before they were on their feet. We are a nation rooted in our faith.” This is who we are! This is our heritage and we are blessed by it!
Rabbi Daniel Lapin gives the illustration where he asks, “Imagine if you will that you are running for your life through the streets at night and you can hear the footsteps of soldiers behind you. You come to a row of houses and you know that in each of the first four houses their lives the following, an economics professor, a politician, a baker and a dedicated Sunday School Teacher. Which door would you knock on? Rabbi Lapin pauses and then says, you would knock on the door of the Sunday school teacher! Why? Because you know for sure that that person values life and the best chance you have of staying alive would be in the home of one who believes that life is sacred and comes from God.
In the history of the world there has only been one country to which the world could run to for live because our founding documents clearly begin with the truths we call “self-evident” “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” And as my good friend Bob McEwen likes to point out, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are of little value of you are dead!” The point Rabbi Lapin makes is that if America’s freedom disappears there will be nowhere else to go!
We will have differences about many things but through it all I pray we stand firm on God’s word and God’s promises so America may be as Lincoln said, “the last best hope of earth!” John Adam’s in a letter to Abigail in 1776… “We cannot guarantee success in this war, but we can do something better, we can deserve it.” It is assured that we can deserve it, by acting worthy of ourselves!
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Regional Director for Church Ministries he can be reached at740-935-1406