Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Apologetic No More: A defense of American Exceptionalism

I love the United States of America. Not just because I happen to live here, but because it is an exceptional jewel in history of human achievement. Many seem to want to deny this truth in the schools and in some media outlets. This is why we must proclaim it without apology. America is the best thing to happen to human government. I would go as far to say one of the best things to happen in the history of humanity.

232 years ago the 14 Bostonians inspired by a black man went to their deaths confronting an empire for violating their rights. A year later 56 courageous representatives risked everything to help build the new nation. From this auspicious beginning came the world’s champion of human dignity.

The American experiment showed the world that we the people can govern ourselves with no king but “King Jesus” as the early revolutionary slogan. America made government the servant not the master.

We showed the world that Justice is not just for the rich and powerful.

We are that light to the world. We are the place that shows all humanity can get along. We have people from virtually every nation here.

We proved that we could overcome our own seeming self interest and stand for human dignity.

People came here creatures of their times, but grew to become the future of humanity.

America is the place where poverty is not a life sentence of desperation. It is the place of free market where free people can change the destiny of humanity.

America freed people to be creative and rewarded ingenuity. We spurred more advances than the last 5000 years combined.

America became the inspiration for universal education. Knowledge and prosperity were no longer locked away for the privileged few.

Before America, the normal condition of humanity was quiet desperation with occasional explosions. Poverty, ignorance, disease, hunger, slavery, and oppression were all most people could ever aspire to know in this life.

The words of our Declaration of Independence have inspired souls in many tongues and every ethnicity. Before America, the powers that be ignored that self evident truth that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…. Now no one can ignore it.

No, all we have done with the gift of America is not Divine. Slavery, the trail of tears, the long walk, segregation, abortion, the Japanese internment, and taking prayer and Bible reading out of the schools are some of the failures of our society. We fell on our knees in Jamestown and then brought slaves to their knees 3 weeks later. America has its original sin like humanity, the sin of racism.Yet, to act as if America is somehow a corrupt land and unworthy of admiration because of its sins is to deny that greatness exists in humanity. Every nation of people has had its share of sins. Slavery was not invented by Americans. It was imposed upon us by the colonizers. Slavery has been a condition of humanity for most of recorded history.What makes America unique is that we are the land which promoted the principles of human dignity and equality which have helped blot out this curse in most of the world. The greatness of America is its principles.Some people would say we are hypocritical. I say so what. You have to be willing to live beyond your current actions. Those are the only ones with the courage to change. It is when we recognize higher principles that we become higher beings.That is why God brought the rejects of the world to this land. The stone that was rejected became the head of the corner. America is the place where those thought to be losers came. The debtors, the religious outcasts, the losers in the African wars and refugees from European ones, and the starving in Ireland, China, and elsewhere came to be the winners God intended. America was the place where the chains of class were removed and unprecedented prosperity emerged.In America you could be the master of your own destiny under God. No one told you where to work or live. No one told you how to worship or what to say. America was a land of high principles. It was the city set upon the hill as founder John Witherspoon put it.America was the land where we had “no king but King Jesus”. It was the land of minimal government and maximum freedom. It was that grand experiment or the proposition as Lincoln put it that was "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people".Unfortunately, not everyone has appreciated the exceptional nature of America. Some in power hate or hated it. If we allow the blame America crowd to strip us of our history and principles, the entire world will lose. We have had to defend this experiment with our own blood. Those who critique America on websites, over the airwaves, with a free press, or in public education systems which they get to by comfortable transportation seem to miss the irony that the do so only because of America. The world is a better place for the first week of July in 1776.

Today, let's not just reflect. Let us rededicate our selves to that glorious proposition that it may not perish from the earth.

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