My Country ’Tis of Thee

There are moments in our country’s history that we remember. Moments we’re reminded what it means to be an American. Amidst our second worst terror attack on American soil in Orlando, Senator Marco Rubio reminded us…

“We stand with all Americans, irrespective of their sexual orientation, irrespective of their party ideology, irrespective of where they live. We are all Americans and you are seeing the response today. And this will continue. This will make us stronger.”

But will this continue? Why does it take tragedy for us to come together with a corporate identity as Americans?

Disaster forces us to look outside of ourselves. We look to our fellow man and our country. But our neighbors and our great nation cannot prevent tragedy. We will never be able to legislate away all suffering. Disaster will find a way because true evil exists and wants to destroy us personally but also destroy this country. Why? Because America was built on a principle of goodness coming from a good God and evil’s intent is to destroy good. You may disagree. You may say the rules of human dignity should define goodness. But which flawed human makes those rules? It has to be a human who is ominpotently objective and I don’t know one. I know two running for office who think they’re God, but I digress. You may have a different view of the Judeo-Christian God or believe in a different God entirely. But I have read the founding arguments and I know the God in whom they believed and under whom they established our American heritage, our “one nation, under God.” And this God wanted “liberty and justice for all”. Was that not a good thing? The founders were not demanding a national religion but were guided by the biblical God who loved all men equally and America used this plumb line as it progressed. It did not happen overnight. We had slavery and other issues to reconcile but we always seemed to move toward his guiding truth.

But now America is destroying itself from within. We as a nation have forgotten God, we have forgotten the founder’s intent, and we have forgotten the precious blood spent to preserve the nation established in his name. If we no longer look outside of ourselves to a good creator, then we are submitting ourselves to our own subjective and flawed opinions. What person can be objective for all people, in all times, and all environments? Only God fits that description. That’s why when tragedy hits, for a moment we know that we do not have all the answers and need his help. But there are limits to God’s help and blessing. At one point he will leave us to our own devices and vices, and then our exceptional country will grow dim.

For 8 years, we have had an administration that doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism, Obama apologizes for it. We have eliminated educating our young generations at home, in schools and colleges on what it means to be uniquely American. Oh, our kids learn about how exceptional they are but not how important it is to be part of something greater than themselves. Statistically, our kids have the highest self esteem and lowest confidence of any generation; any nation. Maybe they need to appreciate what it means to be part of one of the greatest governmental experiments known to man — a truly free society for all men. A nation who’s rights were given by a creator and a nation who respects that creator and who acts on His loving and just principles in their corporate life, but especially in their personal life.

Our current election shows the standard to which we personally have fallen. We are getting our candidates of choice and it reflects our moral code within. It will not get better till we turn back to God and appreciate how blessed America has been because we seek his divine favor. We will not get good and godly men for president because we do not have the spirit of God within us to recognize such men and vote for them. We conservatives campaign for prayer and patriotism in schools but do we practice and teach this at home where we are still free to do so? We are taking our country and its founding principles for granted and as that happens, the evil that happened in Orlando and so many other cities will overtake and consume us.

Our forefathers were wise men who could communicate the importance of liberty, of small government and of unity as a people. Godly statesmen like Marco and many others have that ability and we need them in office, now more than ever. We need our young generations to understand what makes America unique. On the presidential campaign trail and still today in his senate race, Marco captivates youth and millennials with his faith and personal story which help them understand what privileges we have here. His history is well known and not unique. Many Americans came here from foreign countries where opportunity was limited or non-existent, where fear and oppression was a normal way of life; where God was mocked or forbidden. I fear, if we do not capture the imagination and dedication of our next generations to the conservative ideals that established America, we will loose it to terrorism, conquest, or worse — apathy. Andrew Sullivan wrote in his worthy article, “America is Ripe for Tyranny.”

If you disagree with a nation under our Judeo-Christian God, there’s a big world out there for you to chose from. Go! Live in a secular society or a theistic government. Try Iran, we bid you well. But if we want to live here under the continued blessing we have had here in America, we must remember what defined us, what made us unique. Americans are not defined by our ethnic origin, by our color, or by our sexual orientation. We are One Nation, indivisible. One nation under God. And to that we must return. We can remember our ethnic roots, we can practice our faith of choice but we must come together as one people. An American people. Our motto is E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.

2 Chronicles 7:14 — If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Ruth Ellen Johnson is a Christian wife and mother of three daughters from the beaches of Southern California. She is a working screenwriter, a film festival judge and script analyst, editorial staff for OnlyMarco, and a part-time tutor for school-age children.