Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why Is America Beautiful?

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The lyrics of the well known and beloved song were written in 1893 by Katherine Lee Bates, a professor at Wellesley College.

Bates wrote, "O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain! America, America! God shed His grace on thee, And crown they good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea."

America loves the song. It is often sung in public, including in churches. America loves the song because we love our country and what it represents.

What "it represents" has become an issue following Coke's use of the song in a commercial during the Super Bowl where more than 100 million people watched.

Professor Bates identified God's blessing on America as both the natural beauty and the brotherhood formed through assimilation---"E Pluribus Unum"---Out of many--One.

As people listened and watched the images in the Coke commercial, the beauty of the song, as it is known, was lost to concern and then a backlash toward Coke.

From this incident it's clear that:

  • People are more informed than some think.
  • Your voice can make a difference.
  • Many prefer our country the way it has been, not the way secular progressives want it to be.

Former Republican Representative Allen West was one who noticed something wrong with "America the Beautiful."

He wrote in his column, "I'm watching the Super Bowl... when a Coca Cola commercial came on and it started rather patriotically with the words of "America the Beautiful."

"Then," he says, "the words went from English to languages I didn't recognize. Now, I know the politically correct thing is to foster multiculturalism---working well in Europe---but we should remember the words spoken by Teddy Roosevelt." Then he quotes him:

Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.

In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.

There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile.

We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.

West says he's sure some enjoyed the commercial, but "If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing 'America the Beautiful' in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl by a company as American as they come---doggone we are on the road to perdition."

He asked his readers what they thought. They and others across the country contacted Coke. Coke has now changed the ad for its play during the Olympic Games.

Breitbart News initially explained why so many Americans found the ad offensive. They reported, "The old 'America the Beautiful' is beautiful because of the blessings God had heaped on it and because its government offers “liberty in law,” while aspiring for togetherness. Coca Cola's America is beautiful because of the differences in its people. When the company used such an iconic song, one often sung in churches on the 4th of July that represents the old “E Pluribus Unum” view of how American society is integrated, to push multiculturalism down our throats, it's no wonder conservatives were outraged."

Because of the number of calls Coke received and the intensity of the callers, Coke has changed the ad. They have added a 10-second patriotic disclaimer at the opening of the 90-second version of the ad. It ran during the opening ceremony of the Olympics and will likely run again before the Olympic Games conclude.

The ads now features the text---"E Pluribus Unum" and its English meaning---"Out of many, One."

Most of us that saw the ad recognized that the producers were trying to above all sell Coke, but secondly create unity in our diversity. They were trying to create "one out of many" or unity.

Unity of purpose is a powerful force. A contrived unity to affirm progressive notions is a farce.

Winston Churchill once said, "When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you," drawing from the words of Cicero, the Roman Senator and historian who wrote about the enemy within that ultimately brought down the Roman Empire.

But unity does not occur simply because something or someone else does not exist. It is not the absence of something that creates unity, it is the presence of something.

The Beatles sang John Lennon's song "Imagine," suggesting that if certain social fixtures could be removed from the culture, there would be peace. And unity.

Remember some of the lyrics...
“Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one”

In his mind, if we remove God, religion, countries and their boundaries, there will be unity and peace.

There will be universal peace some day, but it will be administered by God, not human progressives.

Early Americans were drawn to the New World primarily in pursuit of religious freedom, and then economic opportunity.

Disagreement and strife were not uncommon in the founding of this country, the drafting and ratifying of the documents and even the organizing of the government. But they were drawn together by a higher purpose---Freedom. And they recognized their source was a higher power...God.

It was the earliest colonists who described America as a "city on a hill". They believed they were creating a beacon of freedom that would light the way for their children and grandchildren and generations to come.

They believed they were creating something bigger than themselves, for greater purposes than their own pursuits. And they looked beyond themselves for the provision to do so.

Benjamin Franklin, not the most religious of our Founders, understood the principles. He said, "He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world." And indeed they did.

They were building something bigger than themselves to serve someone other than them selves and looking to a higher power do provide what they themselves could not provide.

In stripping God and even mention of Him, from public discourse, we have removed the higher power and the greater purpose. We are now drowning in a pool of political correctness striving for unity in our diversity, yet having preserved nothing that can produce it. And the secular progressive leaves nothing to which pilgrims and immigrants can assimilate into.

They are dismantling the very structure that creates unity, while professing to strive for it. They are dismantling the very structure that provides freedom, while claiming to protect it.

Unity should not be a goal. That fosters compromise and confusion. Unity is a by-product of higher aspirations.

Unity cannot be achieved through honoring diversity. It is achieved through singleness of purpose. Unity will never come by honoring diversity.

Unity is a biblical principle. The model of unity is in the biblical teaching in regard to people being one in Christ.

A.W. Tozer, theologian and author wrote in his book "The Pursuit of God," "Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship."

We are too "unity " conscious. We are honoring diversity, when we should be honoring God. We have lost our way and our greater purpose.

I believe a spiritual awakening is coming.

May God help us.


  1. Excellent, excellent article, Gary. You hit the nail on the head again. God bless you for putting to words what so many of us feel.

  2. Please forward this to your list. I did.

  3. You are aware that we brought English with us from England when we immigrated here, right? In fact, at the time, many preferred their country the way it had been, not the way English immigrants wanted it to be.

  4. I was infuriated at Coke's commercial. I'm glad to learn others felt the same. For me, goodbye Coke!

  5. Imagine there are no denominations.

    I know there will always be denominations, but sometimes I like to imagine. Sometimes there's something to learn by thinking about things.

    Imagine nothing of a religious spirit to fight for.

    I know that will never happen, until the kingdom of Christ comes in it's fullness, but sometimes I like to imagine.

    I believe real unity allows for diversity as long as what is different is not contrary to the will of God, and even if it is, it will voice the truth that is against that diversity as it suffers it for a time, but it will not go along with it as if it is a true friend.

    He who divided light from darkness will divide the sheep from the goats.

    I don't believe it's wrong to expect those who will become a part of a country, to learn it's language, laws, and customs, as we allow differences that are not harmful to it.

    There's a lot that's been happening in America that is doing it harm. Yes, there's been the work of the enemy going on within.

    Doing away with God opens the door wide for the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy. Why should people do that to America? Yet many think of themselves as American. They may be that way on paper, with or without a birth certificate, but a godly America is what we should be for, and not against.

  6. The composer of American, the Beautiful, Katherine Lee Bates, was a gay American & (liberal democracy-loving) Congregationalist.

    I think you & your followers would benefit from reading some Mary Oliver, but keep in mind, she's another proud gay American, who also happens to be the most wonderful & popular poet in the USA over the last 50 years.

    Another person to become familar with is who many historians believe is the most unsung, but impactful American in the 20th Century is Frances Willard. Again, another gay American.

    Open your eyes to the positive contributions of ALL Americans, & not just those who feed your narrow world view.

    1. Mary who? Frances who? I'd take Teddy Roosevelt, FDR or Eisenhower over either as the most impactful of the 20th century.

      Craig in Lacey


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