Thursday, July 04, 2019

Goodness In America

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Happy Independence Day.

In 1835, French sociologist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville visited America, and later is said to have summarized his visit with this: "America is great because America is good."

Clearly, there are forces working to undermine America's freedom's and greatness and our goodness---but America is still great because Americans are good.

Be informed.

The character of goodness.

When I first heard Edgar Harrell's story, I shed a tear. I was deeply moved. I still am. You will be too.

He's one of the few who survived the torpedoing of the USS Indianapolis in July of 1945. His remarkable and miraculous survival gives witness to God's protection and the character of the 16 million WW II veterans who fought for the righteous cause of freedom.

This is the video of his story. I strongly recommend you watch it. It's about 6 minutes.

Harrell tells his story that from a small Kentucky farm at 18 years of age, he heard about the war on the radio, how men were giving there lives for freedom, and decided he wanted to help fight for freedom.

He joined the Marines and the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis became his home.

On July 30, 1945, after the ship had delivered critical components for the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima, a Japanese submarine spotted the Indianapolis and fired a spread of torpedoes---two hit their mark, and within 15 minutes the ship went down.

The worst disaster in US naval history.

About 300 boys died on the ship, 900 went into the water. Harrell entered the water with a group of 82. By the fourth day, only two were alive.

Harrell endured decomposed bodies bumping up against him. He thanked God for the case of rotten potatoes floating near him and a few drops of rainwater to drink. He wept hearing a boy near him praying, "God, I don't want to die. I've got a son back home."

Four and a half days floating in water with his skin covered in oil from the ship, and blood from his buddies who had been eaten by sharks, shapes character.

He tells of the miraculous "accidental" recovery by a damaged aircraft, calling it a miracle of God.

After returning home---73 years later, Edgar received a special award last year and a promotion.

Also, more recently, the great-granddaughter of Commander Hashimoto came to visit him in Clarksville. Hashimoto had ordered the torpedoes that sank the Indianapolis. Days later, much of his family died in the Hiroshima bombing.

Harrell says, "It's called 'reconciliation'. The little girl came to hug my neck."

He offered to take the family out to dinner. They chose Cracker Barrel.

Harrell has spent his time in later years speaking in churches, schools, and elsewhere, telling the true story of America's heritage, telling kids and adults why he put his life on the line for his country.

He strongly objects to how history revisionists are rewriting history to complement political correctness.

America is good because we have defended freedom. More than 1.1 million Americans have been killed doing good by protecting freedom and liberty.

America is good because we fought a war among ourselves over the moral issue of slavery. Nearly 600,000 people died to right a wrong.

America is not "racist." In 2008, white Americans ran to the polls to vote for the first black president---and the fact that millions of whites didn't vote for him, had nothing to do with the color of his skin. It had to do with his beliefs and policies.

There is goodness in America's character.

Goodness and charity.

You may remember, some leftists accused America of not helping the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita because most of the victims were black.

The truth is, 26 million Americans donated $4 billion to the victims.

Americans are charitable because they are good.

According to World Giving Index and the Independent, Americans are among the most generous people on the face of the earth. Collective, we give more than any other country. Per capita we are #4.

In the last report, Americans gave $410 billion to charity, with 70% of the funds coming from individuals.

Charity is also more than giving money. Americans help others. They contribute their time. Nearly 63 million people volunteer in the US, serving a combined total of 7.9 billion hours per year, the equivalent of $184 billion of services.

Goodness and Christianity.

Tocqueville is credited with giving this explanation of why America is good.

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”

I'll be sharing additional thoughts about America's goodness on the radio this morning. You may join me live at 9 AM PDT, from anywhere in the world. Here's how.

Grill a burger, cut a watermelon, eat potato salad and apple pie. Watch fireworks. Get together with friends and family.

And take a moment to thank God for America and the freedoms we have.

Be Blessed. Be Free.