Friday, July 01, 2022

Are You Proud of America?

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After a grueling month of pictures and breathless reports of parades, parties, and expressions of 
"Pride" regarding gender dysphoria, unnatural sexual behavior, and general confusion regarding human sexual behavior, could we take a deep breath on the first day of the month that isn't "pride month" and ask if anybody is "Proud" to be an  American? 

Gallup asked that question. In fact, they've been asking it for more than 20 years.

Here's what they found this year.

And some thoughts about what they found. And didn't find.

Be informed, not misled.

According to a new survey taken by Gallup, a record-low 38% of US adults say they are "extremely proud" to be an American.

The poll was conducted June 1-20.

Gallup notes that the measure has been on a steady decline since 2008 when 58% of Americans  surveyed reported being "extremely proud" or "very proud."

This year's poll also found that the larger pool of respondents reporting that they were either "extremely proud" or "very proud" also shrunk, down to 65% from 85% in 2013.

Why are Americans not so proud of our country as we once were?

Gallup gives their "bottom line" on these numbers:

Although Americans' national pride is at or near historical lows, depending on the measure, a majority of U.S. adults remain proud to be an American. This dimension of patriotism has been subject to change throughout the years, depending on a variety of factors, including the popularity of the sitting president, the health of the economy, and high-profile national events such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In recent years, all party groups have become less inclined to say they are proud of their country, which may reflect deepening political divisions and party gridlock in Washington, as well as national challenges regarding race relations, COVID-19 policies, and inflation.

Gallup also suggests record-low overall levels of national pride are the results of the pandemic and skyrocketing inflation. The consumer price index has reached its highest point in 40 years, one gallon of gas costs more than $5 a gallon in parts of the country and one study found that the cost of the average Fourth of July barbecue will be up 17% from last year. 

I think Gallup is right---they've been doing this a long time, but I think the "root cause" that President Biden and VP Harris like to talk about all the time, is, in this case, worth looking at.

The America our Founding Fathers never dreamed of.  

Those early arrivers like William Bradford on the Mayflower and later John Winthrop on the Arbella. saw a "city on a hill" where the eyes "of all people shall be upon us"--- when there was nothing:

The passengers of the Arbella who left England in 1630 with their new charter had a great vision. They were to be an example for the rest of the world in rightful living. Future governor John Winthrop stated their purpose quite clearly: "We shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us."

The Arbella was one of eleven ships carrying over a thousand Puritans to Massachusetts that year. It was the largest original venture ever attempted in the English New World. The passengers were determined to be a beacon for the rest of Europe, "A Modell of Christian Charity," in the words of the governor.

By the end of the 1630s,  nearly 14,000 more Puritan settlers had come to Massachusetts, and the colony began to spread. In 1691, the Plymouth colony, still without a charter, was absorbed by their burgeoning neighbor to the West.

Historians tell us "The great experiment seemed to be a smashing success" for the first few decades.

Indeed it was. An elected legislature was established, echoing the commitment to self-government. Although ministers were prohibited from holding political office, many of the most important decisions were made by the clergy. In 1636 Harvard College was opened for the express purpose of training Christian ministers.

The original motto of  Harvard was “Truth (Veritas) for Christ (Christo) and the Church (Ecclesiae).” It was adopted in 1692 and was a part of their original seal. The motto can still be found at multiple places on Harvard's campus. I've personally seen them.

Interestingly, the top two books on the shield are face up while the bottom book is face down. This symbolizes the limits of reason and the need for God's revelation.

When the seal was revised later, all three books were seen face-up, symbolizing a belief that there is no limit to man's reasoning and that God's revelation is no longer needed.

Harvard's "Rules and Precepts" adopted in 1646 and given to incoming students said in part---(original spelling): 

Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).

Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in Theoreticall observations of Language and Logick, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his Tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130).

In the end, however, "worldly concerns" led to a decline in religious fervor as the 1600s grew to an end. 

The flame of Christian passion had become an ember---a flicker by the mid-1700s as England began putting more and more pressure on the colonies.

Pastors, preachers, and evangelists began to see the loss of fervor and passion that once existed. Not all, but some began to preach the Bible with renewed passion. Some who did so were banned from some of the churches. So they preached on the streets and in rented buildings---in pastures. And thousands came out to listen.

Probably the two best known preachers were George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards who strongly supported Whitefield.

Jonathan Edwards famously preached a sermon titled, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." His preaching literally shook the colonies.

As many as 20,000 people would come to hear George Whitefield preach in a pasture---without a microphone, of course.

The political discussion was greatly shaped by the preaching coming from the Christian church.

It was during this great awakening that a political awakening was also happening.

The preaching stirred courage and hope.

It was in the run-up to the Revolutionary War that Patrick Henry told his colleagues, "When people forget God, tyrants forge their chains."

They were hearing the hammer of the tyrant.

Patrick Henry was not the only man who felt this way, but he boldly said it out loud. In public.

"Give me liberty or give me death."

We live in similar times, except that the "tyrants" are not in England. They're within.

We have a government today that is led by people who apologize to Europe and the world because he says our Supreme Court got it wrong.

He asks the world to please consider us the world leader, even though our highest court did not find a "right" to abortion in our Constitution.

We have a leader that has given a month to celebrating sexual behavior that God, the Creator, has condemned.

We have marginalized the God who has blessed us. We have taught our children that reason is supreme over revelation from God.

We have mocked those who don't evolve and cast off the biblical "myths" of the Bible.

We have leadership in this country who pompously go in and out of the Church claiming to be devout in their faith---while declaring war on the God who has created us. And our nation through His blessings.

This 4th of July weekend would be a great time to first thank God for blessing America, ask Him to forgive us, and as we turn from our wicked ways, ask Him to heal our land. And forgive our sins.

Ask Him to awaken us, as he did our forefathers.

President Ronald Reagan said,

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what is was once like in the United States where men were free."

Be Informed. Be Thoughtful. Be Discerning, Be Prayerful. Be Bold.