Thursday, July 04, 2024

America Is Exceptional

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When America announced its independence as a nation in 1776, it was comprised of thirteen colonies surrounded by hostile powers.

  • Our nation is now 50 states covering a vast continent.
  • Our military forces became the most powerful in the world.
  • Our economy produces about a quarter of the world's wealth.
  • Our people were among the most hard-working, church-going, affluent, and generous people in the world.

Some are asking if America is an exceptional nation. 

Some say America is a nation in decline.

Be informed, not misled.

The secular Left progressives have been making war on America for decades, claiming that America is irredeemably tainted by racism and that our Founders were slave-owing hypocrites, and our Constitution is a "living document" that allows progressives to re-write it to affirm whatever the current beliefs happen to be at any given time.

Natural rights have been replaced by the group rights of gender and other identity groups.

The Left is culturally Marxist and economically socialist.

The ideas behind this war on America are these: 

  1. Natural law is a myth---there are no fixed Truths. 
  2. Rights are not fixed by Natural Law but invented by uninformed people and continually change seeking new forms of individual expression based on appetites, desires, and preferences. 
  3. In their mind, history is progressive, always marching toward some undefined goal of ever greater personal liberation (or license).
  4. Individual freedom is a radical undertaking, completely devoid of personal responsibility and the founding notion of virtue. They are always focused on personal pleasures, needs, desires, and experiences.

Despite the attack by the Left, America is still exceptional.

English writer G. K. Chesterton famously observed, "America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a  creed."

Of course, that creed is the Declaration of Independence, by which the American colonies announced their separation from Great Britain. 

The Declaration is a timeless statement of inherent rights, the proper purposes of government, and the limits on political authority.

Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court nudged our nation back toward the "limits on political authority."

The founding of the United States was revolutionary—not in the sense of replacing one set of rulers with another or overthrowing the institutions of society, but in placing political authority in the hands of the people.

The American Founders appealed to self-evident truths stemming from "the Law of Nature and of Nature's God" to justify their liberty.  This is a universal and permanent standard. These truths are not unique to America but apply to all men and women everywhere. They are as true today as they were in 1776.

That's why America became that "City on a Hill."

America's birth came from Faith in God. 

A few months before signing the Declaration, Patrick Henry, a Founder who served as the first and sixth post-colonial governor of Virginia, addressed the Virginia Convention and declared: 

“We are not weak if we make proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”

You cannot read the story of our nation without seeing the practice of vigilance, engagement, and Godly courage.

America's birth came with great personal sacrifice.

All 56 patriots who signed the Declaration took their duties to the people of the new nation so seriously that they made a promise: “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” They signed the Declaration of Independence knowing that the penalty would be death if they were captured, and that pledge could literally cost them their lives and fortunes. 

As a result, 17 men lost property due to British raids, and 12 had homes destroyed. Five lost their fortunes in helping fund the Continental Army and state militias battle the redcoats. Five were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. One had two sons imprisoned on a British starving ship, one had a son killed in battle, one had his wife die from harsh prison treatment, and nine signers died in the Revolutionary War.

America is exceptional, not perfect.

On July 15, 1991, Ronald Reagan said, "Our founding documents proclaim to the world that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few. It is the universal right of all God's children."

This is not easy. America has not always been successful. But because of the principles to which it is dedicated, the United States strives to uphold the highest ideals. More than any other nation, it has a special responsibility to defend the cause of liberty at home and abroad.

America is an exceptional nation, but not because of what it has achieved or accomplished. America is exceptional because, unlike any other nation, it is dedicated to the principles of human liberty, grounded on the truth that all men are created equal and endowed with equal rights.

Abraham Lincoln once said these permanent truths are "applicable to all men in all times."

George Washington said in his first Inaugural Address: "The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."

To this day, so many years after the American Revolution, these principles---proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and explained in the Constitution---still define America as a nation and a people.


Founding Father and second president John Adams said, "You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

Patrick Henry famously said, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

America is facing an identity crisis similar to that of Lincoln's time. President Lincoln told the people of his time that America was deeply divided, and as Jesus taught, a house divided cannot stand; it will become all of one or all of the other.

Generations of teaching our children that America is systemically racist,  founded on an economy of slavery, not the principle of religious liberty, and is irredeemable is taking its toll and is reflected in the kind of leadership we elect.

Cultural Marxism has crept into the minds of our children as it has become awash in public schools.

We are shaking our fists in the face of nature and nature's God, declaring God errored in Creation. Claiming human beings are not merely "male and female" but dozens of variations, including neither male nor female. We are celebrating this abomination.

As we celebrate our Independence today, let's be mindful that our liberty came at a great cost. And ask ourselves if we are willing to pay the price to preserve the "sacred fire of liberty."

And that preservation will begin with 2 Chronicles 7:14.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Be Informed. Be Vigilant Be Discerning. Be Engaged. Be Courageous. Be Prayerful. Be Grateful.