I’m not proud to be an American—I’m grateful. I didn’t do anything to become a citizen of this country. I was just born. But in appreciating America today, I feel like I’m a freak or something.
So many Americans hate America. Why? There’s so much to love. Some would-be immigrants risk their lives to get here, so that they might have a chance to enjoy the freedom we take for granted every single day.
The hatred against America is often fostered by our schools and our media. It’s cool to bash America. You can see it in the now-regular pushback against the National Anthem and the flag in some of the football games.
But here are ten reasons I am thankful to live here:
1) America is more of an idea than a nationality, and it’s a good idea. We are a proverbial melting pot of all sorts of nationalities.
Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, once told me in a television interview, “We’re the only nation in the world that is a creedal nation. Every other nation in the world is tied to ethnicity. We’re not; we’re tied to ideas.”
2) We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.
Land went on to say that the ideas that animate this country “are embodied in the Declaration of Independence… that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
Land continues, “So anybody can become an American in a way that you can’t become a Frenchman or become a German….That makes us unique in the world; and that creed was formed and shaped by the Puritans, by those who came here seeking religious freedom. As Martin Marty once said, ‘we are a nation with the soul of a church.’”
3) Even when America doesn’t live up to its creed—that all men are created equal—we can correct those mistakes.
Knowing that man is sinful, the founding fathers built in mechanisms to correct our errors. Slavery was a terrible evil that our nation was able to constitutionally correct, after its most brutal and bloody war.
4) In America, we are all free to worship according to the dictates of our conscience (or to not worship at all). Religious freedom, though at risk in our day, is part of the very foundation of the nation.
Land also said, “If you want to understand America, you have to go back to Massachusetts Bay, and you have to go back to Governor Winthrop; and we came here to be a shining city on a hill, the New Jerusalem, to light the way for the old world.”
5) Although religious freedom is at risk today in America, it still exists for the most part.
As Rev. Winthrop once said in a letter to his wife, after listing one challenge after another, “We here enjoy God and Jesus Christ, and is not this enough?” Though tattered and torn, the First Amendment is still in place.
6) Generally, if we do what is right, we have no fear of things like a knock at the night of secret police, looking to take us away. That is common under totalitarian regimes.
For example, this happened to the Christian family of Harry Mihet, an attorney for Christ today in America, who grew up in Communist Romania. One night his family almost got in trouble for having Bibles for distribution, but they managed to outwit the secret police. In this speech he explains how.
7) We have the right to provide a quality education for our children.
In many cases, we have to work harder to provide an alternative to the politically correct indoctrination of the government schools. But those alternatives exist. For example, in America, we can legally home school our children—in all 50 states.
8) We can make of our lives what we wish. We have the freedom to pursue our God-given dreams. Often we can find the means to fulfill them
9) We have the freedom to choose the elected officials we wish to represent us in this republic. If we don’t like the current crop, we can vote in new ones. I see some people protesting Trump, holding signs saying, “He’s not my president.” Ironically, some of those protesters did not even vote.
10) We have the freedom to disagree with our government and voice our disagreement. We have the freedom work and pray for positive change.
America is far from perfect. That’s why the prayer in the hymn “America the Beautiful” is so appropriate: “America, America, God, mend thine every flaw.” Praying for that and working together for the common good is far better than America-loathing and working to destroy the nation from within.