Too many Americans confused about America

          Without a doubt America is not only the greatest nation on the planet, but also the most incredible country in all of human history.  However, on the 241st anniversary of our founding too many Americans are confused about our founding principles, our republic, and our rights.  In short, the idea of America has become an amorphous malleable ungrounded concept that makes “American Exceptionalism” seem like just a cheap slogan.

            Many factors are causing the current confusion from failing education to derelict media to corrupt government to surging socialism all coalescing into willful ignorance and desired immorality.  With plenty of blame to share and no one in particular to blame, President Obama put a tidy exclamation point on our misunderstanding of “American Exceptionalism” in 2009 when he said “America considers itself exceptional like any other nation considers itself exceptional.”  So it’s no big deal, we’re all the same.

            Actually, the founding of the United States is a HUGE deal in every respect and literally without parallel.  Not since the Israelites entered the promise land was a nation founded on the premise man was created to be free by God and no power on earth can deny that fact.  Our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, enshrined this crucially vital principle with these words:

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The entirety of American freedom rises and falls on that statement.  We as a nation acknowledge our individual rights come directly from God and we as citizens answer to a higher power.  That was a dramatic departure from other nations where the king answered to God and the people answered to the king – the king was the government.  In America, the people are the government, so no man or earthly authority can come between any individual and their God given rights.  As the only country to codify God as the highest power and sole grantor of rights, America is unique and therefore “exceptional.”

The pilgrims and pioneers flooding the new wilderness continent came for the unfettered right to worship and work as they chose.  They simply sought opportunity where everyone’s rights were recognized and protected.  Today we have endless tedious debates about a laundry list of supposed “rights” desired or perceived.  There’s a simple thumb rule for determining a “right.”  If it costs money, it’s not a right.

The gross misunderstanding of rights is perhaps our greatest source of national turmoil.  Certainly people want education and healthcare, but they cost money.  So for the government to provide such benefits, the government has to confiscate someone else’s wealth to pay for it.  Therefore, these are not rights but at best charity and at worst extortion.

That is not to say an assembly of free people may not agree to collectively pay for some of these benefits, but they must not be misconstrued as rights.  That fallacy allows unscrupulous politicians to purchase votes by claiming to bestow rights which puts America on the slippery slope of “manmade” rights.  The grave danger is twofold:  Whoever grants a right or benefit can also deprive or rescind the gift.  And that assumed authority then also has power over those who accept the gifts no matter what you call them. 

The founding fathers delineated limited government with very specific powers to purposefully restrain the powers of man over other men.  The strict constraints in the Constitution on man’s power also keeps our rights separate as God given and protected from government interference.  Generations of Americans have fought and died to preserve a nation where people can truly be free as God intended, so it’s imperative we pass on to coming generations American freedom is lost without God. 

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.”  Psalm 33:12


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