5 Reasons We’re Thankful to be Americans

This 4th of July brings our country’s 237th birthday.

As I contemplate the current 55 years of my sojourn on this earth, the providence that I would be born in America grows in significance with each passing year.  And perhaps nothing has made this more clear than our travels around the world.

Being ever the introspective kinda guy, I thought it important to lay down into words just why I am so thankful to be an American.

5 Reasons We’re Thankful to be Americans

  1. God Shed His Grace on Thee – It is said that Katharine Lee Bates penned the words to America the Beautiful from atop Colorado’s 14,000-foot Pikes Peak.  The view from her lofty perch moved her so much that eight times she cries out:  America! America! God shed his grace on thee.  And crown thy good with brotherhood. From sea to shining sea!  Over and over her poem asks God to provide grace to this nation.  As I’m not one who believes that my ancestors climbed out of some sea of primordial soup, I find myself very thankful that God has indeed shed his grace on this country.
  2. Democracy – A study of the world’s history records that kings, being quite human, are many times not in the best interest of a nation.  Israel, in its ancient history, cried out for a king.  Samuel said, “you don’t want a king!  He will ultimately take your land, your possessions, your children, and your money”.  America’s great influx of pilgrims was the result of millions fleeing from the dictates of kings’ proclaiming how people should think, live, and spend their money.   America has put the right of rule in the hands of its people through a democratic election.  Granted, this is a very, very messy process, but we always have the opportunity to “throw the bum out” if he/she gets out of hand.  This is a great thing!
  3. Freedom – Freedom is a tricky thing, and certainly requires a certain level of restraint.  I shouldn’t be free to steal your car, for example.  But within the restraints of a just legal system, our American freedom is an amazing thing.  I can say the things I want to say.  I can worship at whatever church I desire.  I can start a business.  I have the privilege to have a dream, and then to work relatively unencumbered in the pursuits of my dream.  Take a very careful look around the world, and you’re certain to quickly understand what a remarkable thing freedom is.
  4. Rights –  There is a lot of confusion today about what is a right and what is really a privilege of our democracy.  For example, I don’t have the right to expect you to send me money if I’m unwilling to go out and make a living for myself.  Sure, if I’m unable for some reason, our compassion makes certain exceptions to the rule. However, I do have the right to protect my property, the right to worship as I choose, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to a speedy trial with a jury of my peers, and quite a few more.  These well placed cornerstones are yet another reason our nations is such a great place to live.
  5. Joy –  when a nation is able to live without the restraints of an unjust system, or overseer, they are free then to work, play, live, and enjoy each other.  I’m thinking, for example, of the joy of seeing some 6 year-old little girl riding her tricycle down the street in a 4th of July parade in small towns all over America.  Many people in the world don’t get to experience joy as the fruit of the land in which they live.  We do.  And I’m very, very grateful.

Well, there you have it.  Five things that I will be mulling over in my mind as we again celebrate another birthday of our great nation.

Why are you thankful to be an American?

Note: the girl on tricycle photograph is a Flickr Creative Commons photogaph from jmtimages.

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  1. [...] You might also enjoy my musings from the 4th of July on this same issue:  5 Reasons We’re Glad to be Americans. [...]

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