I am grateful to be an American and thankful to have been privileged to be born and raised in this blessed country. The statistics about America’s blessings are staggering. It has more arable land under cultivation than any other nation, but has only 1/5 the population of China or India. Its economy is 30% of the world’s total, and its stock markets are worth half of the total of all stock markets in the world. With only 4% of the world’s population, its $400 billion a year defense budget equals that of almost all the rest of the world combined. Americans also enjoy the world’s highest standard of living and America’s freedom and prosperity is the envy of the world.
As great as our physical resources are and were, others have recognized America’s real greatness. French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said, “I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests–and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning–and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution–and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”
Our monuments, coins, and vast historical documents testify to our declared dependence on God. Clearly most of our founding fathers believed and feared God. This does not mean everything they did was right but it does mean many of our leaders were guided by biblical principles and values.
America has not always done the right thing. We do not have a special relationship with God because we are Americans. America is not a perfect country, and our founders were not perfect people. Our history includes a legacy of slavery and racial prejudice. It includes the mistreatment of native peoples. It includes gender bias and other prejudices.
That being said,Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator wrote an article entitled America: The Good Neighbor. “This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave billions in debts… When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up… When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries to in to help. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble… Stand proud, America.”
It is my prayer that America will always seek to do the right thing. Scripture commands that we pray for our leaders that God will grant them wisdom and direction. I echo the words and thoughts of Abraham Lincoln who once said “…we know that the Lord is always on the side of right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and the nation should choose to be on the Lord’s side.”
Pastor Sandy Huntsman
Boca Glades Baptist Church