Return America to what it was
December 20, 2012
Like many professors in my college, my English professor leads several class discussions about politics. In my class, we read many fascinating essays, then he asks for our opinions on what we read. Recently, we read an essay about compulsory military service, and that, among other things, opened my mind to how today’s America is different from what it used to be.
The essay that we read described some nations of the world that have enforced compulsory military service for all of its citizens. The question that the essay concluded with was, “Is it right for a country to force its citizens to serve in the military?” My professor made some very interesting points based on that and asked us a few thought provoking questions.
“If a country is to keep its freedom,” he asked, “shouldn’t the people be willing to serve their country, even if it means dying on the battlefield?”
That question that the professor asked made me think back to a song that I had heard a few days before.
I no longer see patriotism among the people here, but I see people who demand that the government give us free “goodies.”
Sometime around Election Day, my mom had shown me a song online called “My Name Is America.” The video begins saying, “If the statue of liberty could speak, this is what she would say.”
The song continues, “Born in the grip of oppression, I fought for my liberty. I paid with the blood of my people. Freedom has never been free . … My strength was not taken from others. Others gave it to me … Now I’m challenged by tyrants who envy my power, but their vicious deeds become my finest hour … For those who will harm me, I’ll face without fear. But I’ll always stand proud and free. I’m America. Don’t tread on me.”
Those words describe what America has always been about: the knowledge that our liberty was given to us by the blood of our forefathers who died so that this nation could be free.
“Don’t tread on me.” We will not stand back when others harm us. That song described the America that I remember 11 years ago after the 9/11 attack. I saw how the people reacted. They reacted like Americans.
Now, I wonder what has happened to us. I no longer see patriotism among the people here, but I see people who demand that the government give us free “goodies.” To Americans now, freedom and liberty are not worth dying for; they are only worth taking advantage of. If a crisis strikes, we fall apart and blame others for our misery. The vicious deeds of enemies do not become our “finest hour”; instead, they reveal just how weak we are.
After reading the essay on compulsory military service, I wondered what exactly is the root cause of this change that I see in Americans? Why are Americans today different than they were, not just 100 years ago, but even 10 years ago? I believe it’s because we have forgotten the one who really gave us this country and who made it the America that we can be proud of. Why should God allow us to prosper when we ignore him completely and give him no thanks for what we have?
We are in a country that is going downhill. There is nothing that we can do except pray and be grateful for what we have and for what we were born with. God is leaving us, and that is apparent when we see the frightening headlines that say “Recession, Inflation, Unemployment and Taxmageddon.”
But we could turn around if we change and remember the One who gave us this country. It could be like the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
We never get away with bad behavior — there are always consequences. But if we change our behavior, stop taking things for granted, and stop whining, then all of our wickedness would be forgotten and our country would be healed. Will we do that? I think not. But imagine if everyone in the world were to “turn from their wicked ways,” then we could remove the term “third-world country” from the English language. Perhaps then, America could be the nation that it used to be.
Daniel Jordan lives in Grass Valley.