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|God Bless America?||
For over 200 years now, presidents, congressmen and candidates have closed their speeches with three words: God Bless America! Even when it could be construed as politically incorrect to invoke the name of God in a state setting, politicians from both major parties continue to do it. But can we really expect God to continually bless our country?
There are many reasons that "God Bless America" has a place in our society. We have, as a nation, long recognized and honored a Divine Being. Despite the wide range of religious beliefs, the importance of Providence in the affairs of men has rarely been denied.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "...God governs the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"
Americans, in general, have lived in accordance with Judeo-Christian values. Our country has proven to be compassionate, unselfish, and ready to assist those in need. When natural disaster strikes -- whether it's an earthquake in Turkey or a famine in Sudan -- America routinely cares for the helpless and hurting. When tyrants try to oppress people -- from the Soviets to the Taliban -- America has worked not to conquer, but to liberate and grant the opportunity of freedom to all. Even our enemies in wartime -- from the Germans in World War II to the Iraqis of today -- have benefited from the generous rebuilding efforts we have implemented, regardless of the time and money required.
America has, for the most part, set a positive example throughout the world -- a "city set on a hill." While the Communists once built walls to keep people in, America has had to manage the influx of immigrants seeking the American dream and all it offers.
At the same time, we must wonder if our contemporary pleas for God's blessings might be out of order. Modern society often promotes practices, lifestyles and ideas that run counter to the Biblical principles of God.
Too many wealthy individuals and corporations are consumed by greed and dishonest practices. Too many politicians stir up envy among the poor. Those who "have" tend to horde it and those "have not" hate those who do!
Sexual extremes and perversions have become commonplace amongst adults and children. Unhealthy addictions abound. Pop culture glorifies decadence while belittling morality. We fail to promote the importance of innocence while failing to protect the innocent unborn.
Our enemies hate the positive aspects of America, like freedom and opportunity, while exploiting the negative attributes. They use our "sins" to recruit pawns for their terror and justify their horrific actions. While we recognize the flawed thinking of the tormentors, Americans should analyze their own lives to make constructive changes, offset the criticism and strengthen our country's foundation.
When floods occur in nature, it often exposes the need to build on higher ground. Perhaps, as disaster strikes, it is time to go beyond merely asking God to bless America and begin to build our lives on higher moral ground.