Friday, July 02, 2010

4th of July weekend: pray for our nation

These days this can sound a bit like asking one to pray for the sinking Titanic. For anyone the least bit versed in history, it's hard not to become a trifle cynical -- so much is reminiscent of the bread and circuses and corruption in the declining years of the Roman Empire. And what is this we are celebrating -- National Dependence Day? As I said to a friend yesterday: Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that you're a helpless bystander watching the country get kidnapped by a consortium of liberals, lesbians, liars, and lunatics (or is that becoming redundant these days)?

Having said that, there is so much for which to be thankful about this land and nation of ours. We may be snuffing out nearly 3,700 lives of unborn Americans per day, but we've got great cable and satellite TV packages and home entertainment systems and i-phones. Damn. There I go being cynical again, when I had meant to say something really positive.

So what am I thankful for? I'm thankful for freedom of worship (even in the "extraordinary form"), freedom of speech (to say politically incorrect things without being hauled off to prison yet), freedom to travel (without being stopped and questioned for not sporting an Obama-Beiden bumper sticker, so far). I'm thankful for the natural beauty of our country, from the Grand Canyon in the Southwest to the Rockies in Colorado and the Outer Banks off the Southeast coast of North Carolina. I'm thankful for the historical institutions of the land -- religious, academic, and governmental -- that once made this country great and offer a glimmer hope that she may yet weather her contemporary crises. I'm thankful for the native goodness of so many Americans still, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn noted when he was first exiled to our shores from the former Soviet Union -- goodness which arose again, phoenix-like, immediately from the ashes of the fallen Twin Towers after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I'm thankful for families that still look like families, for faithful marriages and healthy children, which give hope and strength to our social fabric. I'm thankful that no matter what lies in store for us as a nation, nothing that happens to us can separate us from the love of God, provided we place our trust in Him.


Christopher Blosser said...

No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.

-- Calvin Coolidge, Speech on the Occasion of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence

Pertinacious Papist said...

You gotta love Coolidge. He may have been known for his reticence, but he showed little of his trademark reserve when it came to acquiring pets. He may not have had a cow grazing on the White House lawn, like Taft, but he did have a donkey and a goose among his menagerie of wild and exotic animals. I think Obama's image would be improved if he acquired a moose and a few chickens.