I did it. I’m guilty as charged. When society takes a knee and refuses to stand for our National Anthem, our flag or our Pledge of Allegiance, I still proudly stand with my hand on my heart. When institutions, even churches, refuse to display our flag because it might offend someone, I still proudly fly mine. I wear patriotic t-shirts, not disparaging ones, and wear red, white and blue jewelry, even when our media moguls at ABC tell our tv broadcasters not to place a flag pin on their lapels. I admit it. I’m a patriot and I love this country.
Even when I don’t agree with some policies of this administration or the past one or the one before that, and so on, I pray fervently for our country, our leaders and our people. I want to see us succeed as a nation under God. In spite of our differences, we are one people, united by our citizenship. Why must we hate each other and our country? In spite of our flaws and what textbooks now tell our students about our bullying, ostracization, oppression and murders, I still see our greatness as a nation. Let’s not forget that we’ve done a lot of things right too.
We have so much to offer. We are still a land of opportunity for those who come and wish to work hard, and not succumb to entitlements. We have been prosperous, innovative, diligent and strong. We are the first to respond to the misfortunes and disasters of other nations, and I am proud of our generosity and compassion. Every time we travel, I love to see the beauty and diversity of our land—America the Beautiful.
I have celebrated our freedoms to think, say, act and worship as we wish. I honor our military for sacrificing and fighting to preserve those freedoms. A strong military is a defense against those outside who would terrorize us. But I am disturbed. What was once considered freedom to disagree is now becoming a politically correct standard that is being forced upon those of us who still love our country and our God. If we don’t agree with the progression of our society, we are ridiculed for our patriotism, our faith, and our standards. Our movement away from freedom and enterprise to socialism and a nanny-state which imposes ways of thinking and acting on us is indeed disturbing. We are destroying ourselves from within. Will the day come when conservatives, patriots and Christians are effectively muzzled and even persecuted? If and when that day comes will there be enough evidence to convict you? As a patriot? As a Christian? I hope so. I’m guilty.
What can we do? More hate, more polarization, more anger is not the answer. Our humanistic attempts to solve our problems are failing. We must not be afraid to stand firm in our beliefs, but there is more. It is our God who heals and fixes brokenness of people and nations. It is He who brings success. He can change hearts and bring forgiveness. He can replace hate with love; discontent with gratefulness. It begins with each of us as individuals and then spreads through our love and prayers to those around us—one at a time. Our prayers are also effective in determining the course of our country and our leaders, so do not neglect praying. Only God knows what power and healing can result from the prayers of His people.
“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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).