I have attained a status that is despised in some circles. I wear the label “old white guy” and my 70+ years have been shaped by increasingly despised premises — now considered “narrow”: Christianity, Capitalism, Constitutionalism, Patriotism (Nationalism), “In God We Trust”, Ten Commandments, the American Dream. I have very little real experience outside the “protection” of the security and Blessing of America — just enough to experience genuine delight to “get home” when returning through our border/US Customs. Unlike many in big blue cities, I have never felt the need to fear or to take extreme security precautions. As a kid in rural Wisconsin, I remember wondering why anyone would risk losing their car keys by ever taking them out of the ignition. Somehow my peaceful existence is now considered naive’, or privileged, and the likes of me are the cause of the lack of blessing on others! While it would be bazaar and immoral to apologize for the blessings, it does indeed make me try to analyze why should my generation have been so “lucky”?
If we can figure out the “why?”, we can, perhaps, “govern” in such a way as to return to the blessings. The “why” is very easy to analyze compared to enabling a “return” process. First a list of the showers of “blessings:
- Our trees, fertile soil, farmers, crops of fruits and vegetables, our livestock, climate, have generated a breadbasketfor the earth. In 2019, the United States agriculture exported $135.54 billion worth, with soybeans, beef, veal, pork, poultry, fruits and veggies (fresh and processed) topping the list. And we KEPT and consumed 80% ourselves!
- We live in security as we, our sons and daughters, and our neighbors shared the duty, (sometimes at the cost of life and limb), to enforce good law… (military and police).
- No nation tells America what to do. We pay no tribute or taxes to other nations. We are free from “yokes” placed on us by enemy nations. Words of condemnation and rebukes of America have been hollow because, by comparison, America has been too powerful!
- It is obvious to every nation on earth (all aspiring immigrants) that anyone who lives here is blessed even if they can just sneak in and be close to the influence of our citizens.
I have based this ‘short-list’ of blessings on a promise given to ancient Israel delivered by a prophet (Ezekiel 34-25-29). Is it a coincidence America’s bountiful years look so much like this promise to Israel? If so, you should at least find it interesting the ancients valued the same things we do – “blessings” – as constants for human security. If not— if there is a deeper significance. This is NOT a promise to a “secular” nation! Is it possible America has been blessed because of the faith of the citizens in the same God? I think it is very evident, as did Tocqueville , and many of you, my readers, also place hope in a “Supreme Judge” of a perfect law. America’s motto, “In God We Trust”, has been the identifying boast of Americans for years; it now seems to embarrass and frustrate some! Many, or maybe most, Americans identify at some level with being the “sheep” portrayed in this prophet’s analogy. My generation is still warmed by the 23rd Psalm… and our churches still proclaim a living “Good Shepherd”.
It is unsettling to read the context of this ancient prophecy and realize the great city of Jerusalem was utterly destroyed and the Jews scattered in AD 70 … a very well documented event in history. Christians and Jews anticipate there is still “the rest of the story” ahead for all mankind. While there vast differences on what it will be, we virtually all agree there is one God (Shepherd) and one law. If Israel could be annihilated, so can America. My advice to every reader is to ponder, research, and then ask yourself life’s second most important question, “What does He want of me?” I am very confident you have people around you who are eager to help you answer this question. But, beware, most of them will want you to DO something to earn your way, a hopeless impossibility as revealed to all humankind about 2000 years ago — celebrated as Easter. The cost of faith is dear indeed… too expensive for many to “buy-in”. This cost: a humble and complete surrender of control of our life and destiny to the Good Shepherd.
This was also submitted as an article to The People’s Paper.