Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Exceptionalism

Ever since B.O. said that America was exceptional to Americans the same way the Greece is exceptional to Greeks and England is exceptional to the British, people have been talking about this idea of American exceptionalism and what it means. 

America’s history is certainly exceptional.  The U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence are revolutionary.  To me American exceptionalism means that these documents are by far superior to anything since the Bible.  They are not perfect, but they are more than just a step of progress toward some ideal society.  For the first time, a People established a government which recognized the rights of the people and threw off a tyrannical government without replacing it with another.  This would not have been possible without God-fearing men and the help of the Almighty.

But all this certainly does not mean that America is exceptional today.  A nation can lose its exceptionalism more easily than it has gained it.  Americans have murdered 50 million of it’s our children.  America has put its trust in our government to provide for our every need (healthcare, jobs, education, etc.). She has also put her trust in its military might and has killed a hundred times more people in the current wars than all those killed in all terrorist attacks between 1993 and 2004.  She has forgotten that the Bible says, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and LIFE FOR LIFE.”  She now thinks that it is the inherent ability of her citizens to develop technology and her possession of the raw materials to utilize it which makes her exceptional.  But if she has any real exceptionalism left, it comes from the fact that she was founded upon biblical principles of justice and liberty.

American can take a lesson can taken from the Israelite nation.  The Israelites thought that they were special people.  They were right, but that did not mean that God was going to protect them no matter what they did.  God sent the prophet Ezekiel to warn the people that the destruction Jerusalem was coming.  God wanted the people to know that it would not be because the gods of the Babylonians were stronger than Yahweh.  He told them through the prophet Ezekiel that the Babylonians would be victorious over the Israelites because God himself would make it happen on purpose.  “Then you will know that I am the LORD,” Ezekiel told them.  The reason why God did this is because of sins of the Israelites.  These included the sacrificing of infants and the worshipping of idols. 

But that we must be a just and moral people was not the only thing that the Founders of the American Republic warned us to do in order to maintain our freedoms.  They also said were must be a religious people.  They said we must be vigilant against tyranny.  They said we must want freedom more than comfort.  They said we must want liberty more than security.  They said that we must recognize that power tends to corrupt people, even ones with the best of intentions.  These are the things which Americans need to hear in order to regain our exceptionalism.  If America will hear this message and take it to heart, America can be even better than it ever has been.

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