American gratitude

Free Speech
by La Shawn Barber

Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, at 3:17 pm

Administrators at Jackson Hole High School in Wyoming recently canceled “America Day” for fear of offending students at the school who don’t like America. The obvious question for me is not why some students might not like America, but why this American school’s administrators care that some students might not like America? Such a question is strange these days, in the age of political correctness. Kudos to the kids for wearing red, white, and blue despite the cancellation.

Let’s say that, for whatever reason, you immigrate to another country. You notice the natives have pride in their country. They wear the country’s colors. They sing their country’s songs. They celebrate their country. Why would you be offended by any of this? Would you expect the people to care that you’re offended and cancel patriotic events?

I don’t apologize for loving America or for proclaiming it to be the best country in the world. I thank God I live here, even though some of my ancestors were in bondage. I have a kissing-the-ground kind of love for my country, even though people who looked like me were once second-class citizens. The founders didn’t have me in mind as a full citizen when they created this place, but I’m one now.

The U.S. Constitution declares that Congress shall make no law that infringes on my freedom of speech and religion or my right to keep and bear arms. I have a right to due process, to confront witnesses if accused of a crime, and other protections. But as the freedoms of speech and religion weaken, so do the rest. Give me liberty or give me death? Many would gladly die than live under tyranny.

What a blessing to have been born in the greatest, most free country on the planet. America is also a place where too many people have forgotten what it’s like to be ruled by tyrants. Poisonous political correctness has crept in and given way to speech codes and reeducation camps. We see certain lobbying groups using government power to stifle dissent and suppress Christian expression.

I don’t believe it’s unbiblical to be patriotic, though there is the risk of “patriotic” idolatry—worshiping the state. America is run by sinners and inhabited by sinners. We the repentant are citizens of heaven, children of God, and our love for country shouldn’t trump our love for God or obedience to Him.

We have many problems. America slaughters millions of babies in the womb for the sake of convenience. Liberals point to “racism” or “poverty” or “white privilege” as reasons why people with desperately wicked hearts break laws. The government penalizes Christians for refusing to bow the knee to the PC god. And on and on.

Still, I’m grateful to be an American, and I keep praying for national revival.

La Shawn Barber

La Shawn is a former WORLD columnist.

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