I love my country! I am not ashamed to proclaim it as the best place on earth. I am not embarrassed to boast of its great history or the many wonderful things our nation has accomplished which have made our country the desired home of so many immigrants.
We have been a role model to which many freedom desiring people have aspired to.
This does not erase the wrongs to which we have also contributed. This in no way means we as a nation do not have much of which to lament in our history. I dare say, we, having been given so much, may very well have more to regret than many others. All nations have failings. All governments tend to preserve self interest as that is the basic purpose of a national government. All government is made up of fallible humans who will and do commit errors and misjudgments and at times even knowingly side with evil in the hope of peace for the moment. History shows us this is so and we can not deny it, thus has it been, and thus shall it be as long as mere men are involved in decisions of such magnitude. Until the end of time.
When I consider the regrets we as a nation hold in regards to our internal affairs, the one which stands starkest in our collective memory is the horror of slavery. Although we certainly did not invent the institution of slavery, as it has existed since the dawn of time, and even though it is known that the African tribes themselves were slave holders, this does nothing to take away the responsibility our ancestors brought on themselves by earning their livelihood at the expense of this inhumane practice.
Our country fought this battle for centuries. Many may not realize that much of the conflict involved with the ratification of the Constitution over the pre -existing Articles of Confederation was in great part caused by this very thing. Slavery was already dividing our country and in order to maintain a United States, compromises were made.
However, as history always reveals, compromises rarely solve an issue of such magnitude for long. Skeletons will come out of the closet and confront us later if not properly dealt with now. These temporary compromises led to the Civil War. The over riding purpose of the war was to enable the states to keep their rights but was fueled by the passions of men on both sides of the slavery issue. Many a young American man went to the battleground in order that other men, black men, might be freed. This was the first necessary step towards redemption of our nation in regards to this national sin.
These brave men chose to fight and not only confronted death and war, they were going against an institution many thought was vital to the future economical stability of our country. We should all salute them for their bravery of confronting this terrible act and wiping it from our country's boundaries.
No one would be foolish enough to declare that equality was immediately granted and felt by the newly freed slaves, but it was a necessary step towards that hope. Shortly, others would take up the fight and even black people were now free to promote their own agendas and unite in this common cause which led to the civil rights movement many of us remember from our youths.
The fact is, things have changed for the better. Not just for the betterment of the black citizen, but for those of us who are identified as white. We can feel a sense of relief in knowing that what our ancestors promoted is not acceptable any longer. We can see that a black man is now our highest earthly authority. More changes on the personal level need to be made but sadly, humans tend to behave badly towards others who are different. This crosses all spectrum of race and creed. This type of prejudice is not native to the American and is practiced across the globe and has been through out all history. But here, and now,we have seen a difference and we have every right to acknowledge it as an achievement!
The second largest disgrace I would lay at the feet of our nation is the terrible treatment dealt out to the American indians. While the exploration and conquering of nations has ever been and will ever remain a necessary process in the progress of mankind, and was also practiced by the American indian, in our case, it was often done with great deception and falsehoods in regards to the American indians.
The tribes were by no means innocents that went meekly to their deaths as a lamb to the slaughter! No, these brave and noble people fought and defended their territories many times to the very last man, woman and child. They had every right to do so and they did it against great odds and most valiantly! This warrior spirit was beheld by the new Americans and became an integral part of our national character. The Englishmen beheld in the American indian societies a freedom they had never experienced in Europe and I think this observation became a mind set among the newer generations of Americans as something admirable and worth fighting for just as the indians had done.
The colonist admired the freedom of the individual as seen in the American indian. They observed among the tribes, the right of council ,where every citizen could sit at the feet of the chiefs and rulers and take part in their civil decisions. This was not the case for the average European of common ancestry. They were at the whim of their authorities, taxed and ruled without even the right of representation, for the most part.
I honestly feel that our early Americans learned this love for local politics from the tribes with which they interacted. This would explain why so many a colonist would often 'go native' and join the tribe. The lifestyle of the American indian offered more individual freedom. This would become a hallmark of the American experience.
I do not hold against our ancestors the need to conquer lands which was done through carnal warfare. That is how it is accomplished. They were fighting for their future against a people fighting back for their own future. What I do acknowledge as a national disgrace is what came later.
The time of the Indian Removal is a blight upon our history. We tricked, cheated and lied to a , by then civilized people, in order to steal their property. Plain and simple. The removal of the Cherokee tribe to Indian Territory on what became known as the Trail of Tears should be remembered with grave humility.
We must not fall into this trap of the early Americans who offered up treaties without realizing the cost in the future when the circumstances would change. The new realities of a growing nation would force them to break their word with the tribes over and over again. We must not do this yet again when confronting global situations where a present withdraw or treaty will only need be revisited later by our children. Compromising with the enemy now will not guarantee peace in the next decade.
The Civilized Nations of the American indians overcame this mistreatment in a remarkable way. A way which other peoples in other places could learn from. For the most part, the American indian, while holding to his tribal culture, learned also to identify himself as an American citizen. They became loyal to the country which behaved badly towards them.
Many have taken up arms in time of national crisis to defend our nation from external enemies even providing vital services which they alone could perform. I am reminded of the incredible skill of the indian code talkers of WWII. Even this week I read a story of a young Cherokee, an American Marine, returning from Iraq where he served our country with valor. He was welcomed home by the tribe with great honor, as should be.
Certainly, some people of the tribes have failed at overcoming the welfare mentality to which many have grown accustomed ,to their own detriment. But the many others, the ones who have united with our nation, gained an education and contributed to our society, are an example to us all.
And lastly, the next blight upon our national reputation must be the present day massacre of the unborn. The unborn is today what the black man and the indian were in times past. An inconvenience deemed expendable. A 'being' which can be removed without remorse or guilt. Even stripped of their humanity, made to be less than a person to salve our consciences as we commit atrocities upon them. Science and medicine would have us believe the unborn child is but a mass of tissue invading the mother's body. The mother, we are told, can legally exercise her right over her body and remove the unwanted child, the 'punishment' ,some have even called the unborn child. This in no way makes it true or less disturbing.
Yes, the elitist have once again convinced themselves that this is a difficulty which can be dealt with in order to make our lives easier. Though sad, they say there is no wrong in ending the life of the unborn if it is for the betterment of yourself, or necessary for meeting your own needs and even wants. If the unborn is blocking your path to success or a deterrent to your economical welfare, by all means, remove it! The unborn can be merely, wiped away.
Shamefully, we know that many a Christan Southern slave owner convinced himself that the black man was somehow less than human. The leading educators and scientist of the day declared this to be so, and who should question science? Society aided this Christian in his obvious denial of reality, by believing that due to his personal need for the free labor of the black slave, he was not guilty of an atrocity by owning another human. He patted himself on the back as only doing what was accepted by others as necessary for the country and , after all, it was legal.
How many Christian citizens of the State of Georgia allowed themselves to think that the Cherokee Nation, a civilized people who upheld the treaties they had made, needed to be removed from their ancestral lands which had been promised to them by more than one treaty? Yes, the indian needed to go, to make way for the Christian man and his family to have a better life.
Th indian needed to be sent out of sight, not to be thought of again, so that the State of Georgia could raffle off the Cherokee farms and properties to needy white families. It is what the nation needed, and once again, the Christian folk allowed themselves to consider their needs of more import than the wrong being done to another. Society told them it was for the betterment of all, perhaps the indian would suffer, but their loss would make way for the nation to gain that which could enrich them personally.
And today, I am appalled to know that many of my fellow Christians have once again allowed themselves to be convinced that voting for a pro-abortion presidential candidate was somehow acceptable. Many a Christian voter says that one should not vote for one issue. Oh, the unborn will be killed no matter, but my vote will help other causes. The Christian Obama voter has convinced himself that abortion and the unborn are not his concern because the new President has offered him something he needs, free health care, perhaps. Help on a mortgage, free college education for his own children...so a few million more babies will be murdered with out mercy in the womb. Our nation has greater needs at the moment, and so do I.
The economy is in crisis and somehow justifies the naive thought that an Obama campaign promise will fix this. Yes, he said he would appoint liberal judges who will interpret the law in such a way that will promote the slaughter of more innocents, but many a Christian voted for this man, knowing this to be so, all in the hopes that he would bring them a better personal financial situation.
They knew Obama supported partial birth abortion, which is late term torture for the 'partially born'. Piercing the head and chopping the brains of the innocent victim! But this is deemed acceptable because the elites have once again convinced us that the unborn is not a human. And to salve our seared consciences we invent reasons for voting for this butchering by declaring that an Obama presidency will stop the torture of the murdering terrorists held in Guatanamo! And Obama will free them! We are saints indeed! Forget the millions of murdered, innocent babies, we have to stop the atrocity of a terrorist possibly being water boarded!
Just as the Christians of the past had to face the reality of their personal sin in regards to the evil of slavery, the despicable treatment of the American indian, we today must come to terms with the absolute horror of abortion many of us have enabled to not only continue , but to expand in this election!
The early Christians were persecuted and even died in defense of their faith, but we... we sold our souls. And for what? Universal health care? Economic gain? Or worse yet, mere platitudes offering vague promises of 'hope' and 'change'?