America is the Greatest Country in the World – Really?
It hurt me to place the question mark at the end of that title. I love America. I love its people. I grew up being taught that America is the best country on the planet. Is it? Still?
This morning I watched a YouTube video of the gone-viral speech by Jeff Daniels on the new HBO show “The Newsroom”. To get the full effect of this article, you should take the time to view it as well. (Click here.)
I had a visceral response to the video. I like Jeff Daniels. He’s a fellow Michigan native. One of my favorite movies is Escanaba in Da Moonlight. I watch it every year right before the deer season opener when I go out and slaughter as many Bambi’s as the law allows. That’s right – I’m a redneck. But even though I like Jeff Daniels, I wanted to reach through the screen and strangle him as he spoke.
The video raised two questions for me:
1. Why did I want to strangle one of my favorite actors?
2. Was he right by saying “America is no longer the greatest country on earth”?
First things first. Why did I want to strangle Jeff Daniels? To be honest, I didn’t like what he was saying. He was assaulting one of the foundational, rock-solid beliefs of my childhood and it made me angry.
Second, was he right by saying America is no longer the greatest country on earth? I thought about it for a while, then I watched the video a few more times. I thought. I cogitated. I strangled him again in my mind. I thought some more. I smelled something burning and realized I was thinking too hard. I don’t like Jeff Daniels anymore.
Finally, I disagreed with him, but not for the reasons most might think.
First, one of the things making America great is Jeff’s freedom to speak his mind. The second is one-hundred-million screaming gun owners waiting for the government to take that freedom away. Jeff said Canada has freedom, Belgium has freedom, Japan has freedom, etc. I think it’s important to point out that freedom is relative. Yes, America is more free than Canada or Japan or Belgium, but I find little solace in that. None of those other countries have the right to keep and bear arms like we do here in America, but, quite frankly, we are just one Supreme Court Justice appointment away from losing the Second Amendment. And the Second Amendment is the one right that protects all others. All our rights, lined up like dominoes, will topple if the right to keep and bear arms is lost. We are never more than one election away from complete and devastating tyranny.
So, yes, America is still the greatest country on earth. But it’s nothing to gloat about, simply because we are a mere shadow of our former self. I want America to once again be that shining city on a hill. Instead, we’re just the cleanest swimmer in the septic tank. We have been steadily losing freedom for decades. We’ve lost two generations to ignorance and liberal propaganda. I don’t know if we can recover.
Yes, America is still the greatest country on earth – but it shouldn’t be. I wish there were many greater countries than America. That way if America topples, I have some place to run to. As it is, America is the last bastion of hope for the world. It’s come-to-Jesus time. Fight or flight. There is no flight. Where are you going to go? Belgium? I don’t think so. We dig in. We fortify. We fight. We attack. The only alternative is bondage.
I’m reminded of the words of a famous character in history who said:
6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Okay, yes, I’m preaching. Get over it. I can’t help but wonder what God thinks when He looks down on this cesspool we call earth. Does He think, “Boy, those are some mighty fine people I made down there!” Or does He say, “Boy, those kids are screwing up again! Time to open up another can o’ WhoopAss!”
Either way, America has fallen from God, and we no longer know right from wrong. Is it time for a little celestial WhoopAss? One word of advice to all of us. REPENT!
2 Chronicles 7:14: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Yes, America is still the greatest country on the planet. That used to mean something. Now, it’s like being the best hockey player in all Ecuador. Wake up, America! Pray! Love your spouse! Care for your children! Go back to basic, traditional morality, or the Big Guy just might come on down here with another can of WhoopAss!
Image courtesy of bloohimwhom