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Colossus

July 2, 2017

Statue of Liberty, New York, NY, Author featherboa, Source http://www.flickr.com/photos/featherboa/43040507/ (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

-Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus”

We often refer to the Statue of Liberty as “Lady Liberty” – an endearment, a statement of pride.  But it is not enough that the words from Emma Lazarus’ poem momentarily quicken our hearts.

Since Alexis de Toucqueville first described America as exceptional in 1831, this nation has been recognized by the world as unique.  While we are not exempt from the forces of history, we are at this moment a political and economic powerhouse, a colossus bestriding the world.

America has been greatly blessed – with natural resources, with a Judeo-Christian foundation, with a hard-won heritage of freedom and equality, with a diverse population, with a legal system accessible to all, with a classless society and a culture that encourages individuality.

With these blessings comes great responsibility.

We have the capacity to teach democracy to the world.  Too often, however, we have squandered opportunities to live out the ideals we say we cherish.  We are squandering them now.

The world sees us spending vast sums to elect politicians in both parties devoid of any concrete goal but re-election.

The world hears us giving lip service to the principle of “one man, one vote” as voting rights are being attacked; to populism as taxes on the wealthy are being reduced; and to civil rights as enforcement is being dialed back, and hate crimes are on the rise [1][2].  This does not even address the divisive issues of  abortion and police shootings [3][4].

Meanwhile, fears about terrorism are driving us toward an exclusionary immigration policy.

All of this plays out against the backdrop of 43.1 million Americans or 13.5% of our population living below the poverty level as of 2015 [5][6].  That equates with an annual income of $24,339 for a family of four.

“Judgment in history falls heaviest on those who come to think themselves gods, who fly in the face of Providence and history, who put their trust in man-made systems and worship the work of their own hands, and who say that the strength of their own right arm gave them the victory.”

-Historian Herbert Butterfield

America must remember that nations rise and fall at God’s discretion.  The position America holds in the world is not a matter of entitlement.  It was purchased with the blood of patriots, and is subject to God’s approval.

Christians would say that our great nation is in desperate need of revival.  Let us pray God grants us that before our moment in history passes us by.

Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.  He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who have understanding…” (Daniel 2: 20-21).

[1]  Pro Publica, “Trump Administration Quietly Rolls Back Civil Rights Efforts Across Federal Government” by Jessica Huseman and Annie Waldman, 6/15/17, https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-administration-rolls-back-civil-rights-efforts-federal-government.

[2]  Voice of America (VOA) News, “Hate Crimes in US Rising, Particularly in Big Cities” by Masood Farivar, 3/9/17, https://www.voanews.com/a/us-hate-crimes-rising-particularly-in-big-cities/3756604.html.

[3]  The Guardian, “Young black men killed by US police at highest rate in year of 1134 deaths” by Jon Swaine, Oliver Laughland, Jamiles Lartey, and Ciara McCarthy, 12/3/1/15, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/31/the-counted-police-killings-2015-young-black-men.

[4]  Washington Post, “Fatal Force”, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings-2017/.

[5]   University of California, Davis, Center for Poverty Research, “What is the current poverty rate in the United States?”, 9/13/16, https://poverty.ucdavis.edu/faq/what-current-poverty-rate-united-states.

[6]  CNN, Money, “Wage gap between blacks and whites is worst in nearly 40 years” by Tanzina Vega, 9/20/16, http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/20/news/economy/black-white-wage-gap/index.html.

God bless America

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  http://www.avoicereclaimed.com

16 Comments
  1. Great post!
    I pray for this nation to turn back to God.. Romans 8:7

  2. An interesting and thought provoking post Anna.

    Americans are killing each other
    day in and day out. It’s relentless. Non stop.
    Another killing. More talking heads.
    But nothing is ever done.
    “A right to bear arms ”
    Total nonsense.

    I’m sorry to have to say this, but you have an absolute
    imbecile running the most powerful nation on earth.

    You say America is greatly blessed.
    It certainly is. If you have money.
    If not. You starve to death.
    The poor are treated like trash.

    America is no longer exceptional.
    It’s a Killing field.

    Sorry Anna, but I had to vent my feelings.

  3. Sadly,Anna, it has taken the current extreme level of violence and bitter hatred to awaken the masses in this nation to just how dire things are. Unfortunately, mainstream America is mistaken in believing that a different president or a different group of representatives and congressional leaders is going to fix this.

    We cannot vote ourselves out of this horrendous mess we have created, even though our past history may lead us to believe otherwise. I am of the opinion that we have gone too far for us to fix ourselves. Place the most liberal or conservative politician you can find in the White House, and at best they will be able to effect positive change on the smallest of scales. Why? Because we are spiritually sick, and no person or party can heal our nation.

    We have a God problem in America. I think that the root of our problems lies in our outright rejection of God. It really is that simple, though most will scoff at such a notion. All of the evils we see played out on a daily basis in America can easily be traced back to the fact that we are incapable of loving one another when we exhibit no love for God.

    I believe we have reached the point where we either humble ourselves and repent, or suffer the consequences. History does not lie, we have seen this scenario played out before in other countries. We as a people would do well to remember this. To do otherwise, well…

    Thank you for a most thought provoking post Anna.

    • I could not have expressed it better than you have, Ron. America is at a tipping point. In fact, I fear our slide down the cliff has already begun. Watching it, warning about it, is intensely painful for me. While I do not claim to be any kind of a prophet, I can well understand Jeremiah’s grief at the coming destruction of Jerusalem. God help us all.

      • I agree that we are at the tipping point Anna. Lest anyone think otherwise, I love this country. I am passionate in my belief that God Almighty placed His hand of blessing upon us, which is why my heart is broken over what we have done, or allowed to happen.

        There once was a time when we were good stewards of our blessings, but like Jeremiah of old I now see only broken cisterns. May God have mercy upon us, and may he grant us a window of opportunity in which to repent.

    • Very well said, sir. Thank you for such an insightful comment and I too, am praying daily for this once great country to turn around.

  4. This is a deeply insightful post Anna, thank you! I hate politics now, its all so repulsive. I am no longer a Republican, but a Republican with some sense, and decency would be much better than what we have now. And yes we need to pray but we are also commanded to take care of the poor. Im thinking of James 1 here, but also what ever happened to love they neighbor? My taxes are not nearly as important as living breathing human beings. We need to start doing right by them. Thanks again.

  5. Lady Liberty stands an emblem of the responsibility we have to the principles of justice and mercy and to the world. I climbed to the crown on our 4th gr field trip. She is supposed to keep enabling others to climb. Scary, because our president is both antiliberty and antifemale!!

    • I climbed to the top of Lady Liberty, too — literally and figuratively. It is heartbreaking to see the shift in values. Thanks for stopping by, Diana. I hope things are good with you.

  6. Interesting perspective.

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