I’m an American

When I was living in New Zealand, it was a time to see my country from a different perspective. By the end of my time there, I realized just how much I missed America, and that I am, an American. It’s a significant part of my identity, and I embrace it. It’s not the most important part, but it’s important.

I’m not proud to be an American. What have I to be proud of? For being born here? Besides, this type of pride is sinful. I am thankful though, to be born in this country, to be part of it. I could say that we are blessed, but that’s a mixed statement. We are fortunate to have so many natural resources so that we are one of the few countries in the world who have the option to be mostly independent. That’s not what we’ve done though, but what happens to be here. With abundance comes the danger of materialism, self-absorbtion, pride, and apathy. To all those things, we are guilty. Not all of us, and not all the time, but we are.

Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” There’s a responsibility that comes with our ‘blessing.’ We don’t always own up to it. Sometimes we act entitled. What gets missed sometimes, is that a lot of Americans are noble too. The US has done a lot of good in the world, and Americans have done a lot of good, given a lot of time and money, given themselves for others. I don’t agree with all that we do, all that our government and military do, but that’s our money and soldiers on the line.

When I get emails that question whether I love America, maybe even if I love God, if I happen to disagree with any of the actions of a Republican government who happen to have a President who has some sort of Christian faith, I get confused though. The prophets in the Bible questioned their government. Even their best king, the one after God’s own heart, David, was questioned. Jesus actually followed a fair amount of cultural practices, but when it was wrong, he confronted it. We like to point to those who founded our nation. We seem to forget that they were rebels to the established order. They questioned abuse of authority.

I’m an American. I care about my country and those in it. And it’s because I care that I will oppose governmental actions that I believe to be wrong based on my convictions as a Christian. Last I checked, Christian leaders are capable of making mistakes and wrong choices. While I may personally support them and pray for them, if they are wrong, they should be confronted.

Our government is not a Christian organization though. While I do not believe every lifestyle choice people make is the way God wants us to live, I believe a government should protect their choices as well as mine, to a point. For instance, while I disagree with practicing homosexuality, people should have that right. However, abortion involves ending the life of another yet to be born, and is wrong, and so I don’t think it should be legal. Nevertheless, it is.

As a Christian, in this country, I can agree or disagree with what the choices made in this society. We’re not as free as we think we are, but we are more free than most (legally-speaking), and for that I’m thankful. But there’s a responsibility that goes along with that freedom to care about more than ourselves.