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For Spacious Skies and Amber Waves of Grain

I love my country.

I am stirred by the flag of the United States of America. Red. White. Blue. The stripes. The stars. (Hear the Snare drum in the background?).

I think I have visited every state in the union. Coast to coast. Top to bottom. And it is spacious. And there are “purple mountains majesty”. Our land is beautiful, even in the most unexpected places, like Zion National Park, surrounded by near desert.

I have visited somewhere around 90 countries in my lifetime and there is nowhere else I would care to live.

This is a GREAT country.

It was made great by the people who knew they were coming to a land of freedom. Freedom of. Freedom from. Freedom to. It was made great by courage, sacrifice and hard work. The framers of one of the most incredible documents of all time, our constitution, forged a document so concise and so precise that resulted in a government so unique that it has been emulated but never duplicated. A government with built in checks and balances. A government based on the rule of law. A government that included and embodied the best of the Christian heritage it had been blessed with. A government of, for and by the people.

And here we are, some 230 years later. The natural enemy of anything original, entropy, has begun its erosive and corrosive work. We have more laws than we can keep track of, let alone enforce. The very freedoms we were given as a birthright have been used to undermine the pillars of our society. Small segments of our populace have discovered they can wield influence way beyond the power of their vote by skipping the voting process altogether. The Constitution no longer means what we all thought it meant. Evidently the Framers must have (we are told) assumed that we could and would reinterpret their intent and motives in light of the particular issues of our day and time. And we have slowly moved in the direction of an oligarchy.

“America, America, God shed His grace on thee….” I love that line. He really did.

I love my country.

But I wonder if God ever winces.

Steve Van Rooy
July 4, 2005

PS Have you sung the second verse to that song lately? Here it is:

America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.