|Childe Hassam: American Flags|
Where I grew up the red, white, and blue was the Union Jack, and Victoria Day was the big celebration. We are a nation of immigrants. There are no truly “Native” Americans. Even the Native Americans migrated across a land bridge from Eurasia.
Among the Navajo there is a sensibility that the land was here long before human beings. Humankind does not own the land; we merely live on it.
All of us immigrants have arrived in waves from other places. It should be noted that even those who theoretically hate the United States are lined up, waiting to get in? Why? This is the land of opportunity.
There is a popular theory that America is a “Melting Pot.” That just isn’t true. Every group that arrives on our shores clings to its old culture, language, traditions, and in many cases its religion. For those who learn English assimilation into the diverse culture of America is easier than for others. For those who don’t, or won’t learn the language of the land, the door to opportunity is narrowed.
We who are consciously Christian have also, by necessity, a partial assimilation into American culture. Do you really want the morality and ethics of our media to be the dominant influence in the formation of your identity as an American? The great cry of the children of Israel was, “that we may be like all the other nations.”[i] That is the way of absorption and loss of identity, not the way to a transformation that will inform and transform the culture itself.
We are the salt of the earth, and we must not lose our savor. For America to survive the salt of Christianity must be added to the mix. There are those who militantly oppose this, claiming the impossible necessity of the separation of Church and State. What they actually desire is that Humanism be not only the official language of the nation, but that it be the only religious language of the people.
What is troublesome to the humanist is that Christians have a higher loyalty than loyalty to the human heart. The humanist cry is “Follow your heart!” The Christian knows that “the human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it.”[ii] Certainly not the humanist; that is like a mental patient giving a self-diagnosis and claiming that he is perfectly alright because the voices he keeps hearing are telling him that he is.
For the health of America there is a proper order, and it starts with “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” That is the magnetic opportunity that has drawn all of us from sundry lands as immigrants. Given that magnetic opportunity we are free to enjoy Italian pizza along with German beer, and finish it off with Texas Blue Bell ice cream, and rejoice in both our unity and our diversity. Our liberties, our opportunities, and our joys are all protected by being “one nation under God.”