Thank God every day that you live in America.

Recently, as I reread my father’s letters to my mom from southeast Asia in the 1960s, I noticed
his commentary on the poverty, squalid living conditions, and inadequately treated diseases of
the people in the mountains of northern Laos where he was posted as a part of the “secret
war” fought alongside the Laotian people in their effort to prevent the North
Vietnamese/Chinese from further supplying their war effort in Vietnam.

Carlotta and I have made similar observations on many mission trips to countries around the
world. When I was in Haiti, a standard question in the medical clinic was, “When did you last
eat?” The poverty there was (and still is) so rampant that widowed women often replied that
they “had not eaten for two or three days.” I began to understand more fully the meaning of
that phrase in the Lord’s prayer saying, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The only objective
every day of multitudes around the world is to find food to feed themselves and their family for
that one day.

Abject poverty as seen in third world countries – sleeping on dirt floors, existing without
plumbing, cooking outside on charcoal fires, living under thatched roofs or tarps – is not one of
our problems.

We acknowledge many issues exist in our American culture, but not of the magnitude observed
in other countries. Therefore, everywhere we have been around the world, people have
expressed their sincere desire to come to America – the land of opportunity.

We have talked to Christians in Soviet satellite countries whose homes and business were
confiscated by the Communists for no reason other than the fact that they were believers in
Jesus Christ. We have talked to believers in India who were physically beaten to the brink of
death by Hindu mobs without due process of law just because they were Christians. Under
Sharia law in the Middle East, women accused of adultery can be stoned or beheaded,
homosexuals are thrown to their deaths from multi-storied buildings, and thieves have their
hands chopped off. In parts of Africa, entire ethnic communities are systemically “cleansed” by
the dominant/military party.

Our societal issues pale into insignificance compared to these countries that do not enjoy the
privileges bestowed upon us by our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our system of law, and our
judicial system. Although flawed, there is none like it in all the world. We live in a broken world;
we are all broken people marred by sin. Thus, though the United States has the best
governmental blueprint in the world, we can expect abuses and excesses.

When viewed against the larger perspective of what has occurred and still occurs in the rest of
the world, no actual nor perceived wrongs justify the dismantling of our constitution and our American
way of life by Marxist-inspired, social justice warriors who would throw the baby out with the bath water.

America was formed by protesters. Protestants (i.e. protesters) protesting the excesses of the
dominant religious organizations in Europe came to America in protest of the abuses and
excesses of the Catholic church and the Church of England. Protesting is a part of the American
way of life. Rioting and the destruction of property is not. Our constitution was founded by
God-fearing men who met for many months in Philadelphia with heated debate, intense
dialogue, and consistent prayer. Although they disagreed vehemently on many issues, they did
not resort to violence and destruction of property. We should follow their example. It is the
American way.

Dialogue, debate, and prayer should be the order of the day.

E pluribus unum is the American motto. Out of many – one. The Marxist would destroy our
country by dividing us into factions warring against each other. We should not be so foolish as
to fall into their hands.

When Katharine Bates wrote the poem known as “America the Beautiful” from Pikes Peak after
traveling across the country by train in 1893, she included the phrase “God mend thine every
flaw” – after extolling the majesty and the beauty of the countryside she had observed. She
knew then what we know now. America has flaws. But rather than destroying the greatest
nation on earth, let’s all come together and pray that God will mend her every flaw.

And be grateful that you are an American! Be grateful for what you have!

“We [Americans] all tend to take for granted those things which really bind us so closely
together. These people [Laotians] take the bare essentials of food and clothing and are so
happy.” – Dr. Robert E. Jackson, Sr., August 19, 1966