On this day of July 4, 2011, I thought it fitting for me to make some comments on the United States of America, the nation of which I am a citizen due to God’s providence.  I am proud to be an American although there are many who live here in these days who do not voice the same posture and appreciation.

Earlier this year, I read Peter Lillback’s Sacred Fire on George Washington.  I came away with a greater appreciation for the Christian character and virtue of the father of our country.  Then I read A. Lincoln by Ronald White which did the same for my respect of the other of the two great presidents by most reckoning, although Christian faith seemed to play less of a role in Lincoln’s life than in Washington’s.  Now I am reading A Patriot’s History of the United States by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen.  It is a history of America from a conservative point of view.  It does not treat America as a bad idea.  I am about a hundred pages in.  It is refreshing in that, unlike many histories, it tells a holistic picture.  One example is the handling of the Spanish conquests of the Aztecs.  While it is often portrayed in unbalanced histories that all or most Indian populations in North and South American before the white man came were peaceful, A Patriot’s History shows the ruthless character of the Aztec rulers toward their own people (they murdered tens of thousands).  While not justifying the Spanish abuse of them, it shows what the prophet Habakkuk taught — God sometimes uses a wicked people to judge another wicked people.

While I am a Christian first and then an American, I support my country without holding an “America right or wrong” approach.  But to commemorate this birthday of my great nation, I listened to Alan Jackson’s “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”  I also watched a couple of movies heralding some past heroes from the Revolutionary War days.  Then I prayed for God’s continued blessing upon our nation and wisdom for our leaders.  I ask all Americans to join me in this prayer.