As our nation prepares to celebrate 239 years of independence from a former world superpower 33 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 can’t even name, I am most disturbed by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell’s recent statement reacting to a bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security warning about a potential Fourth of July terrorist attack.
On “CBS This Morning,” Morell said:
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re sitting here a week from today talking about an attack over the weekend in the United States. That’s how serious this is.”
Morrell’s statement harkened me back to Fourth of July celebrations of my youth when such warnings would have seemed unimaginable and, most of all, un-American.
Despite numerous problems that plagued our nation in the 1950s and 1960s, baby-boomer kids like myself, were unabashedly taught that we lived in the greatest, safest, freest and most prosperous country in the world – “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The result was a collective American identity shaped by superpower safety, true national security and love of country that was sown into the fabric of our beings.
Decades later, as our nation prepares to celebrate this Fourth of July holiday, authorities are on high alert for terrorist plots emanating from Islamic extremists, some of whom could even be native-born American citizens. Yet, Americans generally seem complacent – a national attitude interpreted by our enemies as weakness.
This raises several questions: Have we as a people become weaker? Are we now more willing to accept less than superpower status? Would we have the national will to fight again if severely attacked? Then there is a broader historic question: How did the Fourth of July of years past go from “rah-rah America” to attack warnings?
Exploring in-depth answers to those questions is not the point of this piece, but one answer I do know – from the mid-20th century until now, something has gone terribly wrong in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
An example of “terribly wrong” took place on July 1 in New York City, the site of a “Burn American Flags” event. Fliers and social media promoting the gathering read in part:
“The American flags are a lasting symbol of slavery, segregation and the racist exploitation that still dominates our society. Dylann Roof isn’t an isolated actor – he is product of a consistent pattern of state-sponsored terrorism and racialized dehumanization in America. Let’s make it crystal clear that the American system in its entirety must be condemned. We will set fire to these symbols of oppression – the American flags – and march to honor our brothers and sister who have fallen in the long struggle of freedom. Rise-up!”
Thankfully, the build-up to the event garnered far more media coverage than the actual event warranted. However, among disenchanted segments of our population there is a growing sentiment that the American flag is a “symbol of oppression.”
This is why I pray frequently for the safety and well-being of our nation. For inspiration I turn to the Bible, the best-selling and most influential book of all time.
Unfortunately, due to the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, it is only a matter of time before the Bible, which speaks contrary to this ruling, will be officially declared “hate speech” and relegated to a museum.
In fact, on May 26, weeks before the Supreme Court decision, GOP presidential hopeful [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] was ridiculed by those on the left after he said:
“After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger.”
In the meantime, my husband has been asked to read a Bible passage for an upcoming family wedding. This prompted a disturbing conversation between us about what passages would be “acceptable” to the bride, groom and their many guests, all of whom have been actively applauding the gay marriage decision.
I suggested a Scripture passage from the book of Genesis, which for hundreds of years has been a wedding favorite:
“The man said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man leave his father and his mother, and be united to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24)
Even though this passage is the biblical basis for marriage, we doubt that it would be acceptable to the bride and groom, confirming Rubio’s words and our own fears about where the Bible and its teachings are headed.
Ironically, while millions of “tolerant” Americans were cheering the marriage ruling they were actually and unknowingly accelerating the demise of their own personal freedom to act in accordance with beliefs that may, in the future, run contrary to those of the majority.
There is no doubt in my mind and in the minds of millions of American Christians that the “spirit” of this gay marriage ruling will manifest itself throughout our society and culture, breeding intolerance for those who practice their faith and try to live by God’s Word.
The same God who inspired our Founding Fathers to declare independence on July 4, 1776, and put forth the radical notion establishing that “certain unalienable rights,” such as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” were “endowed by their Creator” and NOT from a king or a government.
Thus, I take comfort in knowing God was, is and shall ever be more powerful than any court, president or government.
So this Fourth of July, as our enemies are emboldened and we brace for a potential terrorist attack – perhaps even watch our flag burn as a “symbol of oppression” or attend a wedding where a familiar Bible passage might soon be considered hate speech – I am inspired to fight for traditional beliefs, knowing they are “endowed by their Creator,” and that is my personal Declaration of Independence.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!