“Superficiality is the curse of the modern world.”
– Matthew Kelly
We will take a look at freedom, prosperity and America. We won’t do it in the depth needed, but this will be more than a short or superficial read. On this 4th of July, let’s start with something almost everyone has heard or knows.
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine!
O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
According to the USA Flag site, the lyrics to the song America, The Beautiful, where written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1913. Bates reminds us with these words and song so much that millions of Americans overlook, have forgotten or never learned.
Our nation was never perfect, and isn’t perfect today. But freedom – liberty under God and under the law – made America for many years the most prosperous and freest nation on earth.
Some have been taught a twisted version of American history, one that sadly focuses more on our national ills instead of the historic good our nation has so often done.
Slavery, for example, was common world-wide throughout human history. Remember that white indentured servants as well as black slaves were part of the mix that made America. The United States was a leader in ending slavery and indentured servitude – and it was done at great cost. That is to be celebrated, not sneered upon!
People from every race have at various times and places been enslaved, and here in the USA today – under the law – all are free.
Gaining and Protecting Freedom
Since our nation’s founding, the military has gone beyond land and sea to the air. We’ve all met service men – and law enforcement or first responders – that protect us from threats foreign and domestic.
In sharing the lyrics of this next song, let’s not forget that others besides Marines have fought and died for our country! But this is shared for very specific reasons you’ll understand once you’ve read the lyrics to the Halls of Montezuma, the U.S. Marine Corp Anthem.
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We will fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.
Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job–
The United States Marines.
Here’s health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we’ve fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.
Leatherneck tells us that “In one of the most historic battles of the Mexican War, Marines secured the Halls of Montezuma.” It was in a building on Hill of Chapultepec, leading to Mexico City. For those who never knew, the U.S. and Mexico fought a war, and the United States won. Did we keep their land? No, the U.S. gave it back to the Mexican people.
Some are critical that the U.S. robbed the native Americans of their land. But struggles over land have ever been a part of human history, and unlike virtually every other nation or people, the U.S. often paid for the land taken. The United States hasn’t been perfect, but our nation comes off looking pretty darn good when compared to others in world history.
When America’s servicemen liberated Europe from the Nazis, did we keep Europe? No, rather the USA helped rebuild it.
When the U.S. and our allies defeated Japan, did we keep Japan? Others historically did just that, but that wasn’t what the USA did.
The Marine Corp anthem’s lyrics “to the Shores of Tripoli” is from the First Barbary War, which Americans need to be reminded of during this time of terrorism today. Wikipedia says that “The cause of the war was pirates from the Barbary States seizing American merchant ships and holding the crews for ransom, demanding the U.S. pay tribute to the Barbary rulers. United States President Thomas Jefferson refused to pay this tribute.”
The Barbary states were part of the Ottoman Empire, an Islamic empire.
America then and now faces piracy on the high seas, and the inspiration for that piracy is the same then as now. That’s a matter of history. The Crusades were fought mostly by Christians to stop Muslims from conquering all of Europe. The battles on the seas and on the Shores of Tripoli were fought to protect our people and our goods from marauders, pirates and brigands. That’s not a matter of racial or religious discrimination, that’s a matter of historic fact.
Peace loving Muslims leaders say their religion has been “hijacked.” Let’s take that at face value. Then its up to peace loving Muslims to be just as willing to stop radical Islamist jihadists as peace loving people of other religions are.
Indeed – we see that jihadi radicals kill Muslims as well as Jews, Christians and those of other faiths or those with no religious beliefs.
We will not know peace at home or abroad until we are willing to face reality, call it as it is, and then deal with it.
America was founded on economic, religious and political freedom. It was predominately European Christians who settled the New World. Those principles and realities are critical to understanding the Declaration of Independence, that was signed on July 4, 1776 – our Independence Day.
My parents came to the U.S. as legal immigrants, and I was the first born here in the U.S.. My wife Soheyla comes from Iran – a mostly Muslim nation – and she too came to the U.S. legally.
- It isn’t racist to say that people need to enter a country legally.
- It isn’t racist to say that the first and perhaps most important job of government is to protect its people.
Other nations have immigration policies. Some are very tough on enforcement. Why shouldn’t America enforce its immigration laws too? Why shouldn’t we screen out those whom the FBI and CIA say can’t be properly vetted?
“I Pledge Allegiance…”
USHistory tells us that “In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today.”
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
George Washington was correct in saying that the principles of faith are critical to freedom. That’s among the many truths Americans today need to be reminded about.
Our nation was founded not as a democracy, but rather as Republic. The word republic, says Google, comes from “the Latin respublica, from res ‘entity, concern’ + publicus – of the people, public.’” It’s the concerns of the people, equal under the law, that makes a republic superior to a democracy.
America is a Republic, and we should be careful to keep it, Benjamin Franklin said.
The tyranny of the majority – which can happen in a democracy – can be as bad as the tyranny of the few.
The founders chose a Republic, and our national pledge is the ideal we should strive for daily: “…and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Violence on City Streets
The Bible says that the first murder in human history was when Cain killed his brother Able with a rock. Guns aren’t the problem, people can kill with their bare hands or almost anything else.
Guns are an equalizer between the weak and the strong. Guns in the hands of private citizens is a right protected by the Second Amendment to the Constitution for good reason! It helps safeguard all other rights.
Chicago is a prime example of how a city with some of the toughest gun laws in the nation doesn’t keep guns away from criminals. The saying, “when guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns” has a strong truth to it. Those who argue for tougher gun laws may be well-meaning, but they’re badly mistaken.
The solution most politicians never speak about is one that America’s founding fathers understood well.
It takes a moral people to have a peaceful and prosperous nation. Faith informs morality. Thus our nation’s pledge of allegiance, America the Beautiful or even the Marine Corps anthem all make references to God. While we don’t want a state impossed religion, neither should we want the state to keep peaceful religious practices from freely operating in the public square.
Some want to marginalize religion and its impact in America. But it was people of faith who founded the 13 colonies that became the first of these United States. If we want prosperity and peace, we better be willing to freely seek truth of all kinds, including spiritual truths.
The federal government has long ago overgrown its original limits. The founding fathers wanted the people to be able to go to their local county or state for most legal matters. They didn’t want to force citizens to go to Washington, DC to be heard on an issue. The founders didn’t require high-cost lobbyists or companies of attorneys to secure our rights. Properly understood, the Constitution limits the government, not We the People.
Isn’t it obviously wrong to take what someone earns by force, and then give it to someone who never worked for it?
The premise of ‘fair share of taxes’ may be well intended, but it’s still mistaken.
The founders didn’t want taxation without representation. They would rebel today at a government that has overgrown its limits, and now represents only those who can afford to go to Washington and have batteries of attorneys, lobbyists and plenty of PAC money.
It has taken roughly a century for America to slip most of the limits on power that the U.S. Constitution provided for, and it will take time and patience to wind the federal mess down and return it to proper constitutional limits.
But doing so will make America freer, more prosperous, more truly equal and will return the opportunity which has been the hallmark of this great nation!
It’s actually rather simple. Limited government yields maximum opportuntiies and freedom.
Waste Not, Want Not
A recent poll indicates that 2/3rds of the American people think our nation is going in the wrong direction. Until we understand what causes that problem, we can’t fix it.
A recent study found that by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse from the US spending would allow the federal budget to be balanced in a single year. To download the report, see this link here or click the image below.
There are no good reasons to pay for borrowing ever-more money to bridge the federal deficits and service a growing federal debt that will over time crush all citizens save the very wealthiest.
Too much regulation is killing off small American businesses which have always created the most jobs. For the first time in decades, there are more businesses failing than opening. Too high taxes and too many unnecessary regulations are killing off businesses, opportunities and jobs.
- Limited government, means low taxes.
- Limited government, means maximum freedom.
Faith informed the founding fathers, and must inform people today too. Lack of faith leads to a false ‘might makes right mentality’ which wrongly encourages criminal behavior or fosters a system where only the economically wealthy can access the levers of power. That’s the opposite of what the founders wanted when giving our nation a Republic.
The irony is that those who seek that power would also be better off under the principles that America was founded upon. George Washington was a wealthy man, some say that if you adjusted his wealth for inflation, his assets were worth $500 million 2016 dollars. Money isn’t evil, it’s the worship of money that can lead people astray.
Fair and honest competition is good for businesses of all sizes and is good for all people. Government shouldn’t tilt the scales for or against this or that business or industry.
This website is called MHLivingNews, and one could point to experiences in our own industry where government overreach harms home owners, housing seekers and businesses of all sizes. I’ll draw towards a close by saying that when people understand the modern realities of this great factory-crafted homes industry, they will find opportunities to have greener homes at a lower cost to purchase and own. When this industry is properly encouraged not by handouts, but rather by limiting the harmful federal or local policies that have over-regulated it, then the affordable housing crisis will subside naturally, through the free market. The MH Industry would also thereby create ever-more higher-paying American jobs.
Another irony is that criminal behavior will subside only when faith-inspired morality causes people to want to do good and earn an honest living that will reward them. America reportedly has a million laws and regulations on the books. If laws alone made for a perfect people, we’d be the most perfect people the world has ever seen.
No amount of law can force people to be good. Adam and Eve had only one law, and they broke it. Moses gave the people 10 Commandments, and they often didn’t keep them. People must want to be good, and see the value in behaving in civilized, moral ways.
God has blessed America, and will continue to bless us so long as we learn the true lessons of faith and our nation’s great history. So long as free people can do wrong, there will never be a perfect society.
The society that is informed by sound principles of faith with thoughful education naturally creates more freedom, more prosperity and more equality of opportunity than any other system known to humanity.
America is beautiful. And from the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, the brave will defend our way of life. Meanwhile, the other 99% of us who are protected by the courage of those patriotic warriors, should honor our protectors and their families.
Together, as one nation, under God, we ought to be indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All. Happy 4th! ##
By L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Managing Member of LifeStyle Factory Homes LLC, the publisher of MHLivingNews, MHProNews.com and other services focused on MH home owners, investors, policy advocates and MH housing professionals.