Have you caught any of the public (media) controversies about whether President Obama really likes the U.S.? You have sound bytes of Americans saying that Obama doesn’t even like the country and even the former Vice President Cheney making a similar accusation. It is not a new controversy. Certainly, the comments of his then pastor didn’t help him…The bruhaha about wearing a flag pin…and Michelle Obama’s comments about her first time feeling proud about the U.S.
Without debating Obama’s feelings about the country, I’d like to consider the issue of our uniqueness. Is there something special or unique about the US that places us in a special category different from the rest of the world? Is it okay to even ask this question or does it automatically indicate a disrespect for our forefathers, for democracy, for the Christian roots of the country?Is it tantamount to saying that God has not had his hand on this country in some special ways?
Stating that we are not unique may be one of the remaining heresies of our time.
But, should it be a heresy to suggest that in the eyes of God and others, we aren’t so different. This does not mean that we wouldn’t choose every time to still live in this country. This is not to suggest that we have blessings that few others have. This is not to say that God isn’t carrying out his purposes via our country either.
But are we special? We have flawed individuals making up a flawed government who are seeking both personal good and, yes, the good of others (for the most part). Isn’t that true of other governments as well? Maybe not all governments seek this, but certainly many do.
Is America great? But could it be better? Yes. And so, being willing to criticize, even publicly, this country is one of the evidences of its greatness. Even further, being willing to criticize and demand better care for all is a sign of our greatness.
Seems the debate is not really about our pride in the US but in demanding no honest criticism. Sounds like the, “I can criticize my family all I want, but I’ll never admit to you that they have any flaws” mindset.
So, are we special and unique? Is it so bad to admit our flaws? Our failures? To even note that other countries have done a better job at certain things? What do you think? If your family emigrated to Canada instead, would you really be less of an individual? Would you be jealous of Americans?