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Real Answers™
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Copyright: ©2007 Debbie Thurman
680 words

CHECKING THE PULSE OF AMERICA

By: Debbie Thurman

As America begins her 232nd year, it is fitting to reflect on what she represents and why we celebrate each birthday. Lady Liberty’s heart beats somewhat erratically as she is carrying so much extra weight and anxiety these days.

Perhaps our forefathers didn’t envision a country that would stretch from “sea to shining sea” when they signed the Declaration of Independence. They did know we would face enemies from without and within our borders and that the biggest threat to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” could be life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The preservation of the American way of life still hinges on her people’s ability to balance corporate and individual freedoms. The American ideal has intrinsic meaning for every citizen, especially the immigrant.

Many of us have forgotten that life, liberty and the laws that protect them emanate from one source. The men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to secure freedom for America’s future generations unashamedly invoked the hand of Divine Providence in the affairs of state.

John Adams described the members of the first Continental Congress in September 1774 as “so divided in religious sentiments” -- representing several denominations -- they feared having an opening prayer by any one clergyman would not permit them to “join in the same act of worship.”

But Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that prayer was indeed offered by an Episcopal clergyman, the Rev. Duché. After reading several prayers “in the established form” as well as the 35th Psalm, Duché “struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. … It has had an excellent effect upon everybody here.”

Today we enjoy the freedoms that were birthed during those tense meetings in Philadelphia, along with a rich diversity in religious expression.

Sadly, Philadelphia’s violent crime grows at an alarming rate and the city’s population is dwindling, yet an organization that teaches boys to become men of moral character is no longer welcome there. The city of brotherly love has chosen to oust the Boy Scouts of America from their third-largest council offices because they will not compromise their longstanding code of moral rectitude by allowing homosexual scouts or scoutmasters to join.
 
Although John Adams was the Massachusetts Constitution’s main author in 1780, he would not be able to comprehend how the Bay State has twisted that document into one upholding the right of same-sex couples to wed. Colonial Bostonians reacted to unlawful British taxation by dumping the king’s tea into Boston harbor. Will they be compelled to protest similarly against their state legislature’s usurpation of the people’s will in refusing to allow a referendum on amending their constitution to recognize marriage as only between one man and one woman?

The Episcopal Church, whose Rev. Duché proffered so eloquent a prayer in 1774, has a consecrated openly gay bishop in New Hampshire. This venerable denomination is eroding from within as church members must choose which side of the divide to stand on.

In the name of a warped ideology of tolerance and diversity -- gay-rights activism is its extreme expression -- Americans have watched our great republic suffer an identity crisis that has divided us into unstable, cancerous pockets. We are all equally culpable for allowing America’s torch to sputter.

Our real enemies take us to be morally weak and irresolute. The Islamic extremists who seek to annihilate us know the politically correct are too apathetic or afraid to oppose them.

Will we remember the words of Psalm 35 that resonated in that first Continental Congress? David wrote of how those he had sorrowed over when they were sick “as though it were my friend or brother” later turned on him and “at my stumbling they rejoiced.” Sound familiar?

“Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me,” David cried out to God, “… for they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.”

The land is no longer quiet, but it is still our land.

 

Debbie Thurman is an award-winning commentator and author who writes from Monroe, Va. Her e-mail address is debbie@debbiethurman.com.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com

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