What makes me most proud of the United States of America is not its competent armed services, not its vibrant economy, not its “alabaster cities” or “purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.”
What makes me most proud of America are our values, values too many have forgotten.
And we share those values with many other nations around the globe.
Welcome, not mere tolerance. Diversity, not mere democracy. Compassion, not mere duty. Justice, not mere equality. Liberty for all, not just the privileged.
We grapple with our sins, whether the displacement of native peoples, the still open wound of slavery, the distrust of difference, the despoiling of our land, income inequality, and our uninvited intrusions into other countries.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with countries who share our values, including our neighbors to the north and south.
We share our abundance with one another, after all, in Jesus’ words, “to whom much is given, much is required.”
We protect one another from ignorance, from want, from illness, from harm, from bigotry, from bullying, even from despair.
We invest in our future generations by celebrating knowledge, science, the arts, values, faith, wisdom, and the environment.
This is the America I know and love. This is the America of which I am most proud. This is the America which brings tears to my eyes when rising for our national anthem, seeing the Statue of Liberty, or witnessing the “naturalization” of immigrant citizens.
This is the America closest to my own values as a follower of Jesus.
Thanks to Raymond Moorea Jones of CNN for the photo.
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