By Jannie B. Johnson
Jackson Advocate Guest Writer
Happy Birthday, AMERICA!
You are now 247 years old! Congratulations, that’s 47 years beyond the average age of the world’s greatest civilization from the beginning of history!
America, how do you account for your longevity? What do you think has been your secret for surviving your droughts, floods, earthquakes, fires, storms, wars, riots, civil unrest, and other disasters?
Looking back, do you think that one reason you survived those tough times was because when you were young and less sophisticated, you acknowledged your need for God and sought His guidance and protection?
In fact, at that first National Day of Prayer, 17th century, you prayed for wisdom in forming a new nation. Remember? When you were less urban and more rural, less educated and more moral, being just, loving mercy, and walking humbly before God meant more to you than being rich and famous. Think about that ….
America, to believe or not to believe in God has always been your choice not God’s demand. Equally true, to bless or not to bless America is God’s choice and not America’s to command.
Not too, too long ago, about 40-50 years, you had a set of common understandings about what it meant to be an American. There was a clear distinction between right and wrong, good and evil. You were not offended to be called “a Christian nation”. The words “In God we trust” and “one nation under God” were not a national offense. Do you remember that?
I’ll share a history piece I read in a Pro-Life magazine some time ago. It gave me cause to think about the possible future of democracy in America.
Around 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor, at the University of Edinburgh, made some statements about the progression and duration of a democracy.
He said, “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”
“From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with that result every democracy finally collapses due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”
Tyler also said that the average age of the world’s greatest civilization has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:
from bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to complacency;
from complacency to apathy,
from apathy to dependence;
from dependence back to bondage.”
I want to know where America is in this democracy count down. And, who can best lead her back to her spiritual faith and great courage. Listen to the many candidates who are running for the presidency of the United States of America, in this season.
What are they saying to convince us that they are persons of integrity in their dealings in sight, out of sight, and in the cover of the night? Will they give above and beyond the call of duty? They will NOT accept or take advantage of all the perks, benefits, breaks, and gifts of their position… just because they can. They will remember that they are SERVANTS of the taxpayers and NOT their bosses. They should act like servants by working 40 hours a week with regular lunch hours and 15 minutes breaks like their bosses, the taxpayers.
“WHERE THERE IS NO VISION, THE PEOPLE PERISH.” –Proverbs 29:18
At this junction in the democracy countdown, who has vision, who has courage, who has the will, who has personal moral strength to resist the temptations that come along with power, position, and opportunity?
Voters, let’s beware of candidates who talk like and act like they can do the job of presidency without acknowledging an allegiance to God, country, and fellow man and they show no need for divine intervention in public affairs. They might do good talk but they need some enduring power within to preserve our democracy and save us from dependence back to bondage?
Remember this, a president cannot do for us that which we the citizens will not do for ourselves or refuse to do for ourselves. Our government is to be of the people, for the people, and by the people. Our government is the responsibility of its people and not just that of the president.
Fellow Americans, in times like these, we need a leader who can get a prayer through for guidance and protection of our democracy. We need a courageous leader who will make the kind of commitment made by Patrick Henry who said, “I know not what course others may take; but for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
Happy Birthday, America and many more!