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A Thoughtful Moment
by Mark Bradley
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A Thoughtful Moment

Sometime between the time that I was practicing my drums and singing with my three year old, a thought crept into my cranium. Why does it take us so long to grasp certain concepts? There are some things that are so simple, yet they are the hardest things to permanently remember. Iíll explain.
Iím writing this now about a week after the two-year anniversary of 9/11. Iím watching a documentary (for those that think I only watch sports) and they are discussing about the rise in patriotism that followed the fall of the towers and the attack on the pentagon. The first thing that hit my mind was what a great thing that was, and continues to be. The very next thing was a troubling question. Why did it take a horrific tragedy such as a terrorist attack on our soil before people realized that loving their country was actually a cool thing to do?
Somewhere along the line, being an American became a bad thing. The pride in being from this nation left, and it took this act of murder to wake people up and give them a ďreasonĒ to be proud again.
People who loved this country and were proud to be from here have been labeled as extremist, and been told that it just wasnít cool to be so pro-American. They should be more open-minded, accept other cultures and practices, and learn history that isnít just ours. Get ready. Iím about to make you angry.
All right, letís get this straight. We may not have but 250 years of history, but students in this country had better be learning it. If it says American History on the book, then that is what they should be studying. I think that senior high school students that canít tell you the first president of this country should be failed back to fourth grade.
They need to be taught that this country was founded on Judea-Christian principles, that President added the words ďSo help me GodĒ to the end of his presidential oath because he was actually promising God he would do his best. They need to be taught that, even though some of the founding fathers were not practicing Christians, that they still held to the beliefs based on Biblical principles.
People actually starting believing that we, as Americans, had no right to get involved in World War I and II. We were pursuing an empire instead of destroying the evil that was the Nazi regime. I think that Colin Powell best said it about six months ago. He was quoted as saying, ďWe have never asked for more land than was required to bury our dead.Ē
Listen to them long enough, and they will have you believing that we never have a right to get involved in any other countryís war. We should never have been involved in freeing Europe. We should never have even thought about getting involved in Korea and Vietnam. And, as we all know, the Gulf wars were over oil.
Well, Iíve got a little notion for you guys to chew on. Everybody agrees that having the communist and fascist regimes in this country would be a bad thing. Can you even imagine what it would take to defeat those invading armies should they have all of Europe to recruit from? That is a lot of soldiers. If controlled by the wrong government or ideology, and having the ability to keep pace with our industry, then four years of war will seem like a walk in the park.
The idea is to root out these problems and deal with them before they get so large that they are at our doorstep and that we bleed the country dry trying to protect our freedoms. These are the same people that say that the fight will never come to our soil. Thatís when we are supposed to deal with it. The problem with that philosophy is that, by the time it gets to our doorstep, it so large and so strong that it would be next to impossible to defeat.
This country has been through a lot in its brief history. Weíve had at least ten different wars that and one civil war. We fight together just fine. We donít, however, seem to be able to live together very well. We tend to be very forgetful when it comes to what has gotten us to this point. Just as a reminder, the point that we are at is the greatest and most powerful country in the world.
Well, Iím going to remind you what it is that got us here. We built this country with God as our foundation. He had been at the forefront of our decision-making and the basis for our morals and our ethics. That is, of course, when we had them. Now, when you bring the idea up that there are responsibilities that go along with our freedoms, we get accused of trying to steal someoneís civil rights.
Brace yourselves. This is going to sting a little. We are a free nation. With these freedoms, however, carry with them certain responsibilities. We have the right to speak our minds as our hearts dictate. We donít have the right to slander someone else. We have the right to be free, but we are free from tyranny. We are not free to do everything that we please. We are not free from the responsibility of being an American.
Please donít misunderstand what it is that Iím saying. I am not saying that people should be slaves to an idea that makes us all robots. Be an individual. Be free to express that individuality. Donít break any laws while being an individual.
Iíll close with this. I once heard someone say that God judged this country for the sin that lives in this nation, and that He used the terrorists to do it. People jumped all over the guy, first saying that we havenít done anything to be judged, then saying that if God was a loving and caring God that he wouldnít have used terrorists to do it. It seems to me that someone needs to be reading the Old Testament a little more. God habitually used the enemies of the nation of Israel to judge them. They have been persecuted by more nations and empires than any other known group of people. Yes, the Nazis are in that group. That group also includes the Egyptians, the Romans, the Babylonians, the Philistines and the Persians.
God used the enemy to judge the Hebrews until they got the old idea stuck back into their heads that God was in charge and that they need to get their act together. Ladies and gentlemen, this is an idea that we have lost along the way. It usually happens when we get too cute for our own good. God is in charge. Seems like a simple idea to me. It really is the simplest of ideas. Donít forget it.

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Member Comments
Member Date
L.M. Lee 06 Sep 2004
good thoughts! I enjoyed your "lightbulb" moment!


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