This article is a reprint from Christian Breaking News.
Ten Things I Love About America
Teresa Neumann/op-ed (July 4, 2008)
Teresa Neumann/op-ed (July 4, 2008)
1. The U.S. Constitution: particularly the freedom to worship as we choose. Imagine living in an age, or a country, where your religion is determined by the state. It's a freedom well worth protecting and defending.
2. The U.S. Armed Services: God bless our brave men and women in uniform. It is because of them—and the grace of God—that we dwell safely in this wonderful country of ours. They more than deserve our support and prayers.
3. Capitalism: That's right, the good ol' free enterprise economic system touted by none other than John Calvin. When one considers the alternatives, it's no contest. For all its grand ideals, communism was rife with abuse and failed miserably. As for socialism, ask the middle classes of socialist countries about their tax burden and quality of healthcare. While abuse is inherent in any economic system, and must always be checked, entrepreneurialism and free market enterprise is part and parcel of the history of a prosperous America.
4. Largesse; Our National Consciousness: Largesse means "liberality," or "generosity." Typically, it is generosity that goes beyond the norm; abundant beneficence. It manifests in global giving to the poor, and right here at home when neighbors reach out to neighbors. Largesse is at the core of how we Americans view ourselves and how we respond to national and global challenges. Our optimism and can-do attitude match the vast open skies of the West, the Great Plains of the Midwest, the sweeping seashores of the Atlantic and Pacific, and the soaring mountain chains that crisscross this breathtaking nation. We think, act, and feel as big as the 3,000-mile-wide cord that connects us. Big stores, big skyscrapers, big cars (hopefully fuel alternatives will allow us to keep them!), big ideas, big dreams. Don't ever feel guilty about employing righteous and healthy largesse in your life. After all, God is Largesse.
5. Conveniences We Take for Granted: Americans who have travelled overseas are only too aware of the joy of these conveniences. Clothes dryers, air conditioners, dishwashers, microwaves, hair straighteners, escalators, vacuum sweepers, etc., etc. Every country is known for its love of something or other. France loves its food, Italy loves its art, and we Americans love our conveniences.
6. Customer Service: True, customer service is better in some areas of the country than others, and there will always be that incompetent clerk who will drive one to utter distraction, but by-and-large customer service in America is superb. (Think Costco, Nordstrom, Wal-mart, etc.) One need only consider India, where shoppers aren't allowed to touch, or closely observe, anything in a store before buying, let alone return anything, to appreciate this point.
7. Educational Choice: Don't like the public school in your area? Send your children to a private school, and take your pick from any number of religious institutions running them. Don't have the money to send your children to a private school? Homeschool (that is if you live outside California).
8. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Granted, we have a long way to go to clean up the airwaves in this country, but at least we have something, compared to Europe where network television is shockingly amoral. Remember Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction?" Europeans were stumped at the public outcry against it. Such American puritanism they snarked. I rest my case.
9. Our Infrastructure: Rule of Law on Highways, and the Courage and Kindness of Strangers. Again, think India where pedestrians, bicyclists, dogs, mules, carts and cars all share the road in common. One Indian friend of mine noted that the worst road in America is better than India's national highway. Not only are American highways efficient and well-maintained, but they are used by drivers who, for the most part, obey the law. Try driving somewhere like Marseilles, France, where no one reads, or cares about, road signs. If that were not enough to be thankful for, far more Americans are known for their quickness to come to the aid of someone in need or in danger—on the road or elsewhere—than the few who make headlines preying on such victims. When disaster strikes in America, Americans rise to the aid of their countrymen.
10. Peanut Butter: Any kind, but Skippy is my favorite.