This is a repost from July 4, 2012.
America, land of the free, home of the brave. What makes this nation the greatest on Earth and why that doesn’t matter.
There are many things that make America great and many things that are dragging it down. However, right now, and I believe for a long time to come, America will still be the greatest nation on Earth. I’m going to bring up two things that have made America great and one reason why all this is all irrelevant.
1. America is a nation of immigrants.
I moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic when I was three years old. From then until now I have gone to college, served in the US Army, and worked all kinds of jobs. My situation is typical. America is a nation of immigrants. It’s a home for the homeless. It’s one of the few countries in the world where you can be a first generation immigrant and still be fully accepted as a member of the host nation. In many other countries, your ethnic identity defines who you are for generations. Not here. You can be Irish American, Polish American, Mexican American, any American. You can keep your ethnicity, food, culture, language, heritage, and still be a fully fledged American. First and second generation Americans can rise to the highest levels of government, can attain higher education, and can become pillars of American society, all while retaining their Old World culture. Unless you’re a Native American, you’re an immigrant. There’s not much difference between a first generation immigrant and a fifth generation immigrant, we’re all immigrants. The culture, drive, and entrepreneurial spirit that immigrants continually bring to America is what keeps her competitive.
2. America doesn’t care about your background.
This is huge. There are nations who have a policy of discriminating against it’s own residents, based on religion or ethnicity. Think about that. It’s like being born in New York, then getting kicked out of the country because you’re not Protestant or not British. This happens today, even with countries that we consider our allies, with countries we support. What religion are you? It doesn’t matter. Although many countries put your religion on your passport, America doesn’t. America doesn’t care if you’re Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or Atheist. You can come, and as long as you obey our laws, you can do whatever you want, you can study whatever you want, and you can be whatever you want. You will have rights, you will have due process, no matter where in the world you go, America will have your back. Citizens of many other nations can’t say that.
Why it’s all irrelevant.
America is man made. Think of America like the tower of Babel. It’s a great intellectual and cultural achievement. To take the best of the Greeks and Romans and condense them into a nation that is accepting of others and that cares only about your ability to follow it’s laws, is brilliant. However, it’s irrelevant. God didn’t make America. If you’re a Christian, then you have a Heavenly Citizenship. This Citizenship surpasses all nations, tongues, and tribes. When we reach Heaven, the passports that we held will mean nothing.
I have brothers and sisters in Costa Rica, Peru, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, Brazil, and in every other nation on Earth. From eternity’s point of view, they will be my brothers and our national allegiances will be irrelevant. I love America, but America is not my God.
Update: My wife just became a US Citizen after living here for the last six years. This is remarkable. The Greatest Nation on Earth happily welcomed her as an American. What really makes this remarkable is that she was born in a nation that doesn’t allow her to vote, has no due process, affords her no justice, would never let her serve in any significant capacity in government, and that literally kicked her out after she had been in the US for just a couple years. All of this because of her ethnicity and religion. Her own nation wishes everyone like her would just leave, and the Greatest Nation on Earth happily accepted her.