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Thorner & O’Neil: What makes the US so special?



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By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O'Neil –

America has always prided itself on its moral values and pro-family ideals, which many believe is the reason for the success and prosperity of our nation.  

In her path-breaking book, Women of the Republic, historian Linda Kerber notes that the family was an important ideological and political institution in the founding of our nation. Kerber points to domestic gender roles, particularly the traditional role of women as models for their children's future and central to the creation of a democratic society. Through the work of historian Stephanie Cronntz, as set forth in her Historical Perspective of Family Studies, we also learn that there was never a “traditional” American family. There has been as much diversity and change in American families as there has been in most other countries’ national life.

Change demands caution and concern

It has been noted that those who seem most happy are those who have positively influenced the lives of others and/or who have found giving as beneficial as it is to the recipient.  Especially noteworthy is that many who have had experienced difficult times have turned their disasters into a warning message for others, using their experiences to help others in similar situations.   

Because change is inevitable, it is wise for everyone to be cautious and concerned about any and all unhealthy and even dangerous trends that creep into the fabric of our nation.  Each of them must be exposed and expunged or like a cancer they will spread and be a danger to society.  An example is smoking cigarettes, which was once considered suave and practiced by millions of Americans until people learned how harmful smoking was to one’s health.  As difficult as it was, knowing the facts was powerful enough for many to give up this habit, proving facts and truth are powerful weapons we can use to make our lives better;

How fortunate it is that unhealthy changes rarely all happen at the same time.  This nation would be in an even more worrisome condition if this were so.  We have been fortunate not to have had tragedies so devastating that it caused our nation to collapse. This is not to say that throughout our world, our nation, and even in our own neighborhoods people don’t frequently and violently disagree about big and little things. 

Our family units are rarely solid, but even differences of opinions can cause on-going problems. It is therefore wise to be prepared for unexpected circumstances, whether over personal family disagreements or with our neighbors over issues such as politics and even biblical matters.   We must use common sense to know when it is time to politely walk away from an argument or problem and when we must find other practical solutions to recover from injustices done or severed relationships.  This applies also to our public lives. 

Women and change

It is hard to imagine that in our first American century, and largely throughout the world, women were badly treated and at an unfair advantage in most every aspect of their lives.  Nevertheless, our ancestors found ways to express viewpoints without wars and many extremely negative behaviors quietly disappeared from our society largely because we became aware of facts previously unknown.  It did, however, take until 1920 and the 19th Amendment for women to have the right to vote. The following four women early on worked tirelessly to change the social fabric of our society for women: 

  • Carry Nation (1846–1911) became a Temperance icon by smashing saloons, with her hatchet in one hand, and Bible in the other. Churches and theaters paid her to rail against alcohol, the "devil's water."
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel Uncle Tom's Cabin exposed the cruelty of slavery just nine years before the Civil War. This heart-wrenching piece gave slaves a powerful voice, humanizing their existence not simply as laborers but as complex individuals. Selling over 300,000 copies within three months of its publication, Uncle Tom's Cabin galvanized Northern hatred for slavery. Through her writing, Stowe helped popularize anti-slavery sentiments. 
  • Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women organized the first women's rights conference in the United States called the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.
  • Lucy Stone had her suffrage wagon painted yellow as a nod to the colors of woman suffrage

Role of religion in nation's greatness

This nation has survived, even prospered, longer than other great nations before us, largely because we have learned, developed, and kept specific important principles.  We avoided the pitfalls that have destroyed other nations.  Even so our future survival does depend on an informed and vigilant society in which all situations and all people are treated fairly and without prejudice.  The tension between our current president and the opposing party, as well as top media sources, is an unhealthy situation for this nation and its people to be facing.

One factor that has been evident from our nation’s very beginning, and often credited with America’s greatness, is the large number of citizens who faithfully attend a church or other religious house of worship on a regular basis.  It is unfortunate that the number of individuals who now attend church weekly have declined in recent years.  The question has been asked what has caused the fewer numbers?  A new survey suggests the logistics of just getting to church can be the biggest barrier to participation, but it is also due to other factors such as children’s Sunday soccer games and both parents working 9 to 7 five days a week, creating the desire to use the weekends to catch up with other immediate needs at home.  

Many believe Donald Trump won the presidency largely due to his slogan “Make America Great Again.”  It wasn’t that Americans thought our country had greatly declined, but many did sense we were in a spiritual and moral decline.  Churches were closing their doors in many American cities, as they have been doing in Europe for many years, due to a lack of parishioners to finance them.  This trend has resulted in concern among many “people of faith”, as well as among atheists. 

Might this be the reason why crime rates are skyrocketing in many cities and why families, including their children, are using drugs and sex as a quick fix?  They serve as temporary solution to their problems and concerns and a fast way to feel good again.  It is important to remember that happiness is not the result of what we eat or drink or even if we like our job and have a great marriage.  Those are important factors, but happiness usually is the result of something deep within us.  It is knowing we are living a life that matters, respecting others and being respected in return.

On Sunday, July 15, 2019, Mark Levin’s Fox TV show, Life, Liberty, and Levin, featured an excellent interview with Pastor John Hagee. Pastor Hagee told how this nation is slipping away from its moral foundation to secularism (Socialism) by getting away from anything that looks like righteousness according to the principles of the Ten CommandmentsListen here to Pastor Hagee's interview with Mark Levin.  You won't be disappointed.  It is insightful and worthy of your concern.

Patriotism leaves no room for prejudice

For many it is knowing God and believing He answers our prayers and helps those who cry out to Him for help.   All of us want to keep America the greatest country in the world.  It behooves us to do so for many reasons.   But can this happen 1) when many of our elected official have become self-serving and bitterly divisive? and 2) when we have allowed our different political viewpoints to estrange us from one another to the degree that unity is impossible?  To many this is so, and it's a recipe for disaster.  

This quote is from President Trump on the subject:  "When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”

The Bible states (Psalms 133-1): "How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”  Only fools enjoy strife, prejudice, and hate, because it robs people of contentment and invites anger and health issues.”  

The United States is not perfect; we have our faults.  However, the good news is that compared to most parts of the world, this country is a great place to live because Americans are basically good and honest people who try hard to be good citizens.  That is fortunate, because it is up to our informed adult population to keep our nation secure from negative sources outside and those from within.

We can do that through our pocketbook, our check book, our Bible.  We can do it by our example and the choices we make each day. Let’s proudly stand for our American flag that represents our wonderful country and pledge to do whatever we can to keep America strong according to the dictates of our forefathers. 


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  1. End Time Prophecy being fulfilled, Nancy.
    Many scriptures proclaim the conditions of the world when nearing the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16
    Jesus said His followers would be hated in the last days and: “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:11-14
    The world leaders are blind to God’s truths and are destroying themselves and their nations because they love their wickedness:
    2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;

      because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”