Americans are unique – for better or worse – in believing we are called by God to bless the world with what we were given by Him – the first democratic republic in history and the first nation constituted so as to have a limited government for the release of maximum opportunity for all mankind. Of the latter reality. there can be no doubt; the record of history is clear–of the former, there can be no reasonable doubt when viewing the whole of our track record.
Americans as a people and culture are a flawed template for such an undertaking. We failed to make a constitution that abolished slavery, although we expressed our disgust for it in the document and the papers that facilitated its adoption; and we installed a mechanism in the document for repairing its deficiencies by amendment. We treated the indigenous peoples we found with brutality, although we address such issues with an openness that is unprecedented in the world. When we repent of our sins and excesses, as I did in Sweden and later in the Philippines, it constitutes not an about face but a return to our identity in Him who creates us as a work in progress.
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The next installments of this series will examine our flaws and our rootedness in a hope-filled future. It seems the right thing to do.
Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski (Flickr)
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