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Beacon Senior News

The truth about America’s heritage

Jun 28, 2021 08:58AM ● By Vic Stinemetze
Close up of American flag, faded

As we celebrate the Fourth of July, let’s take a moment to consider the rich heritage that is ours in America, and the truth of this country’s origin.

Last year, I wrote about how a French aristocrat and historian named Alexis de Tocqueville came to America and toured it in 1831 to study the American Penal System. However, his real interest was America herself. Afterward, he went home and wrote this:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests, and it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, but it was not there. I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution, but it was not there either. 

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good! And if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.”

De Tocqueville understood that America has a rich heritage of goodness that made and continues to make her great. If she loses that foundation, she will cease to be great.

Yes, our forefathers had flaws. But they founded a nation based on godly principles. They understood that the ideals of freedom and democracy were worth fighting and giving their lives for.

Throughout our great history, Americans have fought to preserve this priceless heritage of freedom. Many have given their lives for that cause.

My father fought in World War II. Fortunately, he didn’t have to lose his life, but he understood that leaving his young wife and newborn son was a necessity for our nation to endure. Many others have gone off to war knowing their lives could be cut short, but they considered it a worthy cause. We are so blessed by their sacrifice.

Another man gave his life for us as well. Jesus chose to come to earth as a human being, knowing the ultimate goal was to sacrifice his life for you and me. He willingly endured the cruelest death by hanging on a cross—the just penalty for each of our sins. As we believe by faith in who he is—the savior who died and overcame death to ascend into heaven—our faith is credited to us as righteousness by God and we’re given eternal life.

We can’t earn it. We can’t even fully understand it. We can’t gain it in any other way or through any other man. Like those who gave their lives in battle to purchase the freedom we so cherish in our nation, Jesus gave his life to purchase our freedom as citizens of heaven.

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