Thursday, July 2, 2009

America, what happened?

On this 4th of July eve eve, I am contemplating the direction of America. I try to keep this space positive, but I have seen such a sadness take over our dear country in the last few months (perhaps even the last few years) that I am confused, bewildered and more than just a little ticked off by it all. The "news" about Michael Jackson's death gets more airtime than the middle east, wars around the world, North Korea and Hugo Chavez combined. Yes the man was talented, but I thought much more of Farrah Fawcett or Ed McMahon than him.
And how is it that our beloved America is beginning to look like a communist country? Government taking over businesses is a very scary beginning to things. The welfare state that has been developing over the last 40 YEARS is more than a little scary as well. I mean, I work in the social services arena and we never have a problem giving someone a hand up, but I don't much care for handouts. My wife has a saying she repeats to all in our homeless program as well as some others. "I am here to run alongside you, but I won't drag you down the road."
I worked with many Katrina evacuees and know many who work in agencies in New Orleans. The residents of New Orleans were never taught that they need to help themselves. Everyone just went in and did it for them. There is a time when that's appropriate, but when an able bodied man stands and watches others rebuild his house, I think it's time to grab him by the shoulders and shake him awake. When a perfectly healthy young woman watches while others go in a clean her house and bring her food and yet she refuses to even look for work, it just isn't right. But I'm afraid we did that to ourselves.
I work in disasters every year. I worked hurricane Ike last year. The people of Galveston, Houston, Pasadena and Beaumont just rolled up their sleeves and got to work. We brought them (along with many others) food twice a day, and in fact while I was there, we passed our two millionth meal from that disaster. But the work went on and was being done by those who lived there, by those who had lost all or nearly all.
It used to be that neighbors helped neighbors recover from any tragedy that struck, whether it was personal or widespread. It was the Christian thing to do. Now we don't know our neighbors and we sure don't want to help them, because they may be cooking meth in their house or it might be filled with illegal aliens. We'll just let the government help everyone now, if they really need help.
I apologize if I sound a little (or a lot) depressing, angry, or whatever. I'm not really, I'm just disappointed. I didn't want it to be like this. Our founders didn't see this coming, I'm sure. This 4th of July, I'll go wave a flag, barbecue with friends, watch fireworks and do all the things that Americans do on the 4th, even if they don't know what the 4th of July means. And I'll try to pass on to my children some sense of patriotism so that at least some Americans will remember that this nation was founded by the people, of the people and for the people so that we could write blogs, read dissenting viewpoints, live, love and cherish one another until God calls us home. Maranatha!

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