What's Right about America?
Dr. Stan Coffey
I. AMERICA IS RIGHT IN HER FOUNDING
II. AMERICA IS RIGHT IN HER FREEDOMS
III. AMERICA CAN BE RIGHT IN HER FUTURE
One of the most important days in the life of our nation each year is Independence Day. During the American revolution the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry
Lee of Virginia. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a committee but with Thomas
Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the Declaration finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier John Adams had written to his wife Abigail: "The second day of July, 1776, will be the
most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by
solemn acts of devotion to God almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forever more."
Adam's prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution
of independence was approved in a closed session of congress. Many times when preachers give sermons on this occasion and celebration they will be careful to point out what is wrong with America, illustrating her many sins and short comings. To be sure there are many that could be mentioned here today. But I believe that more importantly than what is wrong with America, we need to remember what is right with America. America is still the greatest nation on the face of this earth. No other nation has been blessed as has America.
Katherine Lee Bates captures this theme in her hymn, "America, The Beautiful." In 1893 a group of teachers decided to visit Pike's Peak, elevation 14000 feet. Katherine later wrote, "We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the ways on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy: All the wonder of America seemed displayed there with the sea-like expanse. It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country, spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind. When we left Colorado Springs the four stanzas were penciled into my notebook."
What's right with America? Her hymn describes it:
"O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber wa ...
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