The only place I have ever lived has been America, and three states plus the District of Columbia have been called home at various times. Were I to go anyplace outside of our nation, I would be recognized as an American, and there would be no apologies on my part. It is a modern fiction that there ever was nor ever will be a flawless society, and certainly none in existence today. So, what is there to love about my country? Lots.
This is the place God ordained for me to come into the world as a descendant of immigrants from Italy, both maternally and paternally. I never once heard a disdainful word from my mother’s parents who lived downstairs in our suburban home. They were glad to be U. S. citizens. My grandfather came to America as a teen, and earned enough money to bring his mother, a widow, and his sister to live here. He learned a craft and eventually had his own tailor shop. In fact, a customer of his was the contact point that eventually led to the marriage of the customer’s brother (a WWII veteran) and the tailor’s daughter. I, along with a brother and two sisters, came from this union.
All this history is to say that God saw fit to have my family settle here and for me to be born a U.S. citizen. My loyalty is not because America has a blemish free record. No, it is because God has blessed our nation to be a beacon for hope, attracting those from afar to the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness envisioned by the founders. What’s more, He has placed me here to further that promise, honestly and realistically.
As a student of history, I know that accounts of the past are subjective and the results of the presuppositions of those who write them. While we can debate the merits of sometimes contrary perspectives, those of us who have enjoyed the freedoms this country provides must endeavor to work toward justice while not dismissing the countless efforts, both successful and unsuccessful, in the past and present to produce it.
Were I to give up on America, I would be giving up on myself, my children, their children and all my future descendants. Why? Because it is no accident that at the very roots of its founding, our country had a consensus that God was the author of liberty and only by His blessings would “our land be bright with freedom’s holy light.” It was acknowledged that without God’s might and protection the country would fail.
America has fallen prey to many wrongs that make it worthy of contempt and judgment. Legalized abortion, the proliferation of child sex trafficking, and an educational system designed to make citizens hate their country are among the most glaring. My love for America has to do with continuing to let my light shine so that these wrongs can be righted. I believe that faithfulness to God will allow this tide to turn. How blessed I am to be part of this fight.
So, if you are among those who are ashamed to be identified with this country, understand that there is a difference between loving your country and loving the government in place at any given time. But, don’t abandon your responsibility to work for an America that honors God and keeps His commandments. That is our duty, and if faithfully carried out, we can expect the love we have for America to produce an America we can wholeheartedly love.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].