Between the Candle and the Dark

Norman Rockwell's "Thanksgiving Dinner"
Norman Rockwell’s famous painting of classic Americana “Thanksgiving Dinner”

Happy Thanksgiving America!

Another year is drawing to a close.  Another year for which to be thankful.  Christmas is on the way.  This is not a time to think about the troubles of the world.  It’s a time to rejoice and be with family and loved ones.  You are rightfully thankful for all the standard stuff like good food and nice clothes and a warm home and health and family… and all that’s great.

I could go on and on about all the good stuff we all have in America.  Some of you already know that.  Others among you believe that you are poor and have nothing for which to be thankful.  You don’t know what poor is.

Some of you have been to places like Panama and Mexico and Afghanistan and Iraq and the other shitholes of the world and you really do know how good we in America have it.

But today – just this once – I challenge you to think a bit more broadly.  Today as you (hopefully) spend time with your loved ones and enjoy the game on TV, as you have a few beers (or yummy shots of high-end Kentucky Bourbon), as you dig into your Thanksgiving dinner – even if that’s just a cold sandwich and some chips all by yourself – be mindful that if it were not for America the world would be a very different place.

Be thankful that God brought such a country as America to fruition so many years ago.  Be thankful that God has kept our country free for all these years.  A country like America doesn’t just happen.  If it did then there would have been another America sometime in the past.  If it did then there would be a couple of Americas right now.  But there have not been and there are not now.  Be mindful of that the next time some punk-ass politician tells you that there is nothing special about America and that we are not “exceptional.”

Be thankful that God gave us the wherewithal to grow beyond our petty differences, tame and unite this land of ours, build prosperity and safety and free enterprise and a high standard of living, and rise to project power throughout the world so that literally millions and millions of people you will never meet – people in countries most of you cannot even find on a map – may at least live free – free from those who would hack them to death with machetes in their homes at night, or round them up and gas them to death by the hundreds of thousands, or imprison them in slave labor camps.  Think about that the next time some punk-ass politician tells you that it is not up to America to be the Policeman of the world.  If not us then who?

A Soldier's Thanksgiving in Afghanistan
A Soldier’s Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

Be thankful that God enabled us to become mighty and free millions upon millions of people in the world to whom today means absolutely nothing, but who owe their very lives to America.  The world is bursting full of evil and poverty and hatred and violence and petty dictators that actually enjoy seeing those they oppose thrown into ovens and roasted alive and shot and hung and hacked and starved to death.  Think about that the next time some punk-ass politician tells you that our military is too large and expensive and decides to slash defense spending.

Be thankful to God for the thousands of young American servicemen and women are here in Afghanistan and Korea and on ships at sea and in small posts all over the globe.  Ya… ultimately it’s for all of you at home, but the best defense is a good offense.  A whole lot of it is for people who don’t even like America… even hate America… so that they can be free… so that the evil doesn’t take root and spread.  Think about that the next time some punk-ass politician tells you that we can safely pull our forces back home and turn our back on allies and on those who need us… and on the growing threat posed by the evil dictators of the world.  Think about that the next time some punk-ass politician decides to turn his back on American Warriors fighting and dying trapped by terrorists in the lonely dark on some rooftop in some town you never heard of pleading on the radio for help that will never come.

Is everyone in the world safe?  No.  We’re not done yet.  De oppresso liber (obligatory Wikipedia link.)

If it were not for God’s love for America we would be nothing more than Panama or Afghanistan or Iraq… or Greece or Germany or Australia or Japan.  If it were not for America do you think the French or the Germans or the Australians or the British or the Greeks or the Russians or the Brazilians or the Dutch or the Chinese or the Japanese or the Chileans would have risen to the occasion and kept the evil of the world at bay?

America is unique.  America is exceptional.  America is blessed by God.  To whom much is given much is expected.  America has a responsibility to the world to not let freedom die… both within our own boarders and globally.

So I have a suggestion.  This Thanksgiving as you (hopefully) sit down to your bountiful dinner surrounded by friends and family consider thanking God for America… that the world may yet have a hope for freedom.  Because ladies and gentlemen I have seen the world and it is dirty and dangerous and full of poverty and pain and terror.

America is the only thing that stands between the candle of freedom and the darkness of tyranny.

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