Saturday, July 3, 2010
Freedom: The American Idol
I have posted this painting before. It is Jon McNaughton's One Nation Under God and gives a powerful message. It is hard not to be struck by the figure of Christ holding the U.S. Constitution standing in the midst of this representation of the American people.
As we celebrate another Independence Day in this country, I am grateful for the freedoms, the true freedoms, for which our founding fathers risked their lives, but I am also dismayed at what our society and even our government has made of those freedoms. The freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; those three very basic freedoms which Thomas Jefferson and the others wrote into the Declaration of Independence have come to mean something quite different today.
The writers and framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution put God at the core of these documents and all for which they stood. In the 200 plus years since then, God has been slowly but surely begun to be cast aside. We seem to be becoming one nation under ourselves rather than under God; we have begun to idolize freedom, and this is a very slippery slope! If we choose to be guided by ourselves and not by God, we will stay on the collision course with our sure demise.
I don't mean to be the voice of doom, but things in our beloved USA are not good, but there is always hope. God knows the meaning of true freedom, and He gives it to us in allowing us to freely choose Him and His ways or not. He also hears the prayers of the faithful in this country and throughout the world, and He sees and delights in the acts of reparation made by those who truly love Him and this country.
It is not too late, we can return to being One Nation Under God. May He continue to bless us and those who selflessly fight for our true freedom.
*You can read more on Jon McNaughton's painting here and listen to Fr. Robert Barron's commentary on the idolatry of freedom at Word On Fire.
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.