What are American Values?

What does America value?

Absurd proclamations are common these days. Often, the justification for them is a declaration that they represent our deepest held American values. Sound familiar? They declare this so emphatically that it puts the timid on the defensive and garners cheers from the sycophantic ignorant.

Who among us could possibly stand in opposition to anything that is born of our most cherished, deeply held American values – whatever they are or however they are defined? Who does not fear being labeled intolerant or declared disease ridden by a phobia of some sort should we demonstrate the audacity to question what those values really are or express disagreement with their self-proclaimed defenders?

That fear of labeling is why the most prevalent modern American value is political correctness. It is a value for certain. It is also a national suicidal tendency. But, it is just one.

Values are not just flowery phrases dropped into a conversation to justify ones position. Values are what drive us. Values equal action. What we know or think we know transfers to our hearts – how we feel about things – and that translates into our actions. So when most of us are declaring that something is an American value, all we are doing is sharing what we personally value and adding to it a little hope that everyone views the world as we do. That is why it is important to understand what it is that you value. What drives you? Only when we honestly understand ourselves can we ever hope to put our finger on what America values.

God given freedom and constitutionally protected rights are supposed to be the shield that protects us from a potentially tyrannical or abusive government that might try to take them from us. Our conflict is not that complicated. People, who wish to fundamentally transform our country and try to redefine our deepest held values, use our freedom and rights as weapons against us rather than as a shield of protection for us.

Do we value the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Is it a value of ours that all men were created equal? Do we value God given freedom that was endowed to us by our Creator? We think we do. We claim to. But do we really? Is what we value defined by the rights guaranteed to us by the United States Constitution as citizens?

Is the right to life an American value? If it is an American value, could we ever say that pro-choice is the opposite of pro-life? Is individual liberty an American value? If it was, would there be 30,000 people nearly rioting in Atlanta trying to get an application for government provided housing?

Is it an American value that we were all created equally? If it was, would we more than 200 years later be fighting for equal outcomes? The good Lord placed us all here. We arrived with nothing. We will take nothing with us. Each of us chooses the path taken between arrival and departure. Our national focus does not seem to be on the creation.

I saw an ad on television this morning. It was a collection of people billed as national religious leaders. I must say, however, none of them were familiar to me. Basically the ad supported the ground zero mosque. Their position was that everyone should be allowed to pray. No one can argue with that deeply held American value. I am just curious about where this group of “national religious leaders” have been for all of these prayer banning years. Where were they recently when a group of students, in silent prayer, was kicked off the steps outside the Supreme Court of the United States?

When the press uses a constitutional right to pursue a political agenda, like the Journolistas, or when papers publish documents that endanger people and our national security is the right being used as a shield to protect those who exercise it or as a weapon?

The establishment clause clearly has the purpose of protecting the Church from the state and not the other way around. Its sole use for many years, however, has been as a weapon to expel any vestige of Christianity from public view. Not Islam, Buddhism or any other religion.

The protection of these freedoms and rights is so deeply ingrained in American society that we are slow to acknowledge it when they are being used against us as weapons to a devastating effect. It is time to say stop. There is a fundamental transformation that is needed in America. It is the one that draws a clear distinction between protecting rights and abusing them. Only when we can do that as a nation, will we know what America values.

©2010