American Journal December 2 2013 Knockout Friday

In the United States of America, we have much for which to be thankful. At the top of the list is that we were blessed with birth in this country where freedom and the pursuit of happiness come with a written lifetime guarantee as do our other freedoms – speech, religion, press…. A guarantee our leaders are obligated to abide or we the people are obligated to demand they spend more time with their friends and family. American born means you can count yourself among a very tiny percentage of humankind who has ever known true freedom. You were born in the only country in this world where freedom is a promise taken from God and engraved in the law of the land.

Our first President declared that a day should be set aside to give thanks to God for the blessings he has showered upon this nation. Even in our nation’s infancy he realized that. Our sixteenth President made it a national observance. A day set aside for a nation to give due thanks to our Creator for the good we have.

As a nation, we seem to have lost track of what it is we should be thankful for. Either that or the times have passed me by. I still listen to music from the 1950s and 60s. Songs with actual melodies and lyrics one can understand, as is living in a world of moral black and white rather than one of moral gray, are certainly passé.

Instead of being thankful for our freedom and euphoric that we have something that most humankind still does not along with abundance and prosperity, we are more excited about the arrival of black Friday. Although named for the day that stores move from being in the financial red, to showing a profit – the financial black it is aptly named as the day that brings out the dark side of many free Americans. Whatever we call it, we appear to be more thankful for the ultimate display of materialism than any old abstract thought of freedom and God’s blessings. Our spiritual side is suffering neglect. So is our national character.

On black Friday, the worst in us came out – again. Punches were thrown, Tasers used, people trampled, Salvation Army kettles stolen, and outright brawls. Americans. Willing to do bodily harm to one another to get a cheap flat screen television or a video game box. Or, so morally deficient they are willing to steal money that will be turned into food, clothing and other life necessities for people who need them. Is this a grand display of our new national character? My wife watches television streamed in from Korea. That is how she keeps abreast of the news in her home country. Their international news segments were happy and maybe a bit perplexed to point out our black Friday shenanigans. A country with so much has people brawling in department store aisle ways for televisions. The world watches us and likely concludes if this is what freedom looks like maybe they do not want freedom American style.

Truthfully, as I read some of the news accounts of black Friday mayhem I became confused about whether I was reading about rabid shoppers or the new “game” spreading around our nation’s cities. Its players call it the knockout game. It is where packs of cowards roaming the streets sucker punch unsuspecting passersby intending to show they can knock someone out with one punch. Some people have been seriously injured in these assaults. Some have died. The “game” will continue until some vigilant citizen changes the name of it into the shoot a punk in the face game. Then the media, who have effectively hidden this story from Americans, will not tell us about the knock out punks and their dangerous game. The will talk about the evil of guns.

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. – Isaiah 5:20

Since Eve picked fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we arrive into this world knowing the difference between the two. America has been a great nation because throughout our history we have sought to do good and where we as a nation we were not doing good we changed our ways to do what is good.

In America, unfortunately, materialism often trumps. Just look around. To some degree all of us suffer it. In America, Christianity is becoming evil because it does not embrace such things as sexual immorality and killing unborn children. The opposite view is called good because it acknowledges a new man-given right to pursue those things. We willingly punch someone in the face and wrestle the last flat screen television away from them. A television that will stop working in a year or two, but we seem just as willing to lose our gift of freedom without a struggle.

With Thanksgiving past, we will now see what many call the unrelenting war on Christmas. The war is not on Christmas. It never was. The war is on Christ, Christians, and Christianity. Knockout Friday and the state of America in general is a view of post-Christian America. It is the example of the war on good.

God has blessed our nation. Will we cease to be the good nation He has blessed?

© 2013