What makes America an "exceptional" nation?
[Darris McNeely] In our run up to Fourth of July, America's celebration of independence this week, we're talking on Beyond Today – on our BT Dailies – about America and about its role in the world. There's a lot to talk about as we look at what's taking place. Last time I asked the question, is America just another country with a soccer team in the World Cup match? Actually, America is far more than that. What's sad is that, even among many Americans right now, that patriotism and that pride in country seems to be slipping, and the feeling that America is not an exceptional nation is becoming – is gaining weight.
There's a Pew poll that came out just a few days ago that said that 44% of those that were surveyed are not proud to be an American. And that's a number that's bumped up a bit. Now, as they looked as those who were surveyed, among those who were a bit more conservative politically, they had a higher percentage who were patriotic. And those that were otherwise-minded were less patriotic. But the number was a bit confusing and even staggering to think about, that so many people might represent a trend toward looking at America as not what it really is in the world scene, and what it takes to make this country work, and especially what it has been on the world scene.
The question is, is America an exceptional nation? And the truth is, it really is. There's a book that I have gone to in recent times to teach and to look at. It's called The History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, by Andrew Roberts. And this book goes through a story of all of the English-speaking peoples – America, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand – but it's primarily America and Great Britain and their influence upon the modern world. And there was one quote that was in the back that – it just continues to stand out, in terms of an answer to this question of whether or not America is an exceptional nation, and the English-speaking peoples as well, but focusing especially on America. And it makes the statement that, "When something good happens in America, such as a breakthrough in the healing arts and medicine and in science, the rest of the world benefits. When American doctors find the cure for various diseases," Mr. Roberts writes, "as they do more than any other nation, all can celebrate." Whether it's a cure for polio, or other diseases, the advances that have been done in America impact the rest of the world. And I think that particular fact states a great deal about the English-speaking nations and America's role in the modern world and that – how other nations have benefited a great deal.
You know, there's other issues that are on the scene today. Immigration is one, and even as I speak, people are coming across the border in the southern parts of the United States in the Southwest from Latin America. Last time I checked, people are still trying to get into the United States of America and they're not wanting to get out. I think that's a very, very telling fact. America is an exceptional nation. And it is exceptional not just because of the ingenuity and the freedoms and the liberties that have been here among our forefathers, but there's something else that goes even far deeper. It goes back to God. But we have to understand how and why all of that is. As we think about America, as we think about its roles, we think about that every year as I do as we come up to the Fourth of July – I do look at the fact that America is an exceptional nation. But I understand that from the context of the Bible, and God's promises to His people, and God's promises to one man, the man Abraham. And we in America have been recipients of that, and as we have been blessed, other nations around the world have been blessed as well. That's something for us all to think about, from all parts of the world, as America looks at what happened that Fourth of July many years ago and the impact that what has followed has had upon the world.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.