The pride that the citizens of the United States of America have in this country is most apparent each July as flags are unfurled and fireworks light up the sky. It's a time when our citizens contemplate their citizenship- a citizenship many people throughout this world would be most gracious to share.
The founding fathers of America believed that the most important thing in the world was a government in which the freedom and liberty of the individual was closely protected. They believed that this freedom was basic to individual development and happiness. They also believed that each person has an obligation to serve society, to assist in that government that helps guarantee our freedoms.
Without a doubt, responsibility comes with freedom. We must try to do the right thing as we see it without infringing upon the freedom of others. Since no one is perfect, freedom can be abused. This is why we have rules in this society – because absolute freedom can lead to anarchy and no society can or will survive in such a state.
The emphasis on the rights, freedoms and the dignity of each individual shows up often in all our great documents. We start by declaring, "We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We live by this freedom theme and hold dearly to the sacredness and dignity of each individual. Ours is a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
In the end, nations can only be as strong as the ideals and ideals of the people. When citizens no longer pay attention to the first principles of a nation, the nation itself is weakened, and soon it's future is in question. It is for these reasons that we welcome the pageantry and celebrations (like God and Country Sing-A-Long) which take place each summer in thousands of communities throughout this great country. We pray that this will always be a strong and free country. And let us never assume to take it for granted.
Pastor Hans Lillejord