Monday, July 04, 2011

It's not "Morning in America" any more...'s dusk

Ronald Reagan Statue
"A statue of Ronald Reagan is to be unveiled in London's Grosvenor Square, as part of a year of celebrations to mark the 100th birthday of the former US president. The 10 foot bronze will be positioned on a pedestal close to the American Embassy, and stand alongside existing statues of two other 20th Century US leaders, Dwight Eisenhower and Franklin D Roosevelt. With the unveiling scheduled for July 4, US Independence Day, the Ronald Reagan Foundation has invited Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron to attend the ceremony. Condoleezza Rice, the former US secretary of state who worked for the Pentagon during Mr Reagan's presidency, will represent Nancy Reagan, 89, who will be following proceedings from her Californian home."

For those of you old enough to remember the 1980 Presidential election, Ronald Reagan ran as a conservative Republican. The oldest man to be elected to the position, may feared him and his principles, including myself, in which he "advocated reducing tax rates to spur economic growth, controlling the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and reducing government spending. In his first term he ... took a hard line against labor unions..." These are all positions I believe in now. Back then, I was a twenty-year old liberal agnostic abortion advocate scared to death of a Reagan presidency but having an antipathy to four more years of Jimmy Carter and inflation. If I remember right, I voted for John Anderson even though he was conservative because I've always believed in working toward a third party candidate and the other two candidates were just awful in my opinion.

Of course, we all know what happened. Reagan was a great president. Those people who were not clouded by liberal thought knew he would be great from the beginning, and history bears this out.

Particularly estimable was Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's relationship. Both politicians held the same philosophical outlook in governing. They furthered the close relationship that John Adams brilliantly and humbly set the course for back in 1785 when the victorious and newly formed United States met with our former Kin,g George III.

As I look on this Fourth of July holiday today, I can't help but be filled with melancholy. The bright future that won Reagan the re-election, "Morning in America: Prouder, Stronger, Better" came as an optimistic note after the dour and malaise-filled failed Carter Presidency. Reagan's staunch stand against communism was the force that caused it to fail and the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, shortly after Reagan left office. He had stood at Germany's Brandenburg Gate and challenged Russian President Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!" It was a decade of US hegemony, respect, and where we did Good and were known to do Good in the world.

Twenty-one years later Obama (tried to stand) at the Brandenburg Gate and gave a speech apologizing for all of the above. With our current Oval Office occupier, we have lost the economy, lost our moral stand in the world, lost our way. We place Israel on the terror nation list and invite terrorists in the Muslim Brotherhood to the diplomatic table. Down is up and up is down.

I'm sad for the loss of solidity of the Constitution. It is a crumbling and increasingly transparent document now, being constantly chipped away at and outright ignored. It is a document that used to be a granite foundation for our country but now is simply a ghostly vapor. I miss the bright morning rays over the cornfields in the Morning in America campaign ads that I once was fearful of but know better now. I miss all that, but one important thing has changed with me since 'Morning In America' turned to dusk.

I am saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Though I mourn the place America used to be, I know that she is not my ultimate home. America fulfilled many promises in her work for the Lord, and even in these evil days she is still doing so. I've replaced the State of Liberty with the Cross as my most revered emblem. It might be dusk in America now, with only the bronze statue of Reagan across the sea to remind us of our once glorious days not so long ago, but in Jesus's heaven, every day is morning, bright and filled with His glory. My independence day is December 3, 2003, the day Jesus set me free from my bondage of sin. I became truly free that day and I hope as you celebrate this nation's Independence, that you ponder your eternal morning, and where you will spend it.


Chris Sanchez said...

Ronald Reagan believed in the American people and understood that government is usually the problem rather than the solution. He also believed in the God of the Bible! I came of age as Reagan prepared to leave office. I saw my parents struggle to raise three children get a bit easier once the policies Reagan implemented took hold in the American economy.

Like you, I am saddened by the decline of the fabric of the America that Ronald Reagan left for his successors. Part of the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of our politicians from both parties. Part of the blame belongs to We the People for allowing it in the first place. Things do not have to remain this way. I am cautiously optimistic!

Regardless of the continued decline that is likely to come in American society, we must press on in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with this lost and dying world. Keep spreading the good news!

Elizabeth Prata said...

Hi Chris,

Thank you for visiting and for youf wonderful comment.
I like to look back to that point in time and see where I was, and then look at myself now and see where I am. The journey from liberal, agnostic, abortion supporter to conservative Christian fundamentalist is one that only the Holy Spirit could enact. I remember distinctly my thoughts and fears and even conversation with people back then. I'm amazed I am who I am now. I am a saved being destined for His Kingdom thanks to the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. If I knew then, when Reagan was elected, where I would be today, I would have called it crazy. But the Spirit knew, and the journey, though long and sometimes tortuous, has been well worth it. I'm a living example of that Gosel!

Emily said...

You're absolutely right: America is not where we will reside forever, and it is not our true home. I wasn't alive yet in 1980, but even in my shorter time here, I've noticed a marked decline. Even just in recent years.

It's heartbreaking to watch, but it's even more heartbreaking to see something else: people that, in the face of a crumbling Constitution, cling to their national pride all the more, and who make their nation, their patriotism, their flag, their military into their idol. All of those things alone are fine, alone, but that is not where our hope and trust should lie. That is heartbreaking to me. I see a man, who claims Christ, yet who talks more about his dedication to the military and to his political party than he talks about his Savior. That topic is barely allowed.

What has become of this Christian nation? We are falling, and we know where it will land.

Come soon, Lord Jesus!

I like how you called your day of salvation your "Independence Day." I usually call it my "birthday" but I think your name for it is appropriate, too!!!

ColoradoColumbine said...

I've been living in Eastern Europe for the past 12+ years and I admit, I am shocked at how much America has changed in such a short time. I remember when the last election happened, reading the news on the internet and sitting in stunned silence.

America is not all good - she never has been. America is filled with sinful people, full of pride and self-righteousness. America is NOT the savior of the world and I've come to realize that for years we have butted our nose in where it's not wanted or needed. When I've mentioned to people here that Reagan is the one who helped bring the Wall down and destroy communism, they laugh or stare at me, not uncomprehending what I'm getting at. Their view of what happened is very, very different and America really didn't play that big of a part. Interesting how our perspective changes depending on which side of the ocean you happen to live on! I voted for Reagan, and I would again today - I wish God would raise up another man like him!!

With all that in mind, America is still viewed as the "land of milk and honey" and everyone wants to move there and 'be rich'. How many times have I said it just isn't so? And I'll keep on saying it!

What America HAD was a strong Christian base. Unfortunately, I think we took ourselves too seriously and believed our own press way too often. Our arms were broken or put out of joint with all the patting ourselves on the back over how good we are/were and what marvelous things we did for other people. Jesus Christ was somehow lost in all of that. Now so much of what comes out of the American church is garbage (people here quickly discovered that WWJD and Purpose Driven Life, etc. were just American fads that had no substance and no use here). I still cringe whenever I see the Christian tv station and the stuff that is shown there, translated into the local language, including Jan's "ha ha, Devil!", prancing across the stage looking like a local prostitute and all. It grieves me, sickens me - and all done "in the name of Christ". And people wonder why our country is under God's judgement??

So, yes, 12+ years outside of the US, with several trips back home included, and I am changed. I love my country - the country that used to be. I weep over what my children have inherited, what my grandchildren will not have. How I wish people of my generation and my parents' generation had not been seduced by the wrong side of the wealth God showered upon us.

4th of July - we celebrated it again this year here - but I had little patriotic feeling. It makes me want to weep for the naivety I have lost. How thankful I am that my home is in heaven! not here on this earth, and that Jesus Christ never changes.