We Were Americans Once

I remember a time, it wasn’t so long ago, when a touchdown was scored, back patting, helmet slapping, jumping up and down and high fives were expected. Yes, even in high school. It was a score and it was exciting and the players were elated.

A while back, in a high school game, a player scored, dropped to one knee and pointed toward the night sky.  He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and his team assessed a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff.

Unsportsmanlike conduct  for recognizing God. I’m not sure when taking a knee in the end zone and pointing to the heavens became unsportsmanlike but I do know this…

We were Americans once.

It used to be that invocations were given at events. They were given before sporting events, at social gatherings, in city council meetings and at public memorials. Today, this tradition has all but been done away with because, some claim, it might be offensive.

When invocations were done, people stood, men removed their hats and everyone bowed their heads. It’s not that way today and I don’t understand why or who would honestly be offended – but I do know this…

We were Americans once.

I can remember starting each and every school day the same way. We would all stand and face the flag. One student would be chosen, by the teacher, to lead the pledge and each and every student would place their right hand over their heart. The student who had the honor of leading on that day would never get more than the first word, “I” out before everyone joined in.

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.”

Not anymore. For the most part, it’s not done at all. Some schools only have the Pledge said once per week.  Today, if you don’t want to say it you’re allowed to sit it out. People say it’s because of the word “God” or because they don’t feel it’s right to honor the flag.

I don’t know why “God” offends some nor why anyone wouldn’t honor the banner which stands for freedom which so many have fought and died for but I do know this…

We were Americans once.

Christmas used to be the most wonderful time of the year with people ringing bells next to red kettles at every store, public displays of the creche and school programs with youngsters singing about Frosty, Open Sleighs and Little Towns in biblical lands.

It didn’t matter who you met on the street, you wished them a Merry Christmas – complete with a smile and a handshake or the tip of a hat – but it doesn’t really work that way now.

Today, kids still sing about Frosty but that Little Town so far away has disappeared and the program is no longer a Christmas program but a Winter program. The most widely accepted way to extend a greeting now is with a short Happy Holidays and as little eye contact as possible and attorneys guard our public places from crèche displays.

I’m not sure why this is but I do know this…

We were Americans once.

I love old movies and maybe old movie stars more because before I was born, those icons of Hollywood, regardless of their political affiliation, waved our flag. They fought in our wars, they entertained our troops, they knew how lucky they were to make the money they did to live the way they did and they realized that it wouldn’t be possible anywhere else on earth.

We have good actors today, on screen, however it’s their off screen actions which leave something to be desired. They go to foreign lands and say bad things about from where they came. They travel to the places where those who hate us live and pal around with them. Today, our celebrities think they should explain to us how we, who don’t make near their salaries, should pay more of ours to the government.

I have no idea when it became acceptable to denounce the nation which provided one the ability to live a lavish lifestyle and to use one’s celebrity to admonish those upon whose hard earned money your lifestyle depends – but I do know this…

We were Americans once.

There was a time when people from other countries scraped together what little they had and arduously made the journey here. They knew their lives would be better when they saw the Statue of Liberty. They signed their names, got jobs and worked hard to become citizens. For millions, that was the proudest day of their lives. They learned our language, our laws and joined our culture. None of them felt they were owed their citizenship…they earned it.

Today the melting pot has been replaced by a salad bowl. No longer do those who come here assimilate into our culture; they demand we accept theirs. Too many want to follow the laws of the lands they left and far too many couldn’t care less about ever becoming a citizen. Today they don’t want to establish their identity but they will gladly steal someone else’s.

Now, they sneak into our nation, violate our laws and feel we owe them everything from medical care to an education – and yes, they feel they are owed the rights and protections of our citizenship. I don’t know why I have to press 1 for English but I do know this…

We were Americans once.

There was a time when we did things, as JFK once said, “Not because they are easy but because they are hard.” We created industry, we settled the west, we learned to fly, we fought for people in foreign lands and we fought to free those who were brought here not to be free. We went to the moon.

We didn’t always do things the right way and we haven’t, in some cases, achieved complete success – but we have always learned from our mistakes and we have always tried to do better.

The man who included the words, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” in our founding document, held slaves and while some may think him a hypocrite even they must wonder…Were it not for those words, would men have ever fought against and killed their brothers in the Civil War? If not for the Civil War, would there have been an Emancipation Proclamation? Had it not been for that Proclamation, could Martin have ever proclaimed that he had such a dream?

I don’t understand why some people hold themselves hostage by trying to convince others that their skin color makes them better than others or why some people feel entitled to be victims because of the past wrongs perpetrated against their ancestors when they all have the freedom to grow and succeed – but I do know this…

We were Americans once.

Being an American isn’t easy and it was never designed to be. Our founders knew it wouldn’t be easy and they put their very lives on the line just to create what would become the greatest nation on earth. They knew too, that those who came before them and those who would come after  had and would face great challenges but they also knew that Americans could and would rise to meet those challenges.

Today, the greatest challenges we face are those created and pushed upon us from within which have in turn, created an entitlement mentality.

Being an American means that we are expected to accept the responsibility of self governance but more and more often, those who profess to be progressives promote an agenda which would hand our responsibilities to others. To them, We The People ought to be accountable to our government rather than our government being held accountable to We The People.

Progressives feel we should have freedom from religion rather than freedom of religion and that freedom of expression only applies to those who express what they express.

Progressives believe that Americans who have earned more should, through the government, share it with those who haven’t, and that those who have strived for and achieved success should be punished by higher taxes for their efforts.

Progressives have, over the years, woven themselves and their ideologies into the American conscience, into our schools and institutions of higher learning. Progressives have sought and won elected offices from town and city councils to the halls of congress and now, we have a Progressive as our President.

Progressives have made it a crime to discipline children, are erasing our culture in schools in favor of cultures from those who would do us harm or break our immigration laws and Progressives are legislating from the bench in our courts of law.

As an American, I don’t understand how such regressive ideas, which have failed time and time again in other countries, can be called progressive.

What Progressives want Americans to forget is that Americans have the ability to correct their mistakes, right their wrongs and not follow blindly those who would seek to lead us down the path of self destruction. For too long, Americans have allowed Progressives to, little by little, bit by bit, replace American ideals with their failing ideologies but Americans have had enough.

Americans will continue to replace Progressives from elected office with Americans. We will take our country back, we will restore our ideals and Progressives will learn what it is that we have known all along.

We were Americans once…

And we still are.

3 thoughts on “We Were Americans Once

  1. Fabulous article. Thank you for writing and publishing it Craig.

    “What happened is “If it feels good do it” replaced the Golden Rule.

    The ends, we were taught by example, did so justify the means.

    “Serving the People” became “helping myself”

    and the higher the office the greater the spoils.

    “Everybody does it” replaced “Do the right thing.”

    Such a simple explination on how we have strayed from our founding principles and why it is so easy to stray. Straying from our principles is so much more fun! or at least that is how it seems while you are

    “Feeling good, helping yourself and doing well… just doing what everybody else is doing. Thats all…

    You do not have to be a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim to get it. You just need to have alittle common sense and some self control.

    Nice to find this blog, please keep up the commentary and thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  2. Three years ago I realized our generation has “dropped the baton” of the American and Christian values our founding fathers had handed down to us. Generations prior to ours sacrificed, bled and died so that we could enjoy the blessings of America. Like a relay race, during or leg of this race called the American experiment, we have a choice or either carrying and then passing the baton we have been presented with by earlier generations, or dropping it. Many have done the latter and in doing so have disrespected all previous American generations. In addition, we have stolen the opportunity of future generations to carry those values as well. Shame on us!

    Among other things God has stewarded me with is a gift set to remind Americans what our responsibilities are, and to encourage their transfer from one generation to the next. Called A Legacy Baton, it encourages young people in their leg of the race while commemorates the passing of our American values and the responsibilites that go along with it.

    I encourage you to check out one man’s attempt to restore the values and beliefs that once made America great. I also invite you to join the experience and the fight. Visit http://www.praygrounds.com and http://www.matthew514.org for more information.

  3. Many of our brightest days lie ahead though the journey back home may some of the more difficult times we have had to endure.

    What happened is “If it feels good do it” replaced the Golden Rule. The ends, we were taught by example, did so justify the means. “Serving the People” became “helping myself” and the higher the office the greater the spoils. “Everybody does it” replaced “Do the right thing.”

    We forgot to ask where exactly are we were Progressing to, and by the way, what are we moving away from? The founders of the Progressive Movement were internationalist eugenicists, racists and elitists seeking to impose their “new” ideology on the population as a whole. I submit that it is as old as evil itself, repackaged with a shiny golden ribbon to lure the unsuspecting.

    Unfortunately, mankind rarely changes because the “See the Light,” rather only when they feel the heat. Surrender to the Core Principal is required and like most spiritual awakenings, it’s not going to go so well at first. Kicking our collective habits is going to be the toughest thing this generation ever had to do.

    But did preceding generations of Americans not have to earn their freedoms as well? Would we prefer the Gettysburg battlefield, Omaha Beach or The Little Bighorn? It appears the Gift of Liberty is not lightly given. I’m guessing that, unlike what appeared to be the case just a few years ago, each generation must earn it for themselves.

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