As we Americans celebrate the 240th anniversary of our Independence, perhaps it is appropriate that we pause to reflect on where we came from, where we are today and what lies ahead. George Washington once described democracy as "the great experiment." Historian Alexis de Tocqueville is said to have coined the popular term "the great American experiment."
Perhaps you are asking, "Just exactly how is America an experiment?" The dictionary indicates that an experiment is a "test" or "a trial" to verify an idea or a theory. Outcomes of the tests determine whether the theory is valid. In the opening lines of The Declaration of Independence it is clear that the Founding Fathers were in agreement on the basic truth upon which our nation was established:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness -- that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
A lot has happened in the past 240 years. Abraham Lincoln's words in his Gettysburg Address echo the reality that America is and has always been a great experiment.
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure."
It has been said that the great empires of the world have on the whole lasted in the zenith of their power approximately 200 years. H. W. Prentis Jr. delivered a speech at the Waldorf Astoria on March 18, 1943, in which he first gave the now famous "fatal sequence" of the decline of all civilizations. Over time, great nations always proceed/
From Bondage to Spiritual Faith
From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage; From Great Courage to Liberty; From Liberty to Abundance; From Abundance to Selfishness; From Selfishness to Complacency; From Complacency to Apathy; From Apathy to Fear; From Fear to Dependency; From Dependency back to Bondage
What stage would you say we are in as a nation today? What do you believe is the state of The Great American Experiment? (Please note the critical stage is after Liberty leads to Abundance!) We have faced and risen above many terrible times in our history. One of our worst times was The Civil War. President Lincoln's closing remarks at Gettysburg are a fitting platform every American today ought adopt as their own.
"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Personally, I am convinced that "Spiritual Faith" is the way back to greatness for every nation, family or individual. What say you?