This 4th of July will be a unique one in American history. It is an “Independence Day” in a year when our very independence and freedom are under attack in America as never before.
President Trump is set to appear today at a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore before an anticipated assembly of more than 7,500 people—this amid criticism that masks will not be required and social distancing will not be enforced, per the mandate of South Dakota’s Governor.
In the looming shadow of Mount Rushmore, monuments much less imposing than the 60-foot tall faces are being toppled across the American landscape—the chiseled metal features of historical men once thought to be heroes—from Columbus and Jefferson to Churchill—dishonored, defaced and deemed delegated to the scrap pile of infamous wrongdoing. Talk of the destruction of Mount Rushmore itself has now reached the stage of public discourse. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt carved in the granite cliffs of mid-America have stood as a tribute to American pride and ingenuity since 1941, having taken the efforts of an amazingly small band of 400 workers, the movement of 450,000 tons of rock and the span of 14 years to complete. The history of this memorial is in recent days judged by a new movement in America set to erase our history for the “sins” of past generations. Could Americans even one generation ago have ever imagined what we are facing?
Amid all the tragedy and chaos in the streets of America, I am encouraging the response to only one question: “Who among us is without sin?”
We cannot and must not allow America’s history to be erased by the new “struggle for independence.” Our nation is not perfect. Our leaders—past and present—were and are not perfect.
Unfortunately, America has suffered at the hands of many forces. I find the most egregious those that have systemically disinvited God from our nation’s landscape in the very country that was sworn to His allegiance and celebrated His blessing on the whole new human experiment of “liberty and justice for all.” In the America we have known and loved, “the tired masses”—Christians, Jews and all religions were welcomed to America’s shores to openly and freely worship God as they knew and understood Him. Judeo-Christian values, once treasured, are now being trashed at the hands of a new ideological mob who are demanding “a clean slate” devoid of history, patriotism and God.
There have been Jewish communities in America since colonial times. Among the earliest, in fact, were communities primarily of the Sephardi—Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent, most of whom had a family lineage dating to the Spanish Inquisition which led to the deaths, expulsions and forced conversion to Catholicism of Spain’s entire Jewish population. In America, their descendants found the blessing of a new start in a free nation. I found as an adult Christian woman that I have Sephardic roots in my lineage and am humbled and grateful for what liberties and freedoms America has allowed myself, my family, and those in my proud ancestry who paved the way for us to enjoy this one nation under God.
This 4th of July I pray you will take a personal inventory of your blessings, your heritage and what America means to you and all you hold dear. I encourage you to pray this weekend and ask God to give you wisdom, strength and courage for the road ahead and what you must personally do to preserve the liberty and freedom for the land we love. We have the privilege of “time” at this moment and we must use it wisely to push back at those seeking to destroy this nation. Night is coming in America and the light of liberty must not be extinguished. We must—as the children of Israel of old—entreat God in this battle for His renewed blessings, strategies and wisdom on the march forward. We must not, on our watch, allow forces—inward and outward—to diminish the torch of freedom so many dreamed of, and fought so hard to establish and preserve in the blessed new land of America.
Our voices must be heard in 2020—at the ballot box, in the public square, and in the face of forces that would destroy all freedoms and blessings we hold dear and all we hope to pass to our children and grandchildren.
The words of President Ronald Reagan come back this year with renewed meaning: “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”
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I am praying America’s 244th birthday will be blessed with ongoing freedom and favor and that we will find the voice and strength to be preserved “free” by the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.