We truly live in the world of tomorrow. We conduct our lives in the context of an astonishing ocean of people, a cosmopolitan potpourri of which our Founding Fathers could scarcely have conceived.
America has always been a nation of immigrants, of “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (“The New Colossus”). Yet, the inexorable march of commerce and technology has led to a twenty-first century in which international borders are all but a formality. We daily intermix with persons of any and every faith, creed, and color. Meanwhile, as our accents proliferate and our skin darkens, we continue to excel above and beyond all other nations. America is the world powerhouse because she treasures all of her people with utter disregard for their demographic differentiation.
Our noble Constitution was founded on a latent principle of the brotherhood of all men (“Constitution of 1793”), which is clearly seen within the infrastructures of the three Abrahamic faiths. Such fraternity can only be realized when all persons willingly accept others as God’s sons and daughters (II Corinthians 6:18) and thus our brothers and sisters. Moreover, our cherished Declaration asserts that all of God’s children enjoy the inherent rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (“Declaration of Independence”). These treasured privileges inhere to all individuals, and they are utterly inviolable even if the state can forcibly pry them away through terror or torture. Unlike any other nation, we practice what we preach. Notwithstanding frequent accusations of impropriety and heterogeneity, there truly is justice for all. We do not find ourselves assassinated or our property seized courtesy of some covert operation of a wholly corrupt government. Americans have built and enjoy this most utopian of nations because we believe in the value of all persons and, more importantly, of their latent equality.
Americans are uniquely responsible to serve as the guardians of the planet. We are the strongest, but we are not bullies: rather, we are God-fearing men and women. On the one hand, we have achieved our particular stance in international affairs because the entire world fears our armed forces and the formidable arsenal at their command. At the same time, the entire world recognizes our inherent gentleness and kindness. They know that America is a fount of justice and beacon of freedom. How ironic it seems in these days of endless accusations of interracial hatred, xenophobia, and extreme political polarization, we still manage to serve as exemplar to the world. Around no other nation’s embassy does one see prospective migrants lined upon around the block (Valverde). The world sees paradise in America because—unlike in their nations, where ethnic differences spur incessant conflict ranging from retributive clan-on-clan violence to civil wars—we get along with our siblings of a different skin color or native tongue. The problems that we perceive as so major—black versus white, legal versus illegal, gay versus straight, or what-have-you—pale by comparison to the strife that plagues much of the developing world.
We can best achieve our Founders’ dream in the world of tomorrow—which is become the world of today—by openly embracing our differences. Our outward frames may differ, but our hearts beat true and one. When another feels oppressed or alienated, we must rush to his aid: we have no right to “put a stumblingblock [sic] in a brother’s way” (Romans 14:13). When we are the ones who feel oppressed or alienated by virtue of our ethnicity or skin color, we must fight our battles not armed in the streets, but courteously at the polling place, “conduct[ing] our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline” (“I Have a Dream . . .”). Even when we find working and playing with others to be exasperating, we must devote ourselves selflessly to the challenge. We are not perfect: God did indeed make us “a little lower than the angels” (Hebrews 2:7). But we are America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Let us march forward in brotherhood, arms entwined and spirits high. Each of us is an individual and collective treasure for his distinctiveness. And all of us were placed on earth by God in order to seek and discover good in our brothers and sisters.
“Constitution of 1793.” George Mason University. Retrieved from http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/exhibits/show/liberty–equality–fraternity/item/3083.
“Declaration of Independence: A Transcription.” National Archives, 2018. Retrieved from https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript.
“I Have a Dream . . .” National Archives, 28 August 1963. Retrieved from https://www.archives.gov/files/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf.
“The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus.” Poetry Foundation, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46550/the-new-colossus.
Valverde, Miriam. “No, Immigrants Cannot Apply for Asylum at U.S. Embassies or Consulates Abroad.” Politifact, 10 July 2018. Retrieved from https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/jul/10/raul-labrador/no-immigrants-cannot-apply-asylum-us-embassies-or-/.