Why is America Exceptional? – Part One

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American Exceptionalism is encompassed from and by even the very founding of the country by a group of men that realized that God was supreme and as a result of humankind being created in His image, we the people were born with dignity, unalienable rights, and the right to self-determination. In essence, this founding principle was unlike any other in the world and in history in that sovereignty belongs to the people and that government is only a steward of the power that the people give it. Ideally if the stewardship of that power falls into disrepair then it is the duty of the people to remove that government from stewardship and establish a new relationship with which stewardship can be entrusted.

American Exceptionalism also means that each individual is a sovereign of themselves and while one would immaturely surmise that this would lead to anarchy, in America this leads to the tremendous and burdensome responsibility that is liberty. Liberty is indeed freedom; however it is just as much responsibility. Personal responsibility is defined in uniquely American terms as a strong work ethic that is catalyzed by the ardent pursuit of personal betterment. This also means generosity in that we help others in need and give a hand up instead of a handout that helps to better the recipient as well as the giver.

Given the exceptional foundation of the United States, one would be remiss if we do not address the harshness of the political atmosphere in Washington, D.C. and across America and the reasons behind the current state of political and ideological matters. Indeed we are a nation of citizens whom are meant to be free. Free from tyranny and oppression. Free from the immoral attitude that just because someone disagrees with you on political, ideological, or moral issues that you are automatically cast as a bigot or some other thing with the suffix –phobe attached to it. What has happened to the era when debate was considered healthy and as a necessary part of our growing nation and its postulation of liberty for all?

Like it or not, our country was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles.

Unfortunately many have bought into the revision of history. There are those out there that deny that our founding was based on Judeo-Christian principles. Complacency and lethargy towards the defense of our founding are the rule of the day and as a result it is no wonder that Federalism has taken on a meaning that the founders did not intend. Our nation was founded under the realization that there was and is a Supreme Authority, God. The founders believed that God had given man “unalienable” rights. Unalienable here means those rights which cannot be given by another man or institution and that are irrevocable by any man or institution. Since then, we are created in the image of a supreme being, we have dignity with which we are then endowed those unalienable rights as given by God.

As a result of this dignity, the founders realized that we the people are the ones with which power has been vested and that as a result of this self-determination we are the only ones that can and should hold this power. It is by the loaning of this power from we the people that the government receives its power. It is most important to note here that the government is not the holder of the power but rather a steward of it. As a steward, the government then wields the power to defend our liberty, freedom, and sovereignty as a nation.

Because people have dignity, we are vested with the horrible responsibility of true liberty in which we are to respect others as citizens and their right to self-determination and also fight for and continually seek the fullness of liberty for each individual as a collective. By continually fighting for and seeking to secure individual liberty, something completely unique to the American experience occurs; equality. This even hand of equality regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, etc. sets the United States apart from all others in history. When a nation is forged in freedom, liberty, and equality its government is by and for the people.

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