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AFA Journal

TIM'S COLUMN

Can America Be Great Again?

By Tim Wildmon
AFA Vice-President
AFA Journal, March 2001 Edition

Although I'm a proud surefire son of the South, still, my favorite state in the union (other than my home state of Mississippi of course) is Colorado. Those majestic Rocky mountains. Those pristine lakes. The friendly people. Every time I go to Colorado it feels like I should stay a little longer. And every time I visit Colorado I have somewhat of a ritual I perform. A tradition if you will.

At some point in my travels I pull my car over to a quiet, scenic spot, turn my vehicle off, unbuckle myself and get out. Then I walk a few feet, stretch and take about five really deep breaths. I might even yell out something. Doesn't have to make sense. "Stand tall!" I might shout down the canyon as a '70s pop tune comes to my mind. "Don't you fall!! Don't go do something you might regret later now! All you're feeling right now is silly human pride!"

Then I take a few more deep breaths. Man, does that feel good or what? I say to myself. If you were just a passerby you might think me a little touched in the head. But that cool, crisp air just does my soul good. It's so refreshing and invigorating.

Watching the presidential inauguration of the honorable George Walker Bush of Texas on television January 20, made me feel like a proud American again. It did for my patriotic juices what a deep breath of fresh Colorado oxygen does for my lungs. Made me want to sing "God Bless America" (not a '70s pop tune) out loud. In fact, I think I did sing "God Bless America" aloud. Honestly, I haven't felt very patriotic the last eight years. I felt I couldn't trust our Commander in Chief. Now, at least, I feel like I can believe what is spoken from the oval office is the truth. I may not always agree with it, but, at least, I am trusting to get the straight story on our country from the president. How long this feeling lasts remains to be seen. Hopefully for a long time.

When you think about it, it is quite remarkable that our republic and our Constitution have lasted over 200 years. Hundreds of governments around the world have risen and fallen during that time. Many violently. But the peaceful transition of power from one president to another, from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, on the steps of our United States Capitol, was a testament to the divine wisdom granted those great men who founded America.

When I was in school, my favorite subjects were history and social studies. I've done a lot of reading in these areas since school. The story of America is one of the greatest in world history. No other country in history has done more good for her fellow man. And the reason for this is that America has long been guided by principles which are derived from the Christian religion. Pure and simple.

God raised America up, and He can bring her down. I think it all depends on how we respond to Him.

If you want to understand how God has worked in the birth and sustaining of our nation, I would recommend to you The Light and the Glory as well as From Sea to Shining Sea and Sounding Forth the Trumpet, a series by authors/historians Rev. Peter Marshall and David Manuel.

In the end, as glad as I am for our country to have a fresh start with a new president and administration, it is not the government who will save America. The government we have is only a reflection of the kind of people we are. When I have a speaking engagement, one of the quotes I like to close with is often attributed to French historian Alexis De Tocqueville (actually, the author is unknown).

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of higher learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

Here's hoping and praying God will breathe into America a deep breath of fresh air, invigorating us again to champion goodness and righteousness.