It’s hard to argue against someone when he or she claims we live in the greatest country on earth, the United States of America. There is much talk in political realms, mostly in the conservative sphere, that is, about “American Exceptionalism” and greatness. While this phrase is not meant to communicate the idea we are better as human beings compared to the rest of the world, it does mean that America is different from all other countries by virtue of a government built on true freedom and individual liberty (whether that continues to be true today is an entirely different discussion altogether).
What’s more, America is an exceptional nation in that America has liberated more nations than any other world empire and has sustained nations in their hour of need. For instance, in the Spanish and American War, America fought to free Cuba from Spain. In World War I, America fought with allies to liberate Europeans from German aggression. Again, During World War II America fought against the mad man, Adolf Hitler, and the encroachment of an imperial Japan. Following the war, the Marshal Plan rebuilt devastated European nations. The colossal Lady in New York’s harbor, with her arm raised high holding a beacon of light, has welcomed refuges from around the world for more than a century. The invitation to come to America, written in 1883 by the poet Emma Lazarus, has not been a meaningless one:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Through the doors of Ellis Island, millions have passed to a new land of freedom and opportunity. There is such a thing that can be called “American Exceptionalism,” which every citizen should know about and be proud of.
But there is something else which is true and that is the exceptionalism of America—in sin. By “exceptionalism” I mean something that is unusual or extraordinary.
The historical record will one day show that America became a merchant of death, supplying the nations of earth with weapons of widespread personal destruction.
The record will show that America was the greatest source of child pornography on earth, as noted as early as the mid-1980s according to the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography.
The indictment will stand that America slaughtered millions of unborn children following the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade in 1973. The death camps of Dachau, Auschwitz, and Treblinka pale in comparison to the death wombs of American women. Women insist they have a “right” to do what they want with their own bodies while inexplicably ignoring the fact the lives they terminate are the bodies of others.
In the day of ultimate judgment, the record will show that America excelled in greed as her citizens demanded more and more government largess. Under the banner of “social equality,” the record will reveal that a generation came and did not pay its fair share but stole the fortunes of future generations by embracing a willing debt of seventeen trillion dollars—and counting.
The words of Thomas Jefferson are prophetic: “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
The documentation of American exceptionalism in sin could continue by noting the rise of sexual perversions in homosexuality, bestiality, inter-generational love, necrophilia, and a host of other deviant behaviors.
Only by recognizing and repenting of these sins will America survive as a nation. Long ago the prophet Amos lifted up his voice against the social sins of his nation. Many years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Amos from the southern kingdom of Judah travelled to the northern kingdom of Israel to tell individuals, “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:12). The message of Amos was simple: “Seek the LORD, and ye shall live” (Amos 5:6). But his words of warning were ignored and the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by foreign invaders.
Pastors would be wise and would serve their congregations well by studying, verse by verse, the book of the prophet Amos. The message of the prophet is the antidote for the exceptional social sins of our society. Amos 5:15 in particular tells how an exceptionally sinful nation can survive.
So what is there left to do? Simply, go and study the Scriptures.