Flag Waving, but not Forgetting

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The following post was first published in July 2012. Little has changed…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Fourth of July. Maybe my favorite holiday. Flags, parades, fireworks, a little baseball, and brats on the grill. What’s not to like?

I do like it, especially the flag part. I’m a waver. I am proud to be a citizen of this country, proud that we are the most generous country in the world. And it all goes back to those words: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

But the words assume. They become mostly meaningless unless certain foundational realities are present. Realities like:

153 million children are orphans.

22,000 children died today due to poverty; while you’ve been reading this post, another 30 children died of hunger-related causes.

55 million people live in caves.

121 million children around the world are totally outside of the educational system.

200 million children are exploited for labor; more than 27 million of the world’s people are slaves.

Oppressive governments deny religious freedom to 2.2 billion people.

Most important, the chance to know the Creator who has endowed them with certain unalienable Rights.
1.9 billion people worldwide (28% of the population) have yet to hear the message of the gospel.

Yes, this week I will wave the flag proudly, but I will not forget those for whom these rights have always been alienable.

Will you?

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