The term “Born Again” as it relates to Christianity has it’s roots going back to the very beginning of Christendom. A spiritual birth was necessary to complement the original, physical birth to complete the person. Being born again in Christ enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in the late 1970’s in America. We had as a nation risen to magnificent societal, economic and political highs after World War II, then gone through some awful turbulence in the sixties and early seventies. And then of course the malaise of the mid-seventies set in leaving many Americans feeling lost and bewildered.
Some say the ‘born again’ phenomenon contributed to the triumph of Ronald Reagan and an emergence of a kind of basic conservative moral guidance that helped bring us out of the doldrums and give our lives new purpose and meaning, having a side benefit of restoring some basic precepts and governing philosophies dating back to the founding of our Nation.
Whether the “come to Jesus” moment itself saved the country or whether it was just one of the manifestations of a people yearning for peace and purpose and therefore intrinsically valuable on a personal level, things did get better. For a while.
Many, not necessarily most but many, of us who frequent these and other pages of a conservative bent these days are members of the Over 50 set. And many of us matriculated in the 60’s up to the 80’s, by which time being American had more or less dropped out of favor in the popular culture. What took the place of being an American was, of course, being part of the Popular Culture.
No need to describe or characterize that Pop Culture here, except to note that, while some of it was benign, and some tiny fraction of it may have even been meritorious, most of it was hollow. Some of us who went through it and raised our families well, or didn’t, and achieved some measure of success or accomplishment, or perhaps not so much, have now arrived at a point where reflection is often not only the better part but comprises most of what passes for our valor these days. We ponder.
And we have, most of us who feel the need to be here, come to some sort of inner feeling that, having “been there, done this and that” we pretty much know what works and what is good and, most importantly, what we and our fellows need.
“..they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…..”
We are increasingly irritated by the disrespect paid to American institutions, traditions and of course founding principles of governance and nationhood by those who hold her in no special esteem. Leftists who never grew up, sons and daughters of leftists and sons and daughters of regular Americans who all went to the same schools together. Schools that quit touting America, American achievement and American exceptionalism about the time the Born Again Christian thing was at it’s zenith in the USA. And we are most irritated by those politicians and especially those elected officials now in office who have sworn oaths and who every election season vow to “fight” for us but can’t seem to find it within themselves to fight for America.
All they need to do is to fight for America. If they fight for America, we the people will be just fine. Because America works. America has always worked. And America is inherently good. We knew that, we were taught that, just as we were taught things in Sunday School, long before the Born Again Christian thing became a fad, or more correctly dawned on enough people to make a difference.
We need a Born Again American thing to take hold at this juncture in our journey. And that does NOT in any way mean a redefinition of America, or of being an American. Original intent, strict constructionist, literal interpretation Americanism, tried and true, will fill the bill. We don’t need a “Living Constitution” anymore than we need a “Living Bible”. Humanity made great strides in science and technology, civility and alleviation of social ills all down through the ages with the Bible we always had. Just as America led the way in the modern and post-modern eras living under our ageless, remarkable and sacred Constitution.
All we need is the God-given sense to take the words of both tracts and apply them to our lives and the lifeblood of our country. All of us were born. Most of us were born in America. We need to be reborn as Americans. The inspiration for this is contained in the patriotic hymn “America the Beautiful”, and the operative refrain is – “America, America, God shed his grace on thee.”
If we don’t believe that, then, well, no need to push the Born Again American meme any further. Sorry if anyone is offended. Actually…….Not.