What Makes You an American?

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Published on: January 13, 2015

Are you an American?

If you are, can I ask you a question? In your way of thinking, what makes you an American?

Is it where you were born?
Is it because of where you presently live?
Does a SSN make you an American?
Or a passport or driver’s license?

If we think back to when America began, what made you an American back then?

In the late 18th century, was it geography that drew our founders together in a struggle to free themselves from the Tyranny of King George III?

I don’t think so. The words of the founders themselves, backed up by contemporaneous sources, suggest something else.

Could it be that the men who formed the Declaration Committee, Jefferson, Adams, Livingston, Franklin and Sherman, gave us a clue in the very document they drafted?

I think so.

What brought them together and unified their resolve to risk their lives and fortunes and stake their honor — was what they believed.

What made them Americans was their common faith and the commitment to act boldly on that faith.

What were the tenets of that faith, as expressed in the Declaration?

For them, it came down to three basic points:

  • They said, “There is a God. A Creator God.
  • They said, “Our rights come from Him
  • And they said, “The purpose of government is to protect and defend these God-given rights.”

This is the faith of our fathers and its application to government. It’s what made them Americans. Now let me ask you, “Are our current leaders in government Americans?” Do they believe these things and are they committed to act on these beliefs?

And allow me to challenge you again? “Are you an American?”

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