In God We Trust…ROLL TIDE!
In a political pissing contest with President Obama, who recently mistakenly referred to “E Pluribus Unum” as the slogan for America (changed to “In God We Trust” in 1956), the Republican-led House of Representatives voted 396-9 to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the nation’s motto.
This waste of time and resources to prove a point, combined with recent and ongoing misbehavior throughout the government, has led me to justify a hopeless goal full of hopeful desires for America. If the national motto is up for debate, then I propose changing it to the rally chant from the University of Alabama: ROLL TIDE!
If you want to learn about the true Christian values we claim this country was built upon, then you have to go to a place where time passes slower and change in culture lags 10 to 20 years behind the rest of society. Travel deep enough into the farmland and you will find dial up Internet and, believe it or not, original Christian values: treat others as you want to be treated and let the Lord work.
When you look at the message behind the ROLL TIDE chant you get a better understanding of what it used to mean to be an American. Fight for what is right, never give up, never surrender, take pride in yourself, take pride in those who stand among you, and give the respect you expect from others…ROLL TIDE!
At least once in your life, spend a day at a BAMA game. In the parking lot you will find diehard fans in high-end and low-end motor home game-mobiles. You will see hairspray loving women holding those plastic-but-looks-like-porcelain plates sitting in a camouflaged folding chair in front of a red tent with a plastic chandelier hanging from the apex. Inevitably she’ll be yelling at her underage daughter, “Hay! Why are you drankin’ out of that Styrofoam cup? Put it in plastic and stop actin’ like you ain’t got no class!”
Extreme analogy, yes. But the fact of the matter is that ROLL TIDE isn’t about the win or the loss, or even the game of football itself. ROLL TIDE is about recognizing that we are all members of the same community, and that we ultimately all want the best for one another. ROLL TIDE means pushing yourself to exceed what you’re capable of because it is possible and not settling for anything less simply because you can get away with it.
I am not a fan of football, or Alabama for that matter, but I have spent enough time in the southern farmland and river swamps to know how to survive off of the land, and enough time in the city to know that there are differences in cultures and communities throughout the world.
I will own my bias. I was raised in the south and brought up with “core southern values.” But I have also traveled the country enough to know that the same rules that apply in Alabama do not apply in New York. Some laws in Nebraska are pointless in Florida. There are times when we are fifty states and there are times when we are one country, but that does not mean that we have to be a huge collective of societies and communities that all believe and support the same ideas and theologies. That itself would be a little anti-American!
Being isolated as a country has further hindered our ability to develop into a better civilization. Geographically speaking, America is like Europe, except instead of independent countries, America is composed of interlaced states. However, while European countries like Germany, Italy, France and England competed to be better than one another, our American states began as equals. We Americans never had to compete against one another to improve our cultural philosophies or further technology and standards of living.
I am not suggesting that the United States should dissolve its union or start trying to be like Europe. Instead, I am proposing that we Americans start living up to our own potential. I propose we pledge to live our own teachings, to hold ourselves accountable for our actions equal to that of our neighbors. We should strive to take pride in all that we do, speak with conviction and stand up for what is right for all people regardless of their station in life.
We are at a cultural crossroads where the differences between what Christians claim the Bible says is right and wrong and what modern society claims is acceptable or unjustifiable intersect. It is unfortunate that neither side seems willing to work towards an agreement that would allow both sides to live harmoniously together, but more so that neither side seems to remember that we are all on the same team to begin with.
Our fights as Americans, between the left and right, Christians and Gays, blacks and whites and Hispanics….these fights we have with one another are pointless. We are all AMERICANS! We are on the same team. And we need to be capable and willing to stand toe-to-toe and shoulder-to-shoulder with one another as countrymen in whatever fight or battle we find ourselves in order to make our country—our collective—a better place for all Americans. ROLL TIDE!