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America is Great, Regardless of What HBO Would Have You Believe

A response to the new HBO series 'The Newsroom' explaining why America's no longer the greatest country.

Actor Jeff Daniels recites some compelling lines in a video that has captured a lot of attention, and has been viewed and agreed with by an incredible amount of people.

He rips into a protracted, VERY real and disturbing list of weaknesses of the climate of our current culture by stating that AMERICA is NOT great.

With indignant passion he rattles off, as if from the top of his head, a list of other nations that enjoy freedom such as Canada, Japan, and the UK.  France, Italy Australia Spain, Belgium, Germany, Mr. Daniels goes on to say that there are about 207 sovereign states & 180 of them have freedom.

He goes on, as if to prove that America is so great by pointing to our flaws such as, WE ARE, he claims,

7th in literacy,

27th and math,

22nd science,

49th in life expectancy,

178th in Infant mortality

Of course these are very real and very big problems …

He cites other difficulties and then claims that America only leads the world in only three categories

1) number of incarcerated citizens per capita

2) adults that believe in Angels are real

3) and defense spending

Here you can watch this yourself – it really is extremely well done – and Jeff comes off as quite brilliant:

Editor's note: The video contains profanity. Do not watch if you are offended by strong language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16K6m3Ua2nw

Lord, after hearing such horrible news –

I, too, was left feeling like perhaps we are NOT all that GREAT

But then I got to thinking about Tiger Woods…

Thank GOD for Tiger

Did you know he is winning AGAIN???

Let me talk golf for a sec... Look at these stats – these are Tiger Woods stats as of 7/17/2012:

  1. GIR Pct. - Fairway Bunker -127th
  2. Sand Save Percentage - 98th   
  3. Eagles (Holes per) - 57th
  4. Driving Accuracy Percentage - 46th
  5. Driving Distance - 39th (38 other PGA golfers are actually out driving him)
  6. Birdie Average - 26th
  7. Strokes Gained - Putting - 22nd           
  8. Par Breakers - 22nd

Looking at this so far ... this looks pretty bleak… I’d say by looking at just a few of these – this is NOT a GREAT golfer.

But hold on just few more...More statistics that when taken by themselves point to a LESS than GREAT GOLFER…

  9. Greens in Regulation Percentage - 11th            

10.  All-Around Ranking - 10th

11.  Total Driving - 5th

So while none of these on their own may convince you of any single players GREATNESS, if you put them all together and what do you come up with?

12.  Scoring Average 1st

13.  FedEx Cup Regular Season Points - 1st

14.  Money Leaders         $4,220,398      1st

He is the LEADING overall golfer in the PGA as of this morning, 7/19/2012.

Tiger Woods, for all his failings, is still (currently) the GREATEST golfer on the Planet. He's won 3 tournaments this year, making him 1st in money earnings at just over $4 mill this year and closing in on $100 mill lifetime...crazy to be sure.

OK, by now you've already leaped ahead and are many mental miles ahead of me & have this figured out ... but let me say it for the record anyway...

Sure America has a lot of problems...

Sure Crime and Punishment are huge issues

Obviously we're not just talking about sand traps & fairways here...

And education - wow...we need to “train up our children in the way that they should go” (a little Bible four you)

And the Poor - man, both politics & religion get this wrong...

So yeah... we have got problems. Yes, there are areas we really need to work on. It’d sure help if we could work on them together.

But to somehow settle back on the notion that "America is NOT GREAT".

REALLY???  I really take issue with that...

The actor asserting that...or the writer that is directing the words that the actor's restating, would NOT want to be making movies or shows anywhere but HERE...

Are other countries free? Well, yes...but does that make them greater than America?

Well?

There are 127 other golfers that hit their little white golf balls out of a bunker better than Woods... but that does NOT make them better golfers.

C'mon... that really tee's me off...

We are not at our best when we demoralize the masses by painting an abysmal picture of brokenness.

“Give me your tired your poor”-  (looks a bit like the church I pastor) - of course I can point to the trouble that brings.

But if we can get them to see the combined result of all that we are...

I tell you, I'd rather live in America than any other country on the planet!

God has blessed America & as a result America is GREAT.

If you are so blessed to find yourself living in America you are a great part of THE greatest nation in the WORLD...

As for FAITH … or Angels…

I'm not near as bothered by the occasional "f-bomb" as I am when he refers sarcastically to the notion that we have “more adults (per-capita) that believe angels are real...”

This is one of the leading reasons - if they were right - in their assertion that we are no longer the greatest nation in the world …is the constant attack on faith.

I'd dare say that there were more believers (per-capita) in America during the time, back in the day, when it is apparently agreed on that America "was great" - than there are today. All these people that wanna tear down faith, are missing the single greatest inspiration to greatness that there is: FAITH.

When people, or a nation, or a community begin to sink into the misery of disbelief that despair can become a pretty sad motivator…or…e-motivator…

It’s faith - but it's more than FAITH. It's faith in GOD...it's faith that I can know the GOD that created me...and when one becomes acquainted (through FAITH) with the GOD of the Bible.

They can start to believe that THEY CAN do anything. It'll give them cause to "stand up for something."

It would be comical if it weren't so sad - to listen to someone try to display their intellect by demeaning something that we are all so desperately in need of...

So all in all, very interesting little piece of video – not sure what the writers at HBO are trying to do with it…

But for the record – by any reasonable count - AMERICA is STILL the GREATEST nation on the planet.

Keep the faith... better yet... help me build it....

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jay Sykes July 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM
@Bren... A profiteer is 'one who makes what is considered an unreasonable profit especially on the sale of essential goods during times of emergency'. An iphone or ipad is not an essential good. The products are widely available. Numerous other 'substitute goods', for Apple products, are widely available for purchase, at similar or lower price points. Unless you have some other working definition of 'Profiteer', I don't see how Apple, being the market leader, releasing their product upgrades on a cycle that they feel is appropriate(generally at a one year interval), in a market with significant competition, could be considered a profiteer.
Lyle Ruble July 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM
@Pastor Rogers....As a people we can take satisfaction in our technological accomplishments, both past and present. However, I don't think that we have much to be proud of in a vast array of other metrics. Your entire statement could be characterized as nothing more than an exercise in ethnocentrism. Where precisely do we measure up on social justice issues, the meeting of the needs of the least of us, our equal application of the law, our mindless obsession with wealth and power and the fascination with the famous and the infamous? These are the important measures of a civilized society. Clearly we have a conflict of base values that discount humanity and elevates achievement and power. Our state of being reminds me of the old example; "Sure he drinks, beats his wife and kids, but he is a hard worker!" An analysis reveals that all uncivilized behavior can be forgiven as long as he attends to the higher value of the Protestant Work Ethic. Is this not a faulty value system? Our dealings with other nations requires us to have the strongest military the world has ever seen and we back up our self Interests with an aircraft carrier battle group showing up on someone's shores. Where is the morality in that? We are no better than the Roman Empire and we saw what happened with that ancient society. They destroyed themselves from within through corruption and exploitation. Instead of banging the drum of U.S. superiority, it is time for you to address our failed values.
Jane July 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Most people are neither fully good nor fully bad. Similarly, America has much to be proud of, but it also can and should do much better. Denial of our faults leads to complacency, arrogance and intolerance. Both individuals and nations need to shine a bright light on their "shadow side" in order to understand and to improve themselves.
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I fully agree - we do, nationally as well as individually, need to examine, OWN & work to fix any and every weakness and or mistakes... the Bliss of ignorance will only last for a season ... ignorance comes with a price as well it should ... No one here is suggesting that America is perfect - but I'm not willing to, nor should I, agree with the idea that she is NOT GREAT... lets explore SOLUTIONS instead of beating people (or nations) up with how "un-great" they are ... (I just made up that word... that of course might cause one to think I'm pretty "un-great" myself - ha! )
Steve Rogers July 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Lyle said... "Sure he drinks, beats his wife and kids, but he is a hard worker!" great comment ... REALLY BIG broad strokes ... but interesting ... I see America though as building individual rights and Valuing HUMANITY - not as one that discounts humanity ... We rather cherish humans rights ... that's one of the reasons why our "incarceration" rates are so high ... we actually arrest men that beat up on women and children ... When men abuse children - the blood of our nation boils - as well it should ... and being a hard worker or a person of clout or position and for crying out loud, certainly not religion, should NEVER interfere with justice ... we obviously have areas of weakness - don't give up on America Lyle, it is STILL a GREAT country ... let's work together to make it even greater...

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