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December 21, 2017 2:57 pm
This week on Family Policy Matters, the North Carolina Family Policy Council staff has a roundtable discussion where they each share their favorite part about being an American.
Each day has given me great appreciation for the wisdom that God gave our founders when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, and all are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, including liberty are radiation for this week is going to be a very special offering from the North County family staff. We are going to talk a little bit about why we like being Americans and the thing that we appreciate the most from living in America. So I think Eileen you wanted to start, I'm Eileen Brown and I work with constituent services. The first thing that came to my mind when you asked me this question was, I can vote you will born American but I chose to be American and I had lived here for quite a few years. But then when I came to the policy Council and so how laws affected our lives as we lift them. I wanted to say that I had never been him to have a saying that before because I left England before I was old enough to vote and then I lift in South Africa where I couldn't vote.
So when I came here and kind of understood how it all runs. I really wanted to have a say so. One of the things that I do is every time I vote the little sticker they gave you I put inside my wardrobe door and I got more lined up.
I voted every single time since 2000 when I got my citizenship and I've got them lined up that right next to the little stickers they give you when you go and visit your grandchildren when they bone so shows you how important it is to me say is voting is is the first and it comes to my mind.
Being an American. My name is Catherine Strickland I am the administrator here and the things that popped in my mind. First is I really appreciate the freedom that we have here in America and the freedom to be who we want to be to be who I want to be the freedom to do what I wanted to go where I want to go the freedom to worship to make something of myself or to just enjoy simple life. I love that freedom. But what I love most about that freedom is that it comes with the responsibility and freedom without responsibility I think is can lead to anarchy and so as an American I appreciate that I have responsibilities that come with freedom and responsibility to vote, which I really appreciate what Eileen had to say and we had the responsibility to care one another about America because we as a country to join in and that hatred to some that inspires us so much. That's what I love about America because we we fulfill this responsibilities and ultimately our ultimate freedom is in Christ and he gave us that freedom by sacrificing himself, but even as a believer. We still have responsibilities and freedom as well and so that's what I appreciate about my freedom in America. Following up on what Catherine just sheared up on jury rural Dir. of community impact and counsel. Thinking about freedom really since beginning my work here. The family policy Council.
My favorite part of being American has changed dramatically. As I understand more and more the freedoms of conscience and speech, and most importantly the freedom of religion, our work here. Each day has given me great appreciation for the wisdom that God gave our founders, but when they wrote the Declaration of Independence that all are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, including liberty in the Constitution protecting freedom of religion, freedom of speech. This means for us in our work here that we're free to the truths about important issues and to communicate that truth through our emails, magazines, this radio show and as we meet with elected officials and other citizens to try to encourage the policies that are best for the citizens of the state and country freedom of conscience and speech and religion allow us to speak and write and be involved in the process to help make laws that honor God and most importantly for us as Christians is were involved that people see and hear Christ in us and be drawn to him appreciate very much that God has placed us in a country where we have these freedoms that many people do not have in the world today and haven't had throughout history, but like most things in life.
I don't really appreciate them as much until something they're gone are being challenged, which is what were even in our country so I'm thankful to be part of a ministry helping to defend and protect these freedoms.
I'm Tracy Greg Syme, director of communications here.
Just building on what Jerry had to say about our founding fathers. I think the more I read history, the more I realize how the conflicts that we are experiencing our country are really designed to be those sweet we are supposed to fight kind of we're supposed to fight for what we believe were supposed to wrestle with each other over what's best for our country. Changes supposed to come slowly and are just a lot of things that we experience today that I think we become alarmed about, because it seems like our legislative process or Congress move so slowly, but when you look back and you read how our Constitution and our balance of powers was designed to realize was supposed to be like this. I don't think it needs to be as is vitriolic, but it is nice to know that this is the process. This is the way it's supposed to work. We are supposed to to wrestle with these problems in the public square. It's it's the way that it was designed so that's very encouraging to me that things are still working the way there supposed to be working. MJ Sipe, MD, communications associate, and Tracy, stole a lot of photos, so I put I think the idea of conflicts and pressure in the political system is something that always appreciated and I had a teacher in high school had this really amazing way of explaining it. And apparently, James Madison when he was James Madison of course is the father of the Constitution when he was in college. She was fascinated by the design of the planets in the way in which the pressure caps the planets in order. If you think about it. It's these magnificent forces that are pushing up against one another that keep our planets in orbit. He was fascinated by that design, and that that idea of conflicting interests going up against one another and keeping everything in place I think is something that's incredibly important to keep in mind, especially in today's world, like what Tracy was saying that basically the conflicts that were experiencing our knots apocalyptic there. There designed to be in place and in both sides being in conflict with one another is is part of the system is an important part of the American system so that's what I honestly enjoy about being American is is the diversity and end the design of the founders had of giving us the ability to have such diverse beliefs, but still being in a stable system which I think is something that is unique in the history of the world. A lot of people are you today about our you are upset about our government not being efficient ugly thing about it the most efficient form of government is a dictatorship. Someone says something and it gets done. Our system is designed to to be inefficient and if you think about the founders the way in which they designed it course you have a separation of powers of the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. Actually, fun fact for history nerds. The original Supreme Court had six members so even in their design of the Supreme Court. They wanted ties to occur. They encourage conflict and not only do you have a separation of powers between federal branches of government, but you have the separate sovereign states that have independent sovereignty as well. And so, you think about our system. It's designed to conflicts is designed to bring about compromise and so that's a incredibly important aspect of the American system which I think is is it can be both brutal and also beautiful Thomas Graham blessed and honored to be the pastor outreach director today.
My thoughts about what is so especially amazing this great country of ours is the beauty that we see everywhere and just start with the beauty of our flag.
Every time I look at our flag up on a large stage next to other flags.
I'm proud to be able to look at our flag and so that's my flight and I believe that that flag. The colors were inspired by our God our creator many years ago and as I've had the privilege of traveling this wonderful country of ours. And everywhere I go I just marveled at how good God has been to this nation to this people to give us such beauty not only of the landscape, but in the people themselves to think of a variety of people who are here with us sharing this great space is just remarkable. The as I think about it that wonderful song, America the beautiful comes to mind.
Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain America. America God shed his grace on three cruel but good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. That's my prayer that's my desire and I'm sure it's a shared desire by all of us sitting at this table today on those out there in the listening audience.
God bless God bless the great country of one John Ralston, president of the north Carolina family policy Council and it's been great to hear from everyone.
It occurs to me that in his often referred to that America is the land of opportunity, and I think for me that's one thing that really touches my heart is the opportunities that we have in this nation and it is always thinking about this discussion. The thing that came most to my mind is that she sometimes don't really know what you got till it's gone and I have the privilege of going on a short-term mission trip this summer with my daughter and my son to Guatemala and we worked with the ministry in Guatemala City that administers to the people that literally live in and around the city landfill the don't in Guatemala and it was amazing to experience that perspective of extreme poverty and that the lack of opportunity that many people there have and the fact that there are some families that have lived in the dump for four generations literally they have been living and existing off of scavenging the dump for recyclable materials anything of value. Even food into contrast that with the incredible opportunities that we have here in America is just incredible. It is striking also that so often we feel destitute and desperate and despondent because of what's going on in our nation economically and politically and otherwise.
But when we visited these families and these individuals in Guatemala. There were many people of deep faith who were joyful, who were faithful, and who were even generous in the midst of extreme poverty into contrast that with the response of some folks here in America to the incredible opportunities that we have. It was really stark and so that's really a great appreciation that I have is I think about this question, as I think about the value of America is that God really has blessed our nation and as believers in that blessing. I think it's incumbent upon us all to act in a grateful way with great confidence and great joy great love and great truths that we would be examples of that blessing to our brothers and sisters across this nation so I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work with each one of you and for listening audience. I think you can hear the hearts and the time of the diversity that were fortunate to have here at the North Carolina family policy Council and were excited to have this opportunity to have this discussion amongst ourselves and share that with you all. I know you often hear from one or two of us and our guests as we have our discussions weekly thought this would be a neat insight into the staff of the family policy Council and, where were coming from and why we appreciate this land that were so fortunate listening to family policy matters production and to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in north Carolina website and see family.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook