America is America. I will say though that Western culture is increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. The letters of Paul and such epistles like 1 Peter which describe how Christians are to live when surrounded by a culture that rejects their values is becoming more and more relevant daily.
As always with opinion questions, it’s good to nail down the metrics you would like to use in making an evaluation or comparison.
What metrics or measuring stick would we like to use to measure the virtue of American culture?
Number of murders? Rates of crime? Rates of drug addiction? Treatment of the poor? Church attendance?
There might be lots of opinions on this but I would say that I am
- disciple of Christ
Always in that order. I do not place my hope in my being American.
I would use the number of people who actually emigrate to the USA.
Traditionally, people move to an area because of economic opportunities. My ancestors move to America because of jobs in industry- not because of the virtues of American culture.
in antiquity, the Vandals and Huns moved to the Roman Empire for similar reasons- the RE was where they wanted to be.
My grandfather came here as a draft dodger. Those that didn’t were chopped up in World War One.
Fair enough, but why did he choose America instead of any number of other places he could flee to?
Folks escaping Cuba’s political oppression are more likely to choose to come to America instead Haiti.
Emigration is fair game as a measuring stick.
but it doesn’t change the fact that prosperity doesn’t necessarily make for an enduring republic.
- Kingdom of God
One will last, the other will not in the end.
Cheap boat ticket.
Word of mouth.
The streets were paved with gold.
Started by making deliveries with wagon pulled by horses.
Opened a restaurant.
[He found a wife and bought a house with a big yard, dug a garden, built a greenhouse for herbs and flowers, added a chicken coop, a grape arbor, a basement winery [with BATF permit], a 2-car garage, and expanded the house.]
Given the fact that no one under 30 knows anything about history, and the fact that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, I could see it happening quite easily.
The only reason why people revere JFK is the fact that he was assassinated.
Like Barack Obama, he really didn’t accomplish much of anything.
Ever lived abroad?
I lived in Saudi Arabia for three years and was there during 9/11, the anthrax crisis, the whole lead in to both of those. I saw men in Levi’s, driving Chevy Caprices (that car was very popular over there - actually, most of the cars you saw there were American - big cars are a status symbol for the middle class), eating in McDonald’s and Starbucks and Cinnabon. I saw Nikes peeking out from beneath women’s abayyas and saw kids in Dr. Seuss t-shirts. They listened to American music, watched American TV programs, bought Ray-Bans, and the wealthy typically took the SAT and came to the US for college. Most of the educated Saudi men we knew were educated in the US, not in Europe. Most of the magazines on bookshelves in Riyadh bookstores were Newsweek, Time, NatGeo, People…with objectionable pictures (like bare arms) meticulously blacked out by the Muta’awa, but still intact.
Their government paid the US lip service and took oil money, while the imams preached against Western decadence. Usually while owning a Chevy (all the Muta’awa, the religious police, drove Suburbans as the government vehicle, and yes - it was comical) and sucking down a McDonald’s shake (saw that more than once and the irony was never lost on me).
One of the anchor stores in a very fancy mall in Riyadh - the Faisaliah Centre - had the very British Harvey Nichols at one end as an anchor…and the very popular JCPenney in the other. The store selection inside - with a few exceptions and a few British chains - mimicked just about every mall in the US. The newer mall that opened just before I left was a bit more European (it had Marks and Spencer and Debenham’s as its anchors, both British) but still had many American tenants.
They say one thing and do something else. Yeah, they sort of do want to be us, and it showed in the vitriol they spouted about the US and the rest of the West while eating Burger King in their Explorer.
Bravo. I am a “Mustanger” . . . been around the world seven times on different missions. Been to 5 of 7 continents missing only Europe and Antarctica. This was curtesy of the Corp, then the Navy and finally the Army. Didn’t hit the Air Force but rode a lot with you guys. And got a lot of support from Air Force in some sticky situations. Continental US (Conus) was always referred to as the “World.” This was true of follows in arms as well as allies and quite a few locals. It was the locals that let you know that they value what we have as a home.
as in Tajho Freeman (pen name))
My service number is so old it pre-dates using Social Security numbers
I had the misfortune of attending a bullfight in Mexico while in graduate school in San Diego. I didn’t expect to be so horrified, as I grew up on a farm and slaughtering was part of the routine, but this was far beyond what I could bear. I sat a few rows behind a Monsignor and his entourage, who were all having the time of their life, and wondered how they thought they could reconcile this with their faith. I still don’t get it, and probably never will.
I only needed the “link” between Bangkok and New Delhi to be able to say I’d been around the world.
Sooo … I hitch-hiked. Started in Bangkok.
Got bumped in Karachi [by a friend of mine] and dumped in Incirlik. Ended up in Madrid where I spent a week.
Furthest south was Singapore. Panama City. Niamey.
Never did cross the equator.
What part of the Ten Commandments were violated?
A bullfight is a “spectacle”.
[I, on the other hand, believe that riding a motorcycle is just asking for trouble.]
It is sad that this nation was founded by the letting of blood, but I would not go so far to say that all the evils of this country stem from that conflict. Can we say the Catholic faith has fared far better in the Commonwealth nations, where all the Christian faithful have been protected from secularism and every evil that has touched the US?
What did Poland do to deserve the 20th century that it got? Spain? The French elite made scandalous livings, don’t get me wrong, but they were hardly alone. I would not put all the evils of the 20th century on their heads. I do think the monarchies fell mostly because the royal and princely families abused their positions of trust by self-enrichment.
Thomas Jefferson saw to his horror, however, that the Revolution he so romanticized in France simply replaced one set of tyrants with another set that was even bloodier and more tyrannical.
We are the nation of cafeteria thinkers…that is, we think we can have just what we want and pass over everything that doesn’t please our eyes as unnecessary.
NEVERTHELESS, PEOPLE EMIGRATED HERE BY THE BOATLOAD!!!
I have not read that book, but I agree, we are not too much like Rome, though there are a few similarities. Not enough though. If we are still a major power 800 years from now, those differences may not be quite as far apart. Given the probability that we might be in end times now, one might be tempted to call this possibility as a long shot. Hard to say.
Rome also conquered most of western civilization. We acquired “proxy” countries. So did the Soviets. Much of that is gone now, and that only took 50 years to form and dissipate. China seems to be better positioned the we do for the future… for the moment anyway. They have their own unique problems they have to deal with. We will see.
Things move so quickly now, there might not ever be another “Rome.” That would be my guess. Right now, I think it would be impossible to predict the possibility of any sort of 1000 year empire / superpower happening anytime soon.