Monday, February 3, 2014

What's beautiful about America

Super Bowl commercials. We love to watch them, talk about them, and even complain about them. There was one from Coca Cola last night that became all the buzz on Twitter. This one:

As soon as it aired, Twitter exploded with comments. Most of the comments were about how America the Beautiful should be sung in English because it's an American song. If you live here, you should speak our language. That's what a country is.

Somehow, it seems many were seeing the ad as a concession to illegal immigration. By acknowledging the variety of cultures here and showcasing that by singing in multiple languages, we were opening our borders to all comers.

Well, I would bring this into the conversation: If we could completely close our borders and kick every illegal immigrant out, leaving nothing but citizens and legal immigrants working toward citizenship, our country would still be just as diverse. It would be full of people from all backgrounds and countries all over the world. Many, many of us have great grandparents who came over the sea without speaking a lick of English. We're English, Irish, Italian, French, Chinese, etc., etc., etc. Because they came, we are here. What makes our country great is freedom, and that freedom is something that people from all over the world have been flocking to for the last 250 years.

And it is true, whether depicted in an advertisement or not.

So what does it mean that our country is full of such diversity? As a follower of Jesus, I have been called to take the  gospel into all the world. The kingdom of God is greater than any other kingdom, and all the others, including ours, will pass away. How awesome it is to live in a place where you can share the good news of Jesus with so many cultures without even having to get a passport! Go into all the world? Heck, just go to the other side of town. Because while the early believers in Jerusalem had to go to the world, the world has come to us.

And that is just one of the things that makes America beautiful.

Which reminds me of another Coke ad, from my childhood:

All sorts of people, from all backgrounds. In perfect harmony. That's what Jesus can bring.

What a beautiful country.

What did you think of the commercial? How does it compare with the one from 1970? Have the issues changed that much?

Where did your family come from generations ago? What issues do you think they faced?

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