“God Bless America!” (and other dangerous prayers)

by Jonathan

I love America.

I love her mountains and her National Parks. I love her North Atlantic coastline and her national anthem. I love her freedom of speech and her universities.

As an attorney, I especially love her Constitution and her history of Law.

God bless America!

But that’s a dangerous prayer, because often, with the same tongue that we mouth “God bless America!” we spit “God destroy Iran!” Or North Korea. Or China. Or whatever.

We want to bless America and curse our enemies. And while that kind of talk is certainly in the Bible, it’s not very Biblical. It is not the way of Jesus.

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Patriotism is More Complicated Than It Used to Be

I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this 4th of July-related piece. I will return next week with Part Two of the Orphanage series.  -Elizabeth

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But first, a shameless plug for Rapha House. Seeing as how this week we Americans celebrate Independence Day, along with our MANY freedoms, and seeing as how this blog post is about that self-same topic, I thought this would be a great time to highlight the work of this amazing anti-trafficking group, based in our home state of Missouri.

I really SUPER believe in the work of Rapha House, who strives to create sustainable freedom for girls in Southeast Asia. And their work is quite comprehensive — in addition to providing safehouses for girls and vocational training programs to prepare for their futures, Rapha House also works in the community to prevent trafficking.

We first heard of Rapha House in 2009, and in 2011 Jonathan’s “Fireworks for Freedom” dream was born. You can see the original promo video here (but be forewarned, it might make you cry). This year, Rapha House launched a new logo and a Fireworks for Freedom online store for people in the Joplin area. 25% of fireworks purchases on the website go to Rapha House.

But even if you don’t live in the Joplin area, you can still save back some of your fireworks money and donate it to Rapha House this week (or any time of year! really!). And now, on to today’s blog post.

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I’m happy to live in Cambodia. I now have friends from all over the world — Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Britain, Germany, among other places. I love the availability of international food. (Pretty sure life would not be the same without regular access to Indian food.) I attend an international church with people from 30 other nations, many of them Asian. Somewhere along the lines all those things combined, and I started considering myself a global citizen more than an American citizen.

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