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Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay are writing columns on important issues for today.

What Constitutes
A Nation?

January 27, 2014

What is a Nation?  Is The United States a nation?  According to Wikipedia, the word nation is derived from the Latin natio which means, “that which has been born”.  Wikipedia continues, “Nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history.  However it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government (for example the inhabitants of a sovereign state) regardless of their ethnic make-up; that is a nation state.” 

Dr. Michael Savage refers to a nation as “a group of people with common, borders, language and culture.”  That definition best defines what kind of nation The United States is supposed to be.  It’s not about our ethnicity.  We have been called “the great melting pot.”  That does not mean it’s about excluding the cultures of others but incorporating remembrances of where we are from with those of others creating a uniquely American culture and experience.

So we are united by our nationhood of borders, language and culture.  Let’s examine each of these components of nationhood.  Notice that each is under assault by the media.

Why Borders? Without strong borders, those who wish us harm can enter as easily as those who desire the American Dream.  And what is the American Dream?  Is it a house, two cars and retirement?  No, the American Dream is Freedom!  Freedom to work, own property, have a place to live; to sum it up it is the freedom to have life, liberty and to pursue what makes us happy while not infringing on the rights of others to pursue their own life, liberty and happiness.  Borders are like the walls in our homes that protect us from the elements -- in this case our national home.

Should English be our common language?  It is a language spoken by an estimated 760 million people around the world or 11% of the world’s population.  According to OxfordDictionaries.com, “it seems quite probable that English has more words than most comparable world languages” due to its historical Dutch, German, French and Latin influences.  OxfordDictionary.com also states, “English is also very ready to accommodate foreign words, and as it has become an international language, it has absorbed vocabulary from a large number of sources.”  UK.answers.yahoo.com, continues that thought by saying, “All this lends it an unsuppressed fluidity, subtlety, eloquence and accuracy of expression.”  English provides more words to more accurately describe more concepts.  Without a common language there is confusion and misunderstanding.  (Consider the story of the Tower of Babel – Genesis 11)

Why is culture important?  Culture is the glue that holds us together.  It is our religions, our holidays, our sports and our celebrations.  It is the fabric of our lives, the celebrating and the telling and retelling of our shared experience that weaves this fabric into our national tapestry.  It’s who we are and what we do.  Remember we need each other to make our uniquely American experience the rich, vibrant experience it is.  Although we are conservative in our politics, we would fight for the rights of those with whom we so strongly disagree.  It’s our right as free men and women.  God bless America!   

John, Mark, and Bill