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A wise man once said to me "the more I study history the harder it is to be a patriot." America the beautiful, built on biblical principles, and the backs of slaves. Manifesting our destiny from New England to the California coast, desecrating most Native civilizations that got in our way. Now don't get me wrong, I'm no Afro-centric conspiracy theorist with a slavery chip on my back, in fact, I'm proud to be an American. I love running water and Mickey D's, religious freedom and democracy, but recently I've asked myself, "what does it mean to be free?" As citizens of the U.S., liberty is engrained in our constitution and DNA, but if your freedom is married to your American rights, will you still be free when America dies? And America will die. No, I'm no prophet predicting the future, I'm a historian observing the past. From Egypt to Babylon, the Greeks to the Romans, in their moment, they felt invincible, little did they know, their cities would burn, their temples would erode, and their coliseums would crumble with a roar as loud as that of the crowds which filled them before they fell to the ground. The globe continued to roll. A new empire rose, then fell, passing the torch to the next generation of fools convinced they would eternally rule. So what makes us think we're the exception? Now let me repeat my question. If your freedom is married to your American rights, will you still be free when America dies? What does it mean to be free? Bondage is a spiritual state, not just physical chains. Realistically most Americans are still enslaved. Mastered by their own desires, aspiring merely to aspire higher, driven by their insatiable appetite for material wealth and physical pleasure, wondering whether their labor will ever end, slaves in need of liberation. In need of a freedom like Silas and Paul, fastened in stocks to a Roman prison wall, yet feeling so free they sang hymns to their liberator. For our freedom is greater than shackles. If ever America is tackled by a foreign kingdom, and U.S. citizens are enslaved or imprisoned, I will still have freedom. Freedom that is true, having nothing to do with a bill of rights or a politician. The Declaration of 1776 did not ensure my independence, nor did Lincoln's proclamation bring my people emancipation, true liberation comes only by salvation. Salvation comes only by faith in Christ. Until you believe that the Son of God died and resurrected so you could be free from your sin, you will never know liberation. And if you believe that the Son of God died and resurrected so you could be free from your sin, no prison cell or ball and chain can ever take your freedom away. For he who is called in the Lord [while] a slave is the Lord's freedman. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. For if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. So this year as we cheer for our moment in time, watching millions of dollars explode in the sky, I pray you consider this question of mine, will you still be free when America Dies? - Micah Bournes
 

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