In honor of Independence Day, Christian Activities Online – a website dedicated to covering events on popular Christian artists and bands – recently asked a number of musicians, "What's the greatest thing about America?"
Among the number of answers, two factors clearly emerged from the pack: freedom and God.
"The greatest thing is that the ones who began this nation were seeking after God's will and blessing," replied singer and songwriter Clay Crosse, most famous for "I Surrender All." "Throughout its history, there have continued to be millions of others who have also relied on God to lead them. Currently, it seems that the percentage of Americans seeking God has gone down. Still though, that smaller group of strong believers represents what's still America's greatest quality."
A number of the artists praised America for its continued fight for free speech in terms of religion. This land was meant to be a place for all people, whatever they believe, to come and be free of persecution, something that it is uncommon in many parts of the world.
"Our freedom is the greatest thing," explained Kim Ruppe Lord, member of the Southern Gospel a cappella group LordSong, "freedom to worship God, freedom to go to the church of our choice, freedom to tell others about Jesus, freedom to raise our children to love the Lord, freedom to learn and teach...I could go on and on. We take so much for granted everyday. I thank God that my family lives in America. God Bless America!"
Other artists described the country's rich tradition and how the many battles that America has faced were critical to keep the freedoms that all citizens still keep.
"One of the things I love about America is our heritage," added Todd Agnew, rock/indie musician best known for "Grace Like Rain." "We are not the purposeless people we have pictured ourselves to be. We are the next generation of a people who have lived freely and have died for that freedom. We are a people who have fought to be able to live as God designed. We are not an unattached lost people…We are the land of the free because of the brave."
Some artists did express, however, how people often abuse their freedom inappropriately. Yet in spite of those that choose to misuse this liberty, they are happy that it still exists.
"The best thing about being an American is freedom," said Jill Parr, Christian soloist and co-founder of Whiplash Records. "To be able to say, think, believe, do (within certain perimeters) whatever we would like. Unfortunately, the worst thing about being an American is that this same freedom is available to some people who abuse their freedoms!"
The rest of the artists listed a number of other qualities that make the United States great including great people, the beauty in the country, necessities we take for granted such as clean water, and even just some fast food restaurants.
"McDonalds - cuz we were in India for two weeks, and there are no McDonalds," concluded Jason Anderson from the worship band Re:Zound, based at Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Ariz. "When we hit the airport in Germany we sprinted to the McDonalds in the Frankfurt Airport."
On the web: Full list of answers at ChristianActivities.com.