America, An Incompletely-Actualized Ideal

America is an incompletely-actualized ideal. It will only qualify as a fully-actualized ideal when “selfish gain no longer stain, the banner of the free!” (Taken from the original 1893 poem by Katharine Lee Bates.)

Yes. The United States of America is the present ideal of the idea, though flawed, “of freedom beating across the wilderness.” As freedom beat across the land, indigenous people were displaced and slaughtered. In 1893, its successes were not all noble, nor its gains divine. The indigenous population as well as imported Africans and women were excluded from sharing in the gains.

True, the grace of God or the One in Whom We Live, Move and Have Our Being has shined on the idea of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, the vision. It will only become a reality as Martin Luther King Jr has stated, when this nation rises up and lives out the true meaning of its creed that all men, women, and children are created equal.

Since the idea has not yet materialized, the full expression of our good, which is brotherhood, has not yet been crowned.

So, I ask that we not let our emotional reactions to the song “America, The Beautiful” override the facts.

–Keith Gorley

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