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O Beautiful for Spacious Skies

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the United States has the single hardest national anthem to sing in the entire world. This used to bother me so much that one of my first letters to a congressman was a request to get our anthem changed to "America the Beautiful." (Spoiler: he declined to introduce that particular legislation.) I still think the song is a better choice than "The Star-Spangled Banner," though.

Why? Our current national anthem is a war song. And our land has seen war enough to last another 241 years. I prefer not to make the hallmark of our nation the fact no one seems to be able to blow us up. Instead I much prefer the message of "America the Beautiful." It gives praise to God for a beautiful land, for our founders, and for our heroes and armed forces. It's the hope of cities "undimmed by human tears." And it is a prayer to Almighty God for virtue and blessing,

If there's anything our country needs as we celebrate her birth tomorrow, it is the sentiment behind this song. We need to be a united, thankful, brave, and selfless people. We need to work towards ending poverty, disease, war, and a thousand other evils. Most of all, we need to recognize the hand of Divine Providence and humbly beseech our Lord and Master for His amazing grace. We stand in the Year of Our Lord 2017 as a nation which desperately needs a Savior. Let us even now turn our hearts toward heaven and pray, "Shed Your grace on us; crown our good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!"

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