Bishop E.W. Jackson spoke during a tour through Iowa last month. One of his stops was in Sioux Center at a Sioux County Conservatives meeting. Jackson spoke on a range of issues, but we wanted to share his conclusion where he talked about his love for America.
“Some of you in here will know exactly what I’m talking about because you’re veterans, I stood up in August of 1970 in a Marine Corp office and held my hand and took an oath to the Constitution of the United States. That I would preserve, protect and defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That oath never had an expiration date.
“Do you know I am more committed to that oath today than I was then because I believe the dangers to this Constitution are greater now than they were then. Ronald Reagan said freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We do not pass it on to our children in the blood stream, it must be fought for and protected and passed on to them to do the same or we will spend our sunset years telling our children about the United States of America where once we were free.
“We cannot allow that to happen. And I hope that you will help us and join with us. Because this is my attitude, and I have people come up to me after I’ve said this and say ‘I’m with you.’ But I have made this commitment and I’m serious about this when I say it, I’m a minister of the Gospel, I have made this commitment to Almighty God – Lord, If I have to be the last one standing up for that flag, if I have to be the last one standing up for that Constitution, if I have to be the last one saying I love my country and that I’m willing to die for my country if necessary to keep my nation free, I’ll do it until I breathe my dying breath.
“But I will never give up. I will never give in. I will never back down. I will never back up. I will never quit. I will do it until God calls me home and I hope you share that commitment with me.
“Don’t look around and see what your neighbors going to do, the question is what are you going to do? What are you going to do? Because I want these children who, I don’t know whether they’ve gotten to that point yet, to feel what we feel, and some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
“I get emotional thinking about it. That flag comes in and that flag is marched in in colors and I just look at it and I get emotional, because I know the blood that was shed, the sacrifices that were made, the tears that were cried in order to keep this nation free. To fight for the things that we believe in.
“No, we haven’t been a perfect country, of course not, because there are no perfect people. But you put us up against any nation in the world and we stand head and shoulders above every other. Yeah, we’ve made our share of mistakes, but we’ve done some wonderfully noble things and the world has been made a better place because the United States of America exists.
“I want these children to feel that same emotion that I feel. I want them to know what it is to feel, to know I’m free. There’s nothing like it. To get up in the morning without having the heavy hand of government telling me where to go and what to think and what to do. But to be able to chart the course of my own life under the sovereignty of Almighty God and to deal with whatever problems and pains and to take responsibility for my mistakes on my own and to seek God’s forgiveness and help and to do it, just do it because God has made me who I am and given me what I have and brought me where I am. I’m going to keep walking with him.
“I don’t have what they have in China, some government marking down merits or demerits that will determine whether I can get a job or whether I can have an apartment or, God folks, that’s the nature of life for a lot of people all over the world. And we have something so different and so valuable here, we’ve got to be prepared to defend it no matter what.
“My favorite patriotic hymn is My Country Tis of Thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring.
“And that last verse is a prayer because I really believe that this nation has been sustained not because we’re genetically better people or that we’re superior intellectually from all other people in the world, but because we’re built on better values and the most fundamental value we’ve been built on is faith in God. And that last verse depicts that.
“Our fathers’ God to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing. Long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light, protect us by thy might, great God our king.
“Let’s make sure we leave to these children a legacy that we can all be proud of, and that God will be pleased with.”