Recognition of the supreme being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism. Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor American way of life.

— Dwight D. Eisenhower

By Dr. Jim Ferguson
And then they were gone. After spending a week with us, my daughter and her family have returned home to Portland, Oregon. My daughter would move to Knoxville in a heartbeat, but her husband is a West Coast guy, so it’s not going to happen – unless leftists burn Portland to the ground.

I told my son-in-law, “This is God’s country.” I’ve been fortunate to have traveled the world, and even toyed with the idea of living somewhere other than East Tennessee. The only two places I vaguely “considered” were Victoria, British Columbia and Wellington, New Zealand. Admittedly, these were not realistic considerations because, with the exception of the Portland crew, all my family are Knoxvillians.

I read that Governor Bill Lee has authorized a $250 hotel voucher for visitors to Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga or Knoxville. I consider this a ridiculous idea, but it might be understood if you’re trying to get someone to visit Memphis. I spent many years in Memphis during medical school and early post-doctoral training, and feel that Memphis is best experienced from an airline at 35,000 feet, perhaps with a glass of wine.

The Knoxville area has numerous attributes including the University, sports, excellent medical care, lakes, mountains and no state income tax, to name a few. Knoxville is big enough, but not too big. I could complain about traffic, but I’ve seen much worse. And they say Alcoa highway construction will someday end, hopefully before I die.

On the way home from taking my Portland family to the airport, we got a call from a neighbor regarding water shooting up from the ground on our property. What a blessing to be able to call KUB and have a serviceman arrive in 20 minutes to shut off the water. We even had time to shower and fill buckets. And our plumber soon arrived. Arguably, a good plumber is just as valuable as a good doctor.

Years ago, I concluded “Water cannot be resisted.” I came upon this revelation floating the Colorado River and experiencing the mile deep Grand Canyon carved by the river. Fortunately, our guests have left and there are again just two of us using the loo. And I’m glad Ole Joe printed more money and just sent me another stimulus check which I never asked for, did not need, but cannot be refused. I’ll just “Pay it forward” and “stimulate” my plumber.

Last week’s July 4th celebration was more meaningful for me than any I can remember. Perhaps it was because all of my family was together for the first time in years. Perhaps it was because I see Americanism as the resistance to critical race theory, the 1619 project, militant political correctness and anti-American athletes. I have become racially exhausted.

The very foundations of our country have been challenged by voter fraud and a politicized, dishonest media. Even our country’s institutions like my church and government agencies like the CDC, the FBI and the Justice Department have been corrupted. So, I gravitate to the patriotic themes of Americanism, the antithesis of progressive leftists who are trying to destroy our country.

In times of distress, in what or whom do you trust? I no longer trust my government, its institutions or our purported leaders. I trust the genuine goodness of the American people. And I trust in God.

In 1776 the Founders used the phrase, E pluribus Unum, as the national motto. Translated, it means “Out of many, one.” In 1956 a new motto was adopted by the United States Congress which reads, “In God We Trust.”

You may be surprised to learn that the most commonly used Biblical command of God is not about love. We have all known fear and need encouragement. Therefore, God’s most frequent exhortation is, “Fear not.” I return to His encouragement over and over as I consider my allegiances.

The corrupt leaders in Jesus’s day frequently tried to trip him up. They were never successful. Notably, in Matthew 22:21 Jesus was asked whether taxes should be paid to Caesar.  Jesus famously pointed to Caesar’s head on a coin and told the Pharisees they should give Caesar what is his and God what belongs to him. The elitists just slunk away.

I am a patriotic American who lives in a barely civil society with laws which I follow. However, my highest allegiance is to God, certainly not to the government. My secondary allegiance is to my wife and family, then my friends and finally to others in ever expanding concentric circles.

Jesus once said we are to “love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself,” (Luke 10:27). Well said, Master.

I live in the best country that has ever existed. I live in the best part of that country. I see far more beauty than ugliness, but I know evil exists just as I see the hand of God in all creation. The apostle Paul in Acts 17:28 quoted the Cretan philosopher Epimenides saying, in God “we live and move and have our being.” So, you see everything is of God, even anti-God. Evil is allowed to exist within God’s sphere of creation.

There are those who deny the existence of good in our country, just as there are those who deny the existence of God. I believe these misguided souls are the minority. Decades ago, there was a group known as the silent majority. They still exist. It is time for them to step up and be counted. We must say NO to those who are actually in the minority and using the cudgel of leftist-Marxist-progressive philosophy to beat the majority into submission.

I will not bend my knee to this Caesar!