At one time there was a common set of American values, based on Judeo-Christian teachings--back in the 1970s, Francis Schaeffer wrote of a "Christian consensus" as a base for American society that even non-Christians respected. It wasn't monolithic, there was room for differences, but it was a base. But it has been crumbling for over 100 years now. Nowadays it seems the "BosWash corridor" (a term used by sci-fi writers in the 1950s) and the "left coast" are getting culturally farther and farther from the folks in between, in what the Coasties like to call "Flyover Country." It concerns me that the differences may become so great, probably not in my lifetime but possibly in my children's, that this country will become ungovernable.
America does have a a unique blessing of its Judeo-Christian heritage. From this come certain values of justice, and human rights while sparring us from certain problems. Our biblical heritage has in my opinion been key in the prosperity of America. But we are not a Christian, God fearing nation. Not only does our heritage also include Greko Roman democracy, but all but four presidents have been connected to freemasonry thus proving the position of a power elite with occult connections. The common American is blessed with prosperity and access to God's word. But is also challenged with the values of selfish materialism which squander the blessing and even bring a curse. Also the sin, lies and confusions that are throughout the American culture challenge Americans on a level that is common human
I think the value that most defines America and Americans would be freedom. This country was founded on principles of freedom; freedom from tyranny, freedom to pursue happiness, freedom to worship God however we view him (or her) and freedom to not worship at all. There's probably a lot more to be said about it, but that's what's on my mind right now... or as Forrest Gump would have said, "That's all I've got to say about that."
As I thought through this question I asked myself some related questions. What do most Americans value? Then, what do most Americans value as Americans and not just as human beings? Like jimazing, freedom came to mind but then I wondered if most Americans understand freedom in a similar way. Technology seems to be another candidate.
Thank you, postmodern, josiah, jimazing, and craig v. for commenting. I had my thoughts stirred by each of your comments. I hadn't thought of technology in terms of American values, craig, but you have something there.Certainly, freedom is an American value. As I said in my current post, I don't know where this one is going right now, but I am exercising the freedom to drop it and move on. ;^)
Individualistic rebellion is an American value, as in yes, the owner of this blog says we're moving on, but he can't make me!Freedom is an American assumption -- most assume it's a given. Few value it enough to give value to ensure it.Technology, as someone said above, is an American value.Consumption is a huge American value.Charity is an American value.
You're right, George, I can't make you.I learned that when I had teenagers!! ;^)
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