Given the rather chaotic nature of our country nowadays, it is relevant to ask this question: What do we have in common? Or to rephrase, what are the core principles that we, as a nation, can all agree on? Thomas Jefferson once wrote that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain rights, among those being life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those words seem almost foreign now, of a time long ago, and not holding much relevance.

Instead of placing great value on life, a culture of death seems to exist today with the advocacy of issues like abortion rights, euthanasia, etc. Support of certain ethical and religious principles used to be a glue that held us together as a people, but they have now been labeled mean-spirited and divisive. Sadly, even a non-religious person should acknowledge that in order for a society to function, there needs to be a sense of structure and boundaries. In other words, law and order. Otherwise, you have anarchy.

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But, someone may ask: Whose laws? A letter to the editor recently encouraged everyone to support climate change, because of the "facts". Evidently, the writer is not familiar with the term: Moral relativism. We are living in an age, where there is no such thing as absolute truth. There is only your truth, and my truth, and no middle ground between us. It's come to the point that we can't even agree on the definition of simple basic words, like citizen or immigrant. Evidence of a religious ambiguity can also be found on these editorial pages, where people use Bible passages rather indiscriminately to support points of view that seem contradictory.

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However, these disagreements over matters such as faith and politics have always been one of the mainstays of living in this free country of ours: People could have differing opinions and still live peaceably. You still have to ask, then, what those core values are that unite us, when so many are quick to blame America for all the world's problems? The support of open borders and the blurring of our rights as citizens are examples of a disturbing push toward globalism.

So, is there any hope for us? Ronald Reagan once referred to America as a "Shining City on a Hill," not because its inhabitants are any better than people elsewhere, but because of what this country represents: Each person has the freedom, and equality of opportunity, to pursue their own vision of happiness and success. This "American Dream" can be achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking, and hard work, rather than chance or government decree.

Socialism seeks to make everyone equal, but they need to punish achievement in order to accomplish this. Through higher taxes, greater regulations, and the redistribution of wealth, more individual freedom gets absorbed by an almighty federal government. The love of God and country is replaced by a slavish allegiance to the state. So, the question becomes: Will our love of freedom be enough to unite us as Americans in the turbulent days ahead?