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America: a beacon of light with more work to do
Editor's Note: Brother Aaron Dowdy of the Clinton First United Methodist Church asked futurist Ivan Potter to share his thoughts on America, past, present and future on the 4th of July. Here is the transcript of what he said.

This day is a sacred day!
It is God’s day--- the Sabbath
It is man’s day---the declaration of a dream for freedom, the birth of the American Experiment.
It is, to us in this room, the first day of our future.
God’s day, as we are taught in church and the Bible, is a day of rest and reflection of what has been accomplished.
God’s day is our formal time to stop and look at what God has brought forth on this planet as a place of man and nature to coexist.
God’s day is a time of peace and gathering of strength for the future.
Man’s day and the celebration of the birth of America, is about living each day;  the will and strength of conviction of God’s words to be the best that man can be.    
Man’s day is not just rockets firing and bursting forth in honor of a single day.
It is about remembering why America came about.
Man’s day is more about why God chose to have the spirit of man to come to a new land, to carve out a new civilization, to bring forth new concepts of man’s freedoms, and to merge all the elements of a vast new world to bring peace and hope to the children of the old world.
In short, the birth of the American Experiment was about searching for the Promised Land on Earth.
In the course of human existence, and especially in the timetables of recent history, Americans seek to redefine themselves about every 30 years.
We Americans are a restless breed.
We are always trying to look over the horizon at what is there.
We are constantly tinkering with what is, to make a better what if.
We are always bored with today in hopes that tomorrow will be better.
We have, since day one of our birth, been “the beacon of light" in a world clouded with darkness and the shadows of slavery, hunger, ignorance, war, and man’s general cruelty  to man.
However, somewhere in the hope of the 1980s we, as Americans, lost our way.
No, let me be brutally honest.
My generation of baby boomers who voiced a new idea of change with our government’s polices in the 1960’s and 1970’s lost our way.
We had to face a major energy crisis over oil coming to America.
We talked about changing our ways.
We talked about creating new American energy sources.
Yet, we did nothing but learn how to avoid the hard road of common sense living.
By the 1980s, my generation had sold out.
I had married and started a family in the 1970s.
By January of 1980, I had 10 credit cards, 30 three piece suits (one for each day of the month) cars, televisions, and a whole lot of debt.
I stand before you today to say “My generation failed to live up to its dreams of a better America.”
I must stand before you today, on this celebration of America’s 234th birthday and say “We traded our moral souls for pleasure.”
I stand here today and ask my son John and his son Owen and daughter Sarah, to forgive me for this sin of gluttony. 
I do this because from this point, we will all live in a new America that is now, outside these windows, taking shape.
This new America is at a 200 year old cycle of change and crossroads.
Whichever way we vote, lead, or live the next 10 years will reinvent the Founding Fathers idealism for freedom on earth, and a nation committed to God and his words.
We are made in HIS image.
We can do better with who we are.
Our strength of will and faith will lead us into this new age of moral high ground.
God has allowed us to be renters of this planet.
God gave us the task of being good caretakers of this world.
That is our new challenge.
This new America must be forged in the struggle to gain balance within our day to day lives, as well as balance in better management of the world’s resources.
America has 4 % of the world’s population. We use 20% of the world’s daily oil production.
The blood of our young solders must not be in vain. I look at my son, the captain, a leader of men in Afghanistan.
I promise today to work in God’s words that his men’s efforts will not be in vain.
I promise today that in my years of what was to be retirement, must now be recommitted to a path of making right what has gone so wrong in this 21st Century America,
We should not fight in foreign wars just to bring shopping centers to the wastelands of the Afghanistans of the world.
We should become that image of what God had in mind when America became the vision of man’s ability to live in harmony with the earth and himself.
As remote as these words may sound to some of you, you need not look more than a few feet from me, to see the seeds of a new America sprouting forth.
Tom and Cherry Pyron, along with Tommy Roberts, of this Clinton First United Methodist Church, have made and are making a foundation in Clinton for “Going Green”
Their recycling project is a major success.
Even in Clinton, Kentucky, God has a plan for us.
We are 19 people per square mile in Hickman County. We are a modern day frontier.
We are blessed with five rivers merging in our region. We grow fiber. We still have an itch to make things better.
To me, that is the true meaning of being an American, the ability to wake up in a free country and dream impossible dreams, of what can be, instead of what passes for normal within the community of man and God.
Our founding fathers expressed this thought through these words.
We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

                                                                                       Thank you and God bless this noble experiment.

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