I saw a bumper sticker today that bypassed the usual idiocy of Calvin peeing on something or blather about where your money and your daughter go to college.
This one made me think.
No, not as in “thought provoking.” This one made me think how little thinking some people actually do. Especially when they really think their thinking is right-thinking.
Try this one on:
“God Bless the people of every nation.”
This interesting statement was paired with a very cheerful drawing of a dove with an olive branch. Just adorable.
I suppose I could have taken that statement at face value, but the presence of the dove made it pretty clear. The purpose of this sticker was to repudiate the millions of Ameri-fascists zooming through this country with “God Bless America” stuck to their rear ends.
The first thing about this bumper sticker that irritated me was the presumption that God is somehow doling out His blessings based on some kind of per capita sticker count. Perhaps this tofu-eating surrender monkey felt he should sport some Third World representation on his Volvo in order to snag other countries their share of the loot.
But not only is God scanning bumpers to apportion out His loving care, this sticker seems to imply that His good favor is limited. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. “Sorry, Micronesia. The U.S. got your share of My Favor.” See ya next year.
The second thought that rushed over me was much more secular in nature: when God blesses America, He blesses every nation.
Did you know that in 2005, the U.S. government spent almost $24 billion on foreign aid? (See full article.)
That’s right. That is $23,700,000,000 last year. To give you an idea, that is $1.3 billion more than the entire net worth of Microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen. And that’s just what the government spent.
Private sources in the United States — including corporations, foundations, churches, universities and volunteer groups — accounted for another $20.5 billion in foreign aid.
So we’re up to $44.2 billion.
That doesn’t include the $23 billion contributed in 2005 by individuals sending money home, presumably to their relatives or families.
Do the math, folks. That is $67.2 billion dollars last year in U.S. foreign aid. Add Bill Gates ($50 billion) plus Michael Dell ($17.1 billion) and you’re still a hundred million dollars shy.
It’s no news to me that the United States gives away billions of dollars a year to support other countries around the world. We’re a generous people. We love to help the downtrodden, even if they aren’t our friends. This principal has borne itself out through our entire history as a nation.
God blesses America. And we use those blessings to bless others.
(The crazy part is that this enormous amount of foreign aid doesn’t seem to hinge on whether the United States is actually blessed or not. Do we give less when our domestic economy suffers? I think not. The amount just goes up every year and America is too busy blessing others to ask if God is blessing us, too.)
But I submit to you that the blessings America passes on to other nations don’t end with money. The American Dream is our best export. Millions of people around the world enjoy freedom and prosperity today because the U.S. believes democracy and liberty are worth sharing. Even worth warring. (“Gasp! Did she say ‘war’???”)
I suppose that’s why this notion of blessing America at the “expense” of other countries struck me as not only ludicrous but so offensive that I desperately wanted to indulge in a little Volvo bashing.
Maybe next time.