Dear Mr. President,

You have continually remarked that the threat posed by ISIS or ISIL or DAESH – whatever acronym you choose – “a rose by any other name is still a rose” – is not that great. You have referred to them as the JV team. You have said they hold no real power.

I wonder if that is not how King George III viewed the colonists who were causing him difficulties over two hundred years ago. They were a rag-tag bunch by his standards, not a real fighting-force. Who would have thought a bunch of shop-keepers and farmers could defeat the British Redcoats?

Motivation makes a difference. Those colonists were motivated by a desire for freedom to choose for themselves what path they would trod. The Islamist terrorists are motivated by their religious belief that their way is the only way and they are willing to kill if you do not share that belief. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. He tells me that the only way to God is through him but he doesn’t ask me to kill anyone who doesn’t believe as I do. Instead he tells me to love them. That is the difference in our faith.

The king in England scoffed at the idea that the colonists were a real threat to his power but here we are in 2016, a nation that calls to the oppressed of the world, offering freedom to “be”, freedom to become whatever you can dream. I believe that is what we have that is different from the rest of the world. We are viewed as the “Land of Opportunity” for a reason.

What we are not, is a land where we are insured against every possible calamity. Such is life. Bad things happen to everyone sometime in their lifetime. It is the difficulties that make us stronger. I fear that in trying to make life easier for our children and grandchildren we have, in fact, made things more difficult. For we have not given them the tools they need to survive in this world, let alone succeed.

Jesus said that we will always have the poor with us, not because we don’t care but because in a free society people have the right to make bad choices. Whether we agree or not we must allow others to fail. Any parent can tell you that it is not easy to watch your child headed for a fall, knowing that the choices they are making are going to cause them grief. But for some that is the only way they will learn. It is the same with our government programs. We cannot insure against bad choices.

If we truly value freedom then we must accept that some people will make poor choices and with those poor choices come poor consequences. But all is not lost. Our country is also the most compassionate country because our people are the most compassionate people. Even when the misfortune is caused by poor choices there are those who will reach out a helping hand. It is usually the hand of a person of faith because Jesus teaches us not to judge but to love.

So on this day when we celebrate the founding of our nation I pray that our people will recognize that it is not the government who will take care of us but it is that “we the people” will care for each other as led by the Holy Spirit. I pray that God will guide you and our legislators as you make the decisions that impact all of our lives and I pray His blessing on us all.

God Bless Amreica!