AMERICA: The Good?

On October 28, 2016 by Bobby Blakey

“America is great because America is good.”

Have you heard Hillary Clinton say this?

I have. She said it at the DNC. She said it at the debates. At first, I thought she was responding to Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”

A few days from now, one of these candidates will be our next president.   They have both promised if we vote for them America will be “great.” But if we vote for the other one it will be the end of our country as we know it!

Now, I need to be careful writing this. I am a pastor not a political commentator. A lot of my Christian brothers and sisters are saying things this election season…

Let’s not say something about these two candidates now, we can’t say to God when we pray for one of them as president on November 8th (1 Timothy 2:1-2).


But what does she mean? “America is great because America is good.”

Hillary Clinton isn’t the first Clinton to say this. Her husband Bill once said in a speech: “America is great because America is good; and if America ever ceases to be good, she will no longer be great.”

Turns out he wasn’t even the first president to say it. Ronald Reagan used the quote. Perhaps Dwight Eisenhower was the first president to use it. He referred to Alexis de Tocqueville as the source of the quote. Tocqueville was a Frenchman who visited America in the 1830s and wrote the classic political work: Democracy in America. Here is the full, unedited quote in all of its greatness:

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America

in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers- and it was not there…

in her fertile fields and boundless forests- and it was not there…

in her rich mines and her vast world commerce- and it was not there…

in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution- and it was not there.

Not until I went into the churches of America

and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness

did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because she is good,

and if America ever ceases to be good,

she will cease to be great.”

As a pastor, you can imagine how much I enjoyed this quote saying the greatness of America is in the church preaching righteousness… (Pulpits aflame?!… Can I get an AMEN?!)

Yet, I don’t think this is what Hillary Clinton meant by American greatness when I heard her.

And I am still not sure what Donald Trump means by making America great again.

This quote reveals the source of our election confusion: How do we define the greatness of America?

There is also confusion regarding the source of the quote. People have actually read Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America and they say this quote is not in there! Ironically, president after president and now Hillary Clinton are all referring to a quote that does not actually exist!

Is it possible past presidents and our current presidential candidates are referring to American greatness and don’t even know what they are talking about?!

If we want to answer the question of what made America a great nation then we have to go back to the beginning.

Our first president said America was great because God is good!

No really, George Washington himself said this at our very first presidential inauguration:

No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand,

which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States.

If you go back to the Bill of Rights, the first one addressed is the freedom of religion…  Is it possible America is such a unique nation in the history of the world because it was founded on the unique premise of religious freedom?

If you go back to the Declaration of Independence then:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights

If you go back even further than the speeches and documents of our founding fathers, you will study a time period in American history referred to as the GREAT AWAKENING.

Entire towns gathered to hear a man named George Whitefield preach the gospel: the only way a man could ever be righteous was by believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Is it possible the idea of American equality comes from Whitefield’s preaching that everyone is equal at the foot of the cross?

All of us are souls who have fallen into sin.

All of us are offered forgiveness in Jesus.

Men and women, white and black, rich and poor… there is only one way for all of us to be righteous… it is the righteous blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross.

This election season America needs to know where we can go to find hope:

It is not just in the government, but also in the church.

It is not just in the voting booth, but also in the prayer closet.

It is not just in a presidential candidate, but in the one who rules over nations and kings.  The hope for American greatness is in the greatness of God himself.

November 8th is election day. As a citizen, I plan on voting for our next president.

But more importantly, I plan on praying GOD REVIVE AMERICA!


(Join us at Compass HB for our GOD REVIVE AMERICA event on Tuesday November 8th at 6:30 PM!  There will be dinner and ministry for children.  We will worship God and study how he is the one who rules the nations.  He turns the hearts of kings wherever he wills.  We will watch election results in real time and immediately pray for our new president.  Most of all, we will pray for God to do a great work of revival in our country and turn many hearts back to him! We would love to have you join us in person or you can join us online at

2 Responses to “AMERICA: The Good?”

  • Jay Rubin

    A huge Amen! Well Said Pastor Bobby

  • Sharon

    “Is it possible the idea of American equality comes from Whitefield’s preaching everyone is equal at the foot of the cross?”

    Well said Pastor Bobby! Great read! Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.