July 4th done right: Family, friends, patriotism, and faith

We celebrated Independence Day the right way, with neighbors who are the essence of America’s strength.

This year, as we’ve done every Independence Day for the past four years, we went to our neighbors’ house, where they have a big party for the family and a few friends. Most of the people assembled are Filipinos. While the children were all born in America, many of the parents and all the grandparents were born in the Philippines. Most of the adult men, whether younger or older, have served in the United States military, as have some of the adult women.

Every year, I come away with exactly the same impressions:

1. I love Filipino food. Our hostess is a fabulous traditional cook, as are the people who bring even more food. (We bring drinks.)

2. The hosts, their family, and their friends are true patriots who love their adopted country (if born in the Philippines) or their natal country. That’s why so many of them served in the military and are intensely proud of their service.

3. Coming as they do from a Catholic culture, everyone there is Christian, with Catholicism as the predominant faith. They don’t mind at all that I’m Jewish.

4. The older generations, who came from the Philippines, understand that Americans are incredibly lucky in some ways, for even the poor people here are rich by Philippine standards — that is, rich in material goods.

5. The same generation also understands that many in America are tremendously poor by Philippine standards. That’s because we Americans are plagued by broken families, social isolation, and drug abuse. When our host made that point, I thought of Proverbs 15:17, which says, “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” In other words, better to live in a poor but loving home than in a rich home without love. The Philippines offer plenty of the former, while America has too much of the latter.

6. Although the grandchildren, having grown up in the safety and comfort of their middle-class families, cannot really comprehend that things were harder for their parents and grandparents, they’re really good kids because they understand the important thing: the family matters. Their families, both nuclear and extended, are made up of the people who teach them their values, love them, and will always have their backs.

What the kids don’t realize is that the family unit is the strongest thing there is, and it’s the greatest bulwark there is against tyranny. All modern tyrants work to sever children from their families. That’s why the left is pushing aberrant sexuality on children across America. Lefitsts understand that there are two survival imperatives: food and water, on the one hand, and sex, on the other hand. Of course, sex, standing alone is not a survival imperative. Procreation is. But as many species will tell you, sex can be awful. In humans, though, whether thanks to Intelligent Design or Evolution (whichever floats your boat), sex is pleasurable to ensure procreation.

If you want power over people, you take control of their survival imperatives. Thankfully, our government isn’t yet at the point of Stalin or Mao, who understood that starving obstreperous peasants was the best way to bring the people in line, although the focus on bugs as food has an ominous quality.

Instead, having gone as far as they could with using race to fracture American society along racial lines, the leftists controlling our institutions have switched to sex as a way to destroy the family unit. To that end, the has ratcheted up on offering kindergarten sex ed, grade school technique tips, and middle school condoms, pills, and abortions. The message is clear: Your parents are keeping you away from the real fun in life.

Parent-children relationships, though, can survive ordinary sexuality. What can destroy that tight bond is a government that uses the education system to divorce children from their own bodies. Nine times out of ten, these children relate breaks with their families; that is, unless their families are composed of people like Jazz Jennings’ mom, who gives every indication that her son’s alleged “male-to-female transgenderism” serves her needs more than his.

And when leftists are in charge of the government, the parents who won’t get on board with gender madness will find themselves charged with child abuse or losing custody in divorce battles. Indeed, California is on the verge of making that the law, while many states have made it de facto law: It’s not on the books, but it’s still being enforced by child “protection” agencies and the courts.

With that in mind, I told our host (who is very conservative) that, whether he realizes it or not, he and his family are soldiers in the war to protect our children and our country. That’s because our neighbors have it all: Family, friends, patriotism, and faith. I count my blessings daily, and having wonderful neighbors like this, people who give real meaning to Independence Day, is very much one of my blessings.

Image from 1916 (colorized). Library of Congress collection.