Defending our way of life is critical, not just for ourselves, but for the world. God does exist. Prayers are answered. The founding of the United States of America was an answer to prayer.

For 395 years since the Pilgrims first sought political asylum in a new land, people have sought opportunity in a new world. This seeking was based on inherent instincts deep within their souls desiring freedom to implement their God-given authority over their own families. This emotion was so pervasive they were willing to risk everything in their journey, even recognizing that the forces of nature were a tremendous threat.

In the 1700s and 1800s, immigrants came to this country, first through the British Colonies and then the United States of America, for a new start in life. The French government in 1865 bestowed upon the USA the Statue of Liberty to commemorate our close ties and relationships throughout our history, especially in the Revolutionary War. The most famous quote associated with the Statue is, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Immigration to the United States not only included the poor, huddles masses, it also included entrepreneurs, merchants, investors, inventors and artists looking for a new opportunity for the pursuit of happiness. We have envisioned ourselves as a nation open to all comers. But what did we assume? That the one common denominator of all applicants for entry was that they embraced the American way of life, that freedom to breathe free was paramount at the base of their emotion.

Today we can no longer rely upon this assumption. There are those in the world who have a distorted view of humanity. They believe that civilization is better served by oppression and slavery to an ideology that does not represent individual freedom or respect human dignity. They have contempt for our way of life.

What is the American ideal that in the past has led to the Americanization of immigrants versus radicalization? Noted author Peggy Noonan asked this very question in her latest editorial. She references two pillars of principles fundamental to the U.S. Constitution – freedom of religion and freedom of speech, “…the two pillars without which America collapses.” She further warns that what is being advanced by certain elected officials, the national press, and college campus leaders, is … “a real threat to what used to be called normal Americans.”

In the British House of Commons recently, Hilary Benn, the shadow foreign secretary of the liberal Labour Party, called on his colleagues to defend the common beliefs of Great Britain. He is a leader of the opposition party in Parliament, yet he beseeched all members of Parliament to rise for tolerance, decency, and democracy, to stand together in defiance of fascists. Like in World War II, socialists, trade unions, and others joined the International Brigade. He received a raucous ovation for his comments.

Following the carnage in San Bernardino, certain elected officials and national press reporters ridiculed Republican candidates for President for offering prayers of support. According to Noonan, one tweet stated, “Please shut up and slink away.” Another reporter: “Your thoughts and prayers don’t mean a damn thing.” A reporter at the Huffington Post chastised public officials for “useless thoughts and prayers.” And finally, a reporter of the Daily Kos: “How many dead people did those thoughts and prayers bring back to life?”

Such comments about the heartfelt exercise of the Christian faith is not just demeaning and distasteful, it is disdainful. Much is mentioned about the protection of the Islamic faith. Such reflection is valuable. Where is the equal respect for Christianity?

We have a right as Americans to believe as Christians as our forefathers did over 300 years ago. This legacy has been handed down to us by past generations who were willing to sacrifice for freedom and hope.  Such principles have produced a society unparalleled in the advancement of equal rights and respect for human dignity. Our way of life is worth defending.

Should we close the borders to Muslim immigrants? Not based on religion. But further monitoring the visas of all immigrants, demanding further measure of their activities, and asking them to work with our government to obey and respect our laws is appropriate.

It may be that the vast majority of all immigrants are law-abiding visitors seeking a new opportunity like our ancestors of the 18th, 19th and 20thcenturies. Their intent may be to become part of the “great melting pot.” However, we often lock our doors at night, not because we fear that a majority of people are going to rob us, but to protect ourselves from the very few who by design intend to harm us. If we are in fact at war with ISIS and they are taking advantage of our free and open system, we have an obligation to protect ourselves through tighter scrutiny and security at our borders. The priority should be on safety, not the world image of Islam. Islamic countries worldwide should be leading in the effort to declare how they’re going to help defend America against the radical elements of their faith.

The Statue of Liberty represents freedom and hope for all peoples. It is a dramatic symbol of the American experiment. At night, her torch can be seen for miles in the darkness surrounding New York harbor. In the darkness of the world today, this light is still the light of hope that the world so desperately needs. The British believe in themselves and are united in their purpose to defend what they inherently know is an honorable way of life. We too should be so committed.

The definition of the normal American is one who believes in rule of law, due process, and fair play. He or she is committed to the rights of all to pursue happiness as they see fit without undue interference from the government. Americans have always believed in helping others and welcoming immigrants for the purpose of maintaining the great melting pot. In the assimilation of peoples, based upon the Constitution of the United States, prosperity and freedom are advanced.

Defending our way of life is critical, not just for ourselves, but for the world. God does exist. Prayers are answered. The founding of the United States of America was an answer to prayer.

We do not have to make excuses. We do not have to vex over the ridicule of shallow intellects.

We only have to defend the principles on which we stand.

My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.

What do you believe?