There was a time countries would replicate the standard America represented, from its music, culture, and even the standard of morality. Although some countries vocalized America as being imperialistic, deep down the same countries were envious of America’s robust economy and strong moral fiber that seemed to be part of its citizens.
For generations missionaries were America’s shining example of attempting to instill standards that made this country great, from the Judeo-Christian values, to the fierce independence and individuality set by the higher calling each United States citizen seemed to have.
The church was the core of American society, not only for worship, but for community activities and even its entertainment. Evangelizing the world is part of the Great Commission and American religious groups took the task seriously by demonstrating with their lives and their words.
American movies and television projected an inaccurate portrait of American life to those living in foreign lands as thought America was full of beautiful people living in a lifestyle similar to what appeared on American television shows as Dallas and Dynasty. Many outside America really believed those two shows displayed a reality of American life.
Having a decadent lifestyle image gave the false impression that America was soft, play-boyish, and had no interest at all in dedicating itself to hard work. Many of America’s enemies incorrectly believed that Americans had no stomach for adversity in a society seemed geared for hedonism.
One attribute that seemed to separate America from others was its passion for right or wrong. America may have earned a reputation of being too permissive, however America’s desire for fair play and what is right seemed to be coded in the DNA of each individual.
There has been a huge shift away from the standards America believed less than a generation ago. From less than 15-years ago when both Republicans and Democrats forged the Defense of Marriage Act into a national policy to the current position where the marriage definition is being reinvented to meet a more liberal expectation.
The real issue is not what America thinks, but what the world may be thinking about redefining the definition of marriage. There are countries following our example to some degree, however there are some countries as France and Nigeria that are clearly not for gay marriage. Nigeria has laws in place making gay marriage and even the practice of homosexuality illegal.
Morality has different meanings in different cultures and one should not expect all types of human behavior to be validated in every culture. Expecting total acceptance of a sexual preference for every culture is an unrealistic expectation. Slavery is accepted today in certain cultures, however slavery is a moral question for each society to determine. The moral question that needs to be answered regarding abortion, the death penalty, homosexuality or other moral topics are determined by the progressiveness of each society.
The marriage definition was exported with missionaries using evangelistic outreaches going out to various countries. Ideals as the marriage concept were an interpretation that the majority of people subscribed. Rights needed to be brought up to speed for gay couples without a doubt, but under the correct definitions of civil unions or domestic partnerships. The resistance towards expanding the marriage definition has been a world-wide issue, not just one of the American public.
Now America domestically has reversed course on marriage, however what America once represented still resonates with many countries as France and Nigeria. Particularly Nigeria, which suffered from an AIDS epidemic, has rebuffed the new interpretation of marriage that is being politicized in the United States. Countries as France are not embracing the new definition of marriage and it is not due to religion because the French represent a highly secular society.
America is not being followed so readily with the new morality it is touting, not only with marriage, but with birth control, abortion, or America’s brand of secularism that is pushing religion and the standards it represents out of the mainstream thinking. Countries as Nigeria have taken the standards that used to guide the United States a lot more seriously.
We really should not blame France or Nigeria for having a people with such rigid standards for things as traditional marriage. After all, these ideals were exported from the United States.