Reprinted with permissionLAND THAT I LOVE
By Alan H. Lake of Grandpa Lake’s Weblog July 21, 2009 In 2006, I left the land of my birth, the United States of America, and moved to Finland. My only reason for moving was to be wed to a woman that I loved, a Finn. I still love her dearly. But I miss my homeland. At the time I left America, I was living on my Social Security retirement because an ex-wife had cleaned me out financially. I was poor. I’m still poor. The dollar is worth less than the euro, so my buying power is reduced. But we do have socialized medicine here. We get a housing allowance from the government. My wife gets unemployment insurance. I believe that she gets more here than she would with the same work history in the States. Moreover, she’ll get it for a longer period of time. If we moved to the States, life would be much rougher financially. So, why should I complain about life here? I think that a part of the reason is that I do not feel that I have a right to the money that other people earn unless they voluntarily give it to me. According to God’s law, to take a man’s money by coercion to give it to another is still theft, even if the civil law makes it legal. When I look at a governmental policy, I don’t think solely in terms of how it will effect me. I look at how it will effect all of those governed. Getting back to my dissatisfaction with Finland, I should note that salaries here are approximately half of what an American worker doing the same job would get. But the taxes are much higher. People here don’t complain about what their government is doing. They may not even understand that their nanny state government is taking more from them than their money. They plod through their existence here doing the best that they can. One can understand why Finns are heavy drinkers. A local joke says that, if you see a man on the street smiling, you know that he is crazy, drunk, American or all of the above. Stated another way, a sane, sober, Finnish man does not smile, nor does he look you in the eye. On the streets, he looks past you or, more likely, at the ground. The welfare state has robbed him of his manhood. Men are, by nature, risk takers and innovators. Here, risk taking is discouraged. Life is so regulated that one’s ability to try something new is severely limited. In the Finnish language, “safety” and “security” are the same word. These two things are very important to women, so the Finnish women I’ve spoken with think that the state does very well with providing these things. Men aren’t really needed to provide what is most important to women. Men are not all that significant. Yet significance is one of the greater needs of men. Because the state is the Great Provider, the church in Finland is quite insignificant also. What’s worse is that people extend their attitude about the church to the Almighty. He is insignificant. About 81% of the Finnish people belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Most go to be baptized, to be confirmed, to be married and to be buried. A minister here told me that confirmation is a social custom having little to do with one’s convictions. Marriage means little here. What Americans call “shacking up” is just as respectable here as marriage. Another minister told me that the state’s provision of the people’s needs has eliminated the necessity for people to love one another. So, they don’t. They keep to themselves and expect others to do likewise. I am aware that America has been edging toward socialism for most of my nearly seven decades. Obama has put this move into high gear so that people are finally able to see what socialism is going to mean for our country. Americans are beginning to stand up to fight this abomination. But they are fighting primarily on the economic front. The real problem is spiritual. We want to be provided for by an entity we can see. We’d rather be cared for by government than by God. Our minds and hearts must be changed. I want to add my voice and ideas to the call for change back to what our founding Creationists gave us. America has a vision that Finland and other countries don’t have. Americans must fight for that vision, or it will die in America, too. So, why is my heart in the Land That I Love, my country? Because I’m a Christian. Because I’m an American. And because I’m a man.