Culture is context. Context defines who we are, as human beings. Culture determines values, as they impact how one assesses "right and wrong". In the West, we depend on reason and use science to bring understanding. American culture affirms individuals and their 'reason". This is a universal as it allows diverse views within a unified nation. Or are we unified?
Many are concerned as our country is divided by the political realm. Our strengh could become our weakness if we do not continue to be open to "reason". Whether one values Republican or Deomocratic values, as it concerns social issues, we must learn to listen and THINK! Otherwise, we are headed to divide our nation and defeat progress in legislation, and our culture's impact on other needs she has.
I find that the ultimate value of our First Amendment right to freely allow information to flow, so that we can be better informed and make rational decisions, and become more "whole individual's as it concerns our own personal development. We have the tools in America to "become" because of our freedoms. Let us use them and defend them.
If Culture becomes an icon, we are headed for totaltarianism of some kind. Government cannot enforce itself upon human beings without there being oppressive. This is why we allow certain freedoms. Religious tradtions sometimes feels threatened by progressiveness, as tradition's understanding of itself is to remain "true" or "loyal" to what has been understood to be of value. And "god" is the ultimate value of religion. "God" in the modern West is being re-defined according to science's "evolution" and understanding of the physical world. This is troubling to some, as it undermines the personal, as understood in conservative or evangelical terms. I think the personal should be undermined, as otherwise, it becomes the "god of one's idolatry". God cannot be understood in complete form, so this should comfort those who fear science's challenge to religion's value and loyalty to "god".
America is the universal standard for an "ideal" government, as the ideal is connected to the real world and it allows the personal to "exist" in the indivdiual's values, and convictions. America affirms the universals of freedom and justice for all, because of its affirmation of all voices in the public square.