Patriotism  

mtnscribe 64M
41 posts
7/4/2006 5:35 pm

Last Read:
10/15/2006 7:14 pm

Patriotism


Today is the 4th of July. A national celebration, but a celebration of for the most part long ago abandoned values. We "say" we celebrate liberty today. Liberty is a very important thing, and surely was a very important thing for our founders, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Washington. We honor it today only in the breach. One can imagine James Madison, the principal father of the Bill of rights, trying to figure out why, after he crafted the majestic First Amendment, we need to devote ourselves to a national debate about flag desecration. It is the freedom of expression he was concerned about....the notion that the fathers of our liberty would have put a mere symbol of our country above one of its principal ideals is mere idiocy....but yet we do, in a forlorn, spoon fed belief that the symbol is somehow more important than the principle. That is shameful, and disrespectful of their courage and sacrifice.

Our Constitution enshrined in its words the temporary sanctity of slavery. That was a political decision, because it was necessary to obtain the necessary votes for ratification. But by the time of Lincoln, who ranks with our founders in courage, principles, and dedication to the constitution, it was clear that we could not have it both ways as a political principle. We could not be the America envisioned by the founders, and yet still tolerate among our ranks the concept of enslaving fellow human beings. Do not be deceived about this....whatever you may have been taught to believe, the root cause of the civil war was slavery, or the political issues surrounding it (the Missouri compromise, the debate over Kansas and nebraska). Hundreds of thousands of Americans died in that battle....a battle over the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and madison's first ten amendments to the Constitution.

And yet here we are, 117 years since the Constitution was ratified, debating whether we should strip American citizens of the principal rights guaranteed them...most important among them the right to be left alone by their govt, because of their sexual orientation. I care not a whit what your values are in terms of whether being gay is a godly thing or not. It matters not to me even a little. what i do know is that the founding fathers we purport to so celebrate today would have been united in their belief that, whatever else is true, it is not the business of the government. And it is surely not the business of a constitutional amendment to annex to the beautiful document they so carefully crafted a provision of law enshrining for all time a form of arbitrary discrimination.

So when we gaze in rapture at the splendid fireworks displays tonight, and when we give a little lip sevice to our own particular brand of "patriotism", it would be nice if at least some of us would remember that what we really celebrat this day is a set of principles, a collection of views about the relation of man to his government, and not merely a flag.....and certainly not any particular theological viewpoint.

If the foregoing resonates with you, then you have the right to call youself a true American....but if you hate gays and think they should be stripped of all rights, or feel similarly about blacks, or hispanics, or asians, or Catholics, or baptists, or muslims.....well...then you remain lucky enuf perhaps to live in America...but you can never be a true American.

Being a real American is more than flags, more than mouthing support for the troops...it is about sharing with others sometimes very different from ourselves a common commitment to a set of principles that are often very difficult to live by. If you have that commitment, and if you genuinely honor our founders for their guts, their sacrifices for their beliefs in what is right, and their courage, then have a splendid 4th of July. You have earned it. If not....well..enjoy the hot dogs, the ice cream, the watermelon, and the fireworks.....but don't tell me you are a genuine American......you are merely a pretender.

Scribe

akron42   
2375 posts
7/4/2006 6:20 pm

I'm so glad to see this issue addressed! I am a firm believer in gay rights, including marriage. I don't feel the government should be able to dictate who we can or can't marry. And all these politicians whose platform screams that they are for a "moral" America and spout their religious views? What happened to separation of Church and State? My husband disagreed with me on gay marriages being made legal until I put it to him like this. What is to stop the government from saying that he and I can't be married? And I don't want to hear all the BS about "Well next you'll have people marrying farm animals". That is an ignorant point of view. We're talking about two human beings being allowed the same rights and priveleges as the next two human beings. BTW, who are they hurting? Really, who? It is so hard in today's world to find somebody to love. I say, if you find somebody, nobody should be able to come between that. thank you for letting me rant! Have a great 4th.


nightstalker172 36M
1258 posts
7/4/2006 11:24 pm

America: Freedom to Fascism....look it up and check it out..its a movie coming out this month...its very intersting.


ProspectorsPlace 67M/64F

7/10/2006 11:33 am

Scribe,

What you wrote was nothing short of fantastic.. It mirrors my thoughts.

Many years ago when I joined the Military, I swore to Defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.. My retirement from the Army did not release me from that oath...

I am proud to say that I am a proud American..

Prospector /l\


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Veritas vos Liberabit–Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

Prospector /l\


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