free flying soul

"this world has nothing for me and this world has everything...all that I could want and nothing that I need"

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Location: Macclesfield, North Carolina, United States

Born: 1970; Graduated High School: 1988; Married: 1991; Children: 1996, 2000, 2005; Graduated College: 2008; Figured Out This Faith Thing: In Progress

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I've Got The Patriotism Blues

Please don't get me wrong...I am so thankful that I was born in America. There's no other country that I'd rather live in and I appreciate the freedoms I have. BUT I hate this time of the year. I hate all of the patriotic mumbo jumbo and the endless parade of war movies on television. Last night we were treated to Black Hawk Down AND Saving Private Ryan. I did find it interesting that BHD was being played on FX and had been edited for content. Mr. Spielberg's film was playing on another network and was being presented in unedited form. Why is he given special benefits and other film makers aren't? Is the f-bomb any less offensive or profane because it's in HIS movie? Are blood and guts any less gruesome because they're being splattered around Tom Hanks and not Ewan McGregor? That's really not where I was going with this though, so I'll turn back onto the intended path. I just thought it was an interesting observation.

My intended rant revolves around patriotism in the church. Once a year we drag out the flags and America-themed ties and sing those dusty relics that we once sang in school. My question, and it REALLY nagged at me today, is whether or not The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful have any place in a corporate worship service. I picked those two because they were on the menu at my local church this morning. My Country Tis Of Thee was also played and everyone seemed truly proud to be an American. I played along but I can honestly say that I didn't give it my all. I'm just glad that we didn't recite the pledge or anything like that. Like I said earlier, I think it's okay to be patriotic. I'm not one of those people however. Thankful...yes. Glad...yes. Proud...I'm afraid not.

Someone sang a song for special music that contained this line:

We must rule the world
with Staff and Rod in hand.

I cringed when I heard it. I know the lady meant well and I consider her to be one of my friends, I just can't share the same sentiment. I don't believe it is our duty OR our God ordained right to be the leaders of the world. I've heard many folks talk about how much God has ordained and annointed this country. I'm sorry people...I just don't see it. We are not a Christian nation. I would go so far as to say that our supposed Christian origins are more exaggerated than we like to think. I've done some reading and have come to the conclusion that many of our founding fathers weren't the upright God-fearing men that the songs claim them to be.

I don't write this to start a debate because I'm sure that there are MANY of you out there on BOTH sides of the patriotic fence that know MUCH more than I ever will. I tend to sit right on the middle of that fence. Those over-the-top patriots frighten me and those who claim to hate this country are full of crap. I think there definitely should be some balance. You can support your government without mindlessly following and condoning every single thing it does. If you are on the other side and think America is some evil, corrupt institution with no redeeming values...leave. No one is making you stay here.

I've been accused, by some of my more politically conservative friends, of being non-patriotic because I often criticize the government. I say I AM a patriot because I hold my leaders accountable. I expect MUCH more out of them than they seem to be willing to give. Call me old-fashioned, but I expect my elected officials to do the right thing no matter what the cost. Regardless of what party they belong to, I want my leaders to be above reproach.

Oh well...I said that I wasn't going to wax political in here. I guess this is my once a year rant. I really am thankful to be an American and I enjoy the Fourth of July just as much as the next guy. Think about it this way...what other country encourages to knock back a beer, cook a dead animal on fire, and blow things up...all at the same time? You gotta love America.


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