Smooth Slider
The flag pin does not make this Vietnam War dodger a patriot.

You Won't Spot Most Patriots - They Generally Don't Wear Flag Pins.

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." - George Bernard Shaw. Patriotism is an odd sort of thing. It seems perfectly reasonable to cast your lot with your family and friends. After all you know them. And it makes ...

Read the full article

If God saved Dr. Kent Brantly, why didn't He save the 1,350+ who have so far died of Ebola?

Really? 8.24.14 - A Capricious God; Politicos Enshrined; Perry, the Ugly Gringo; ISIS Would do Better to Recruit Serial Killers.

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” ― Galileo Galilei Dr. Kent Brantly is a good man and a Christian. He is to be commended for going to Liberia to care for the ...

Read the full article

Christians Find a Reason to Hate the Ice Water ALS Challenge.

The ALS bucket of ice water challenge has raised millions for ALS research. You would have thought that would have been appreciated universally. But fundamentalist Christians have a problem - because they believe the research may include the use of embryonic stem cells. I do not know how useful embryonic stem ...

Read the full article

Obama Derangement Syndrome - Benghazi/ISIS

The following is an email sent out by a group with a severe case of Obama Derangement Syndrome. These are not people who understand reason nor do they trust facts. I do not know if there is a cure. The battle over Benghazi is about to begin. Web Version  |  Unsubscribe Facebook Twitter Donate DID OBAMA ARM ISIS ...

Read the full article

Really? - 8.19.14 - Cops Gone Wild; The Tea Party doesn't Understand Satire; Love is a Liberal Plot; Coming to Jesus.

“God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.” ― Voltaire A piece in 'Raw Story' describes how Habersham County, GA. refuses to pay the medical costs of a toddler severely injured and burned in a botched drug raid. The point that the author makes is that in an ...

Read the full article

“Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” – George Bernard Shaw.

Patriotism is an odd sort of thing. It seems perfectly reasonable to cast your lot with your family and friends. After all you know them. And it makes sense to feel a bond to your community. These are people that you know by sight, say hello to, even if you don’t necessarily know their names. But move beyond that, to say your state, and the reason for loyalty becomes less clear.

I suppose it can be argued that there is safety in numbers. And most states – having more than 1 million residents – bring the comfort  of shared security. But love of country – especially one as large as the US – stretches it far.

A confusing message.

A confusing message.

Even people who claim through-and-through patriotism often pledge allegiance to a fantastical country called the “good old US of A” rather than the messy, imperfect country we live in. In their utopia, other people – whose politics or religion they disagree with – aren’t “real Americans”. Which leads to a conundrum – you can’t wish these contrarians away – and if they aren’t real Americans, then they are real what? (Don’t answer – this is a family page.)

It’s not new. In fact we are lucky that the divisions in this country are expressed in vitriol, and not in gunfire, as once they were. Many of today’s patriots cleave to ‘Old Glory’, while bowing a knee to the ‘Stars and Bars’ and adorning their trucks with Confederate battle flags. And it isn’t just Southerners. Johnny Rebs’ descendants are found in every state.

Some may argue that the country resembles a family and that while families fight they come together in times of strife. That is not a good analogy for the US. We may have rallied behind FDR after Pearl Harbor. We did made common cause behind W. after 9/11.

But despite the fact that Republicans warn us the US faces calamity from ISIS, they do not rally behind the President. They don’t even present a competing strategy – patriotism certainly doesn’t demand obeisance – they just run to the nearest microphone and whine. The idea that our differences end at the shoreline is quaint.

So what makes a patriot? Those who fight are patriots. Parents of service members are patriots Those who serve at home are patriots. Those who volunteer are patriots. People who look out for their community are patriots. Patriots vote. Patriots know their country’s history.

Sorry Dick, the flag pin doesn't wipe away the draft dodging.

Sorry Dick, the flag pin doesn’t wipe away the draft dodging.

Draft dodgers are not patriots – but those who refuse to fight because of conscience may be. (See Muhammad Ali). Waving a flag does not make you a patriot – especially the Gadsen flag. Owning a gun doesn’t make you a patriot. Wearing a flag pin doesn’t make you a patriot. Putting your hand on your heart while listening, teary-eyed, to the national anthem does not make you a patriot. People who send our young to die in wars based on a lie are definitely not patriots.

Contrast two Americans. One, Nathan Hale - “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” and Dick Cheney - “I had other priorities in the 60′s than military service.” The patriot is easy to spot.

Samuel Johnson famously said, Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Which is not to say that all patriots are scoundrels by any means. But as Jesus admonished “… when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Which is to say – be modest in your patriotism or be counted a hypocrite.

 

{ 0 comments }

Really? 8.24.14 – A Capricious God; Politicos Enshrined; Perry, the “Ugly Gringo”; ISIS Would do Better to Recruit Serial Killers.

August 24, 2014

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” ― Galileo Galilei Dr. Kent Brantly is a good man and a Christian. He is to be commended for going to Liberia to care for the victims of Ebola – [...]

Read the full article →

“Christians” Find a Reason to Hate the Ice Water ALS Challenge.

August 22, 2014

The ALS bucket of ice water challenge has raised millions for ALS research. You would have thought that would have been appreciated universally. But fundamentalist Christians have a problem – because they believe the research may include the use of embryonic stem cells. I do not know how useful embryonic stem cells will prove in [...]

Read the full article →

Obama Derangement Syndrome – Benghazi/ISIS

August 21, 2014

The following is an email sent out by a group with a severe case of Obama Derangement Syndrome. These are not people who understand reason nor do they trust facts. I do not know if there is a cure. The battle over Benghazi is about to begin. Web Version  |  Unsubscribe Facebook Twitter Donate DID OBAMA ARM [...]

Read the full article →

Really? – 8.19.14 – Cops Gone Wild; The Tea Party doesn’t Understand Satire; Love is a Liberal Plot; Coming to Jesus.

August 19, 2014

“God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh.” ― Voltaire A piece in ‘Raw Story’ describes how Habersham County, GA. refuses to pay the medical costs of a toddler severely injured and burned in a botched drug raid. The point that the author makes is that in an increasingly authoritarian state [...]

Read the full article →

The Liberian Ebola Conspiracy Theorists are Rank Amateurs Compared to Our Loonies

August 18, 2014

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”  ― Marcus Aurelius,  ‘Meditations’. There is wild speculation is West Africa over the causes of the Ebola outbreak and the role played by the Liberian government in the epidemic. Speculation so wacky it [...]

Read the full article →

Really? 8.17.14 Cops who think they are soldiers; Biblical illiterates; Losing religion; A putz; Huckabee loves big gov’t.

August 17, 2014

The Ferguson PD’s reaction to the protests over Michael Brown‘s slaying has shone a bright light on the militarization of local police departments. It turns out that there are federal programs, in place since the early 1990s, to sell military surplus to police departments. The federal government often provides grants to finance the purchase. The [...]

Read the full article →

The Ferguson Affair is no Reason to Abolish the EPA.

August 15, 2014

“If men were angels no government would be necessary” – James Madison The Ferguson PD deployed armored vehicles and heavily armed, camouflaged officers to counter the protests over the Michael Brown killing. Libertarians are leaping on that overreaction to decry a government grown too large; too authoritarian; too fascist. Their solution? Dispense with the whole [...]

Read the full article →

Ferguson Isn’t 1776 – But There Are Some Common Themes.

August 14, 2014

“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.” ― Booker T. Washington America celebrates its birth as a triumph of the oppressed over their oppressors. But when the oppressed in America revolt today, the establishment sniffs. I suppose that when you are the children of revolutionaries, you celebrate those revolutionaries. But when you are [...]

Read the full article →