Patriotism is difficult to define or understand for several reasons. The primary one is that it is such a subjective concept, it is how an individual loves or views their community or nation. This can mean blind obedience, it can mean casual affection, it can mean a wide variety of attitudes.
There are two basic kinds of patriotism or love of country dominant in America today. They seem to divide evenly along partisan lines, and the result is that both claim to be patriotic in their own way, and attack the other's patriotism.
The first is the old fashioned kind of patriotism: this is my nation and I live here, I love where I live, and I honor the great things my country has done. I hang a flag out front not only for special events, but because I'm proud to be an American. This patriotism loves the nation that exists, and both hopes and works for better.
The second is the kind of patriotism that owes allegiance not to the nation but to a set of ideals they admire. This patriotism loves not the nation as it is, but the nation as it would be if they could make it so. This is the kind of patriotism that delights in one's dream of how things could be and loves that rather than the actual way things are.
In a sense, this kind of patriotism echoes that sentiments of the founding fathers, who spoke enduringly of liberty and virtue, of the dreams of a nation who brought justice to all and a place where men could be free to live without tyrants and oppression. Their allegiance was to no sovereign (save God, most pointed out), and not to America, but to the ideals of liberty. The thing is, much of these statements and things that were written were before the independence of America. Their loyalty had to be for a nation that did not yet exist... because it literally did not yet exist. Indeed, the colonial soldiers and the rebels against the English crown called themselves patriots and most said they loved the king and England, but were fighting for liberty, not against England.
The problem with the first kind of patriotism is that it can too easily blind one to the faults of or lead one to the support of their nation when they ought to be more critical. The problem with the second kind is that it is not patriotism for one's actual country at all, and the allegiance to ideals can lead one to see faults and threats to these ideals where none exist.
Both ought to be avoided in there pure form, and certainly there's room for someone to hold both positions - to both love their land and what it stands for, to work for a better country and to love the good in the country they now live in. Ultimately all our affections should be first on truth, justice, liberty, virtue, and goodness. From that we can apply this love to what is around us and understand the world we see through that lens. It is not wrong to love one's people or neighborhood, or country, or planet, should we ever come to that. But it wrong to turn any of those into one's highest love, to elevate them to the status of an idol.
Christians, for instance, are urged to submit to lawful authorities, pay taxes, and heed their governors, while recognizing that they are not truly citizens of this world, but of the next. All people should take a similar type position: your ultimate loyalty should be to right and wrong, to justice and truth, but that does not negate a lower loyalty and love for where you live and what you do. What is wrong is to never see any faults or flaws in that nation, to ignore any evils it does.
Sometimes, being a patriot means opposing what your nation is doing but never opposing your nation entirely. I'm a patriot of the United States, but I oppose the legalized abortion and other laws I feel are evils in our society. That's not only my right but my duty, my responsibility. Every member of a country has not only the opportunity but the duty to oppose evil and fight for good in that country, even if that means opposing one's own government.
The problems arise when one's sense of patriotism is tied too closely to the present government rather than the nation. This can lead one to despise the nation when one party is in power and love it when another is. That's simply ignorance. The nation is the nation, regardless of the government; your love should be for the people, the place, and the ideals of the nation, not who happens to be president at the time.
The deeds that a government does can very well be opposed to that nation and what it stands for - it's certainly happened in the past, and the present day Tea Party Movement proves it is so today.
Posted by Diogenes Sarcastica
The ACLU and it's Goals
"What insane times we live in," one film critic notes. "Here we are in the midst of the War on Terror, and all Hollywood can do is continually bash Christianity."
The opiate of Hollywood fare disguised as high—minded popular culture further dulls the minds of a culture already narcotized by a steady supply of anti—Christian rhetoric. In an industry historically known for coddling communists (the blacklist, Jane Fonda, Oliver Stone, Sean Penn and others traipsing off to Cuba to glorify Castro) and other Dictators who oppress their people, one tends to surrender to the unregenerate status quo.
"America," said Joseph Stalin, "is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
Patriotism seems subjective these days. The media says you have to belong to a certain political party to be patriotic now, support certain polices. And Hollywood and the media certainly play major roles in dumbing down our morals through the young, and with the subtle campaign to subvert Judeo—Christian traditions. But they pose a lesser threat than the judiciary and activist organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund, who represent its driving force.
When the ACLU cleverly named itself a "civil liberties" union in 1920, its idea of civil liberty was hardly consistent with what the U.S. Constitution's framers had in mind.
"I am for socialism," wrote ACLU founder Roger Baldwin in 1936. "I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."
He spent time in the soviet paradise of the USSR.
Communism, a political theory favoring collectivism in a classless society, remains the goal.
And while occasionally taking up a righteous cause, defending the defenseless and clocked in the matters of justice (their view) this organization has done more damage to this country than any other!
The ACLU is well known for their bullying tactics, filing suits against school districts, most financially unable to defend themselves in court, intimidating them into stopping Christmas programs, and denying school youth religious groups of use of facilities after hours, while at the same time assuring there's no discrimanation of gay and lesbian groups by making those same facilities available to them. (Starting to see the picture?) They have also recently participated in shameless attacks on the Boy Scouts of America.
In Southern California especially, these activists have targeted the Christian cross with glorious success. Examples abound:
Government Seal Cases: The ACLU Foundation of Southern California threatened to sue the County of Los Angeles and the City of Redlands unless depictions of the cross were removed from their official seals.
War Memorial Cases: The ACLU Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties succeeded in its legal effort to dismantle the 43—foot tall Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross, a landmark for more than 50 years in La Jolla. The ACLU Foundation of Southern California was equally successful in obtaining an order dismantling a cross that has been a World War I memorial fixture on Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert since 1932.
And on April 8, after an unsuccessful appeal to the Ninth Circuit, and without media fanfare, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Timlin signed an order requiring the immediate dismantling of the Sunrise Rock cross. That case, Buono v. Norton, has drawn the wrath of the American Legion, which is approaching the defeat with a novel solution. The Legion passed a resolution calling on Congress to amend 42 U.S.C. Section 1988, to bar recovery of attorney fees to the prevailing party in cases filed for the purpose of removing and destroying religious symbols located on public property. U.S. Representative John Hostettler (Indiana) is expected to introduce the Public Expression of Religion Act. Its goal is to drive out one incentive to file lawsuits where no one is complaining and no one is actually injured.
The ACLU pockets the change even when delegating work to pro bono attorneys.
Who really believes that a cross in the desert, on a hilltop or on a seal establishes a government—endorsed religion?? Who honestly believes their tax money is working to do any more than to honor war veterans or the community's heritage?
Communicating the message of religious liberty certainly presents challenges, not the least of which is convincing the media, or Hollywood for that matter, that defending the cross is beneficial to our society and in fact crucial to preserving our civil rights and liberties.
When U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison Remick Waite composed his analysis of the Establishment Clause in Reynolds v. United States in 1878, a Free Exercise case, he relied on Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association and Jefferson's phrase "'wall of separation between church and State."
Strange that he would examine the Establishment Clause at all since it was not in issue. Stranger still was his reliance on Jefferson's letter and his attraction to the 'wall of separation' phrase, parroted by judges and liberal activists ever since.
As Justice Waite even observed, Jefferson was in France when the language of the First Amendment was finalized and adopted. It was James Madison's version that we venerate today. 'It met the views of the advocates of religious freedom, and was adopted,' Waite wrote.
Jefferson's letter was a peevish response.
When Justice Hugo Black lifted the Reynolds analysis in Everson v. Board of Education (1945), he resisted the urge to compare what other founding fathers thought about the matter.
So the phrase "The wall of separation" (which appears no where in the founding documents) was thus enshrined in our national consciousness and divides us still.
If the ACLU were to support the Hostettler bill, it would go a long way toward proving that they aren't profiteers at the expense of people of faith and believers in the sanctity of tradition.
But I suspect they will commit all their resources toward winning another tiny battle in their classless and unholy crusade.
Posted by Diogenes Sarcastica
Why Do We Continue to Vote for These People?
I must confess my dismay at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.
Case in point: the administration's grotesque mishandling of healthcare. Ever since Hillary Clinton's megalomaniacal annihilation of reform in 1993 (all of which was suppressed by the mainstream media when she was running for president), Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.
But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises -- or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the Democrat party and should immediately step down.
There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama's aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. With the cover of his lap-dogs in the media, who just echo democrat party talking points, the president is promoting a colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation. You tell me, what does a bunch of lawyers know about how a healthcare system should work?
You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you're happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing. Ever lived abroad? Ever seen a veteran’s hospital? Don’t get me started!
I just don't get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.
What is needed for reform is an in-depth analysis, buttressed by documentary evidence, of waste, fraud and profiteering in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Instead what we've gotten is a series of facile, vulgar innuendos about how doctors conduct their practice, as if their primary motive is money. Quite frankly, the president gives little sense of direct knowledge of medical protocols; it's as if his views are a tissue of hearsay and scattershot worst-case scenarios.
As with the massive boondoggle of the stimulus package, which Obama foolishly let Congress turn into a pork rut, too much has been attempted all at once; focused, targeted initiatives would, instead, have won wide public support. How is it possible that Democrats, through their own clumsiness and arrogance, have sabotaged healthcare reform yet again? Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn't conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it's the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan -- it's the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.
With the Republican party leaderless and in backbiting disarray following its destruction by the ideologically incoherent George W. Bush, Democrats are apparently eager to join the hara-kiri brigade. What looked like smooth coasting to the 2010 election has now become a nail-biter. Both major parties have become a rats' nest of hypocrisy and incompetence. That, combined with our stratospheric, near-criminal indebtedness to China (which could destroy the dollar overnight), should raise signal flags. Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?
What does either party stand for these days? Republican politicians, with their endless scandals, are hardly exemplars of traditional moral values. Nor have they generated new ideas for healthcare, except for medical savings accounts, which would be pathetically inadequate in a major crisis for anyone earning at or below a median income.
And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the "mob" -- a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech.But the Democrats have become full fledge, dyed in the wool Leftist, who worships big government and revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills.
The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of media and Web sites at the Obama administration's outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable "casual conversations" and “emails” critical of the health care plan to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced.
……And as for me, I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!
…No, really. Congratulations.
I have no idea how you did it but you managed to give your man another term. All of the polls, the campaign attendance numbers and the majority of people who get paid to watch these things all pointed to a Romney victory last night but somehow you pulled it off. No small victory there so, I will say, I am impressed.
I wonder, though, are you ready? Are you ready to accept responsibility for the consequences of you actions? Are you ready for the debt and deficit explosion that’s around the corner? Are you ready for the rise in gas prices? Are you ready for the explosion in prices for everything that is lingering just over the horizon?
Have you thought about how the Muslim Brotherhood is going to increase their presence, power and influence throughout the Middle East now that they know that we won’t be there to slow or stop them and, in fact, have allies in Washington who support them? Are you ready for a nuclear Iran?
Are you prepared to see small businesses close their doors, to watch as friends, neighbors and strangers lose their jobs? Have you thought about what you’re going to do when loved ones need life-saving medical treatment but get denied because some Washington appointed bureaucrat decides it isn’t cost effective? Have you considered how our country is going to be pulled even further apart along racial and class lines? Are you prepared for war? Are you ready to see our allies abandoned and killed as they try to defend themselves against a ruthless, conquest seeking enemy?
I doubt you are.
You reelected a man who has a history of lying, corruption, disregard for the things he took an oath to protect, who has advocated for our enemies and provided them aid and comfort. You reelected a man who is indecisive, is willing to turn his back on allies and promotes racial and religious conflict within our own country as well as the world. You reelected a ‘Nobel Peace Prize” winner who has sent American men and women into more conflicts that almost any President before him and has complete disrespect and contempt for those same men and women.
In fact, I doubt any of you considered any of those things. Actually, I doubt any of you realize that any of the things you pinned your vote on, things like gay marriage, free education, ‘free’ heath care and ‘hope and change’, are not going to materialize.
And when they don’t just remember, you’ll have no one to blame this time other than yourselves. Bush is long gone and can no longer be your scapegoat. When these things come to pass and you want someone to point at, someone to blame, just look in the mirror.
But, again, congratulations. I hope you get everything you deserve.
To the rest of us-exciting times are coming.
Stay awake, be vigilant, prepare and be ready.