Patriotism

Patriotism is a quality of being, not a thing. It is the glue that binds us to our country. Patriotism is not about the geography make-up of my country. American patriotism is specifically about a principle that states “all men are created equal.” This is a fundamental core belief of our country and serves as the guiding light for all of our constitutional laws. Unfortunately, we have not always gotten the application right during our 378 years of history. Fortunately, patriotism is a process of living application, working out over time the principle to which we pledge allegiance.

Patriotism in America is all about providing freedom to think, to discern between right and wrong and to act as my conscience dictates. Patriotism is not always about freedom for all. Pick up the newspaper on any given day and you will see patriotic men and women in many countries fighting but it is not to bring freedom to all. It is to bring their way of thinking to be the rule of the land. That too is patriotism. But it is not the patriotism that we want in America.

Today we have created a problem between our chain of reasoning and the principle to which our country is bound together. The problem gets in the way of supporting the “all men are created equal” principle. Our founding fathers assumed that we were ‘created.’ The big bang theory and our climbing out of a primordial soup was not part of their scientific thinking. They reasoned that we all were created; human beings were brought into existence as the result of Providence’s [to use their word for God’s] action. The assumptions we make about our beginnings [created or evolved] historically has and continues to have, a bearing on how we work out living with our neighbors under the “all men are created equal” principle.

While geographically America is big compared to most countries, size is not what makes us great. Our greatness, our durability is based on human equality supported by responsible citizens in government.

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2 thoughts on “Patriotism

  1. I am reminded of the quote in Orwell’s Animal Farm…”All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”. Equality assumes certain “unalienable rights” and our founders defined those rights as Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But these rights, in order to realized, demand a certain amount of responsibility and limits. Otherwise, “liberty” becomes tyranny of the “I” over against the “many”. To be patriotic is to be just as committed to limits and responsibility as to liberty.

    To have liberty in a society demands that personal freedom is sacrificed for the sake of equality for all. This, I believe, is patriotism.

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