Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My Feelings of Patriotism and Faith

"America, F**K YEAH!"
-- Theme song to Team America: World Police

See what happens when I put a silly little survey in my blog? No, its a good thing. I'm glad I'm able to write about this. Away we go!

Let me tell you a story. For a short while I went to a State University in Pennsylvania. It was a medium sized school, about 5,000 students or so. This was right around when the Political Correct "thing," if you will, became stylish. At the time I was taking a class called multicultural education. That was fine, I knew that if I became a teacher I would have racially mixed classes-- matter of fact I was quite looking forward to the idea. However, one day we were told that we were going to have a "multicultural day" in our class. That meant that we had to bring something of our heritage (that is something of our ancestory). I have a problem: I've been raised as an American, I'm of German decent (hence my last name of Lindner) but I don't have any "artifacts" from the "fatherland." For some reason, though, this assignment got my hunches up. At the time I was a "Rush Limbaugh Ditto Headed reactionary conservative," so I did the only thing I could think of-- I brought an American flag to class.

I have an American flag that used to fly over a state park in Maryland. They were going to get rid of it and one morning when I got to work at the park I asked if I could have it. They said I could, so I took it home. I still have it today, its hanging on my wall behind me. That was the flag I took to class. I had it in a bag ao no one could see it and when it was my turn to talk about my heritage I took the flag out of my my bag and hung it on the wall in the class. The professor was not pleased. I told the truth. I basically said that I was raised as an American. I was not a German-American. I can't speak a lick of German accept for a few words here and there (i.e. schnell) which I probably picked up from watching war movies. My heritage is on that wall, right there. Red. White. And blue. With all its warts and scars. That is me. I honestly thought I was going to fail because of that little speech. That was the day that I think I finally got it, though.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret while I'm at it. That flag is on the wall. The blue field is to my left when I look at it, as it is supposed to, but on that flag is a small playing card that I have paper clipped to it. The card: a joker.

I am patriotic, but I get sickened by over the top displays of patriotism. I became quit disgusted by all the "flag waving" I saw immediately after the 9/11 attacks. I wanted to shout "WHERE WERE YOU ON 9/10?"

I have a great amount of pride in my country. I have freedoms that are precious and are worth fighting for. As a Lutheran blogger, which I seem to have become, I can say that my freedom of religion to worship God as I see fit is paramount to everything else.

I believe in freedom of expression. I get very nervous when people start telling me what I can and cannot read, watch, or see. Because nine times out of ten I will run, not walk, and get ahold of that very thing I wasn't supposed to see, read, or watch or listen to.

Its an amazing thing to hear some one yell "America Sucks!" I have to laugh. Go ahead, yell all you want about how badly America Sucks. Maybe it does, but you know something, you're allowed to shout that all you want.

I believe we should protect the right TO burn the flag. Granted, when you burn the flag you're doing the same thing as punching me in the face, so, I reserve the right to defend the flag.

I strongly believe in stict seperation of church and state. I don't think there should be prayer in public schools.

I like baseball. I don't like NASCAR. I don't particularly care for apple pie. I like football. I'mma good old American Franco-phobe. I believe Ronald Reagan was the greatest president of the Twentieth Century. I voted for George H. W. Bush, twice and his son, W., twice. I like my steaks rare, my potatoes baked, and my beer cold. I like my rock & roll loud. I drive a Chevy. I like Kid Rock. I get a lump in my throat when I hear Lee Greenwood's song about being proud to be an American.

America: love it or leave it.

Since this blog, though, is more about faith and things of that nature I feel like I should swing this badly written diatribe back around in that direction. So, here goes: my patriotism is much like my faith. I have a small joker card on my flag. I have a big old question mark on my faith. God tells us in scripture to question everything and to make decisions. I find I get the same feeling when I look at the cross and the flag a feeling of awe. That flag has some serious emotional ties to it. I often think of the sacrafice untold numbers of my fellow Americans have given for me. The soldiers that have died for me so that I may have freedom. That's a form of grace isn't it? The fact that someone, who I don't know, is willing to take to the front lines so I don't have to? Isn't that what Christ did for me? He took his Cross up so that I didn't have, too?

Let's see if this dog hunts: Faith is like patriotism, or perhaps Faith is Patriotism in God. That sounds horrible, dumb even, but if you think about it, it might make sense.

I look forward to your comments.

1 comment:

rebekah said...

i hate over displays of patriotism myself. it irritates me and i cant pinpoint exactly why. apathy, i guess ...