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.


Jim said...

Just getting back from TX it was great. Thanks for you comments on my last post. For the record the only movies that make we cry are ones that are about Patriotism. Peace Brother.

rebekah said...

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

Jaclyn said...

Thanks for commenting on mine- I see now that I am not the only one who struggles with that (I already knew but..) I just want to keep it in my head like I'm aware of what could happen so that I can prevent it the best I can. But thanks for your input- :)