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Do you consider yourself 'patriotic'?

Thoughtful questions about life and love.
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Ron Atchison
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Post by Ron Atchison » July 4, 2008, 10:47 pm

Do you consider yourself 'patriotic'?

I thought this might be an appropriate question, considering it's the fourth of July here in the United States.

Feel free to elaborate. ;)
Last edited by Ron Atchison on July 14, 2008, 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by fredcowie » July 5, 2008, 5:09 am

Not if it means "My country right or wrong!" or "I regret I have but one life to give for my country!" for those were revolutionary-minded, freedom-based exhortations. Now, with MY country at war for a president's personal reasons (Like Mr. Polk's War, the one with Mexico a century and a half ago) and MY country not adhering to Mr. Eisenhower's admonition to avoid a military-industrial complex (now surely adjoined thanks to the Cheney-Bush presidency), it is hard to be what jingoistic chauvinists call "patriotic." I think it is more like, "I love my country, like I love my birth family, but sometimes liking them is awfully hard!"
Frederick J. Cowie, Ph.D. Please visit my website at fredcowie.com, my FACEBOOK(/fredcowie) page where I post my writings and my paintings every day. Peace!

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Post by vision_quest » July 7, 2008, 12:57 pm

I appreciate the freedoms I have as an American woman. I have friends and loved ones who are or have been in the military. I don't agree with every decision our leader/s make, but there are some places that I definitely would not want to be a citizen. I do, however, take issue with what I believe to be not enough separation between church and state.

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Post by tsbrownstone » July 9, 2008, 5:18 am

the way i see it ... i'm more of a planeteer. ???

i was born here because my parts (contained within my mom and dad) were already in this country.

i was never officially asked if i agreed with the lines drawn on a piece of paper that denote city, state, country, continent, et al.
i was never officially asked if i agreed with anything.
it seems to have been assumed since i fell out here.

i'm just an earth-bound misfit trying to enjoy this planet. :0:
awake each morning surprised that your lease on life hasn't expired

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Post by travish » July 9, 2008, 5:50 am

I don't find Patriotism to have anything to do with government. For me Patriotism is a love of ones country, and in the case of the US, the principles that it was founded on. I believe that the US was founded on divine and sound prinicples. I am emphatic in my belief that the US is a very blessed country. In this sense I am patriotic.

(And yes, I believe changes are needed to return to this form of Patriotism.)
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Post by Morning Bear » July 10, 2008, 7:31 pm

I needed first, to define the term Patriotic, before I could give a credible answer for myself.
Dictionary.com states it as showing Patriotism. Patriotism is defined in part by Wikipedia as thus:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Cite This Source

Patriotism denotes positive and supportive attitudes to a 'fatherland' (Latin patria < Greek patris, &#960;&#945;&#964;&#961;&#943;&#962;), by individuals and groups. The 'fatherland' (or 'motherland') can be a region or a city, but patriotism usually applies to a nation and/or a nation-state. Patriotism covers such attitudes as: pride in its achievements and culture, the desire to preserve its character and the basis of the culture, and identification with other members of the nation. Patriotism is closely associated with nationalism, and the terms are often used synonymously. Strictly speaking, nationalism is an ideology - but it often promotes patriotic attitudes as desirable and appropriate. (Both nationalist political movements, and patriotic expression, may, yet need not, be negative towards other people's 'fatherland').

Patriotism has ethical connotations: it implies that the 'fatherland' (however defined) is a moral standard or moral value in itself. The expression my country right or wrong—perhaps a misquotation of the American naval officer Stephen Decatur, but also attributed to Carl Schurz—is the extreme form of this belief. Patriotism also implies that the individual should place the interests of the nation above their personal and group interests. In wartime, the sacrifice may extend to their own life. Death in battle for the fatherland is the archetype of extreme patriotism."
And thus my answer would be that I might be patriotic if I feel that my country was inclined toward the moral and ethical standards that I want to see upheld world-wide.
Those moral and ethical standards for me would be:

1. Equality; that treats all women and men with fairness, dignity, and esteem - valuing the human life as a worthwhile endeavor and the undisputable definition of beauty and sacredness in this world.

2. Responsibility; which holds all to the highest resolution of equality, welcoming all opportunities to teach our children and each other about logical thinking, creative thinking, self discipline, playing and working together, scientific methodology and spiritual needs as well as physical needs.

3. Independence; in-so-far as being able to understand that self-sufficiency is a desirable knowledge, though not a necessity. It is a factor in being able to comprehend responsibility, because all are responsible first for themselves before being able to be responsible for others.

4. Universiality; All above applies to all people of this world without exception. There is no need for war when people are focusing on helping one another and there is no need for racism, religiosity, bigotry, or any form of hate for another in any capacity whatsoever.

When my country and the world will look in the mirror and see that those 4 simple concepts are intact and holding strong - then you may call me a patriot; because those are the aspects of liviing that I hold extremely dear and would want to see followed.

Idealistic? perhaps, but the simple truth is there is enough for everyone on this planet, and power mongering and capitalism is essentailly just another side of of a fearful ego exploiting a reason to prove it exists.
Wipe out fear and the battle is won - for eternity.
Love, joy, peace, and blessings,

For me to believe in you doesn't require that you believe in me,...it only simply requires that you know and thus become all that you are meant to be. MB

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Ron Atchison
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Post by Ron Atchison » July 11, 2008, 8:03 pm

I remember being a kid standing up every morning with my hand over my heart staring at the flag and repeating the words 'I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America..." I didn't really know what all the words meant, but I was proud just the same.

A few years later I would go to my very first major league baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland and I would stand again with my hand on my heart and sing the 'Star Spangled Banner'. Again, I didn't understand all the words, but I was proud.

After graduating from high school, I found myself standing in a small room filled with American flags in Spokane, Washington with twenty other seventeen-year olds, our right hands in the air, pledging our very lives to protect and defend the only country we had ever known. I thought at the time I understood what I was doing, but in hindsight, I probably didn't.

As a young Marine grunt I would spend the next three years traveling all over the world on ships and trucks and helicopters beneath a flag that in my mind symbolized all that was good in the world. I didn't know much about politics at the time... we were the good guys and the Russians were the bad guys, that was about it. It was enough to get me by though and by the time I was twenty years old I was promoted to Sergeant, something I was very proud of.

I wanted to stay in the Corps forever but my dad really wanted me to go to college and so we made a deal. I would go to college for four years and then return to the Corps as an officer. Fair enough, we thought.

But it didn't work out that way.

In college I started to learn things they never teach you in high school. I learned how our government secretly supported corrupt dictatorships all over the world. I learned about how the CIA sold weapons to Iran (through Israel) and then funneled the money to a group of rebels called 'Contras' in Central America that were killing innocent civilians by the thousands. I learned that many of the battles we engaged in were fought to protect the interests of big business. And most importantly, I learned that I could not, in good conscience, lead young Marines into battle for a cause I did not believe was just.

Fast forward twenty years. I'm marching down Market Street with over a hundred thousand fellow Americans protesting the imminent war in Iraq. I was standing shoulder to shoulder with Vietnam vets and young mothers and proud grandfathers and every kind of American you can imagine. Standing to the right of me was an old man with neatly combed white hair who must have been in his nineties and he told me he'd never protested anything before in his entire life. Even though his clock was running out and he probably would not have to live with the long-term consequences of another war... he felt it necessary to drive all the way from Fresno that morning in the hope his presence might somehow prevent others from having to live through the terrible consequences of a bad decision.

This old man from Fresno understood something many others seemed to have forgotten. He understood that our love for our country should never supersede our love for one another. Our love for the United States and all it stands for should never overshadow our love for another human being no matter what country they were born in.

I've heard it said there are two ways to love your country. You can love your country blindly - like a child loves his parents. Or you can love your country like a parent loves their child... always working and wanting what's best for them - even when they screw up.

As you can see, my feelings have changed quite a bit over the years. I'll always love and be thankful for this big, beautiful, free country that has been so good to me and so many others. But at the same time.... I would like her to be a little more compassionate with people who are sick, old and hungry. I would like her to be a little less emotional and a little more imaginative. I would like her to be more tolerant and less afraid. But most of all I want her to be everything I know in my heart she is capable of.

With love, ;)

~ Ron

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Post by Maithri » July 12, 2008, 8:30 am


My brother what a moving and magnificent statement you have made here.

It is 1.19 in the morning over here and i am covering the hospital overnight.... still my heart is moved by hearing this part of your story and your commitment to humankind.

I love your words "Our love for our country should never supercede our love for one another."

I think it was Plato (or maybe it was Socrates ??? ) who said "I am not an Athenian, I am a citizen of the world"

It is time that we move beyond patriotism... beyond borders... Theres nothing wrong with being proud of where you live or where you come from...

But i'm sick and tired of the us vs them mentality....

And really it is only a mentality...a state of mind... For in the end there is no 'them'. There is only us.

At microscopic and macroscopic levels... humanity is inextricably interconnected. What happens to one, effects us all....

Thomas Merton's "No man is an island" comes to mind.... we are each a part of the whole....

Lets not buy into the illusion of separateness...

We are one.

With love and blessings,

If you cant feed one hundred people. Feed one. - Mother Teresa



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Post by Muchoki » July 14, 2008, 4:46 am

Maithri, Ron et al,

I love my country.

I however, wish my country was more like something else. I wish my country had more respect for human rights, had better infrastucture, had no droughts and famines and so many other things.

Still i love the kindness of strangers in the street, i like the smiles that greet you for no particular reason, i love the souls that share what little or much they have with you.

As Ron says, there are two ways to love your country and i choose to love mine as a mother loves her child. I know there are a lot of things wrong with it :( , and i also know there are a lot of things right with it :) :) :) . I choose to focus on the right/good things as i try to change the wrong/bad things with it.
As footsteps shies the front,
preferring the wake to decorate,
my life i pray,
shall acquire similar character.

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Post by valjohnjennings » July 21, 2008, 8:56 am

I believe that we are a nation of patriots with a few dissidents. I believe the majority, myself includes, are desirous to be "one nation under God."

I love my country and it hurts to see those who are indifferent to our flag. "God bless America!" "Long may it wave!"

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