I’m beginning to think it’s time for an entirely new definition of patriotism.
Then again, maybe it’s just time for some of those on the far right who are in the process of hanging themselves with the flag they claim to love so much to reacquaint themselves with the word’s original meaning. According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, patriotism is defined as “love for or devotion to one’s country”.
It’s really not all that complicated. Oh we can make it as complicated as you please, but when you get right down to what the truth of the matter is? Simplicity itself.
So before those who feel it is their patriotic duty to secede decide to act on their own perverted definition of the values laid down by their beloved ‘Founding Fathers’, they may want to re-read that definition of patriotism on their way to their more perfect union – a union that apparently will have to be built by a bunch of disaffected, ignorant losers. Good luck with that.
The problem arises when the definition of ‘patriotism’ bumps up against the definitions for ‘love for’ and ‘devotion to’. Welcome to the gray area. Because now what we’re confronted with is how various and assorted types choose to define love. For example, some parents beat their kids with a stick when those kids misbehave and claim it’s because they love them. And they mean it. Other parents think that’s horrible and prefer to give their kids a ‘time out’ when they misbehave. And they think that’s the best way to express love. And they mean it. To say who’s right and who’s wrong in either instance is to invite a whole lot of trouble, most of it related to charges of being judgmental.
Similarly, there are people in this country who honestly believe that if a man is legally allowed to marry another man then there’s a good chance whoever approved that law is a disciple of Satan and that person is responsible for bringing down hellfire and damnation upon us all. Others (such as myself) happen to believe that these fears are more than a little ridiculous because we should all be allowed to love and marry whomever we please. Some actually believe that a black man being re-elected as the President of the United States by a landslide margin is truly a sign that Jesus is coming back before the end of the week and he’s gonna be pissed we let that happen. Others (once again such as myself) believe…well…
Some believe that the best way to express their patriotism is to burn their nation to the ground if it doesn’t measure up to their standards because it is better to burn in ignorance than live in enlightenment. Others belief that the best possible America is the one we all create together.