Posted by Bill R on October 08, 1999 at 12:33:57:
In Reply to: Re: explaining... posted by Rich on October 08, 1999 at 12:06:16:
: : Hey Y'all,
: : I too feel some cognitive dissonance when I see patriotic ceremonies that seem to miss the point and pretend that there might not be some group of people that have been either left out of the picture or who might have suffered at the hands of those who chose not to examine the effects of their patriotism. Don't forget Europeans have had recent experience with patriotism that had been taken too far, as have America's First Nations and other people of color.
: Yep! I don't know if I made my point of view clear on that issue ... "My country, right or wrong" has never sat well with me. My feeling of patriotism is that it's caring enough about your country, and loving the people inhabiting it enough, to attempt to support it when you can, question it when you have to. To blindly accept is to ignore all that has gone before & invite disaster.
: Now, that said, I am also totally fascinated by our history and the accomplishments we have achieved as a Nation. Always, though, I try to keep aware of those who came before & of the people we displaced ... It's a hard thing to balance, the love with the knowledge of the wrongs that have been done ... Much like a person, with all his strengths & weaknesses; his cumulative experience ... you just need to accept what has come before & try to influence, positively, what is yet to be ...
: The key, always, for me, is to make that bridge ...
Rich, as usual, you said much better what I was trying to say.
And expressed much better why I take such pride in my country.
BECAUSE WE ARE COMPOSED OF PEOPLE whose basic premise for government is what you just said. The entire country is composed mainly of people with your view, and for that reason this country will never degenerate into what happened in Europe. There is a big difference between patriotism and the form of Nationalism that occurred in mid century. We love our country because of the differences but mainly I love it because we have the ability to change that which is wrong and to force our leaders to adhere to the will of people of conscience like yourself. Our oath taken
includes the words "and obey the lawful orders of those appointed above us" or some such. Point is, there is that very important word "lawful" included in the oath and the Constituion clear states what is lawful and what is not. And the inclusion of that word allows even the lowliest private to object to carrying out an unlawful order. The inclusion of that single word exempts any of us from objecting to any form of unlawful acts committed by our military, our leaders, or our government. It absolves us from our oath in that event.
That is why I take such pride in making the oath, and defending it.
But as always, I say much and you say it better, shorter.
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