From time to time I have encounters with fellow American citizens who faithfully display their Fourth of July & Memorial Day flags. It is ostensibly a show of patriotism but I wonder. As I have grown older and wiser, in my mind anyway, I believe the attitude of "America- Love It or Leave It" is a slogan that no longer applies or, perhaps, should never been used in the first place. What does a citizen mean when they say we are obligated to love one's country else hit the border and not return? The United States of America has many reasons for it's citizens to feel patriotic. But it also has many reasons for it's citizens to rightly drop their collective heads in shame. Our treatment of the American Indians, American Japanese, African Americans, members of the LGBT community, non-Abrahamic faith groups, atheists, etc has left a lingering question mark on the societal engine that drives this country. Would many of the disservices to entire classes of people not been eradicated sooner without this "love it or leave it" attitude? Do we not have a responsibility to seek change and never become jaded with the status quo? Living in the deep south of America gives me opportunity to see firsthand the ongoing mindset of many locals, still flying their Rebel flags in the front yard, that "the South will rise again." What the hell does that mean? If given the opportunity would we revert back to the days of slavery and white bigotry?

I feel compelled to challenge these "Love It or Leave It" citizens to define and justify their position or stance. Our country's citizens should not be pigeonholed into accepting things as they are and damned be those who dare speak up. Thankfully our culture is changing, albeit too slowly, and hopefully we can cast off these attitudes that seem to have their foundations in illogical religious dogma.

Should not the new slogan of our country rather be "America - Love It Through Change"?

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It seems like the average person, and not only American, can only consider 2 options in most cases...

As it was mentioned in this thread "Better dead than Red", "Love it or leave it", "Us or them", "My god or hell", etc... It seems like people are happy to live in this world with no middle ground.

kOrsan and Milos

A black-and-white, all-or-nothing view of everything is evidence of a limited and retarded mind.

Limited. yes. Retarded, Maybe. And so right wing American.

According to a 1970s-era university text on semantics, it's evidence of conflict that is not being resolved. I  was researching the issue during the 1980s while learning about the minds of authoritarians. More recent findings by neuroscientists using brain scans might be shedding more light on the issue.

Search the Internet on "authoritarianism" and you will find a free download by Robert Altemeyer, a Canadian university professor who has studied right wing authoritarianism.

For more, and info on left wing thinking which is more nuanced, look at Chris Mooney's The Republican Brain: the Science of Why They Deny Science -- and Reality.

This appears to be in response to someone. Whom?

@ Mike

Your question about a citizen's patriotism is a good one.

[Wiki- Patriotism is a cultural attachment to one's homeland, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography, and philosophy.]

In America I believe the vast majority of it's citizens, especially the middle class, have a love of country that is a result of indoctrination to a large extent. I remember in school reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to that red and white striped rectangle. At the time I had no idea why I was saying those words but it was expected. I am thankful that the level of patriotism expected was nothing in comparison to the requirements of the North Korean's present regime. Their force feeding nationalism down their people's throats only serves to create a nation of robots. As for Americans who freely display their patriotism I believe it stems largely from their sense of their country representing to the rest of the world the principles and ideals of democracy and individual freedom. They also believe that the USA is the country that everyone else turns to when a region or foreign country engages in acts of aggression or turns on it's own people. The world's policeman or cop, if you will. Whether or not these sentiments are valid is open to debate. For some reason it is important to many Americans to feel that their country is the best place in the world to live, even with it's sores and callouses. I personally do not feel this obligation but will not fault those that feel this compulsion. Patriotism to me has nothing to do with great scenic beauty, plenty of food, for most anyway, or winning the most medals at the Olympic Games. It is more about being comfortable with the way your country treats it citizens fairly and without bias. There is certainly room for improvement and hopefully as a country we continue to evolve and improve socially.

I have a flag that hangs overhead in my workshop and is covered in wood dust. That piece of cloth still imparts a sense of pride but it also has lost a little luster over the years. I have come to realize that America is far from perfect in it's treatment of it's citizens and it's heavy handed dealings with other countries. Hopefully the younger generations of Americans can continue to make the changes that will allow us to be that great nation our founding fathers envisioned.


"If given the opportunity would we revert back to the days of slavery and white bigotry?"

In a word, yes!

I didn't know "America - love it or leave it." was ever a slogan for our country. To me it's always been just a bullshit meme held mainly by Angry Old White Men, who, as a group, can't achieve minority status soon enough!

Which demographic includes me, except I'm angry about different shit, like the sentiment this bullshit meme represents!

I would say to those that would try to impose religious limits on others that this is a secular country and if they don't like it and want to impose their standards and "beliefs" on others, perhaps they should be the ones to either love it the way it was meant to be or leave it. At the very least, keep it to themselves. Even so called modesty is primarily a religious concept thrust upon the general population.

Let's hear it for America --!

Immigration: Atheists Need Not Apply? Margaret Doughty, an atheist and permanent U.S. resident for more than 30 years, was told by immigration authorities this month that she has until Friday to officially join a church that forbids violence or her application for naturalized citizenship will be rejected. Doughty received the ultimatum after stating on her application that she objected to the pledge to bear arms in defense of the nation due to her moral opposition to war. According to a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by the American Humanist Association on Doughty's behalf, officials responded by telling her that she needed to prove that her status as a conscientious objector was due to religious beliefs. They reportedly told her she'd need to document that she was "a member in good standing" of a nonviolent religious organization or be denied citizenship at her June 21 hearing. A note “on official church stationary [sic]" would suffice, they said.

I wonder how many other brain dead bureaucrats are out there

Oh God, please tell me the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has "official church stationary!"

So only religions can offer a 'non-violent' position? All other 'non-religions' positions are by definition violent or pro-war/facist?


== despite much xian resistance at the time, the Constitution (1787) denies that there is a God of the State -- political ideology becomes free for the first time from religious institutionalized ideology. Dissent is not a form of heresy. You can not be exiled from the body politic for lack of orthodoxy (= ideological purity).

** The Constitution was not heaven-sent to a "xian nation" **

• The Constitution is the foundation document for the US

There's no natural law. Neither God nor religion plays any role. There are no "law givers." Laws do not get delivered on Sinai. They do not get "handed down."

God-talk disappears from justificatory language of 1776 (in the Declaration of Independence) and gives way to a view of 1786 (in the Constitution) that the people give themselves their own dignity and rights as citizens.

The Constitution contains no reference to any god. The word 'God' does not appear. ('Jesus', 'Christ', 'Christianity' don't appear either.) The word 'religion' appears only once, in Amendment One.

The first amendment protects "freedom of conscience." Initially the rights of a well-to-do white man (not slave, not female, not propertyless) to freely choose how to conduct his life as a legal person.

One Civil War (1865), the vote for women (1920), the Civil Rights Movement (1965) -- that's a turbulent blood-soaked price paid so far for extending equality (reciprocity) of rights.

• Amendment One also establishes freedom *from* religion.

The US is a secular state from its inception. It is not one nation under any god, power, force or immaterial being.

God (she or he or some committee) doesn't rule here. The people do. No god-proxies rule by divine right. Not child molesting priests, not fanatical tax-dodging televangelists, nor cabals of delusional fundies in the House seeking to overthrow the Republic.

The people enjoy or abuse their 'freedom of conscience' in matters of religion, speech, publications, public assembly, petitions to their elected representatives, civil disobedience, and even armed revolution. Is this order on the edge of chaos? Yes, and designedly so.

Some conjectured divinity (or divinized leader) can no longer claim as a “holy lie" the right to frighten people into acting in consonance with a god-given social order. The people are sovereign; we abide by the laws which we create for ourselves.

• Let's be clear here: The people are sovereign.

Christ is not sovereign . . . God is not sovereign . . . they do not exist. They are fictions no more real than Zeus, Sherlock Holmes, or Batman. And, theology is fifth rate fan fiction. As one wag puts it, "Theology is a subject without an object."

There are many who pretend to speak for metaphysical nonentities, demanding social control and political domination. They should be seen for the lying frauds that they are. They are christo-fascists (dominionists), threats to our secular Republic greater than all islamic "terrorists" combined.


Atheist Seeking US Citizenship, Originally Told
Told 'Go to Church', is Finally Approved

Margaret Doughty, an atheist and permanent resident of the U.S. for over 30 years, was told by immigration authorities earlier this month that she had until today, Friday June 21, to officially join a church, because her conscientious objections to war were only valid if those beliefs came from religion. On Thursday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services retracted their demand that Doughty show proof of religious affiliation and informed her that her application for naturalization had been approved.The Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, sent letters on behalf of Doughty.


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