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"?
How about "America - Love it enough to fight to make it truly a nation of freedom and justice for all ".
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.
I agree. Where atheism is concerned, the Constitution defines American values and principles, not whatever holy book they might be thumping. Consider how the First Amendment value applies to "One nation under God" and "In God We Trust" at a national level, or to "Our Lord Jesus Christ" at your local public high school.
All of those things carry the appearance of state endorsement and favoritism of religion, turning Christians and believers into insiders and non-Christians and nonbelievers into outsiders.
It doesn't get more un-American than that: violate the Constitution and offer those you violate the non-solution of excluding them from the pledge, the school, or the country if they don't like it.
"The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another ... in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State' ... That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach." - U.S. Supreme Court, Everson v. Board of Education, majority ruling, 1947
"...[G]overnment should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion."
- U.S. Supreme Court, majority ruling, Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet, 1994
America, change it or lose it! (popular in the 70's)
America, Reform It or Corruption Remains Sovereign.
The control/influence of American government by corporate giants such as Monsanto is a huge problem for our nation. Especially when most of our citizens don't even realize their sphere of influence is so pervasive. If we can ever sever the umbilical cord between politicians and corporations a government for and by the people might again be realized.
The perception of America is built on buzz-phrases. The reality is so different.
It is pure marketing and no one does marketing better than the Americans (don't be proud of this).
"Land of the free" is the biggest scam since Erik the Red sold a chunk of ice in the northern wastes as "a land so green they call it Greenland!"
I agree, diggerbanks.
A few colonists saw the profit potential of the western lands that England was reserving to the natives. When the Parliament cooperated by arbitrarily levying taxes, the slogan "No taxation without representation!" became a sales pitch for revolution.
In the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Hamilton said he wanted the "rich and well born" to govern. Madison said he wanted the government to "protect the opulent minority from the majority. Others agreed, and though a few protested, the Convention gave us an oligarchy that a few people deceptively call a democracy.
Religion keeps most Americans submissive.
Patriotism is just as silly as God. What's to love? The government, at its best, comprises the folks we hire to do the stuff we can't do by ourselves; at its worst it's the folks who, because they're in a privileged position, try to exert undue control over our lives.
In this realm of rationality (TA), can someone give me one logical reason for patriotism (aside from motivating soldiers to risk their lives). Patriotism, by its very nature, engenders an artificial them-and-us. Why, in fact, should we not do all we can to counter patriotism in any form it takes.
The USA is, of course, one HELL of a phenomenon, but "America - Love It Or Leave It" - what can one say?
Yep. I left and brought my family up in a better place. Does that make me a bad person?
You can't rightfully be singled out and criticised for leaving. But on the other hand those of us disenchanted with the country all can't or shouldn't leave. Someone has to take the torch of change and march on in hopes of making it an even better place to live for everyone.
Mike, The reasons for "patriotism" (wink, wink) include, as you say motivating young people to risk their lives to protect the wealthy, and motivating people to pay taxes without protest.
My personal philosophy, and I'd like to think I've lived up to it, has always been, "America - Love It Or Change It!"