I am under an impression that most National Anthems have a religious connotation on them. I am a South African, the first part of the National Anthem, loosley translated, says god bless Afrika  help to stop wars and suffering. It is written in two major Indeginous language groups. Now I am concerned about the fact that I will be saying those words, when I know their meaninglessness. What does that say to me, as a Freethinker should I be patriotic, where do I draw the line in my patriotism?  Do I belong  to one geographically stationed group of humans or to all of them as they are scattered all over the globe? Should Free thinking soldiers go out there in the name of their country and fight wars that smell some religious defending?

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I highly doubt we'd be talking German in Europe had the US not intervened, but I'm quite sure this conversation would have taken place in Russian. 

No way to know, but it's certainly plausible.

Look, I don't mind those kinds of decisions being made on a RATIONAL basis, but patriotism is just a tool (almost as powerful as God and the afterlife) for manipulating a population to charge into the mouth of the cannon.

Ed,

I just reread my post. It sounds quite confrontational. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to confront you - just the idea of patriotism. 

7. Not shy about reminding the world how great we are.

"The only Thing That Will Redeem Mankind Is Cooperation."-Bertrand Russell.

Heard this in Shaun Of The Dead.

Great quote.

Great film.

Ours is mostly a brief history of our country and appeal to pan-scandinavinism and peace, with only a brief mention of God in verse 7 (though this is one of the verses usually sung). As for defending your country you may do that for whatever reason you see fit to motivate it. If my country was attacked I could care less the motivational tactics used to egg the troops on, I would be most concerned with an effective defense. 

As for the national anthem:

Yes, we love this country

1
Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, above the sea,
with the thousands of homes.
Love, love it and think
of our father and mother
and the saga night that sends
dreams to our earth.
And the saga night that sends,
dreams to our earth.

2
This country Harald united
with his army of heroes,
this country Håkon protected
whilst Øyvind sung;
upon the country Olav painted
with his blood the cross,
from its heights Sverre spoke
up against Rome.

3
Farmers their axes sharpened
wherever an army advanced,
Tordenskjold along the coastline thundered
so that we could see it back home.
Even women stood up and fought
as if they were men;
others could only cry
but that soon would end!

4
Sure, we were not many
but we were enough,
when we were tested sometimes,
and it was at stake;
we would rather burn our land
than to declare defeat;
just remember what happened
down at Fredrikshald!

5
Hard times we have coped with,
were at last disowned;
but in the worst distress, blue-eyed
freedom was to us born.
It gave (us) father's strength to carry
famine and war,
it gave death itself its honour -
and it gave reconciliation.

6
The enemy threw away his weapon,
up the visor went,
we, in wonder, to him hastened,
because he was our brother.
Driven forth to a stand by shame
we went to the south;
now we three brothers stand united,
and shall stand like that!

7
Norwegian man in house and cabin,
thank your great God!
The country he wanted to protect,
although things looked dark.
All the fights fathers have fought,
and the mothers have wept,
the Lord has quietly moved
so we won our rights.

8
Yes, we love this country
as it rises forth,
rugged, weathered, above the sea,
with those thousand homes.
And as the fathers' struggle has raised
it from need to victory,
even we, when it is demanded,
for its peace will encamp (for defence).

Personally i see little difference between religion and patriotism.

Any just thought i would say high from a fellow south african.

Hey John, I agree with with you. The two often do require reflection

Hey John, hi. Sorry man been unable to access internet.

As a human being I am proud of a few things we have done and ashamed of most of the things we have done.

I have no pride in groups of humans that carry a flag.

I agree. I feel pride about my country very seldom...I felt patriotic when I visited NASA. I felt patriotic when we elected an African American Democrat as President after the Bush/Cheney fiasco. When I reflect on the great things we've done, I feel proud (but not overly so--it's not like I did any of those things) I feel patriotic now and then. Overall, I feel pretty ashamed about American history and many of the things we do. I wish it were otherwise. I'd like to feel proud of my country.  

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