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And Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is not a "WASP" and the term "WASP" referring to "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant is not stereotyping of you is it? Is Christopher Hitchens a "WASP" too?
And to add: the Iranian protests of 2009 has enabled most Americans and especially the intellectual ones to know the difference between the Islamic Regime and the freedom loving Iranian people - the Neda of Iran. And there be no "cleansing". I feel you hold a bigoted view of America and western societies and don't understand the true nature of oppression and terror. We live in a free society where the rule of law is respected. I find your cynicism and skepticism without foundation. True, an atheist can not run for office because the people wouldn't vote for an atheist (not because of the constitution) but in Islamic countries you would in contrast be executed on the spot for being atheist.
I don't really like the idea of patriotism, any more than I like religious fervor. There's nothing wrong with supporting and loving your country, but the moment you give that excitement a name people will demand attention to it and say we should perform activities in the name of it.
A fundamental American principle is the separation of Church and State. I'm sure we are all aware of this fact.
That being said, I feel that being an atheist is somewhat more patriotic than people who blindly allow their country to allow it's integrity to be pissed on just because they happen to believe in the same god as the monsters who are stealing from Americans and plunging us all into another dark age.
I love my country. This is easily one of the most diverse, beautiful, and enjoyable places on the planet; and I've seen a nice-sized bit of said planet. My answer to this question is a resounding NO. Why fight patriotism? I'm a patriot, I adore the people who live here because regardless of how ignorant or ill-informed they are, they still choose to exercise their right to free speech. People are assholes no matter where you go, just because America is currently run by a decent-sized group of pricks shouldn't take the luster out of our homeland.
If anything, i think more of us should stand up and defend our country from the zealots looking to turn it into a theocracy.
That is also weird to see the post 9-11 use of the word "Homeland." It is a pretty common practice in empires since the Romans got the idea I think to distinguish between the patria terra and it's conquered territories.
The overuse of the twin towers image is a clever psychological trick. It reinforces that gut emotional feeling of "we were attacked," making it all the more powerful.
You could ask your nice lady friend a few questions like:
Do you really think god is picking favorites? Why would he bless the U.S, out of all the countries?
Does she really believe there is a god who thinks the U.S is totally rad and wants to bless it?