So, it is July 4th. I am not feeling any excitement towards today what so ever. Part of this may be my coming to grips with the death of my paternal Grandmother. Part of it may be the increasing disgust I feel towards how jingoistic the 'patriots' around me have gotten. When questioning the system gets you shouted down, shunned, or threatened with bodily harm, then you don't have freedom of speech. What you have is a mockery of it. You can say what ever you like, as long as you stay within these lines.
I look around me and I see people acting like there isn't an active war going on, like there are not veterans coming back traumatized and injured (when they are not in a box). I see people acting like we're the great bastion of freedom, completely ignoring the fact that we are not the only nation that has liberty. I see people wrapping themselves up in the flag as they push for the nation to become a theocracy because we're a 'Christian Nation' despite the fact that the country is NOT in any fashion founded upon Christian principles (especially those that are touted by these folk). I see all this and I feel sick.
Do I want to be someone who can say 'Yay America!' and enjoy fireworks with everybody else? Yes, that would be nice. It would make it a lot easier to fit in, I suppose. But my conscience won't let me. There is too much that is wrong in the nation to spend time flag waving. There is too much that is wrong done in the name of the nation to sit back and get caught up in the groupthink bliss state. I can't celebrate today because I am too grieved by what I see happening in the nation to do so.
Maybe that makes me 'unpatriotic' and some would go so far as to say that I am espousing 'treason' or that I am a terrorist sympathizer. The people who say that I am in the wrong for this a ignoring one of the principles this nation is founded on. A patriot is supposed to stand up and demand the government to take responsibility for how it has wronged the citizens. A patriot is supposed to speak out against crimes committed by the nation. A patriot is supposed to seek out the greater good for the whole of the people, not just the ones who agree with their positions or pay them enough money. I close with the following quote and I plea to my fellow citizens: Speak out against the wrongs of our government and the people who wish to rip away our rights for the sake of their comfort.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.