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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is this a country or a religion?

That's what I wonder sometimes. We (Americans) seem very obsessed with our country. I live in the south so it's especially the case around here.

People here seem extremely obsessed with symbols:

Our "holy warriors":

Our chants:

The current version of the Pledge of Allegiance reads:[1]

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. - Wikipedia

And hell, we even do our chants AT our symbols! In school, no less. And sometimes we have our "holy warriors" do our chants at our symbols! When our "holy warriors" die, we wrap them in our symbols and do more chants.

I'm not trying to bash my country, I just think that sometimes we may be a little to obsessed with ourselves. All someone has to do is declare that the country is in danger or our "freedom" is threatened and people will believe or do anything that they're told will destroy our enemies.

We're so obsessed with these things that our judgment is sometimes completely overwritten. During the last US presidential election cycle, candidate Barack Obama was insulted by some for not constantly wearing a small American flag on his suit. He stated (paraphrasing) that he believes real patriotism is doing good for the country, not necessarily wearing a small American flag all the time. Whether you believe Obama has attempted to make good on that is up to you, but I believe that's a correct idea.

Personally, I feel uncomfortable having our children "pledge allegiance" to the flag and our country in schools every day. It seems like some kind of brain washing that would be done in some extremist/religious state intent on raising a nation of hyper-loyal, non-thinking citizen-soldiers. Of course, that kind of sounds like America a little more everyday, unfortunately.

When people, particularly republicans, sing the praises and get all choked up about our country but don't seem to actually care about it's people, I wonder... what is it that they love? Not the people, surely. The land, the actual dirt? I think it's the IDEA of America. No actual substance, nothing that ACTUALLY exists, just a concept. Kind of like a religion.

I could go on forever, but what do you think?

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