Wednesday, July 4, 2018

I'm Proud To Be An...

Ahhhhhh.... this day.

July 4th.

Independence Day.


Red, white and blue.

All the things...

Man - never before have I wrestled with this holiday before this year. Before this last year we've all lived out here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Let me be super clear... this isn't about lack of respect for soldiers who have valiantly fought for freedoms here and abroad.

Not at all... I have the utmost respect for them.

And this isn't about the outta control, terrifying and creepy Christian Nationalism that seems to be sweeping the "Church" these days.

You know - the one that screams "Anti-American!" at anybody who dares to question our leaders' motives or doesn't pledge their allegiance to a piece of cloth.

That'll never be me. EVER. However...

I am lucky to be an American.

I am happy to be an American.

I am thankful to be an American.

But proud... I dunno man... pride is the last thing I'm feeling about our place these days.

I mean... at times... I am embarrassed to be an American.

Because at times... America's hubris is totally negating all the efforts those valiant soldiers put forth.

At times I am disappointed in America and what she seems to be becoming.

At times I'm incredibly saddened by friends who seem to have completely changed to the core of their hearts over the last year and a half (or maybe they're just suddenly comfortable showing who they really are).

And that's the America we seem to be in these days.

And then - I got these three beautiful souls to consider.

And I wrestle with it all - daily.

We want them to be equally as proud of their status as a citizen of this country as they are of being born in Ethiopia.

We spend a LOT of effort trying to convey that and teach it and show it and support it.

And then the leader of the land of the free and the home of the brave includes their birth country in what he calls "sh#@ hole countries."

But I should scream how patriotic we all need to be, right?

Or another young man who looks like my three kids do - beautifully brown by design - is gunned down in the streets by the very people charged with protecting them.

And I tell my kids about peaceful protests to try to bring about change - but the protestors are painted as anti-patriotic haters of America.

And I'm supposed to press an unhindered, unadulterated patriotic nationalism on them and call it "pride."

I can't and won't do that.

Nope... today we celebrated the historical greatness of this country we live in. Because 'Murica HAS done a lot of great in it's life time.

So today - we study the great history of America and we lean on it and we pray and hope that the legacy of this great country has the strength and perseverance to survive the today of this great country.
And believing in what this country has done and stood for in the past? THAT is patriotic.

A friend of mine said this recently:
"Wanting your country to actually live up to the words in its creed is patriotic. Resisting principles contrary to that... is patriotic."
And I couldn't agree more.

You wanna know what I AM proud of these days?

People raising their voices... standing for what's right... knowing what it might do to their relationships, their friendships, their families...

But standing and speaking anyways... and doing it because they know in their heart of hearts... America is better than what we're showing the world today.

Happy Birthday, America.

And what is it they say? "And many more..."

I certainly hope so.


Renate said...

Well said. Praying this will pass and we all survive.
I knew things would be bad but man its become truly scary.

K said...

You put into words what I have been unable to - thank you for sharing!