Patriotism Gone Amuck

I consider myself a patriot.  I love my country.  I pretty much wouldn't want to live anywhere else if I had the choice.  I realize that America has had its horrendous growing pains since its birth some 236 years ago.  I also equally realize that some men on their true fight for freedom died for the life that I am able to enjoy in this country currently.  Men and women readily join up with the American military industrial complex on all levels in their own fight to supposedly preserve freedom or that is what we are told constantly.  I don't doubt their loyalty or devotion to their cause for one minute, but it is what I believe to be a cause blurred with confusion for me.

Being a constant supporter of our American military and all that it does or claims to do is as "American" as apple pie and baseball for many people in this country.  That is a definitive stance that I cannot agree with and do not fully understand and haven't for some time.  I think we should be tough and stand ready to fight for our communities and families whenever the time comes that we are truly threatened face to face.  I don't want my kids to be afraid of the work it would take or be afraid to stand up and fight if they have to, warding off predators of all kinds coming against them and their country, because that's what we will need if a true war every steps a foot in our direction.  We would all have to work together out of sheer desperation and necessity if some country started dropping bombs on us.  That mentality I am 100 percent in agreement with and will teach my children to defend if necessary what or whom needs to be defended.

Policing the world though, I believe, is not what I think this country set out to do in founding itself.  Also, the repetitive speech given to us that every war that is fought or every conflict we find ourselves in or create for ourselves is somehow always a fight to preserve our country's current freedom.  That is a lie and many buy that lie daily.  I mean, how can you compare the Revolutionary War with the Vietnam War in this idea of preservation of freedom.  There is no comparison.  In one war many died to create a nation in which they were finally free from monarchs.  In the other war many innocent lives were stolen from this earth to create a more stable nation for someone else.  Sounds noble enough, but I see the former as a battle we were not meant to fight, that among many others.

I support our troops.  Many join the ranks believing the lie they have been fed, willing to take any order they are given, again, to preserve freedom.  I feel that the very soldiers themselves are lied to many times with promises, raises, benefits and bonuses to join up based on emotion in the moment.  Though I can't pretend to know the heart of every soldier, I think most truly have an honorable spirit and I do not fault them for one minute for our government's decisions or intentions.

Yes, indeed, I am all for patriotism, but I can see truly that freedom comes from God before it comes or is preserved by any man and it is every man and every woman's duty to preserve their own freedom and be thankful to God for that freedom.  And the true focus on this earth should be to see the differences in others, in other countries and work through these difficulties peacefully as much as lies within us to do.

I am completely moved by the recent story of Aung San Suu Kyi.  Here is a woman who has fought for democracy in her country of Burma, currently Myanmar, with peacefully staged protests for decades and she is now a new leader in her own government affecting change despite her long battle, the constant threats against her life, her arrests and the opposition she faced.  She was a peacemaker.  She wanted to work through the disagreements and difficulties even if it cost her own life in the process.  That is truly noble, not dropping bombs on innocent people to kill a few supposed bad guys hiding in the trees.

And again, I'll say I am certainly patriotic, but when it runs amuck like a leaderless army without a good partner like peace holding its hand then we are headed for much trouble.  

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