4 July 2006

Independence Day contemplations:
No longer the Founders' America

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across Jim Babka's thought-provoking July 4 piece "Somber Celebration":
Today is Independence Day. It's a special day, a day to remember our liberty. For those of us who are precise thinkers — committed to the Founders' principles — this day is filled with mixed emotion.

For us, it is not merely a day to shoot off fireworks, fire up the grill, or go on vacation (all of which are acceptable ways to celebrate). Sure, we appreciate those good things. But we also recognize what's been lost, for our Founding Fathers left us a tremendous legacy.

We had a federalist system of republican government, with peace and tranquility because we had a government limited to enumerated powers that maximized citizen representation and honored individual liberty. ...

... Those who are responsible for the destruction of [these] American values — [these] constitutional principles that made this nation a thing of beauty — may piously place their hands on their heart or give stirring speeches on patriotism, but they do not love America.

They don't even miss her.

But today, on her birthday, I will remember.

Today, I will think fondly of America's possibilities. I will hope that America reclaims its heritage. And I will pray that we stop "exporting democracy," but instead return to being that nation that serves as "a shining city on a hill" — that "lifts its lamp beside the golden door."

And I hope you will join me in my thoughts, my hopes, and my prayers.
I love fireworks, but I hate the tendency since Gulf War I of Fourth of July fireworks shows to blindly genuflect to whatever military adventurism we're pursuing at the time — especially today, to radio simulcasts of Toby Keith crowing (to no camel-jockey in particular) "We'll put a boot up your ass, it's the American way." Quoth Babka:
Today, the celebration will be about our war. Many will honor our troops and pray for their safety, content with the false notion that those brave men and women (and they are brave) are fighting for our freedom, when they are doing nothing of the sort.
In the piece cited above, Babka refers to an excellent Joseph Sobran article from October 2001 — immediately following 9/11 — called "Patriotism or Nationalism?" And a companion to that is Sobran's May 2003 "Patriotism, Mom, and the Bums" — the "Bums" being the former Brooklyn Dodgers, whose fans continued to love them "through the long years when the Yankees were always winning the World Series and the Dodgers were taunted for losing." I hope you'll read these important, eye-opening pieces — even read them aloud to your family and pass them along to friends and relatives. And I hope that God will use them to stir up a longing in Americans' hearts for a return to a godly national humility.


Good reads, also, here is an excellent essay by Howard Zinn on the 4th and patriotism:



Today, U.S. soldiers are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan are not dying for their country, they are dying for their government. They are dying for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. And yes, they are dying for the greed of the oil cartels, for the expansion of the American empire, for the political ambitions of the President. They are dying to cover up the theft of the nation’s wealth to pay for the machines of death. As of July 4, 2006, more than 2,500 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, more than 8,500 maimed or injured.

With the war in Iraq long delcared a “Mission Accomplished,” shall we revel in American military power and—against the history of modern empires—insist that the American empire will be beneficent?
Phrank in Foenix:

"I will hope that America reclaims its heritage. And I will pray that we stop "exporting democracy," but instead return to being that nation that serves as "a shining city on a hill" — that "lifts its lamp beside the golden door.""

Only someone who knows little about American History, or selectively chooses what American History to read would write such words.

All of the abuses of this administration has been repeate by other administrations throughout American history.

I like Zinn's article, which I read last week, but I am very critical of Zinn on one point:

Why does Zinn believe that the American people are being decieved by the politicians and elite in the United States?

...the right peddles America's righteousness, and the left peddles the American people's righteousness too, but plays the "class card": demonizing the leaders and elite in the society.
My full discussion of this is found here:


In regards to America's patriotism, I have updated a web blog entry on this, and added a lot of articles and books you can buy on this subject:


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