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Proud to be an American

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WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


0 posted 10-18-2001 08:27 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

I got this through email, and I loved it. I thought I'd share it.

Because I didn't write it, I understand if it can't stay, but nonetheless, I'm sharing it.


Proud to be an American!!!

THIS SAYS IT ALL!!!!!
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
School officials remove "God Bless America" signs from schools in fear that someone might be offended.


Channel 12 News in Long Island, New York.
Orders flags removed from the newsroom and red, white, and blue ribbons removed from the lapels of reporters. Why? Management did not want to appear biased and felt that our nations flag might give the appearance that "they lean one way or another."


Berkeley, California bans US Flags from being displayed on city fire trucks because they didn't want to offend anyone in the community.

In an "act of tolerance" the head of the public library at Florida Gulf Coast University ordered all "Proud to be an American" signs removed so as to not offend international students.

I, for one, am quite disturbed by these actions of so-called American citizens; and I am tired of this nation worrying about whether or not we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled in New York and Washington DC when the "politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. In fact, our country's population is almost entirely composed of descendants of immigrants; however, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some native Americans, need to understand.

First of all, it is not our responsibility to continually try not to offend you in any way. This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle.
This culture, called the "American Way" has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. Our forefathers fought, bled, and died at places such as Bunker Hill, Antietam, San Juan, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, and Vietnam.


We speak English, not Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society -- learn our language! "In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some off-the-wall, Christian, Right Wing, political slogan -- it is our national motto. It is engraved in stone in the House of Representatives in our Capitol and it is printed on our currency. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation; and this is clearly documented throughout our history. If it is appropriate for our motto to be inscribed in the halls of our highest level of Government, then it is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.

God is in our pledge, our National Anthem, nearly every patriotic song, and in our founding documents. We honor His birth, death, and resurrection as holidays, and we turn to Him in prayer in times of crisis. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud to have Him.

We are proud of our heritage and those who have so honorably defended our freedoms. We celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day. We have parades, picnics, and barbecues where we proudly wave our flag. As an American, I have the right to wave my flag, sing my national anthem, quote my national motto, and cite my pledge whenever and wherever I choose. If the Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we are proud of it. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. We are Americans, like it or not, this is our country, our land, and our lifestyle.

Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion about our government, culture, or society, and we will allow you every opportunity to do so. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great American freedom, the right to leave.


It is time to take a stand!!

[This message has been edited by WhtDove (edited 10-18-2001).]

Denise
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1 posted 10-19-2001 12:22 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I thought this was one of the best emails I had ever seen on the subject. There's no problem with posting it either, since at the bottom of the email, the author encouraged that it be shared and passed on. There are many examples in this of politcal correctness being taken too far. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine any other country in the world not proudly displaying their flag or singing their anthem, etc. out of deference to other's sensitivities. I think they would tell them if they don't like it, they can leave. Funny, no one seems to have a problem accepting our opportunities, but when it comes to accepting the emblems of our country, for some reason they have a problem with that. As far as I am concerned, they can avail themselves of the right to find a more acceptable place to live that is more suitable to their sensitivities.
Moon Dust
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2 posted 10-21-2001 08:44 PM       View Profile for Moon Dust   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Moon Dust

Yeah If they can't accept america for what it is then why bother staying.

I breathe the dust, the dust is me.

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


3 posted 10-22-2001 01:46 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

While I do think that censoring the God Bless America and taking down flags is ridiculous....and there are some very good points in this, I also think some of this author's views are similarly offensive.

"First of all, it is not our responsibility to continually try not to offend you in any way."

I completely agree with this.... very excellent point. I personally wish we didn't have to worry so much about vulgarity and offensiveness... it's a waste of time. It comes back to the idea that living in a free country puts you at risk... and freedom of speech puts you at risk for being offended.

'We speak English, not Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society -- learn our language! '

Uhh... this I found offensive. Especially since Americans are notorious for going to other countries without knowing a word of that language, and especially because in many nations, English is a required second language, and a third of one's choice is also madatory. Maybe immigrants choose to speak to each other in their native tongues so that they can be more easily understood by each other.... and because its more comfortable and natural... Besides, last I checked, many Mexican Americans spoke Spanish, and so forth. If this author has such a problem with people ahving the right to be bilingual, maybe he should find a nice country that speaks English, and only English, and revel in the comfortable lack of diversity.

"If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud to have Him."

I might agree if this were re-worded "If God offends you, please remember that you are in a country that reserves the right to worship freely and where over 80 percent of the population is Christian." However, telling people to leave for not agreeing with the predominant religious tendancies is a fanatical Christian reactive standpoint, and also overwhelmingly un-American. "Go away, we here in this nation founded for the freedom from religious persecution would like to persecute you for not being the same as us." Makes a lot of sense.

"The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we are proud of it. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from."

This I think is very funny.... since the American culture is made up of many different cultures... I mean, exactly what is American culture that doesn't have paralells to other cultures? Most of our holidays are just ancient Roman festivals that were renamed and rededicated when the Christians decided they didn't like the whole polytheism thing. Better get rid of every ethnic restaurant and all the wonderful ethnic literature we have here.... by saying we don't care how people did things where they came from, this person is basically saying he doesn't care where we inherited all of our customs from... gee, and I thought the Polish, Greek, and German festivals in my city were pure American!

All in all, I cannot take most of the things said here seriously, because the author is voicing some very reactive, one-sided opinions that do not seem very well-researched or even very well founded.... becuase I have not heard one person complain about patriotism, and a vocal minority that unfortunately causes unneccesary censorhip should not be reason to open the floodgates for a hate campaign against all immigrants and non-white ethnic groups.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

[This message has been edited by hush (edited 10-22-2001).]

Interloper
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4 posted 10-22-2001 11:36 AM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Hush - Interesting response with some very good poings.  YOu said:
"Most of our holidays are just ancient Roman festivals that were renamed and rededicated when the Christians decided they didn't like the whole polytheism thing."
========================================
Would you please illucidate me on the holidays we celebrate that are just "ancient Roman festivals?"  The holidays that come to mind that most of my friends and family celebrate are: New Years day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Independence day, Memorial day, Labor day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Now, I know thee are other holidays like Columbus day, Lincoln's birthday, Washington's birthday, Martin Luther King day, which we may or not get off from work, we don't Celebrate to any great degree.  But try as I might, I cannot find one holiday that can be traced back to "ancient Roman festivals" that were rededicated by Christians.

Please help.

oh, I almost forgot.  You said "I might agree if this were re-worded "If God offends you, please remember that you are in a country that reserves the right to worship freely and where over 80 percent of the population is Christian." However, telling people to leave for not agreeing with the predominant religious tendancies is a fanatical Christian reactive standpoint, and also overwhelmingly un-American. "Go away, we here in this nation founded for the freedom from religious persecution would like to persecute you for not being the same as us." Makes a lot of sense."

You make a valid point.  Our country was founded by Christian fanatics (lest we forget Salem, etc.) and we mellowed a lot between the 1600s and the 1780's.  Still, God is part and parcel of our way of life.  In God We Trust is our national motto and that phrase can be found on every piece of currency in your possession.  Furthermore, we (our founding fathers) have said you can worship God in any way you can.  In fact, our government allows one to worship anything in anyway one wishes.

Your statement that the author's view is a "fanatical Christian reactive standpoint" is of itself based upon the assumption that the author is a Christian.  Why could he or she not be a Jew?  Are your prejudices showing here?  Help me understand.
WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


5 posted 10-22-2001 07:40 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

I agree with the part of being able to worship freely. You can call on any higher power you choose too.

I think what was meant, at least how I took it is...

People come from other nations, different religions, or maybe just atheists, whatever and whoever they are. They come to America, and now they try to change the way we do things. Atheists for instance, trying to do away with the display of the Nativity scene.
Taking God out of things because it's discrimination against their religion.

But do you see a "Christian" or other religion based on Christianity trying to take things out of other people's religions?
Do we say you need to take down Budda because it offends the Chrisitans? As they try to take the display of Christ on the cross down because it offends them?

That's just my opinion on the matter of where I think they're coming from.

We are however a FREE nation, and those who join it are free to worship what they want.
I don't think however they should try to change anothers, like taking away what we believe as far as God, to fit their religion.
If they choose to practice something other than Christianity so be it, but I say practice whatever you want, just leave the others alone.

Personally I don't believe in Budda, but if that's what they choose, then so be it, I don't have a problem with it.
BrightStar
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6 posted 10-23-2001 12:49 PM       View Profile for BrightStar   Email BrightStar   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for BrightStar

YES!  WD you hit the nail on the head.  None of the Judeo-Christian community have problems with others practicing their religion even if we don't agree with it.  That is one of the things that makes America great.

I will not stand for others telling me to take God out of my life or placing a sing up that says 'God Bless America.'  If they want to put up a sign saying Buddha or Allah Bless America - that's just fine with me.

Kevin Rose
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since 11-20-2000
Posts 64
Liverpool UK


7 posted 10-23-2001 05:58 PM       View Profile for Kevin Rose   Email Kevin Rose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kevin Rose

This is not just an American issue.  This unbelievable level of anti-patriotism is also rife in the UK. We have had suggestions of toning down the traditional "land of Hope and Glory" at the last night of the proms because it mentions crushing the enemy and we are lord of all etc etc... and people might get offended when we are at war.

Hold on, it is that type of patriotism that WON world war II. It is not only a natural responce, but I put it to you, an essential responce, to become more patriotic in times of conflict. To surpress the very things that unite will mean there is no barrier to unjustified dissention, and in fact to invite it.

On a couple of other points.  I am with those that say religion should be allowed, but people who take an active dislike to a country's religion are in the wrong country.  Be free to worship who you like, but dont stop others worshipping who they choose.  if 80% are christian, you better accept christianity.  If you have a life mission to destroy christianity, dont live in a christian country.

Language I do agree.  If you live in the US, or in the UK.... learn the language. I dont say dont talk your own language, but learn english. If I went to live in france so I could appreciate the cheap wine, good beaches and scantily clad women (oh-la-la) I would not expect to be able to integrate and have any type of life there without learning french.  why are you any different? my sons and daughters would grow up with English as a first language but would be fluent to the point of being undetectable in French.  

I do not say adopt the culture though.  Live by the laws and integrate the culture. It is the inclusion of other cultures that broaden our life experiences.  Without italians we would have no pizza, no pasta.  Without the chinese, well you all have had the takeouts. without the french, no Champagne.  without the germans..... ok, we can probably do without saurcraut and bratwursts, but the beer is good....

regarding the festivities.  It is true that the majority of Christian festivities manage to eerily tie in with the pagan rituals that went before.  For example easter, the rebirth of christ manages to fall around the spring equinox.  easter eggs and easter bunnies were both pagan forms of fertility to celebrate the brith of a new season in the springtime to coincide with the fertility of the earth.  Example number 2.  Christmas falls at the shortest time of the year, and is essentially a feast.  It hits the winter solstice give or take 4 days, and is basically timed at the point where medieval life would have insisted that you slaughter the pig/cow/hen or whatever was your livestock.  A lot of that is perishable so you have to feast to build up your stores for the remaining winter, and it is a celebration to lift the spirits when times are at their lowest.  There are many other "crossovers" that the christian faith has adopted as well.  No disrespect by the way, just the requested evidence.

anyway, that is my two-pennety.

[This message has been edited by Kevin Rose (edited 10-23-2001).]

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


8 posted 10-23-2001 09:46 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Interloper-

"Would you please illucidate me on the holidays we celebrate that are just "ancient Roman festivals?"

Well... er... heh heh... since I always slept in Latin Class, I can't give exact details on everything... but... Halloween was traditionally an ancient Roman festival that had something to do with honoring the dead... I can't remember the name of it. The Christmas season was the time of the Saturnalia, one of the largest Roman festivals... I can do a bit of research and get back to you if you like. But... it does make sense- if you were trying to spread Christianity, you couldn't expect to change people's customs and still have them accept the new ideas, so they had to integrate the new ideaology with old ways of life.

Also, the bit about the author seeming like a Christian reactive wad because he kept referring to the country being founded in the name of God... and since the nation was founded by puritanical Christians, I assumed that's who he was supporting and presumably allying himself with. He could also be a Catholic, but his constant references to the Christian founding fathers seemed pretty direct.

White Dove, I am in total agreeance with you. And I can understand this author's anger at the censorship shown... don't get me wrong, it makes me angry to that people would cause censorship of pro-U.S. sentiment because it is "potentially offensive"... but it makes me more angry that this can trigger a huge "us and them" response... because at one time, we were all them's coming over here and imposing our customs and culture (not to mention our guns, pests, and diseases) onto natives here.... and now their culture is practically non-existent in the U.S.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Interloper
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9 posted 10-24-2001 11:00 AM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Hush ~ Halloween is not a holiday, national or otherwise.  It is, in fact, the celebration of Allhallows Eve or All Saints' Day Eve which was usually celebrated by younger people perfoming pranks of one degree or another.  It evolved through time to "trick or treating" where children begged for a treat.

Christmas is absolutely NOT a derivation of an Roman holiday.  If, in fact, the Roman holiday fell on December 25th it was purely coincidence.  Christmas (or a Mass for Christ) is celebrated for the birth of Jesus.  It has evolved thru the years to be a time of gift giving and family gathering to celebrate the Gift of God, Jesus Christ.

Fool, said my Muse to me, look in thy heart and write.

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


10 posted 10-24-2001 10:50 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Interloper, here is a very good website with a bit of information:
http://www.locksley.com/6696/xmas.htm

please don't get me wrong... this is in no way an attempt of mine to argue the value of Christianity or anything of that nature.... I am only saying that if the author doesn't care "how people do things where they come from" he should look at the fact that most American customs are derived from other cultures and then Americanized... and may have been adopted and altered, such as is the case with Saturnalia when the anciant Romans began turning towards monotheism, before America was ever even thought of.

I eat only sleep and air -Nicole Blackman

Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


11 posted 10-25-2001 12:56 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please read this letter again.

Are these the values of America?

Are these the values of Passions?

I am an American.

I believe we do have a responsibility to be tolerant of other cultures and beliefs.

I don't believe people who live in America have to believe what I believe.

I don't believe they have to be Christian, I believe they have to respect Christians.

I don't believe they have to learn English,

I believe they should speak the language that allows them to do what they want.

I AM interested in other cultures.

I have no problems with patriotism. I don't understand some of these regulations in the first part of the letter (simple incompetence on the part of management?)

I do have a problem with litmus tests.

This letter forgets that those emblems stand for something. That something should be explained to those demeaning those emblems, they shouldn't be expelled from the club.

We have to talk, we have to explain, we have to maintain tolerance and respect in order to persuade others that these are valuable things.

They create the conditions for this:

The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

When those emblems become more important than that what they stand for, then you risk losing the very thing that I think we ALL believe in.

The right to be different.

This letter is unAmerican.

Brad
Local Rebel
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12 posted 10-25-2001 04:15 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The problem is that the wolf of xenephobia most often comes wrapped in the wool of patriotism.  I too am very proud to be an American and my disagreement with the tenor and bravado expressed here does not make me un-patriotic.

I found the reference by the author to 'native americans' particularly amusing.  I'm sure the real 'native americans' might like it if we all went home.

But wait... where to go?  I am after all, Cherokee, English, Welch, French, German, Polish -- with the obligatory 5% African DNA.

Ah... isn't it great to be in America?

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (edited 10-25-2001).]

Interloper
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13 posted 10-25-2001 05:53 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

It sure is!

Brad ~
Fact - You are a voluntarily displaced American citizen.

Fact - You are probably in more danger than we.  

Fact - Nobody has to talk OR explain,but they should.

Fact - Not everybody can be a lucid and erudite as you and the Reb.

Fact - The author was right according to his beliefs.

Fact - You are right according to your beliefs.

Fact - Being right in one's beliefs does not make one right with truth or THE truth.

Fact - The letter cannot be unAmerican under the 1st amendment.

-echo- (southern style) ain't it grate to be an American?

Brad, I love ya
WhtDove
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since 07-22-99
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Illinois


14 posted 10-25-2001 09:27 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

Just think! If everyone was tolerant of others beliefs, cultures, and of one another, we wouldn't be in this situation would we?

I'd love it if everyone could get along, but then we probably wouldn't be too different.
With a world that holds as many souls as it does, we all seem to do all right.

~God DOES bless America~
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


15 posted 10-25-2001 09:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Part 1:

Important part:

Interloper,

Fact - The author was right according to his beliefs.

--But he started using "we". He called himself this American, not John, or George, or Harry -- he confuses what America is with what he wants America to be.

--He confuses patriotism with politics.

--Why doesn't he just say what he means?

--That's unAmerican.

--It's unAmerican to say you should speak English because this is America.

--It's unAmerican to tell Americans to leave because they do something you disagree with.

--Now, you can argue that my definition of American is wrong. That there is no definition of American but I think there is.

--Most Americans say we are special because we are free (there are exceptions).

--But what is freedom except to do the very thing this person criticizes?  

--to believe what you want, to speak what you want, and to accept that others can do the same thing?

Fact - The letter cannot be unAmerican under the 1st amendment.

--Well, he can write this letter under the first amendment but it can still be unAmerican. I never said he wasn't American.

--What do you mean by American?

--What do you mean by freedom?

Brad
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


16 posted 10-25-2001 09:55 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Part 2:

Not so important part:

Interloper,

Fact - You are a voluntarily displaced American citizen.

--So? What does this have to do with anything? It's also a fact that an orange is orange.

--But I don't think I'm displaced, I'm living in a different place.  

Fact - You are probably in more danger than we.  

--No, we're probably about the same. You just know it now. I already knew it.

Fact - Nobody has to talk OR explain,but they should.

--True.

Fact - Not everybody can be as lucid and erudite as you and the Reb.

--I wish I was MORE lucid and erudite.

Fact - You are right according to your beliefs.

--Perhaps, but I'm willing to risk being wrong, being told I'm wrong, I'm willing to change those beliefs if you convince me that I'm wrong.  I'm not going to fuse my beliefs with patriotism and try to hide behind the flag.

--that's cowardice.  

Fact - Being right in one's beliefs does not make one right with truth or THE truth.

--True.

Brad
Interloper
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17 posted 10-26-2001 11:07 AM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Brad, of course the author does not speak for all of us however, like most of us, we get agitated or inspired or whatever and start speaking for the masses that believe as we do or as we think they ought.  You, the Reb, and I have all been guilty of this at one time or another, even as recently as in these threads

I believe he is trying to say what he means.  He might even be saying exactly what he means.  

Obviously some people agree with him because this has been emailed to me by at least 10 people.  Then, again, most folks that know me are moderate to conservative (labels again ).  Most people don't disect what they read, especially if they agree with the tenor of the message and are in a sufficiently excited mind set.

We have freedon within certain parameters. Should we step outside the "law" that defines a limit to our freedom we become "outlaws."  That's where civil disobedience comes into play and where one needs to understand that "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime."

My definition of American is standard, I believe ... a citizen of the United States of America.

My definition of freedom is partly set out above.  It is the capacity to exercise choice; free will within the framework of our Constitution and the laws enacted by Federal, State, and local governments.

A lot of people want to say freedom is "A right or the power to engage in certain actions without control or interference: (John W. Aldridge)."  That really is the seed of anarchy.

Actually, you are probably living in the most dangerous place in the world with regard to possiblilty of invasion and war should North Korea believe that the USA is so involved in other places that it cannot defend South Korea.  In fact, the troops, both ROK and USA, would only be a speed bump if an invasion were mounted by North Korea.

You are incorrect in your assumption that I just know it now and you already knew it.  I have known this for more years than you have lived in that country.  I have had access to sensitive data the source and nature of which we shall not discuss.

Lastly, your comment about hiding behind the flag is beneath the man I have come to know in these forums.  It is an incendiary remark and totally subjective.

The author, in his mind, was not hiding behind the flag rather, he was waving it.

Will you please explain your comment about fusing beliefs with patriotism?

Thank you
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


18 posted 10-26-2001 03:42 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Brad, of course the author does not speak for all of us however, like most of us, we get agitated or inspired or whatever and start speaking for the masses that believe as we do or as we think they ought.  You, the Reb, and I have all been guilty of this at one time or another, even as recently as in these threads



You are mistaken interloper... I speak for no one but me -- and no one speaks for me either.
Interloper
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19 posted 10-26-2001 04:07 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Reb, if you say then who am I to argue

Have a wonderful weekend my friend.
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


20 posted 10-26-2001 11:32 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Interloper,

Yeah,  

My father sent me this letter as well. I have no idea why he would do that -- maybe he just wanted to push my buttons.  

Ya got me on at least one point here. I was wrong to assume that you were schocked about the 911 incident, I was wrong to assume that you thought you were safe before it. No doubt many Americans felt that way, certainly, I didn't feel that way, but that doesn't mean I can take this and know how you felt.

Sorry about that.

Much more to say but baby calls,

Brad

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


21 posted 10-27-2001 02:22 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Fusing politics with patriotism:

When you say "I love my country", "America is great," or something similar, no particular political position follows from that.

For example:

"I love my country, therefore there should be prayer in school."

because you can just as easily say

"I love my country, therefore there shouldn't be prayer in school."

When people do this, I get heated because I think you (general you) are trying to deceive them (and perhaps yourself, it doesn't have to be conscious) by appealing to patriotism in order to persuade people to a specific political position.

But patriotism doesn't have anything to do with prayer in school, with an official language, or whether people should leave or stay in America.

It means you love your country.

But it doesn't define what acts are needed to show that love.

---------------------------------

American:

You're definition is, of course, correct but again nothing follows from that. I'm on much shakier ground here, I know it, but I still believe (like the letter writer) that we can go a bit further and define American and unAmerican attitudes.

I think his definition of America is wrong.  

I think his definition is motivated because he wants America to be a certain way.

That's okay, I want America to be a certain way as well but these are political questions, not patriotic questions.

My definition is simpler and not in anyway distinctive with respect to other countries, nor is it necessarily permanent, but I believe it:

--Americans believe in freedom.

--and no specific political or religious position can be derived from that.

--Except for one.

--To believe in freedom is not to exercise your freedom but to let those who disagree with you exercise theirs.

--It's not perfect, it's messy, it's difficult, but I think Americans believe this.

--They just forget sometimes.  


More later,
Brad
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22 posted 10-29-2001 09:45 AM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Brad,

While patriotism does not define acts, it does require the need for one to sacrifice in some manner.  That could be monetarily, or giving of one's time, etc.

You have every right to believe his definitionof American is wrong, just as you have the right to believe in your definition.  That is the essence of Americanism.
__________________________________________
"To believe in freedom is not to exercise your freedom but to let those who disagree with you exercise theirs."
__________________________________________

Why cannot those who believe in freedom exercise their rights while letting others who disagree exercise theirs?  

There can and will be confrontation, both rhetorical and physical, but they are concurrently exercising their "rights."

How old is your baby?

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


23 posted 10-29-2001 01:29 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Interloper,

Lynne is seven months.  

Nothing wrong with exercising your freedom, it's just not what believing in freedom is about.

Everybody wants to exercise this freedom. You don't have to believe in freedom to do that, you just have to believe you're right/correct.

Given this, conflict is inevitable in a free society.  Always inevitable. If conflict were not inevitable, if we could all agree on everything, freedom would become irrelevant.

But the difference between a free and an unfree society is that I'm not going to kill you and you're not going to kill me if we both do so. We talk about it, we get angry, we compromise, we win, we lose, we try again -- the public sphere is always up for graps.

Change is always possible.

But it's working with the people you disagree with, not telling them to leave, not turning the freedom to speak into noise, not a 'tell it to the hand' philosophy.  

This allows us to come to compromise (or to change our position), to win here and lose there, to lose here and win there but always, always to get up and fight again.

--------------------------

On a lighter note: Why does the letter writer think that American citizens who leave the country will somehow shut up?

I haven't   .

Brad
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24 posted 10-29-2001 04:44 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Brad,

Well said and, gulp, hold on with both hands, I agree with you

Lynne is a beautiful name.  Let's hope and pray we can leave her a better world than that with which we have had to live.

No, I don't think that.  I don't think he thought of what he wrote from a philosophical standpoint at all.  In fact, most of us do not.  We vebalize feelings more than thoughts (now have fun with this).
 
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