America. That’s where we live. Well, most of us who read this. Yes, we are Americans.
But here is the question. Why are you an American? Because you were born here? Is that enough?
I rarely talk politics here, but this one has been on my mind. Especially after spending a short time in Paris, and seeing how the most of the Parisians appear to hate Americans.
But back to us. Why are we Americans?
I for one am proud to be an America. I live here, because I choose to. I think we live in the country with the best ideals in the world. It was founded on a tremendous premise. We are built on the most profound ideas ever. Freedom. Equality. Liberty. Justice for All. It is beautiful.
In theory it is completely magnanimous. Noble. Complete.
In practice, it is getting completely crazy.
Here is an example. I am proud to be a citizen here. I like to see our American Flag flying high. I stand and sing the National Anthem with respect for the ideals of this good nation. And, if the American citizen next to me, does not stand to sing those words, and cross his heart in respect, I applaud him too.
That is why America is so grand. We are free. We are free to chose what we believe in. We are free to worship Jesus and God the Father… and we are also free to worship Pan, the Troll Under the Bridge, and the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. It is up to each individual. Do we have to agree with them, and do as they do? NO. Should we try to stop them from holding their sacred beliefs. Again, I say no… we must not.
This country was founded a long time ago. Our Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. That’s right. It is called a Declaration of Independence. If it sounds like I am repeating myself, I am.
Most people don’t pay attention to those words. I’ll say them again. We declared… we said out loud for all to hear….. that we are independent…. we are self-ruling, self-determining, and sovereign. We are autonomous, and… WE ARE FREE. Free to be.
However, lately, it seems… that people who exercise their rights to believe… are being ostracized, and labeled as unpatriotic.
You know…. it can’t really be both ways. What I mean is this. A guy down the street from us flies his U.S. Flag at half mast. It is some sort of a protest against the current Presidential Administration. He is not a fan of Obama.
And I say to this… good for you Sir. It is your right as an American. That is our privilege as a member of this country.
But conversely, a few years back when I disagreed with the actions that President George W. Bush was making for our country, and when I opposed the war in Iraq, I was seen (by some) as unpatriotic.
We, as Americans, need to change. We need to revisit those original ideas, ideals, and concepts. We need to start practicing what it means to be an American. We are all equal. And we have the right to choose… to pursue happiness. It doesn’t say that we should act with kindness in our hearts, and have no hatred for those who are different. Not in so many words.
But if you read very carefully, you will see this directive. In every single word written by the hand of Thomas Jefferson, on that very old, parchment paper.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. We do.
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln.