Hal Lindsey
The Death of Patriotism
Tue Jul 4, 2006 20:19


The Death of Patriotism

In 2006 America, most patriotic Americans are waving flags, setting off fireworks, throwing a family barbecue, and generally enjoying the freedoms that are the birthright of Americans everywhere.

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson warned future generations that, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants, from time to time."

American freedom was purchased with the blood of patriots.

And, from time to time, despots and tyrants have threatened American freedom. American patriots stood in the breach, defending that freedom with their own blood.

Patriotism means love and devotion to one's own homeland. It is derived from the Latin patria, meaning, "the land of one's fathers."

But in 2006, being a 'patriot' is like having 'family values'. It is a word that can mean whatever one wants it to. Politicians eager to score points against the administration find no conflict in calling the US government corrupt and dishonest.

If true, it means the world's most powerful country was overthrown in a coup d'etat by a small cadre of rich and powerful men. It means America, as we know it, is no more. It is a very serious charge. But it is regularly thrown about by elected officials of the US government who know full well they are giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Disloyalty to the government by its elected officials is so common that someone even coined an acronym for it - ACE -- short for Aid and Comfort to the Enemy.

A couple of weeks ago, a prominent American entertainer made headlines with her comments to a British tabloid. Natalie Maines, a singer with the Dixie Chicks, equated patriotism with pandering. "A lot of pandering started going on, and you'd see soldiers and the American flag in every video. It became a sickening display of ultra-patriotism."

Maines went on, asking, Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country... I don't see why people care about patriotism."

Instead of being horrified at the thought of someone so blessed by America expressing such ingratitude, Maines' comments spawned a national debate about what being a patriot is all about. In the final analysis, it isn't about much.

Some disloyal US official leaked operational details about a secret US warfighting program to the New York Times. The administration reported 'implored' the Times not to reveal it. The editors at the New York Times rejected the administration's plea and ran the story anyway.

The administration -- which is, by the way, the United States government, admitted the leak caused serious damage to our warfighting ability. That is the textbook definition of treason. Had the New York Times revealed the plans for the D-Day invasion in 1944, the editors would have been imprisoned as spies.

In 2006, the government can say 'that's classified' and the New York Times can say, 'no its not." And that's the end of it.

In 2006 America, putting one's party ahead of one's country is what passes for patriotism. The last time that happened in America, it prompted Abraham Lincoln to repeat the Biblical truth that a 'house divided against itself cannot stand."

It seems that America's liberal establishment is determined to prove Lincoln right.

Email Author: Hal Lindsey


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Defense of the homeland is a commonplace of military patriotism: The statue in the courtyard of École polytechnique, Paris, commemorating the students' involvement in defending France against the 1814 invasion of the Coalition.

Patriotism denotes positive attitudes by individuals to their own perceived civic or political community, to its culture, its members, and to its interests. Actions towards other countries, or to non-civic groups, are not generally described as patriotic, and they may be referred to by a specific name, such as pro-Greek philhellenism. Patriotism is closely related to nationalism. Differences between the two are commonly claimed to be that patriotism is primarily emotional and related to positive attitudes to one's own community, while nationalism combines both positive attitudes to one's own community and negative attitudes to other communities and is related to war.[1]

To some, patriotism has connotations of self-sacrifice, implying that the individual should place the interests of the community above their personal interests, and in extreme cases their lives and the lives of other individuals, perceived to be members of a different community. In wartime, patriotism as so understood is assumed to be the main driving force for participation in military operations, certainly if it is voluntary. In this context patriotism is seen as an explanation for the apparent suspension of the instinct for self-preservation, which implies that all humans would avoid a battlefield.

Others, however, associate patriotism with the common good, with the aim of responding to conflicts in ways which ensure that everyone in the perceived national community benefits. As such, patriotism has ethical connotations: it implies that the political community is in some way a moral standard or moral value in itself. The expression my country right or wrong - a misquotation of the American naval officer Stephen Decatur (but actually attributable to Carl Schurz, a nineteenth century German revolutionary who later immigrated to the United States)- is the extreme form of this belief. The primary implication of patriotism in ethics is that a person has more moral duties to fellow members of the political community, as distinct from non-members. In social science terminology, this doctrine is a form of discrimination. Ethical cosmopolitanism is the doctrine that no distinction should be made among humans, in the degree of moral obligation.[citation needed]

The term patriotism is generally used in the context of an already existing political community. It can be voluntary and emotional empathy, and it can be officially promoted by the government - usually both. National sentiments often dovetail with the patriotic, but they should not be confused, since national communities are unlike civic or political ones in that they are, for the most part, located within civil society rather than in and around the state. National movements are also concerned with the state, however, especially when it is felt that the national community has not been sufficiently recognized by the state, with the consequence that the nation cannot be considered wholly free. What often then arises are national liberation movements, such as Irish Republicanism, Basque and Québécois separatism. In Northern Ireland two parallel national cultures co-exist, one Irish-Republican and one pro-British unionist. In Belgium, pro-Belgian patriotism is weak, while the nationalism of the country`s nations are strong.

Ethical attitudes which are alternative to patriotism include either more restrictive self-interest, that thinkers as Aristotle and Machiavelli refer to as "corruption", in which citizens are more concerned with their personal and group interests than with the common good of the political community as a whole, and much wider forms of altruism, such as the human rights tradition, in which positive attitudes are held to everybody in the whole human community living on the planet Earth. In practice, many patriots would see treason as the 'opposite of patriotism'.


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