Ideas, thoughts, and rants from along the way…

Archive for March, 2009

Faith vs. Patriotism

With all the junk going on in our country right now it is hard not to question everything.
How did we get here? Where are we headed? I am torn between my patriotism and my
faith. In America, we have always been able to let the two intertwine, but that is getting
harder to do. I find myself in a position that I have never been in before. I am not proud
of where we are as a nation. I believe that we are still the best county in the world, but
just because we are at the top does not mean we are right. Where do we draw the line
between support of those above, and our own personal convictions. My father taught
my brothers and I that you are to respect those over you, to always give others the
benefit of the doubt, and to treat others as you want to be treated. I donʼt see that in our
country any more. We fight wars only when we have something at stake, we donʼt fight
when we donʼt have anything to gain, and we no longer put our people above our
institution. When corruption, greed, deception, and hypocrisy are the dominant
attributes of our modern political atmosphere, how can we go on like nothing is
happening. I still get chills at the sight of the stars and stripes. I still have to fight back
tears when I hear the national anthem, but is it pride in our current state or fond
memories of a dying ideal. I think I am moved because of what America has always
stood for. The problem is that we used to stand for something that is no longer woven
into the fabric of our nation.
My faith is at the center of everything I do. It saturates ever aspect of my life.
Because I believe that my life is the manifestation of my heart, I must apply the precepts
of scripture to my decisions and actions. The way I think, speak, act, pray, and fight
must echo the values that I have gained from that faith. I must think in purity, speak in
wisdom, act in love, pray for mercy, and fight for justice. If I apply these values to my
life, then should I not also expect the same from a nation that was build on the same
principles? I am not ignorant to think that our country will continue to support Judeo-
Christian morals and ethics, but at least have some. No matter what your religious
views, honesty, truth, hard work, mercy, and love is probably part of the core values of
your faith. Even those that do not give themselves over to a religious point of view
understand the characteristics of morals and ethics. There is an understanding of right
and wrong that is innate in all of us. Our leaders know what to do, but their focus has
been dulled by institutional corruption fueled by person greed.
Where has leadership gone? At some point our leadership stopped being “for the
people”, and became like the people. In my understanding of leadership, any leader
must guide his or her followers to a goal by example and standard. Our leaders should
listen to the voice of the people and then make decisions based on wisdom, common
sense, and conviction. I do not choose those over me because they share all my views.
I choose them because they will challenge me to be better. Maybe that is the problem,
we do not want to be better, just comfortable.
Father, I thank you that I am blessed to live in the greatest country in the world. I pray
that as we continue on down the road of time that you will give your children the wisdom
and strength to know where to stand, when to make peace, and when to fight. Let your
Kingdom come, and may you always bless America.