Proud to be an American!

Today is officially Memorial day, 2011. Thanks to ALL service people & veterans who served this great nation. Freedom isn’t free, so I am grateful for the sacrifice of so many military members & their families to ensure our freedom.

I love my country. As a matter of fact, it is * because* of this love for my country that I wish to offer her constructive criticism. I love my country so much that I want to see life improve for her citizens…as well as improve her image worldwide.

In his homily yesterday, my priest reminded us that “to love” is an action verb. In my view, patriotism is not about passive flag-waving, but a call to make the United States an even better nation & society. Because I love my country, I work to promote environmental responsibility. It is because of my gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice made by so many of our military that I work & wish for positive change for my nation & ALL her people.

Since I’ve lived in Northwest Florida I’ve encountered a strange phenomenon that ” patriotism” means never fact-checking & acceptance of life as it always as been for a society dominated by straight, Caucasian men. Yes, in this nation even in the 21st century there is an undertow of very negative ISMs such as racism, heterosexism,ageism, ect.Possessing pride in one’s nation should not mean that one must turn aside regarding the civil rights that some citizens of our nation do not enjoy.

I have had my patriotism questioned when I point out such facts that American consume most of the world’s natural resources. Lisa Bloom says in her book _Think_ ” I don’t know what patriotism has to do with fact-checking.” Amen, Lisa, amen. Fact-checking is not unpatriotic & neither is being of the opinion that this great nation of ours can be even better than it is now. While I am a proud American, I also am a realist.

Why is realism ” unpatriotic”, pray tell? Dictatorships restrict the flow of ideas & I grew up believing that to challenge the status quo of * any* establishment is par for a healthy individual & societal mindset.

God Bless the USA.

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