Thursday, June 10, 2010

Patriotism

I realize some of my posts have been a little heavy. I don't intend on my blog being so heavy but this is one subject that has come up quite a bit recently and as Dennis can attest, there are some things I just can't let go. Yesterday my husband asked someone to stop forwarding anti-government, anti-Obama emails to him. This person then angrily questioned my husband's values and patriotism. As you can see, this hit a nerve in me.

Here's a typical political conversation about politics that is heard I'm sure not only in Idaho but in many conservative circles. "So I heard he doesn't believe in God." "Did you know he funds terrorists and supports Marxists?" "Did you know he's going to raise the gun tax by 40%?" "Did you know he supports live-birth abortion?" "I heard he's not even American."

So then I say, "Hmmm...I kind of like the guy. I don't agree with everything he does, but mostly, I think he's a decent guy." The room hushes, a couple of people squirm in their seats uncomfortably, and the topic is quickly changed.

Heaven forbid that an LDS, conservative Republican (mostly) has anything nice to say about our president. Come on now, how can a man that has been married to his wife longer than most other politicians, with two daughters, and that grows a garden, be the one to single-handedly usher in the apocalypse?

So back to my husband's patriotrism called into question, what is patriotism then? Is it in blindly embracing everything that is thrown our way by politicians? Or is it cutting down every word that comes out of Obama's mouth just because it's coming from a democrat? Last I checked, the number of times you hit the "forward button" isn't the defining factor of a patriot. Here are some examples of what I think patriotism is:

It's a friend of mine's husband enlisting in the military because he hasn't been able to find a job and figured he might as well serve his country. He will be leaving his wife and two young sons for 19 weeks for training. Thank God for people like him who refuse to resign to being "professionally unemployed."

It's my husband and other scouting leaders spending HUNDREDS of hours and most of their paid time off work in the scouting program, teaching our young boys how to grow into strong, honorable men.


It's the elderly man I see every day walking down the street carrying a plastic bag, picking up every piece of garbage that he sees.

It's the school teachers that I know that are sticking with their professions, even as most of them face salary cuts, because of their love for and hope in the youth of America.


It's my father-in-law, who when he sees change that needs to be made in his county, runs for county commissioner (and wins!-Way to go Joe). He spent countless hours and a pretty penny to campaign, even without the guarantee of success.


It's my two brothers, one who served in the military and one who serves our country in the Middle East with the state department, who have sacrified so much. My father also spent his entire career serving our government overseas.


And then it's my husband, again, who yesterday told me he would gladly go to the front lines to fight for our country, regardless of who was president.

So maybe instead of just sitting on our fannies, cutting down our leaders, maybe we should reread the 12th Article of Faith. "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." Unless I'm missing something, I didn't see a caveat for "as long as we agree with them."

7 comments:

Cristina said...

Way to go Rita! I couldn't agree more!

Ash said...

100% agree!

Cher said...

totally agree. i liked your lists of patriotic people you've noticed.
i hear a lot of bad things about obama too, mostly myths made up and sent aroud in emails. i don't believe most of what i read, especially in email form. and hey, i voted for him along with all my other republican votes. i obviously don't think one person or political party has it all figured out, but i like what i've seen of his character and most of his goals.

Percy said...

Whew, I agree! I've actually never voted non-Republican before, until Obama.

I share your views on patriotism being made up of the everyday acts of service and creative neighborhood leadership. Sometimes people would rather whine and complain, emotionally (not rationally) stereotyping eachother by party lines (or religious lines, or racial lines, etc). Any attempts to point out someone's humanity seen as betrayal.

Silly goose people!

Cynthia said...

This is great Rita! Thank you for sharing your opinion and being willing to stand up for our President. I have been struggling with the misplaced anger that has been directed towards the President - especially by members of the church. I voted for President Obama, and I support most of what he does and what he stands for, like all of our political leaders there is always something within their political veiwpoints that I don't agree with.

I too asked a family member to stop sending me anti-Obama emails. I have not received any negativity because of the request but there are times that I feel judged for my opinions, but I have made a decision to not sit queitly while others bad mouth our leaders. I applaud others that do the same.

Xan said...

This is Cynthia's sister. I think you said it better than I could have. Thank you!!

Usually,I am much meaner and call people out on being "ignorant" or "prejudiced" which doesn't help. I think you said it perfectly. Thank you again.

Becky said...

Right on, Rita! You know I agree with you 100%, and I'd bet the house that there are many others in our church and ward who agree too. Here's to thinking for ourselves and not letting radio hosts and radicals think for us!