Definition of Patriotic

With 4th July in our rear vision i have had some thoughts about it. Not surprisingly as some of you might be reading right now. So hear goes…

Some of these thoughts come from an article i saw/read on the CNN belief blog this morning. See link below for details

This type of story really interests me as i stand on the sidelines each 4th of July and watch as America does its thing over its Indpendence. Dont get wrong i think that nationhood, demoncracy and independence are wonderful things, and while my home NZ has its own government and IS a democracy we still have that monarch looking over our shoulder.

However what intrigued me about this article is the that many idea that many Americans only see being Patriotic as being meet by doing/completing or exercising a short list of activities. for example waving a flag, wearing an Old Navy t-shirt with a US flag on it, or chanting USA, USA, USA. Which leads me to say this…is this bordering on idolatry? Which is interesting when a country with such a large God presence knows fully well that 1st commandment is “Thou shall have no other gods before me.”

Has the nationhood idea reached such a fever pitch that it can only be defined by a short list of ‘ways to show you are patriotic’ and therefore become so narrow and exercised with such great energy that if you don’t show it this way or that way you are dare i say it unamerican.

And has it reached such a fever ptich that it has reduced all the God references to the point where America itself has become the god (small ‘g’ of course) what was the 1st commandment?.

Very ironic, i think.

Also what interests me is the way in which a country defines itself with its patriotic acitivties and un patriotic activties. i have had this debate with my parents numerous times, who have said that America is more patriotic than NZ, and thats fine they are entitled to their opinion. however my response is this… It depends on how one defines patriotic, it depends on what ‘makes the list’ of patriotic acts. NZ & the USA are VERY different, while we predominately speak english, eat with a knife & fork, value family, health, education there are A LOT of other things that make us VERY different. And to say that one is more patriotic than the other or less than the other is using a different yard stick to measure two very different things. Its not comparing apples to apples but apples to (might i say) marmite or baseball to cricket.


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