Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Proud to be an American...?
In case you didn't know, I'm a boy scout. I'm a part of Troop 61, and we meet every Mon. night at Westside Bible church in Meridian. I enjoy scouts, even if I get mocked by some of my friends at school about it ;)
Last Monday we had a guest speaker- a lady who had recently gotten her American citizenship after immigrating from Ireland when she was 16 with her family. Basically she just told us all the things she had to do to become an American citizen, what that means, etc. She even asked us a couple questions from the test.
(One of them was "Who is the head of the Supreme Court? What's his name?" I said Chief Justice Roberts when no one else could figure it out. Apparently not everyone heard about the blunder that made him famous.)
The thing that struck me most about this woman wasn't the process she had to go through to get her citizenship (although that was impressive.) Rather, I found her level of patriotism to the United States incredible! She spoke about our country as if it were heaven. In fact, before she was an American citizen she wouldn't touch an American flag out of respect, and because she felt that if she were to let it touch the ground, or defy it in any way, she would be disrespecting the entire country more so because she wasn't yet a citizen.
What hit me the most about this wasn't a sense of guilt, such as "I have so much to be thankful for, and am taking advantage of so much!" I know the freedoms this country gives me, and I am grateful for them. I do participate in being a citizen by staying informed politically, by following the laws even when I don't agree with them 100%, and by praying for America's leaders frequently. I don't, however, have a large degree of respect for the country itself. I see America as extremely corrupt, and getting worse everyday.
Like I said, this isn't to say I'm not glad I live in America, because I am. I'm no terrorist, I simply don't exactly know what it means to be patriotic. Is patriotism being thankful? Is it waving a flag around on the fourth of July? Is it saying the pledge of allegiance?
On that note, what about the pledge of allegiance? When I say it am I pledging to the ever-degrading American society? Or am I pledging to the ideals that America was founded upon? I'm honestly not sure. If the latter, I'll say it everyday, any day. If the former, I don't see much of a point.
What do you think?