Happy 4th of July! Who doesn’t love Independence Day? BBQ’s and boating, family and friends, patriotism and parks, stars and stripes. Sounds like a pretty great party. Heck, it’s about the only big holiday in the summer…probably because summer isn’t depressing like winter so we don’t have to cram in lots of reasons to celebrate. We celebrate leaving hibernation!
But, I have a secret to tell you. Until recently, I did not consider myself a patriot. I didn’t think I was patriotic. At all. In fact, (and this is a topic you will rarely hear me talk about) I was embarrassed to be an American. I was embarrassed by our country, by the way people act, by our politics and politicians. I was embarrassed by the way the rest of the world views us. I was embarrassed – not proud.
How could I be proud of this country when it was divided by hate and intolerance and people fighting with hate and intolerance to end both? How could I have pride in a country run by blundering fools? My extreme desire to travel and see the world was smothered by the fear of having to tell people I was from the U.S.A. or worse, not having to tell them because it would be so apparent. Nothing brought shame upon me quite like admitting I was an American. Shouldn’t I be proud to be a part of the “greatest nation on earth” as so many say, instead of mortified? (Addressing how pompous that statement is would be a post in and of itself!)
This isn’t to say I wasn’t grateful to our servicemen or for my freedom. I was. My parents are both very patriotic. I was raised to love and appreciate my country. I just didn’t love it. Until.
Not so long ago, I was pinning some fun crafts and festive recipes for the upcoming holiday and ran across these two pins. The websites didn’t exactly match once clicked on so hopefully no one comes after me for stealing these. I’d give you credit if I could! Anyway, when I read these two quotes, I had an awakening.
I realized that patriots don’t blindly agree with what everyone else does. They don’t necessarily support every cause Washington takes upon itself to thrust upon us. Patriotism is more than supporting and defending your country. It is defending it from itself. It is supporting the parts that you agree with, that you want to see continue, and overthrowing anything that contradicts that. Patriotism is standing by a dying Constitution even if you are standing there alone. A patriot defends rights over laws. A patriot believes in God and looks to Him. A patriot upholds His laws first and their country’s laws second.
I AM a patriot.