Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I’m Proud to be an American

It has been my observation that it is only those who are very patriotic that feel that their country has lost its appeal to outsiders before it really has.  Yes America (as we know and love it) is in decline and the things that we hold dear and sacred as its citizens are becoming threatened.  However, there is much of the outside world that is yet to achieve those freedoms and the amazing opportunities that are available here.  America is still worth "running" for, just ask all those guys down south who daily risk their lives to cross the border... 

When I stood and said the pledge of allegiance at my citizenship ceremony there was something inside of me that wept for joy.  I was so "proud to be an American".  It seemed strange to me to sense that not everyone in that room or in this country shared my feelings of patriotism.  Heck, I'm not even sure if our President feels privileged to put his hand over his heart in gratitude to our Founders.   I sat there and cried as Lee Greenwood sang the familiar tune that became a regular radio favorite after that infamous day in September.  It's a shame that it takes an awful event to remind us that we're proud to be American and of our duty to uphold it's ideals.  And yet, in classrooms across the country that pledge is now absent from the schedule. 

One of the main reasons why I am determined to home school is because I want our children to be patriotic. (Even though at this time, with a two year old asserting his power at every opportune moment, I wonder at the sanity of that decision :))  I want them to say the pledge of allegiance, I want them to study the values upon which this country was founded and the lives and morals of the founding fathers.  To know that these men feared God and desired not only to be free themselves, but to make that gift available to all.  They fought for, lived, and died, for the freedom that is the backbone of this country. 

Sadly, I think that modern America has gradually come to misunderstand freedom as the "freedom" to do as you please without regard for others rights and without an acknowledgement of consequences.  We take on debts we can't pay and want a bail out as soon as reality threatens our greed.  We take the lives of innocent children in the name of "freedom of choice" and we teach our children that as long as you are expressing yourself anything goes.  But freedom is not that superficial.  It is rooted in discipline, accountability, and the obedience to and fear of God. 

"America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great" (commonly attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville).  I want to assure you that from a former foreigner's point of view there is still so much good about it.  But it is up to us, those who want to uphold the principles of it's founding, to teach the next generation what makes it good.  I am confident that even if we see democracy crumble and this nation fall in our lifetimes, the spirit of America, that spirit of freedom, liberty, and justice will stay alive in the hearts of children whose parents were true patriots and taught their children well.  It is up to us as individuals, parents, and families to uphold those values and freedoms and keep America free.

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing!