The word Patriot is heard a lot these days. For some, the word conjures up a vision of those who fought against British tyranny during the times of the Revolutionary war, or those who have fought and still fight to protect our way of life and country. Most folks believe that simply being an American who votes is a patriot.
A patriot is not someone who willingly works to subvert the secure base of our nation’s foundation- the Constitution, and the morality which the men who had hand in creating the Constitutional laws and our Bill of Rights believed in and trusted in. He is no patriot who divides on the basis of our moral principles which benefits only him or a small minority.
For instance, George Washington, first General of the Continental Army and President of the United States once said, “Of all the disposition and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness… Who that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempt to shake the foundation of the fabric?”It’s not that one can’t be anything other than Christian and a patriot- there are people of every religion and cultural background who love this country and even recognize and respect the Christian foundation and heritage but would never seek to destroy it or transform it because they recognize that it’s the very fabric of our nation and always has been. However, those who work to tear that foundation and heritage away because they hate the source or don’t believe, disrespect our nation and do it not for the benefit of our nation, but personal objectives. Like it or not, be offended or not, but our country was built upon Biblical Christianity from the time of the pilgrims and spanned two hundred years, from the time of the Declaration, Constitution and our Founding fathers to well into the 20th Century.
Charles Carroll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a framer of the Bill of Rights put it this way, “Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they are therefore who are decrying the Christian Religion are undermining the solid foundation of morals- the best security for the duration of a free government.”
This country has been freest and most prosperous, a beacon to the rest of the world, and strong when we acknowledged and respected Biblical morals and our Christian heritage and foundation. Once we started eroding that foundation purposely, our freedoms, morality and safety have been steadily eroding as well. Anyone who intentionally undermines our foundation is no patriot. The words and laws of our Constitution and Bill of Rights were influenced by men who understood the threads which bind Biblical morality and good governance under a Constitutional Republic.
When it comes to the subject of patriotism I am often attacked on a personal level by people because of the ways in which I express my extreme displeasures at our current government and those who vote for them over and over again. As is usual in personal attacks my patriotism comes into question by two points:1) I have never served in the US Military therefore I am no patriot and 2) I was not born and raised in the US therefore I am no patriot.
I’d like to address the second point first. Assuming because I was born in another country, I can’t love this country the same as those born and raised here. OK that’s a fair point, however, breaking that argument down it usually comes out that because I’m still learning about our system of government, our history and culture I can’t possibly know enough to speak out about it. The key word however is “Learning”. I love learning, and won’t stop learning until the day I die. Only fools believe they know more because they were born in a place, and don’t need to learn more about the place they in which they were born.
I’ve been learning about American History, our Constitution and other topics for years. I’ve learned more since graduating from school than I ever learned in school rooms. I wonder how well some of these people who are quick to judge would do if they were given a citizenship test? It’s interesting, in a sad way, that studies have shown that one in three native-born citizens fail the civics portion of the naturalization test, compared to the 97.5% of immigrants applying for citizenship who pass it. (To pass, one must answer only 6 out of 10 questions correctly.) And as for people who wonder, I scored 10 out of 10.
Statistics show why our nation is in the current state, as out of American born citizens:
85% did not know the meaning of the “the rule of law.”
82% could not name “two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
75% were not able to correctly answer “What does the judiciary branch do?”
71% were unable to identify the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land.”
68% did not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court.
63% could not name one of their two US Senators.
These numbers are truly pitiful. I can’t help feeling sad that so many people don’t care to know more about their own country. These numbers however aren’t surprising considering how many people I hear daily who call the United States a democracy and who don’t know about the people they vote for.I’ll never claim to know all the fine mechanics of how our government operates, and like I said, there is still a lot to learn, but for people to question mine or anyone’s patriotism for being born somewhere else need to realize that many people who work hard to come to this country the legal way do so because they love, respect and honor the United States before we even get to live here.
Now the question of my service to this country, this is usually included with a list of the person’s family members who have served in the military, or the fact that they themselves did. Whenever I answer, I always tell them how grateful I am for their family's service, or theirs- because I realize the incredible cost of serving this nation and keeping us safe. I will always be grateful to all who have paid, including millions who have given their lives to give me a free country to call home.I may mention that I have had family members, and friends who have or still serve, but I don’t feel right about doing that. I feel like I’m trying to justify my own patriotic spirit by using my friends or families incredible service, but there’s nothing patriotic or honorable about my being tied by family or through friendship of those who have served.
I am proud of knowing or being friends with such folks, but their service is theirs, not mine, and the same can be said for the people who use their families’ military service as a sort of a badge of their own patriotism. Instead, I’d like to ask, if they haven’t served in the military- what have they done in other ways of serving? In no way am I downplaying the incredible service of our military and veterans, but there are other ways to serve this nation. A true servant’s heart is providing without expecting personal gain, so I have to wonder do these people have a heart for service to their nation’s benefit?A patriot is someone who understands and at least performs responsibilities of citizenship. These duties include the privilege of voting. Too many people see voting as a right only, but don’t care or don’t realize the incredible responsibility of voting. Voting is a divine right to choose who you want to represent your voice in government. The fact that we are free to vote, is because of our Constitutional Republican form of government where we the people have the power, and we tell the government what to do to keep our rights secure. It’s not a right to vote for whoever promises the most things or because a candidate has a nice haircut, wears the latest fashion or has a certain letter after their name or even because of the candidate’s skin shade.
Voting is a right- but more important it is a privilege and it’s a patriot’s duty to vote conscientiously and carefully. Samuel Adams once said of voting,
One of the basic rights which is God given and inherent is the right to speak one’s mind without fear of punishment, or fear of being labeled as hateful or ignorant. Too many people love to claim whole segments of our society as intolerant while claiming the banner of freedom of speech, yet those same are the ones who shut down others’ rights to speak.Patriots are quick to speak, but don’t quash others’ rights to do the same. Patriots are willing to defend and fight for what’s morally right, by the standards set in the Bible, which are embedded in our Constitution, and recognize what will happen to the nation should our Constitutional rights be undermined either by the government, a branch of government or small elite unelected groups which influence more government control over the people.
A patriot is a person who vigorously supports their country, their ideals, their traditions and their laws of the Constitution and is prepared to defend it against all enemies or detractors, including when it’s being undermined by a government agency or body.
I may have never served in the military, may not have been born here- but I can claim something others who were born here can never claim. I chose to come, I chose to follow the laws, chose to swear an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States of America, because I love this country and because I am a patriot.