I am very proud to be an American and I am not afraid to state that. However, that being said, that does not mean that I fully subjugate myself fully to my government. in fact, I disagree with the actions of my government quite a bit, but, that is what makes this nation great–we are allowed to do that without penalty!
This is not a concept that just applies to America either, people honestly do care about their nation and culture no matter where they live and completely independent of whatever government is currently ruling over them. It is not for the USA to dictate to other nations what their beliefs should be, we should be willing to accept the fact that other nations have rich histories and cultures of their own. The issue of ruling governments is something different entirely.
At this point I need to interject with some simple definitions. To clarify on my word choices it is important to note any references to country are meant in a geographical sense while references to nation reference to a large body of people within a country.
There is somewhere in the neighborhood of 196 countries in this world, that is a huge number when you consider the fact that there tends to be many nations, or societies/cultures if you prefer, within one country. We are not at the point as a species of having a collective belief system, this is something I have addressed before and most likely will again, and it is unfair for anyone, person, nation or *cough* religious institution, to attempt to force their belief system on another. You would not go into someone’s home and tell them how to rearrange their furniture would you? It is important to respect the belief systems of other nations, especially when you are a tourist. People will most likely spot you as a tourist and have their own preconceived perceptions, however, if you act in a polite manner (as if you were in someone’s home, which you are) then chances are you will be treated politely yourself.
I have grown very tired of Americans disrespecting their own nation, it is uncalled for. While you may disagree with the current powers in government, they are not a true reflection of this nation, yes they are the “representatives” however this nation is to culturally vast for that few people to be a reflection. It would behoove you to realize as well that only a small number of the government people in Washington D.C. are elected, a fair amount of them are appointed for one reason or another. The concept of a career politician was not something that the Founding Fathers intended, this nation was founded on the principal of being citizen led, with elected officials serving the needs of those citizens. Speaking of the Founding Fathers, this is a great chance for a segue into the topic of The Constitution. I want to start this part with a quotation from Thomas Jefferson:
I am certainly not an advocate for for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
Thomas Jefferson was fully for the idea of a “Living Constitution”, a constitution that could be revisited and revised on a regular basis to reflect the changes in society and technology. Instead, what we have now is akin to a religious movement for a document that is over 200 years old and was written in a different time with a very different culture. The original intention of our Constitution was to create a government that was more centered around the people than the British rule we had lived under. Which, that was fine and good for that day and age, but as many events have shown it no longer applies to the here and now. The Founding Fathers never envisioned the Internet, women’s rights, freedom of the slaves or open acceptance of homosexuality. While yes, we have an amendment system for our Constitution it is not enough, not by far. The core of the Constitution needs to be revisited and edited to reflect the age we currently find ourselves in.
To close this off, I want to touch once again on religion. While I agree with the concept that everyone is entitled to their own belief system, religion should never be a part of any government, they two are not compatible. The purpose of government is supposed to be to insure the welfare of the govern, also know as the citizens. Religion seeks to control the masses with the “elect few”, the priest caste. Religious doctrine is government does not allow for a free and healthy society, if one reflects on historical wars you will see that more than any other cause they have been started for religious reasons… Just take all of the Crusades as a fine example. Religious reasoning has been used far to often to oppress people and to deny them of their basic rights: Women, minorities, & LGBT to name but a few. Religion is fine in the home, the church and gatherings of like minded people, but please, leave it out of the schools, my government and off my front porch!