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the meaning of the word patriot

Posted by a bit of education on March 31, 2003 at 08:30:26

I took the liberty of reposting this post, signed by Linda, because of its quality and depth, so different from the rhetoric thrown around here, a la grenade style. (The post was a reply to Joshua, on NDN.)

Here it is:

Joshua, since you are not a native of the United States and I am, I do feel that it would be worth a few words to explain something to you regarding patriotism.
Many people are slinging this word around these days, but have no idea what it really means.
The founding fathers of our land were, for the most part, Christians and gentlemen who considered honesty a virtue, and abhorred all forms of lying, cheating and injustice. These were the men that founded America.
When I was a little girl (50 years ago) I used to listen in awe as I heard the words that were spoken. The words of the founding fathers made me proud to be an American.
My father was a decorated WWII veteran and officer with the United States Air Force for over 20 years. My uncle and several other relatives fought in WWII. My older brother served in the US Navy on a battleship in the 60's. I even once tried to join the Army(!), but was rejected as I'd had a baby.
Myself and my other 8 brothers and sisters were all born on a US Air Force base.
During the Vietnam war, I was a hippie and a protester. In the case that my younger brothers might be drafted, my father had purchased two tickets for them to flee to Canada.
What had changed my father? What had changed my country? Do you think maybe the values changed?
I can't tell you how many times I've cried watching my country go under. Watching it shrivel down as it struggles to keep a superficial material standard at the cost of the poor, while letting it's moral standards rot. I love my country. I weep for it, but now, as the Bible says, I "seek a better country, that is, a heavenly where God is not ashamed to be my God..." (Hebrews 11:16)
Check the quotes below to see how things have changed and why we, as true Americans, cannot stand by and just cheer whatever our government does.
I'm giving you some quotes of some of the founding fathers, great men who fought for the
freedom that we are rapidly losing. I am a patriot, but that doesn't mean a blind follower. We should learn from our own mistakes. Right? Weren't we blind followers at one time?
Most importantly, my country is yet to come and as Christians, instead of fighting with each other, we should join together to help bring the
only just Kingdom, God's Kingdom, on earth as it is in Heaven. (Dan.2:44)
Would you classify the following as a traitorous quote?
"Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with those warlike
preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to
a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort." - Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
Who he was: In 1776, Henry was elected Governor of Virginia. He was re-elected for 3 terms and then succeeded by Thomas Jefferson. He was again elected to the office in 1784.
Patrick Henry was a strong critic of the constitution proposed in 1787. He was in favor of
the strongest possible government for the individual states, and a weak federal government.
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
Who he was: Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd
President of the United States, was this nation's greatest champion of representative democracy and the rights of man.
This was taken from the Declaration of Idependence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." --Declaration of Independence as originally written
by Thomas Jefferson, 1776."
Do you believe that this would be respected today?
In light of the newest laws on terrorism which allow the government to know everything about you, here is what Benjamin Franklin had to say:
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither
liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.
I, Linda, believe that we Americans are the way we are because we had such founding fathers who didn't take things at face value, but stood up for what they believed was fair and right. We, as Americans, should continue their legacy.
Links to these and other quotes: