I have been in quiet reflection this week as a question has sat in the back of mind: What is a Patriot? It is sitting there due to some converstaions I have had with team members. It is there because I am reading a book with a title reflecting that question, and I watched a movie with Mel Gibson, who played the role of one. However in the book, movie, and conversation the vision in my head was different. In America today it seems certain words are thrown around and have extra important meaning. Words like progressive, liberal, socialist, commie, have horrible stigmas with them from certain segments of the population. Other words like survivalist, prep-per, conspiracy theorist, and sovereign citizen have stigmas with them from other segments of the population. It seems that in today’s America once you are labeled with a certain word, anyone who does not like what you and that word stand for tries to change the definition, make it evil, demonize it – which, of course, brings about the birth of new words to replace those old demonized words. Can anyone wonder how the term “quantitative easing” came to be? Look up the root word….money printing.
But then there is the word “Patriot”. What could be wrong with that word? It is as American as hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Everyone today would say a patriot is a God-loving American citizen who believes in the Constitution, our country and fighting to protect her. That sounds good enough. Well, then, why have I had dozens of different visions in my head as I thought about what a patriot is or is not? Maybe I should start at the beginning..the Merriam Webster definition:
Definition of PATRIOT : one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests
Examples of PATRIOT: He was a great patriot who devoted his life to serving his country – the contention that true patriots would be willing to do anything for their country.
First Known Use: 1605
Do I love my country…well I like the idea of a republic, I like the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and liberty. However I do not believe that our country is a republic any more and the Constitution and Bill of Rights is in the process of being destroyed. Do I support my country’s authority, 1000%, unequivocally? No. Do I support the Constitution authority of what our authority is supposed to be? Yes. Do I love my country’s interests today? No. No. No. Today I believe my country’s interests are not liberty, freedom, and peace, but just the opposite.
So am I a patriot under the Merriam Webster definition…nope.
When I wake up in the morning on XM/Sirius radio there is a channel called Patriots. Hundreds of talk show hosts call themselves and their listeners “patriots”. In my daily walk many tell me they are patriots. Heck, I have read a book entitled Patriots. Why would they call themselves “patriots” if they really don’t understood the definition of it? It seems the word has been morphed…taken over..hijacked.
The conservative opinion of the word “patriot”: An American citizen who stands for less government, Constitutional law, self-reliance, God, the Bill of Rights, and what our founding fathers fought for.
I guess that sounds good, but I have run into hundreds of people who call themselves “patriots” and collect unemployment, and vote politicians into office who will continue the handout gravy train for them. They “support the troops”, no matter what the cost is or how many wars we enter, and love free speech as long as people will say only what they want to hear and agree with laws silencing others.
I have run into hundreds of others whom call themselves “patriots” because they own a gun, and look down on you if you don’t. Those same people often just scream at the news of government growing but do nothing about it. They sit around all day drinking beer, smoking and complaining. I have run into dozens of police officers that claim they are “patriots” as they enforce laws that should never be enforced if you believe in a small government and individual liberties.
What is the image of “patriot” versus the image of “nationalist”? Is there a difference? In my mind a “patriot” is a person who carries a gun, pledges allegiance to the flag, sings country western music and screams “GOD bless America”. My view of a “nationalist” is a former soviet union soldier in military uniform, marching and saluting his flag, with his gun, singing national-themed music and saluting his country’s leader, not God. How much of a difference is there?
So do I call myself a “patriot”?…I do not know. Today my alligence lies with the LORD. Who am I…a child of GOD who today lives under his grace.
God Bless You
God Bless America