Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Well-Intentioned Lie

I saw a purportedly true story today about a teacher encouraging her students to make the most of their education because soldiers fought for them to have that freedom, that right. Sounds like a wonderful story, but to be perfectly honest, it irritated the snot out of me. Why? Because this teacher wanted to instill patriotism, determination, & a love for learning, but it was built on a lie. Let me break this down:

1.) No American soldier has ever fought a war or battle of any sort to defend our "right" to an education. Once upon a time, citizens had to fight to receive an education, but those battles took place in the legal system. They were never fought by our soldiers. 

2.) Education is not a "right" that we have to defend or protect; it's forced on us by our government. Don't believe me? Keep your children out of school & see how long it takes before a truancy officer visits your home. Does such a thing happen if we choose not to exercise our right to speak or carry guns? Those are rights, education is compulsory.

3.) We have a false patriotism in this country that is sickening. We pull out our flags on the 4th & our "support the troops" mantra when it suits, but we spit on the freedoms our soldiers & Founding Fathers DID fight for every time we vote in another big-government, power-hungry politician who is devoted to taking away those freedoms. We champion them in sentiment while spitting on them in practice. It's disgusting.

Do I sound angry? Well, I am. I'm angry with my fellow Americans who mistake loyalty to America with loyalty to our government. I'm angry with my fellow Americans who would rather let the media tell them what to think than to educate themselves. I'm angry with my fellow Americans who think that they have the right to take away my rights simply because they don't want them for themselves. I'm angry with my fellow Americans who vote selfishly & with others who are apathetic, because they're saddling my children & grandchildren - as well as their own - with the consequences just like previous generations did to us. Finally, I'm just flat fed up with my fellow Americans who play at patriotism while desecrating the values & principles that this country was founded upon. 

True patriotism is found in those who fight for the truth at great personal cost. It's found in those who fight to safeguard the freedoms & rights of others that they may not agree with. It's found in those who know that in a truly free society, the freedoms of others may mean that they are sometimes offended or that someone will choose something different from them . . . & they fight for the preservation of those freedoms just the same. True patriotism is costly, it's hard, it often means being ridiculed or maligned, & it should never be confused with loyalty to a government. Nor should it be a punch line built on a lie to make a point, however well-intentioned.