Today is the fourth of July, the day we celebrate our independance from the tyranny of the British Government.
Today they are having a festival in a park by the Androscoggin River, with mediocre music, carnival games and food, and of course, multitudes of people. I rode my bike down to this event, and wandered around for a while.
But I couldn't stand it.
As I walked through the crowds, I looked around at the people, and I felt sick to my stomach at the ridiculousness of it all. Americans bloated by fast-food, reality television and gas-guzzling SUV's slouched in wide lawnchairs, touting t-shirts with nationalistic phrases like "God Bless America" and "We Support Our Troops". But I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach that this isn't what our nation is really about, something was wrong--wrong.
Almost all these people are citizens of the most wonderful, blessed nation of all time on this earth, and yet they were all ignorant. Ignorant of the hatred the rest of the world harbors against us. Ignorant of the walking irony that they were, on one hand claiming to be "patriotic" and supporters of our troops when in fact they have surrendered freedoms that were so valiently fought for by those troops in the name of "security".
Ben Franklin said "Those that would give up liberty
for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security".
It became so clear to me as I was standing there that I wanted to weep for our country, my country--God's country. The country which He has divinly guided, from the beginning of the revolutionary war to now, because everyone was so confused, so lost in the bustle of partisan politics and smear tactics, so placated by the flashy images on television and so destracted by the myriad of technology available to them that they missed the point of the whole day--
Celebrate our freedom.
Just as we freed ourselves from tyranny years ago, we must fight again to regain freedoms lost to misguided legislations, like the PATRIOT Act. We must send a clear message to our senators, state and federal, our justices, and our president, that we will not allow our rights to be infriged upon any longer, for we recognize that we cannot allow a long train of abuses to form, lest we need to throw off such a government and institute a new one.
Our soldiers, our friends, our families, and indeed, our enemies will never be able to say that the United States of America is a weak nation if we stand up for what we believe in, no matter how radical or conservative, because THAT'S what AMERICA is ALL ABOUT.
I don't claim to be a Saint-I'm a bloated American with a cell phone and a car, but I'm trying.
And I think that's enough.