Are You Proud to Be an American?

US flag against white clouds and blue sky

Are you proud to be an American? Do you proudly recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the way we used to be taught in school, and don’t care who it offends nowadays?

Consider this: Jesus said, “My brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation” (James 5:12; also Mattthew 5:34).

A true patriot doesn’t need a pledge, nor the words “In God We Trust” on our money. (Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple with a whip!) Those things are mere lip service. And if we aren’t careful, they become mindless war chants.

If you’re a Bible believer, you have to admit that book takes a pretty dim view of pride. Consider Proverbs 11:12, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom,” or the famous Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Consider the apostle’s words in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” In fact, it seems impossible to find a single positive use of the word pride in those scriptures.

Here’s a list of synonyms Microsoft Word supplies for proud: “arrogant, conceited, self-important, swollen with pride, pompous, self-righteous, overconfident, bigheaded, egotistical.”

So no, I’m not proud to be an American. I’m happy to be an American. Thrilled, even! I’m exceedingly pleased to be able to speak my mind on subjects like this and continue a tradition of democracy and debate. If you’re of a similar disposition, let’s celebrate our freedom together!

Otherwise, please tootle your proud horn somewhere else.

Photo by Sam Howzit

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