Amongst all of the attention grabbing faux protests by millionaire athletes and celebrities, protests for which I am willing to bet they have no idea why they are doing it other than to ‘show unity’ with ‘something’, something they don’t fully understand, there comes the question of American values. What values do we as a nation hold and how do we honor them? If only the Founding Fathers had left us a clue what our country was all about… Oh wait, they did!
First off, let’s take a look at our nation. It is called a melting pot for a reason. Our population is the descendants of immigrants from around the world. Members of every race, religion, and belief system have come to our shores looking for the better life afforded by the freedoms our Constitution and Bill of Rights protect. It continues, as it has since the beginning, as more come to share in the American dream.
Of course, the American dream comes at a price. It was paid for with the blood of patriots, beginning with the Founding Fathers and continuing throughout our history with the men and women of our military forces. They have given their lives so that we can live free.
Our nation’s Bill of Rights stands alone in the world for the natural rights it protects. Remember, the Bill of Rights does not grant them; it merely protects those rights. Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and are therefore universal and inalienable, i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws. A point many of our current elitist politicians seem to have forgotten.
The fact that the framers of our nation made a point to call out these natural rights as what our nation was founded on is critical. They had just fought to free themselves from oppressive rulers and wanted to ensure it would never happen again. The protections they outline are for the individual — the people — NOT the government.
The two pieces of respect for American values currently under attack are the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.
The Pledge of Allegiance, first written in 1887, later revised in 1892 and first formally adopted by Congress in 1942. It was officially named the Pledge of Allegiance in 1945. The current version was adopted on Flag Day in 1954.
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
The National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, written by a witness to the attack on our soil during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812, was signed into law as the national anthem of the United States of America by President Herbert Hoover on March 4, 1931.
“O! say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
How those two pieces of respect for our nation can be interpreted to be anything but a representation of the values our nation was founded on is beyond me. They are a show of respect not only for the nation, but those who have fought, and continue to fight for the very freedom and rights we enjoy.
But then, we’ve all seen insanity on overtime lately as everything from fashion, art, books and memorials being selectively reinterpreted by any and everyone as offensive in some way, shape or form. Fortunately, we have the First Amendment protected right to free speech, and being a disrespectful fool falls into that category; so go nuts.
To all the petty, attention-grabbing people out there who are choosing to protest ‘something’ by not honoring the nation that provides you with the ability to protest and express your discontent in the first place; I ask you this. What the hell are you doing about the problem you think you are protesting for?
To the millionaire athletes and celebrities who can’t find the physical or emotional strength to stand during the National Anthem; have you put your money and influence where your knee is and helped others less fortunate than you? To the politicians, our elected public servants who took an oath to support and defend the Constitution as part of your entry into the position of trust you hold. Other than sitting on your ass during the Pledge of Allegiance, what have you done to help alleviate the issues you claim you are protesting for?
Here are some suggestions:
How about going into the communities you claim to represent and mentoring at risk youth? How about giving a helping hand to those who don’t have and never will have the advantages you were able to obtain in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Maybe, just maybe, if you were to teach them what our National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance actually stand for, they too would help our nation achieve the values of “liberty and justice for all.” Maybe if you showed a little respect, they would too.
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