Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why I Am A Patriot

A word which I am sure will be much tossed about in coming days is 'patriot.' For me, you are a 'patriot' when you strive to make our country a better nation, in its dealings at home and abroad.

We are not behaving as a 'good' nation when we forget one of our central purposes, as inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. To welcome to our shores the poor and huddled masses of the world. Not some of them. All of them.

We are not behaving as a 'good' nation when we spy on our citizens, when we constantly interfere with their freedom and when we get the balance between security and freedom wrong.

We are not behaving as a 'good' nation when we feel we have the right to tramp around the world, seizing the raw materials we wish, and when we offer violence to any who complain.

We are not behaving as a 'good' nation when we support leaders of other countries in their efforts to suppress their citizens with tyranny and inhumanity.

When folks finally decide they have had enough of the yoke (as the Colonists did in 1776), and rise up to secure their freedom and independence, they often turn on those they believe have been responsible for their oppression. With disastrous and tragic consequences.

I do not support violence of any form. I hope that all of those responsible for Boston are brought to proper justice.

But just as I decry individual violence and terror, I am opposed to it when it is organized, not least by the state.

I trust that in the coming weeks we will all become true 'patriots,' and learn that securing our borders, our homes, our families and our friends is not merely about having the bigger gun, it also about having the bigger conscience.