My Country tis of Thee

We sang the national anthem in church today.  We do this every year and it has always made me pause to think, always bothered me just a little.

Christ Church... George Washington's house of worship, not mine.

Today as I sang and I thought, I came to the conclusion that if I was bothered, the problem was me.

Betsy Ross House

I suppose I was bothered by the idea that being American makes me better than anyone else; it does not.

I know plenty of Americans who are very likely worse people than any third world dictator.  I’m sure that I could easily find people of greater character than myself in both Palestine and Israel. 

Inside Independence Hall

I have long looked around at sleazy politicians, crooked cops, and entitled workers complaining that they must in fact earn their living, all the while waving our common flag.  I don’t like it.

But I realized today, while I’m sure  I have always known it, that these are not what makes America worth singing about, because she is in fact worthy of the songs.

The framework that suffers these aforementioned fools is greater than any of us in that it allows for the possibility of us not remaining fools.

"The Signer"

While not always to my satisfaction, bad politicians can be replaced, crooked authorities can be prosecuted, and the entitled can be humbled.  Here, despite our ugly past, collective or individual, we can in fact get better.  The system was written with the idea that we would become so.

I love that.

Mounted Washington

6 thoughts on “My Country tis of Thee

  1. Great post! I loved it.

    I’m right there with you. I definitely do not think we are the greatest country by any means, nor do I think that being an American makes me better. I am thankful that I am a citizen of this country, and I do believe that this is the “land of opportunity”. Unfortunately, like you stated, I think the one thing we as American citizens are good at is taking everything that we have for granted….then we turn around and gloat about how we are so much better. I could go on for days about this….great post man!

  2. @2button, thanks for the props but I think we, as in our governmental framework or constitution, may in fact be the greatest country on earth… now as far as our citizenship…I’m not so sure. We have absolutely no monopoly on goodness or rightnes.

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