Posted by: lylescott89 | July 3, 2008

The New Voice of Dissent

In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.

J. William Fulbright (1905 – )

If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism; if our government is to function it must have dissent.

Henry Commager (1902 – 1998)

We must dare to think "unthinkable" thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about "unthinkable things" because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless.

J. William Fulbright (1905 – ), March 27, 1964

Hey kids,

It’s not often when I start off with a few of my favorite quotes, but today is the right day for this.  You see, tomorrow is the 4th of July.  It is a day when most people have the day off and will wait all day until it is dark so they can make things explode.  I enjoy fireworks as much as the next guy, but leave them to the professionals.  Go to a fireworks show someplace.  Don’t stink up and destroy the neighborhood so you can blow up something yourself and yell obscenities. 

Now, why the quotes?  Well, I’ll tell you.  I have actually been called anti-American for this view.  Really!  Like it is everyone’s right and responsibility to blow stuff up in the neighborhood.  Back when Buddy was alive, he hated the 4th of July.  He’d hide under the bed for hours shaking.  Poor little doggie.  But, there was nothing I could do to calm him down. 

I have never been fond of patriotic songs either and have often felt the brunt of one’s ignorance for my thoughts.  I was told that someone would be singing God Bless America in church this Sunday.  I do not care for the song God Bless America.  I know!  I don’t hate it, I just don’t like it.  I find it arrogant and pretentious.  Doesn’t God bless everyone?  Doesn’t God want to bless all nations, not just America?  I tend to think so. 

I was told that it could have been worse.  She could have chosen to sing the song I hate and despise and the song that drives me nuts every year at this time.  God Bless the USA.  It is the most arrogant, pretentious, self-important, smug, cornpone song.  I hate it.  And you know what?  It’s okay that I hate it and it’s okay if you do too.  It’s also okay of you like it.  I am not anti-American because I do not like a poorly written and poorly performed country music ditty.  I don’t care for Lee Greenwood so why would I be expected to like this one little song of his?   Comedian David Cross mocks the song during his stand up comedy routine.  He challenges Greenwood to fight by standing up next to soldiers by joining the military as Greenwood suggests he would “gladly” do in his song.  Yes, like that would ever happen.  Again, God does not bless just the USA.  God blesses all countries and all people.  At least that is what I have been taught in church.  Maybe I’ll find out one day I was wrong and God just likes the USA and that’s all.  Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants to the Canadians?

By the way, I once saw a bumper sticker in Canada that said “God Bless Canada”.  I’m thinking I should have made that purchase.

Namaste.

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