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it is tough to be the black sheep.

i just got the following forward from my grandmother, sent to the entire clan. aside from perhaps one of my cousins, i am probably the only voice on that list who disagrees with what i was sent. i won't hit the "reply to all" button, so instead you get my rant.


TO THOSE WHO CARE AND THOSE THAT BELIEVE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA--GOD BLESS THE USA....

SOMEONE FINALLY SAID IT. I think everyone on this planet needs to read this. The thoughts are pure and we all understand the point....

There are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some native Americans, need to understand.

First of all, it is not our responsibility to continually try not to offend you in any way. This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity.

As Americans, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle. This culture, called the "American Way" has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

Our forefathers fought, bled, and died at places such as Bunker Hill, Antitank, San Juan, Iwo Jima, Normandy, Korea, Vietnam...

We speak English, not Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society -- learn our language!"

In God We Trust" is our national motto. This is not some off-the-wall, Christian, Right Wing, political slogan - it is our national motto. It is engraved in stone in the House of Representatives in our Capitol and it is printed on our currency. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation and this is clearly documented throughout our history. If it is appropriate for our motto to be inscribed in the halls of our highest level of Government, then it is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools.

God is in our pledge, our National Anthem, nearly every patriotic song, and in our founding documents. We honor His birth, death, and resurrection as holidays, and we turn to Him in prayer in times of crisis. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture and we are proud to have Him.

We are proud of our heritage and those who have so honorably defended our freedoms. We celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Flag Day. We have parades, picnics, and barbecues where we proudly wave our flag.

As an American, I have the right wave my flag, sing my national anthem, quote my national motto, and recite my pledge whenever and wherever I choose If the Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don't like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.

The American culture is our way of life, our heritage, and we are proud of it We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from Like it or not, this is our country, our land, and our lifestyle.

Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion about our government, culture, or society, and we will allow you every opportunity to do so. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other great American freedom:

THE RIGHT TO LEAVE!

Another thing: To those who do complain about the usage of words like 'God' and 'American' and speaking the language of our great nation,

TRY GOING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY AND SPEAK AGAINST WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE. YOU WILL MORE THAN LIKELY END UP JAILED OR EVEN KILLED.

In America, you take your right to complain for granted. The more patriotism that is removed from where our children are taught, the less our children will learn about what it is to be an American and our nation's spirit will slowly be killed.Keep patriotism alive.

If you agree, pass this on to other Americans! It is time to take a stand!

God Bless America and our Military and our Veterans!


it is infuriating beyond my ability to communiacte to consider the ramifications of thinking like this. in all deference to my grandmother, she lost friends, family, and parts of a son to wars fought by this country. she has a right to be a proud patriot, and, strong in her faith, supportive of the president she voted for. the one who she believes will heal the divide between her beloved country and the faith she believes in.

that being said, the commentary makes me irate. the linguistic arrogance, and inferred shot at Native Americans (whose cause is really the only bleeding heart one I believe in outside of gender/pregnancy-based issues), combined with the fundamentalist (albeit "common sense") outlook espoused in concern to separation of church and state really make me green in the gills. i think rampant liberalism is just as bad, if not worse, than rampant conservatism. i tend to get much more antsy about the agenda of the religious right, mostly because i have never seen or read about a bunch of hippies having an inquisition. we've all read about what happens when politics and godhead are in bed together.

i admit forthwith that i am not a traditional patriot. i believe in the ideas this country was conceived on, not the failed abortion it has become. however, i feel that way about most of post-agrarian human culture, so i guess that makes me less of an anti-patriot and more of an anti-civilizationist.

how do any of you, fine readers, deal with the situation of being a rather polarized outsider in the viewfinders of your loved ones? i can deal with differences of intellectual matters, and even moralistic ones. the godhead is tough to tackle, and politics even more impossible. “freedom of thought” in these peoples' heads translates roughly to “the freedom to think what you are taught, question little, if at all, and accept any answers you get - forever and ever, amen”.

yeah, that is me, the fucking wordy heretic barbarian.

in other news, L. researched and bought tickets to "Belly of a Drunken Piano", which we saw last night.

ATTENTION TOM WAITS FANS
see this show. no, really, do so. it is totally worth it. if the guy had played another hour or two , i would have stayed happily, sung along hearitly, and had another manhattan. highly reccomended for that particular audience who did not get a chance to see tom live.

techtraum leaves at the end of this weekend. this means i get to see cercaria, but it also makes me sad.
so does touchfaith,fucking california.
be sure to wish a hootie-hoo to wangch61 on his upcoming birthday [08/30]

i’m off to meet mrshellion, her boy, and L. for some dinner.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
idram
Aug. 25th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)
"I still say a church steeple with a lightening rod on top shows a lack of confidence."

-Doug McLeod

I have some painfully religious family members who I have sent rude cards to and then refused to talk to after they cried at my table trying to change me. This cousin started quoting the bible to me as the end all and I whipped out an old journal and told her that centuries from now our children's children would be scrubbing floors crying about being fat because the book of Idram told the story of how to be in this world.

it's such hogwash.

the other less religious have learned to just leave their Sunday best at home. I am a good person and live my life with kindness. I do believe that you give what you get. Some day those bible thumpers will get thumped by their own bible.
timaeusdaspirge
Aug. 26th, 2005 12:48 am (UTC)
i think you should reply to her.

explain to her the finer points of the church of the flying spaghetti monster. have a nice, rational conversation about it.

and be sure to duck.
superspryte
Aug. 26th, 2005 01:37 am (UTC)
My family has stopped talking politics and religion with me. They recognize that I completely disagree with most of what they believe, and I've told them so. I've given many of them a new perspective, willingly or otherwise, and the topics are tired, so we leave them. Then again, I'm also bullheaded, so I just told them and said that if they didn't like it, too bad. As a side note, I'm still my Gramma's favorite, out of 50+ cousins. ^-~
fructa
Aug. 26th, 2005 01:42 am (UTC)
national motto...?
Um. Isn't "e pluribus unum" more of the national motto, insofar as we have one? And as such, doesn't it point to a pluralist society? Maybe everyone on grandma's email list would like a little fucking education with their bigotry?
prettykate
Aug. 26th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)

MY PARENTS ARE PRO-LIFE!


I was pro-life too, during high school, when I was a virgin and it was easy to be pro-life.

I don't argue with them, and I don't try to change their viewpoints, because they are my parents and there is no way they are ever going to listen to me. I try to talk to my SISTERS about it though, and I'm happy to say that 3 out of four d-girls are pro-choice. I'm working on the middle one. But I know who will listen and who won't, and I sorta' pickmy battles when it comes to my family.

I'd recommend you just let your grandmother alone.
prettykate
Aug. 26th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
Also: Holy shit! Electric Hellfire club! I've seen them live! They opened for Lords of Acid!
mrshellion
Aug. 26th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
I remember when the war first started, my dad and stepmom were very gung-ho about it. I generally scoffed and rolled my eyes at them, almost amused by their naivete. My dad and I got into a huge fight, when he was extolling the virtues of GW and his war, and inevitably, he always mentions Israel and blah blah blah. I said something about Israelis being terrorists, and he told me I'd been "hanging out with the goyim for too long."

I yelled "FUCK YOU!" in front of my stepmom's entire family.

Now, of course, they've changed their tune, they hate GW and think the war is a bunch of bullshit. I've successfully refrained from the "I toldja so" route, but I'm smugly snickering under my Libertarian breath.

We also differ in the godhead area, but it's seldom mentioned, since they have little or no spirituality, and I have TONS. As you know. It hasn't exactly been an ongoing struggle for me with our differences, but when we clash, there's very loud thunder.
grimbil
Aug. 26th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
Hm, well, your grandmother might be interested to know that the pledge of allegiance was written in 1892, but "under God" was added in 1954.

She also might like to know that our National motto was written in 1776, approved in 1782, and reads "E Pluribus Unum," Latin for "One from many" or "One from many parts". "In God We Trust" was added to some coins minted by the Union during the Civil War to poke at the South, inferring that God was on the side of the Union and against slavery.

Then, again during the 1950s, it was named the National motto. They also added "so help me God" to the oaths of office for judges and federal justices (tho I think "so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster" has a much nicer ring to it).

The motivation behind all of this? Separating US ideology from communist Russia, part of the McCarthy communist witch hunt in the mid 50s. Sweet.

Seriously, maybe you could include some of those facts in a reply all. Not really disagreeing with her, just pointing out some relevant facts.
twirlygurl
Aug. 26th, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC)
god, i really wish EVERYONE knew these facts. it would help take the wind out of the christian right's sails.

and is it true that all of the founding fathers were christian? i thought i read somewhere that TJ was an atheist, but i could be wrong.

i bet he was a pastafarian.
fructa
Aug. 26th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
athiest's going a bit far...
not an athiest, a deist. (as far as i know) i.e. thought there was a god who brought the world into being, endowed human beings with fundamental (inalienable, some might say...) rights, and then said 'fuck it' and walked away. or, c/o about.com:

"Deists believe that God is the creator of the universe, the architect of natural order, and the grantor of human rights, but that he does not interfere with humanity, or favor one individual, group, or nation over another."

Grandma's forward probably means to talk about them there "fathers" that were Puritans and came over on the big boat that landed in Massechussetts, confusing them with the later guys who wrote the constitution and everything.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 26th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
e pluribus et cetera
heh. I always thought "out of many, one" was a more poetic translation... and I like the irony of being able to interpret this both as a pluralistic doctrine, i.e. one forged of many, or one which integrates many, or as defense of eletism... i.e. of many, only one. interesting particularly in light of this discussion, how the motto can defend these two most polarized views of what america stands for. one god, one religion, one right way of thinking that excludes the many, because through "democratic" principles it has been chosen as the best? or one united whole forged from a multiplicity of persons, philosophies, religions -- one made of many or one selected of many? the motto does not say...

Welcome to America! Choose your own Flag!
fructa
Aug. 26th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
Re: e pluribus et cetera
shit, that was me. i'm totally an idiot about this signing in, and staying signed in nonsense.
marycontrary980
Aug. 26th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
Grrr..

And FYI to whoever wrote that...

English language won by a very slim majority when it put to vote of what Americans would call the offical language. German was a close second.

I sometimes get annoyed when i hear rapid Spanish in every direction, but that's b/c I'm a freak and since I can't understand all of what they say (My Spanish is limited to ordering food and drinks and finding the bathroom), I assume they are talking about me.

And I think the religion things is..well..I can't even get into it. go Flying Spaghetti Monster!
(Anonymous)
Aug. 30th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC)
Ah yes....
I think it happens to everyone with their families, and depending on the hard-headedness of your kin and clan, you can expect to either have a screaming match, or a strange "I agree with you on this but not on this" hydra-headed argument, where new sub topics keep popping up just when you think something's settled, with the family members randomly trading sides whenever new issues crop up. I'm united with my grandmother on anything pro-choice and anti-Bush, but against her on matters of religion, but only partly. I'm with my dad on anything regarding the law, inasmuch as it pertains to punishment and jail time, and I'm with my mom about the war. I'm not sure if this wierd team-sharing thing is the way to go, but it works for me. Of course, I have some views on which I am completely alone, and vulnerable to attack from any and all family members, but they're all pretty much middle grounders.
Sometimes I feel as though the news is presented in such a skewed manner, as to almost divide everyone into sides, and that if we had some sort of media that gave us the facts, only the facts, and presented the good and the bad, we would be more educated as citizens (or not, as the case may be) and we would all stop quibbling with each other. Or at least, that's my little idealistic view.
As far as languages, I'd venture to say that pretty much NO ONE came to America speaking "American" or practicing the "American Way" we became that way through absorbing cultures and the adjustment of people from other places to a new world. And everyone who now speaks English as a second language will raise their children bi-lingual, a great asset to the country, and the old language will eventually fade. My grandmother spoke German, Bern, yours speaks Spanish, but how's my German and how's your Spanish? Not so good. It fades. The grandchildren of immigrants call themselves Americans. And a large portion of the country has a lot of trouble with that concept. I'm not sure what it is, but they do. They'll come around, I suspect.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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The Son of the last of a long line of thinkers.
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