Tag Archives: Patriotism

Hate Country Music … Why?

By Hannah Quinque

Pho­to Cred­it: Car­ol M Highsmith

Con­fes­sion time: I like coun­try music. And no, I’m not being face­tious. And no, not just the alter­na­tive kind. Gimme a steel gui­tar, a ban­jo, and a slow south­ern drawl, and I’m jam­min’. When I put on the New Boots playlist, how­ev­er, I do get looks rang­ing from dis­be­lief to slight­ly annoyed to amused. Not that the reac­tion sur­pris­es me. As is the nature of stereo­types, there is some truth to them, but they also don’t cov­er all of the vast corn­field called coun­try music. And hon­est­ly, you don’t have to strain your ears (pun intend­ed) to pick up on all there is to hear.

Read more »

A Government of, by, and for the people?

By Bobbie Kirkhart

Pho­to Cred­it: “Unit­ed States Capi­tol” by Phil Roed­er is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We Amer­i­cans har­bor a huge dichoto­my in our atti­tudes toward our coun­try. We dis­play our patri­o­tism in bor­der­line chau­vin­is­tic man­ner, play­ing the nation­al anthem before every major sport­ing event, and church ser­vices fre­quent­ly include impas­sioned praise of our nation and some­times pro­mote the idea that loy­al­ty to god must include equal loy­al­ty to the country.

We Amer­i­cans, myself includ­ed, love our coun­try. It’s sur­pris­ing that many of my fel­low cit­i­zens hate our gov­ern­ment. It’s a pejo­ra­tive to call some­one a politi­cian. Can­di­dates for office who have no gov­ern­ment expe­ri­ence proud­ly run as ‘out­siders’ and often eas­i­ly win a seat. Amer­i­cans do not rec­og­nize pop­u­lar pub­lic pro­grams as gov­ern­ment cre­at­ed and spon­sored by Wash­ing­ton. I’ve heard more than once the demand, “Keep gov­ern­ment out of my Medicare,” which is, of course, a gov­ern­ment pro­gram. Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan was cheered when he told us, “Gov­ern­ment is not the solu­tion to our prob­lem, gov­ern­ment is the prob­lem.” Amer­i­cans per­ceive cor­rect­ly that the gov­ern­ment does not rep­re­sent all the people.

Read more »

We Sing America

By Bobbie Kirkhart

I think it’s like­ly true that the peo­ple of all nations love their patri­ot­ic songs even when they don’t agree with their message.

I love Amer­i­can patri­ot­ic music, although some of the lyrics are much too bel­li­cose and vir­tu­al­ly all of it is much too reli­gious for this athe­ist to embrace. And the music itself may or may not be Amer­i­can. Indeed, the music of one of our most promi­nent songs, “My Coun­try ‘Tis of Thee,” is the British nation­al anthem “God Save the Queen.” This ren­di­tion is sung by Aretha Franklin at Barack Obama’s inauguration:

Per­haps more iron­ic is the fact that our nation­al anthem, “The Star Span­gled Ban­ner,” a poem writ­ten in praise of our efforts against the Eng­lish in the War of 1812, is set to the tune of a British drink­ing song, “The Anacre­on­tic Song.”

Read more »