Friday, July 04, 2008
Happy 4th of July
A rather large number of liberal newspaper columnists and progressive bloggers have written essays in the last few days that seem to echo Rev. Jeremiah Wight's sentiment of "God Damn America." Naturally these writers are being harshly criticized by conservative columnists and bloggers on the right.
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Chrios Satullo's A Not So Glorious Fourth has generated the greatest amount of criticism from right wing talk show hosts and conservative bloggers. But conservative Chuck Norton has located and reprinted a large number of such America bashing screeds, and has sharply criticized each one.
Let me begin by saying that I personally and strongly disagree with the progressive and liberal negativists who write so harshly about America.
But I'm not going to criticize them at all. In fact I'm going to praise them, even as I take the polar opposite view of American and her greatness.
These very strong critics of America and her current leaders are helping America improve. They are the watchdogs who protect our ideals, our Constitution and our moral compass.
They may see the glass as half empty (or nearly empty or flat out bone dry) while I see the glass as brimming over with goodness and honor, it is their constant demand that we improve and protect the weak that has made America the great nation it is today.
It is the social critics who, over the last 200 years, freed the slaves, gave women the right to vote and brought a measure of social justice to oppressed racial, religious and sexual minorities.
Those who loudly and self righteously cry "God Damn America" are those who force the rest of us to re-examine our actions, our positions and our values.
Do today's critics suffer from "Bush Derangement Syndrome?" Yes, beyond a doubt, they do. They certainly lack perspective and a broad view of the world. They do not understand history, nor do they have any sense of moral relativism.
But they force us all to be better, to move forward, to reach out to those we might otherwise ignore, or worse yet, actually hate. The demand we actually protect the rights we celebrate today.
In reality, the "God Damn America" critics are great patriots. And they have helped make America the Greatest Country in all of History.
So I say God Bless America and bless her critics most of all.