What’s un-American?

July 4, 2007 at 2:12 pm 3 comments

On this 4th of July I started thinking about what it means to be un-American as opposed to the usual thoughts put fourth on our Nation’s birthday about what it means to be an American.  Being an American is easy to talk about and countless bloggers and pundits and preachers will hold forth on that one.

Being un-American is harder to write about because what is un-American to you might not be to me and vice versa.  What is seen as un-American is fluid and changes, perhaps even daily, but certainly changes from generation to generation.  For instance smoking cigarettes was very American a few generations back.  Smoking fueled the economy and you could smoke anywhere.  Now if you light up, even in the proverbial “smoke filled bar,” you are shown the door.  I am not a smoker so I am OK with it being un-American to smoke, but I also know there are those who  think it is un-American to deny the right to smoke where you please..

Going to church used to be American.  “Everyone” went.  Sunday School, Sunday Worship, Sunday night, Wednesday Night.  Stores were closed on Sunday, restaurants and bars were too.  Going to houses of worship was American.  Now going to church is un-American.  Most people don’t go and now there is something offensive and un-American about even suggesting you should if you don’t.

War is American.  As a nation, we have had very few years in a row when we have not been fighting a war of some kind, some where.  America, love it or leave it.  Support our troops! It is American to fight and make war. 

I love America and I support the troops but I am increasingly wondering why it is we feel the need to fight with such regularity.  It has been said that violence is the last refuge of the incompetent (Issac Asimov, I think), and Americans are anything but incompetent, so why the need to deal, so regularly with things, by fighting?  Are we not intelligent enough to solve problems without fighting, without so much loss of precious life? 

I know there have been good reasons given for why we have been at war around the globe, for the last 100 years.  I think I could make a good case for a just war and speak with some clarity on the subject of freedom and preserving freedom.  But do we have to see war as American?

Is it not possible that we Americans might not always be in the right when we head off somewhere to fight?  Is it not entirely possible that some war might just be un-American?

I love the United States and I love soldiers, two of my closest family friends have son-in-law’s in Iraq and I love those young men and their families.  I get misty eyed at the singing of the National Anthem.  Last night, while anticipating the beginning of fire works, we could hear the strains of The Star Spangled Banner, wafting through the trees and though no one else did, I stood up.  I love America.  It truly is beautiful in so many ways.

But on this July 4th, 2007 I am very conflicted about war and whether the one we currently are engaged in is really American.  As a follower of Jesus, I am pro-life.  That means I believe all life is precious for one reason-human life is formed in the image of the Creator God and therefore should be taken only as the very, very, very… last resort.  It is true that more people die every year in this country from drunk drivers than die fighting in Iraq.  While it may be true it is not an argument for more death in Iraq, it is an argument for making drunk driving, along with war, un-American.

Please support our troops and our President but don’t do it because it is American, do it because we are Americans.  But it is not being un-American to ask questions about why and when it is right to take a life and while it might be a trite question, I find myself asking this question pretty often; whose life would Jesus take and for what reason? 

As an American on this July 4th, what do you think is the anwer? (there are many who are not Americans who read this blog-what do you think?)

Enjoy your celebrations.


Entry filed under: Christianity, Church, Culture, Faith, News, Thoughts.

Partying with lost siblings. Washing dishes.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Musixstrings  |  July 17, 2007 at 6:17 am

    “…Americans are anything but incompetent, so why the need to deal, so regularly with things, by fighting? Are we not intelligent enough to solve problems without fighting, without so much loss of precious life?”

    You are assuming that the other party that you are trying the solve the problem with is of the same intelligence, and have the same moral standard.

  • 2. Maggie  |  July 5, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Having lived with the aftermath of war. Father killed, fifeteen year old sister killed. Evacuated to another home. Nine of us left without our father and Mother worked away from the home six days a week.
    I can honestly convey to you, the American military that lived in a base across the road from us, helped to take our hardship from us .
    We were allowed by them, to visit each day. Each day they gave us gum, chocolate, played with us, told us about their children and families. They cared about us as if we were there own. On top of that helped fight the war we were in. I often wondered how they were feeling about where they were and what they were doing there. They had left their families at home here in America. My heart is with all those troops who are fighting to protect our freedom. They are to be supported to the hilt for their dedication and honored for protecting us. I would not be here today if it had not been for those brave men and women who gave their lives for my country and family. I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN NOW, THANKS TO THEM. GOD BLESS AMERICA! THEY TOO NEED TO BE LOVED, CARED ABOUT AND SUPPORTED. I pray every day for all of them and their families. While I am at prayer I pray for the enemy and world peace. I know that this must be hurtful for our God to watch His flock in turmoil So, I pray for Him too!

  • 3. sumijoti  |  July 4, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    I lived in a country that was facing major unrest during a political transition. I must say that I was grateful for the international military force that we had there at the time. There was a political vacuum and many groups and parties were vying for a position of power. It got quite scary at times. It was my impression that, had there not been a miitary presence at the time, things could have gotten really ugly and out of hand. I saw groups that hated the military presence and wanted it gone (because it would have been in their own interest to dump the country in unrest)…but personally I think it kept things under control until the transition process was complete.

    Was America right to go to war in the first place? I honestly don’t know. I do think it scratched open a hornets’ nest that might have been better undisturbed. On the other hand an undisturbed hornets’ nest just grows and grows…

    I do think that now that the hornets’ nest is disturbed though, that it is unfair to the people there to just leave them to deal with it on their own. Them hornets need to be settled down.

    Just my two cents from somebody who’s been there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Blog Stats

  • 138,273 hits

%d bloggers like this: