Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Scoundrels' Last Refuge

Madpriest once again tweeks us Yanks for our (perceived) excessive and vulgar patriotism.  I say that we're no more or less nationalistic than anyone else on the planet, including the Brits.

When I look at various nationalist spectacles back to back, I can't help but come to the conclusion that the world consists of over 200 nation states who all hate each other's guts.  Their governments are all more or less corrupt, and depend on their subjects' fear and hatred of every other nation state to keep themselves in power and legitimacy.

I wonder how many Christians who pray the Lord's Prayer and say the line, "Thy Kingdom come..." realize that they are asking for an end to all of that, including their own state.  At the Second Coming, all the flags are coming down forever.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Praise God for that.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has lived on both sides of the "great pond" I have long pondered this American obsession with symbols (which is shared to some extent by our British friends but not to the extremes found in the US). Friends visiting from France marvel at the Stars and Stripes flying from so many shops, offices and even homes. A sight rarely seen in their own country. If you go to France you will see the "tricouleur" flag flying almost exclusively from government buildings. If you want to find the town hall in any French village, look for the flag and you have probably found it. And the French can hardly be accused of not being national chauvinists (they invented the word). But if you look just a bit below the surface you will find not only a strong feeling of patriotism, but an extreme sense of pride in their "province". Scratch any Parisian (at your own risk) and you will find a Breton, Auvergnat, Picard, Alsacian or Provençal, whose family may have migrated to Paris many generations ago but who still have a deep association with their "terroir", a place which their ancestors have inhabited since the time of Vercingetorix or earlier.

Americans, immigrants most and highly mobile, do not have this sense of "terroir" (except, strangely, for those from the Lone Star State) and so our symbols have taken on an (almost) religious significance, often seeming more important than those things that really define us. The Constitution comes to mind, it has really taken a beating lately, especially from those wearing "Old Glory" lapel pins.

Many of those praying "Thy kingdom come..." and defending "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance (another curious American invention) are also scared to death of the "One World Government" so prevalent in right wing U.N. bashing.

Just a few musings to add to the conversation.

MadPriest said...

In England the flag is flown when somebody really important dies, the queen is in town or most usually as a sign of some poorly educated person's pride in the England football team. We don't make our children pledge allegiance to anything or anybody. ven our uniforemed organisations, like the scouts, are only asked to promise their best to serve other people.

We don't sing "Rule Britannia" before every game of pass the ball around.

Admit it, Counterlight - you lot appear scarey even if you're not.

But, of course, we hate all the other countries, except maybe Sweden.

it's margaret said...

Yes, all the flags will come down.

In the meantime, I am terribly suspicious of patriotism.... any where. It is blind and misplaced faith....

June Butler said...

When we pray "thy kingdom come", we pray for our world to be turned upside down. We pray for the last to be first, for the poor to be given the places of honor, the proud to be cast down, and the humble to take their positions, etc., etc., etc. We know not what we pray for.

Thy kingdom come!!!

Fran said...

We live in superficial symbol land... flag, flag pin and so forth.

The depth is lost in many, so tragic, so sad.

Our country's immaturity and its quick rise to power are evident in its decline.

Deep sigh.

Davis said...

In Australia as a child I recall the following "pledge"

I honour my God, I serve my Queen, I salute my Flag".