I’m not very patriotic in any classic sense. I can see the good things in my country and the bad. There are proud reasons to be English, and historical reasons to be ashamed. I like to think I can objectively observe the good and bad in many cultures as I don’t have much bias in the way of national pride and Satan-forbid, racial superiority.
This is why I think America is the greatest nation on earth. In theory. Whereas most modern-day governments are democracies born out of ancient monarchies or dictatorships, the United States was founded with the set goal of forming “a more perfect union”. The Constitution is human idealism as its best. It expresses the beauty of democracy: let’s sit down and come up with the best way of governing people, so that there is maximum freedom. A government of the people, by the people, for the people. The Constitution was established with liberty, freedom, and justice as its core tenets, and then the government was built around that – not vice-versa! The government is there to serve the people, not the other way around!
Laws not expressly stated in the Constitution are forever left to the member States to decide; (the difference between State Law and Federal Law, with of course Federal Law being the ultimate authority).
Instead of being a holy sacred text like the superstitious ramblings of primitive bigots set in stone, and stagnant, forcing people forever to look to the past, the Constitution has been allowed to change and grow for the better, based on national expansion, changing times, improving civil liberties, and required clarity of law and justice. Granted, no part of the original text has ever been revised or removed, but the Constitution has been amended 27 times!
The United States was founded as a secular government, in which freedom of religion and freedom from religion are guaranteed by the Constitution. Any apparent Federal endorsement of any religion should be unconstitutional. Unlike the antiquated Monarchy of Britain in which government and religion are officially hand-in-hand, the US founding fathers (understandably) didn’t wanted their fledgling government to resemble anything monarchic: the State and Church should forever be separate entities, with all religions guaranteed protection and the right to exist, but with neither having the capacity to affect government and policy. In England, there are religious state-sponsored schools and Religious Education is part of the curriculum; in America this is forbidden as unconstitutional.
In modern times America has generally led the way in science and technology. The Russians were the first to put a man in space, but the US literally went several better by landing men on the moon and returning them to earth. Since then, mankind’s exploration of space has been largely due to the US. When humans first land on Mars (probably in 15 years’ time), it will undoubtedly be an American project. The vast wealth and power that the US owns and commands affords it many luxuries, but I am convinced these are owed to the “perfect union” of how it was established. In other words, everything there is to admire in America is because of how it was created and what it stands for: liberty, freedom, justice, and democracy. Of course the US is not the only nation to idealise such qualities, and I despise certain “patriots” who refer to things like “American justice” and “American morality” and “American values” as if they’re the only nation on earth that recognises these words, or that they have a monopoly of the understanding and interpretation of them. There is no such thing as American justice, morality, or values – these are human ideals! It is just that the US was formed as a modern-day democracy with these ideals at heart, and they remain (at least in principle) the foundation of the supreme law of the land. Most other nations have simply followed suit.
This is not to say that the US hasn’t committed its share of atrocities, and has no past to be ashamed of. Of course it has. But my purpose is not to weigh up the pros and cons of America and pass verdict. The point is to show in principle how proud Americans should be of their Constitution, and what their nation was founded on.
How sad then that a great human nation has been poisoned and subverted by religious zealots who simply aren’t content to exist and live their lives in peace, but push their agenda onto other people and want to turn the US from a democracy to a theocracy. “In god we trust” was added to American currency and is the official motto of the country. What a deplorable disgusting perversion of the Constitution! Instead of standing proudly as a stalwart of human idealism and enlightenment, and giving thanks to the Founding Fathers, the American government of the 21st century gives its praise to God, and puts its trust and allegiance in the ancient Abrahamic god of war that promises torture and death for all opponents.
The country that developed nuclear weapons stands with one hand over the “Launch” button and a bible in the other. A book of deplorable inhumanity, oppression, and superstition. In other words, the enemy of everything the Constitution stands for!
It’s not just Americans who should be proud of America. Humanity should. We’re all one people. If I made contact with aliens and they asked me to demonstrate how advanced humanity was, I’d point them at America: the most advanced country in the world, with a Constitution that represents humanity’s best way of governing and living together. I’d be proud to read the Constitution to them, and I’m not even American. Where we are born is a matter of luck and heritage, but we’re all humans.
For this reason, the US should accept its leading role on the world stage, and grow-up! Religion need not be eradicated, but it has no place in US government. America needs to get rid of the bigoted backward creeping ivy choking its thought and power, and return to its core principles: a secular nation of freedom of speech, where people are the most important thing, not worship. A good start would be removing the insipid inane superstitious charm of “In God we Trust” and replacing it with something more akin to what the US originally stood for: “In Humanity we Trust”.