Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NOT Proud to be an American

I’m NOT proud to be an American

Stay with me here, folks, as I’m sure I’ve pissed quite of few of you off already. I am not proud that I’m an American. I’m not proud that I was born in the United States. Do I recognize that I am blessed or lucky to born in a wealthy country with many freedoms? Of course I do. But am I proud of something I did not choose? Am I proud of something I did not have any control over? Absolutely not.



I am not proud of my birth-given citizenship of the USA. Perhaps I could see being proud of such a thing if I had fought to come here from another country and went through the process of naturalization, because those who have done that chose to come here, and worked to come here. I neither chose nor worked at being an American. I know, I know I’m creating controversy and might end up on the no fly list, but let me keep going. I am not proud that I was born in Sioux City, IA and brought home to West 5th street. I am not proud that I come from German and English ancestry. I am not proud that I am white (I’m allowed that one, aren’t I). I am not proud of any of these things that I had no control over. I did not control the commingling of my father’s sperm with my mother’s egg. I did not choose or control my heritage or my birthplace or my ancestry. So why would I take pride in any of them? Am I proud that my parents made it to the hospital in the blizzard of ’82 in their old pick up and my mama pushed me out not long after they returned home the evening of Christmas? I don’t know. I’m pretty impressed by them and I think my mom is a rockstar for delivering a spunky infant in the middle of a blizzard. But I had no control or choice in the matter, if I had any control in my birth I would have had my mom deliver me 2 hours earlier so that I was a Christmas baby and I could have taken driver’s ed first semester instead of second. But I hold no bitterness.

I was not born here. But some people are.
I take no pride in my country of origin, my heritage, or my race because to me these are all insignificant in who I am and insignificant in how I relate to others. My identity is not dictated by any of these factors. My identity is in Christ. You will not hear me sing about being proud to be an American and I will pledge no allegiance to any flag. My Father commanded me not to worship idols and I refuse. My allegiance is to Christ and His ways. I bow down to my Lord and nothing else. I find months that are set aside to honor one’s pride in their race or heritage nonsensical. I also find it nonsensical when people are judged by the consequences of their birth. We can not control who we are born to, but we can change our lives. Why are those who seek a better life for their families condemned by an immigration system when I am blessed by the same randomness of birth? No one should boast of the circumstances they were born into. I will concede to those who boast in their own hard work, but really we are to boast of nothing but Christ’s salvation.

To me all the pride of culture and nationality is only an attempt to fill the emptiness of life without Christ. Being subjected to the circumstances of your birth is just a modern day caste system. All the pride floating around distracts us and divides. Christ can unite us.

I am not proud to be an American. But I am certain God has placed me where I am for a reason. Are you proud of your background? Or your race? Of your birth place? Or your citizenship? What dictates your identity?