Vulcan Stev's Database

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Is Patriotism dead?

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I’m watching the Bud Shootout with my oldest son.  The pre-race ceremonies just finshed.  It saddened me to see the sheer number of fans, crew, and drivers that did not remove hats, or have their hands over their hearts for the National Anthem.

In fact kudos to Jamie McMurrayand his lovely wife.  They were the only driver/wife combo that FOX aired footage showing proper respect for our national anthem.  I’m sure that there were other drivers showing proper respect for our country, but FOX neglected to air any footage.

I realize that most folks are upset with the recently departed administration, an unpopular war, and the economy in general but is that any reason to show disrespect to Our Flag.  It isn’t just tonight, this is a trend I’ve been watching for some time but this is the first time I have a place to express my disgust for the lack of respect shown to our National Symbols.

Is this something that you’ve noticed in person?  Or is it just the networks who elect to seldom show us those actually paying proper respect?

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February 7, 2009 - Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield | , , , , ,

29 Comments »

  1. At the risk of sounding like I’m trolling, have you ever thought about how much all the ritual around the flag resembles idolatry?

    Not, that I disagree, but I have some issues with the whole ritual.

    First, I already mentioned it seems like idolatry to me.

    Second, I see well intentioned people desecrating the flag and violating the traditions and rules regarding its care and display every – single – day. So much so, that I usually tune it out. What irks me is this same desecration is often being perpetrated by the same people who tell me I can’t burn it or even fly it upside down to express my distress with the state of my country.

    Third, and I kid a little here, the song is an English drinking song with new lyrics written by an English man. That’s a little hard for me to take seriously.

    I think the Pledge is an issue separate from, but similar to, the one you mention in your OP; maybe the topic for another post?

    🙂

    I really don’t mean to troll or offend, just provoke thoughtful discussion and analysis of what the root of the problem might be.

    Comment by drcheckmate | February 7, 2009

  2. Part of it is the fact that flag protocol is no longer taught in school.

    In answer to the question of is it idolatry? Idolatry implies ascribing honor and devotion to something other than your god. In my case as a professing Christian that would be the Diety I believe to be God. In Mark 12:17 Jesus stated, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”. I’ve always taken this to mean, that showing respect to one’s leadership and country was not committing idolatry.

    That doesn’t explain the sheer lack of respect being shown to our flag. After 9/11 the norm was showing respect to the flag. Is it no longer fashionable to pay proper respect to our flag, National Anthem, and pledge.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 7, 2009

  3. Shouldn’t the norm be the freedom of choice and expression?

    Being an American means the freedom to be a disrespectful arsechapeau AND the responsibility to not strangle said disrespectful arsechapeau.

    The only possible flaw I can think of off the top of my head to your Mark 12:17 argument is that the flag, is not your “Ceasar.” I hesitate to say, “it’s just a piece of fabric,” if only because I have seizures when I hear people call the Constitution “just a piece of paper,” But, in the end the flag is not the nation or the leader. In the absence of a flag, do we cease to be a nation?

    Comment by drcheckmate | February 7, 2009

  4. You are correct that “The Flag” is not our country’s Ceasar. It is however the most recognizable symbol of our country. When protesters across the world decry the US they burn our flag (and sometimes effigies of the current leader).

    The Flag is The Symbol of our nation and protocol set up by our founding fathers establish it as such.

    I have absolutely NO problem with someone using their constitutional right to disagree. My problem is with sheer apathy. Those who CAN’T be troubled to raise their hands to their hearts. Those who seem to forget their hats are removable

    Areschapeau – Luv it. Gonna name a French pirate that in an upcoming game.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 7, 2009

  5. Sorry, Stefan, I gotta go with Stev that it’s the apathy that’s the problem, not the right to disagree.

    There are some things that its okay to be apathetic about; disrespecting a symbol that people have bled and died for so that they could have the right to be apathetic makes me want to weep. What else will we become apathetic about?

    Comment by Hank Harwell | February 7, 2009

  6. The following is only my opinion. It is a strong opinion, but it is only opinion.

    I’m going to second drcheckmate here. Symbols only have power if power is given to them. I choose not to imbue power in the American flag or the national anthem because they are not America. WE are America, the men, women and children who make up our nation, and the ideals of liberty, respect and decency that we share. No one has the right to tell me I must use a symbol to represent them; those symbols are custom, not a law of physics. Go ahead and burn the flag; I don’t care, because you aren’t harming America. It’s just a piece of colored cloth, and in my opinion an ugly and gaudy one at that. Now, if you kill Americans, you harm America, and I won’t stand for that.

    I’ll reiterate: America is people, not a flag. The way the flag is “supposed” to be treated does actually resemble idolatry, because it expects us to see the flag as a symbol for and repository of the ideal of this nation in the way an idol is a symbol for and a repository of the ideal of a deity. We are told we must behave a certain way around it and do certain things with it. Making a differentiation based on politics instead of religion is, in my opinion, a hair-split. The symbol has replaced the ideal; we are expected to show respect to the symbol others have chosen in order to demonstrate patriotism. I do not agree with this at all.

    The national anthem is, as was stated, an English drinking song given new lyrics commemorating a single event. It says nothing about this nation until the words “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I don’t care if someone else chose it as the national anthem; in my opinion it isn’t anthemic with regard to America as a nation. Give me something that extols and exalts the ideals and people of America and I’ll respect it.

    I dare you to tell me I’m not a patriot. If you do it to my face I might knock you on your rear. This nation was founded by rebels and progressive-thinkers. Demanding slavish adherence to idolatrous rituals regarding a flag and a song violates that spirit. We owe respect to the men and women who fought for our liberty and rights, not to a piece of cloth or a series of notes and words.

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 7, 2009

  7. Bingo!

    I agree completely about Apathy (Hi, Hank). Even if one doesn’t recite the pledge or place their hand over their heart, standing, removing one’s hat, and shutting the heck up during these rituals is just common courtesy.

    I disagree that anyone bled and died for a symbol, but they bled and died for the ideals, the people, and the nation; but people did bleed and die, and in the context of those rituals, that is what the flag represents. stand up, take yer hat off, and shut up! At least! At my most rebellious in HS, I would at least do that for the pledge and for the anthem on Veterans Day and Memorial Day I would cover my heart.

    OUTSIDE of that context… People have a right to self expression. Even if it is crass and tasteless.

    (Arsechapeau: heehee. Thanks. Etienne or Esteban?” If he’s captain I’m not sure I want to know what his ship’s name will be.)

    Comment by drcheckmate | February 8, 2009

  8. Andrew (BTW welcome), I am in no way trying to state that you or anyone who shares that opinion does not have the right to practice those beliefs.

    My beef is not with those who have the courage to stand for their beliefs. My beef is with those who can’t be bothered to do anything.

    Yes, you and Stefan are correct in that the flag is NOT America. But it is the most preminent symbol OF America. The gold band I wear on the fourth finger of my left is not my wife. But it sure as heck lets the rest of the world know I’m married.

    I guess my question is whether or not the majority of people being shown on network television not showing respect are of like mind with Andrew or whether they’re apathetic.

    My suspiscion is that the majority are apathetic and THAT is my problem.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 8, 2009

  9. Well, according to many folks, the national symbols of America are apparently booze and guns. 😛

    I sincerely apologize if I came across as beligerent. The “you” in my final paragraph was intended to be a “general you”, meaning “anyone, including you the reader”. For the past eight years my patriotism, and that of others like me, has been challenged over and over again by people, the vast majority belonging to a particular party, because I didn’t perform the proper political rituals. It got so bad that I wanted to paint the words “CECI N’EST PAS AMERICA” on a flag and hoist it for everyone to see.

    The painting I just mentioned was painted to teach us a lesson about confusing symbols for the real things those symbols represent. When we ascribe power to symbols themselves, when we surround those symbols with rituals and allow ourselves to get upset when those ritual forms are not obeyed, we do a disservice both to the real things and to ourselves.

    Stev, you’ve mentioned your wedding ring. I ask you this — other than the monitary value of the ring itself, why would you be upset if someone willfully damaged or destroyed it? Has this person caused harm to your marriage? If not, why should it matter to you that your symbol was harmed?

    There are other considerations, of course. If your wife bought the ring herself, it becomes invested with personal sentimental value and becomes more than a cultural shorthand icon. If someone you loved gave you a particular flag, that individual flag becomes invested with sentimental value; it becomes more than a symbol. If your children sang The Star-Spangled Banner to you, that performance becomes invested with sentimental value, and becomes more than a symbol.

    I ask you, then, where was the personal sentimental value in the performance of the anthem at the Bud Shootout? Why do you believe disrespect was being shown when others did not follow particular rituals regarding it? Why, indeed, are we having this conversation? (And it is a conversation, I hope, I have been listening to what you say.) I’m not ignoring what you’ve said about wondering about apathy. I was just curious about the root cause of the whole issue, and I feel the issue of symbol confusion has not been fully explored.

    To tie both together, I want to go back to something you said previously: “Part of it is the fact that flag protocol is no longer taught in school.” Why should “flag protocol” be taught at all? Shouldn’t we be more concerned with teaching our children about the history, ideals and civic protocols of our nation itself? Shouldn’t we teach them about why they can be proud that we peacefully transfer power from one person to another every four or eight years, instead of that a flag should be burned if it touches the ground? Shouldn’t we work on instilling in them knowledge about and pride for the American ideals, rather than “flag protocol”? What I mean is, shouldn’t we combat the apathy instead of clinging more tightly to rituals?

    I’m not trying to come down on or chastize you, here. You’re a good man, a rightfully proud father and a true American, and I’m glad to call you friend. I’m just curious why you felt it important to mention that, and why the symbols of the flag and anthem are so important to you that you would become upset about issues like this. Seeking understanding, as it were.

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 8, 2009

  10. An addendum to the bit about the ring:

    I realized, after a few more moments’ thought, that the ring isn’t a very good analogy for the flag issue at all. Whether you or your wife bought the ring, it’s still a personal investment, which I somehow missed / left unsaid. It was used in your wedding ceremony and is instilled with some of the strongest sentimental value of all, so yes, it makes perfect sense if someone harms it.

    Watching somebody burn a flag in Iran is, to me, a vastly different issue. Unless someone has a personal connection to the individual cloth item being burned, there’s no investment as there is with the wedding ring. Projecting power into that burning flag to allow the act to be felt as harmful doesn’t make sense to me. The hate being expressed; that I feel should be the issue. Not the burning flag.

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 8, 2009

  11. Andrew, you spoke of teaching history. Part of American history includes the symbols associated with our country.

    The lack of patriotism that I’m seeing goes back to 2001. After 9/11 EVERYONE stood and saluted. Flags appeared everywhere. Patriotism was suddenly fashionable. As time has ticked by and the amount of Patriotism as evidenced by people placing their hands on their hearts, removing their hats, has diminished.

    Saturday’s Bud Shoot-out showed ONE driver observing flag protocol. A few fans in the stands had aired footage observing protocol.

    Again, my beef is not with those who concientiously object to and stand to their rights of free speech but rather those who showed proper protocol when it was fashionable but now can’t seemed to bothered.

    The reason that folks in Iran DO burn our flag is because it is the one symbols so closely tied to our country that is readily accesible to the protesters.

    I don’t think I’d have a beef with the lack of protocol observation if the levels hadn’t spiked shortly after 9/11.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 8, 2009

  12. “Part of American history includes the symbols associated with our country.”

    Why? Why must this be? Why is it so important that we do this, that we create symbols with power that we must treat ritually and protect from physical harm? Wouldn’t it be better to realize what this actually does to us? Wouldn’t we be stronger if we could laugh at somebody trying to hurt us by burning a piece of cloth, because we know it doesn’t hurt the real America? You haven’t answered that. I haven’t actually asked until now, I know.

    “After 9/11 EVERYONE stood and saluted.”

    Not everyone. I’m not going to pick nits, but I didn’t. I didn’t start waving the flag or treating the national anthem any differently than I always had. I didn’t have to — my patriotism hadn’t faltered. Americans were dead, and I was furious.

    I know you’re not talking about me, and I apologize for using myself as a touchstone to the point of sheer arrogance. I see what you’re talking about, and I can understand what you mean. I just can’t see why it’s important to you. I admit I cannot see all ends, but it does seem to me that you’re concerned with the form and not the function — that you’re concerned more with symbols and less with what they stand for. I will not say “this is so”; I can only tell you that it looks that way from what I see. That’s part of why I’m asking questions. I want to know more, to get a better picture.

    I don’t know anything about the people present at the Shootout. I can’t know what they feel about America. I can, however, ask if you feel that patriotism must be displayed to a certain level to be considered “true” or “valid”. Please understand that I do not mean that question to be a stab at you. I’m fumbling in the dark, a bit, trying to get some context.

    “The reason that folks in Iran DO burn our flag is because it is the one symbols so closely tied to our country that is readily accesible to the protesters.”

    Now imagine how much of a fit it’d give them if Americans didn’t get their backs up about it. If you refuse to be insulted, you take away the opponent’s power to harm you through insult. Think about what we’ve all been told about bullies, and sticks and stones. Bullets and bombs can hurt and kill, but burning a piece of cloth at me is just dumb.

    “I don’t think I’d have a beef with the lack of protocol observation if the levels hadn’t spiked shortly after 9/11.”

    It bothers me, but it doesn’t bother me for the same reasons. It bothers me because, in my view, the September 11, 2001 attacks generated a burst of false patriotism, a sudden surge in flag-worshiping political idolatry. Many people weren’t being patriotic, they were being fashionable. Not all of them; true patriots went on being patriots. But it became a fad, as I believe you pointed out. It’s not the fact that it’s died down that bothers me; it’s the fact that so much of it was baloney in the first place that bothers me.

    That false patriotism became a cornerstone in many of the worst abuses committed by the previous administration and was used against true patriots who stood up for the Constitution, personal liberty and our right to question the government. Old Glory and the Star-Spangled Banner became what we were supposed to revere, not the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Symbols instead of the real things. Our current president was hounded during his campaign because he failed to wear a flag pin. I ask you, Stev, where is the sense in that?

    Please, Stev, help me to understand. Why do you believe it is important that we imbue symbols with power which can then be used against us, so that if we do not treat them with ritualistic behavior, we fail to be patriotic?

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 8, 2009

  13. To quote.
    It bothers me, but it doesn’t bother me for the same reasons. It bothers me because, in my view, the September 11, 2001 attacks generated a burst of false patriotism, a sudden surge in flag-worshiping political idolatry. Many people weren’t being patriotic, they were being fashionable. Not all of them; true patriots went on being patriots. But it became a fad, as I believe you pointed out. It’s not the fact that it’s died down that bothers me; it’s the fact that so much of it was baloney in the first place that bothers me.

    I think we’re arguing the same sides of the coin from two viewpoints.

    I grew up in a small town where the pledge of allegience was a part of every morning in school (does this date me?). I’ve been a Cubmaster for PIT #2’s Cubpack when he was a scout. Nearly every part of my life has had some form of respect for the symbols of America as part of that portion of my life. Not reverence for the symbols themselves but for what the symbols represent.

    In Tae Kwon Do, we bow before the flags of both America and South Korea before entering the dojo, not to honor the symbols themselves but rather the culture and heritage that those symbols stand for.

    When I said EVERYONE, I should have clarified that the Networks did not show footage of anybody who was not showing respect, Drivers, Fans, Crew. Flags appeared on cars. Patriotism was “in vouge”. Call me old fashioned, call me out of touch. But my own personal viewpoint is that if you’re going to show respect for the symbols of our country then do so. If not then have a BETTER reason than “I-can’t-trouble-myself-to-lift-my-arm”.

    Old Glory and the Star-Spangled Banner became what we were supposed to revere, not the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Symbols instead of the real things.
    Ok here’s the main thrust of my viewpoint. To me, the flag is a representation of those ideals. I don’t hoist up a copy of the constitution on a pole. Parades are not lead by someone carrying a copy of the Declaration of Independence.

    It’s not folks who concientously choose to not do so that I have a problem with, it’s the apathy who those who don’t care. A patriot is ANYONE who stands for his/her God given rights. Whether you agree with my interepretation of those rights is immaterial. It’s when you don’t seem to give a rat’s patoot about those rights or can’t be troubled to get off your butt and go vote. THAT’S what chaps my hide.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 8, 2009

  14. I grew up in a small town where the pledge of allegience was a part of every morning in school (does this date me?).

    No. We had the pledge every morning. In ninth grade (1989-90 for me) I started refusing to say “under God” because I had become an atheist. In tenth grade, I stopped saying the pledge entirely because it was indoctrination. Even then I didn’t believe my allegiance was to the flag, just to the republic for which it stood.

    And now we come to the very crux of what I’m trying to grasp. You said:

    In Tae Kwon Do, we bow before the flags of both America and South Korea before entering the dojo, not to honor the symbols themselves but rather the culture and heritage that those symbols stand for.

    Why do you have to bow to the flags at all to honor those cultures and heritages? Can’t you honor them in word, thought and deed? Must you perform a physical ritual involving a piece of colored cloth in order to feel that you have honored those ideals?

    I’m not saying you’re “wrong” of course; I haven’t been since I first commented. You have the right to do as you wish, and if you believe this is honorable, that is good. I just don’t understand.

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 8, 2009

  15. Must you perform a physical ritual involving a piece of colored cloth in order to feel that you have honored those ideals?

    Here we get to an interesting turn in the conversation. Andrew you asked why should we do something physical – why can’t we just do it do it silently, mentally (I apologize if I’ve oversimplified your argument; I was just trying to get to the core argument)?

    I think it is far too easy to pass off our apathy by saying we’re actually engaged internally. While many times that may be true, I think most of the time it is (in the words of Col. Sherman T. Potter) horse hockey.

    By actually investing physical activity, it reinforces the idea that we are serious about what we are claiming; there is no lip service there. As a pastor, there is something inherently more meaningful about kneeling in prayer. Is it necessary? No, but I am more likely to be intentional about my prayer when I am in an attitude of humility before my God.

    So, while it is impossible in a Dojo in Iowa to pay honor to the cultures of both America and Korea, by physically bowing to the symbols of those nations, there is, by extension a sense of honor given to those national cultures. In the same way, if Stev were to walk up and spit on the flag of Korea, would or first thought not be ‘what has he got against Korea,’ and not, ‘what has he got against the a piece of fabric stitched together in the colors and symbols unique to Korea?’

    Again, though, and to bring it back to the original post, I (and I’m sure Stev as well) would feel better about our society if self-centered, self-worshiping apathy wasn’t so obvious everywhere.

    Comment by Hank Harwell | February 8, 2009

  16. In ninth grade (1989-90 for me) I started refusing to say “under God” because I had become an atheist.

    As a self-professing Christian, this statement intrigues me, what could’ve happened to you at that time to cause such a life-altering philosophy. Though this is probably not the forum for that discussion.

    In tenth grade, I stopped saying the pledge entirely because it was indoctrination. Even then I didn’t believe my allegiance was to the flag, just to the republic for which it stood.

    And this is why I honor the flag not for the flag itself but for what it stands for.

    In Tae Kwon Do, we bow before the flags of both America and South Korea before entering the dojo, not to honor the symbols themselves but rather the culture and heritage that those symbols stand for.

    Why do you have to bow to the flags at all to honor those cultures and heritages? Can’t you honor them in word, thought and deed? Precisely what the bowing is Must you perform a physical ritual involving a piece of colored cloth in order to feel that you have honored those ideals?

    Because it’s an external sign of respect that is visible to my fellow students, my instructor, and those around me. Back to the wedding ring metaphor. I just got my ring back after a year of being off my finger. It was too small and I didn’t have the money to resize it. Mrs VS and I resized our rings as anniversary presents to each other. Now was I still married during the year the ring was off my finger? Yes. However, I found myself the target of unwanted attention in public from unattached females. The external symbol of my being taken was not in evidence. Single women considered me fair game.

    This is why I show external respect to my country and it’s symbols. It’s because I was brought up to believe that ascribing honor to those things we cherish is a GOOD thing to do. I still call my Father, sir. I tip the waitress. To my way of thinking these are all ways of ascribing honor where it’s due.

    I honor my wife by wearing a ring that symoblizes the vows we took.

    I honor my Parents by listening respectfully to their advice, even if I don’t take it.

    I honor my country by showing respect to the symbols that represent it.

    I honor my God by trying live as He commands and these are all part of that.

    I have enjoyed the discourse. I hope this explains wheer i’m coming from with the original post.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 8, 2009

  17. Here we get to an interesting turn in the conversation. Andrew you asked why should we do something physical – why can’t we just do it do it silently, mentally (I apologize if I’ve oversimplified your argument; I was just trying to get to the core argument)?

    Actually, Hank, that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m asking is why there must be symbols between us and the ideals — middlemen, if you will — that must be venerated and that cause anger when they are destroyed. Why, I’m asking, must we perform rituals involving symbols in order to demonstrate patriotism?

    Insisting that a flag must be treated a certain way is to imbue it with power it doesn’t actually have. If (general) you feel you must use the symbol, that’s fine, but demanding that others must obey your chosen ritual is not logical to me. Insisting that people must put their hands on their hearts when the national anthem, or that they must wear a flag pin, or they aren’t patriots does not sit well with me, because those are just rituals and arbitrary color arrangements.

    Again, I make a distinction between one’s right to do these things for oneself, and believing others must also do these things. If (again, general) you want to take your hat off and put your hand on your heart when the national anthem is played, you have my support, and I will not let anyone interfere with your chosen show of respect. I don’t understand why you need this ritual, but it’s your right. However, if I choose not to do these things, (general) you can’t say I’m not a patriot. My patriotism is to the ideals and the people, and I choose how I show respect to them. As I recall, Stev already voiced his support for my rights as well, so I think we’re all good there. (And, fittingly, this is America to me — supporting each other’s right to show our patriotism in different ways, even if we (I) don’t understand them.)

    As a pastor, there is something inherently more meaningful about kneeling in prayer.

    I’m going to assume an unspoken “to me” on the end of that. I can understand your point, and respect your belief. I do not share this belief, but it is your explicit right to hold the belief. That right ends where I begin, though. I don’t kneel when I pray, and no one has the right to demand that I do so. I’m not saying you have, and I don’t think you would, knowing you as I do; some unknown person out there who might believe I must kneel to pray, well, tough cookies.

    Stev, I’ll reply to your post separately.

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 8, 2009

  18. As a self-professing Christian, this statement intrigues me, what could’ve happened to you at that time to cause such a life-altering philosophy. Though this is probably not the forum for that discussion.

    Probably not. I will say that I am no longer an atheist, but neither am I Christian (or Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or any other established tradition).

    And this is why I honor the flag not for the flag itself but for what it stands for.

    Along with the other things you said below, I think I have a picture of your reasons for doing what you do. I cannot quite understand the source of your beliefs about flags and anthems, but that’s just because we see the world a little differently. This is where the divide is for me:

    It’s because I was brought up to believe that ascribing honor to those things we cherish is a GOOD thing to do. I still call my Father, sir. I tip the waitress. To my way of thinking these are all ways of ascribing honor where it’s due.

    See, these things show respect. What I don’t understand is why you need rituals involving a flag when you already show this much respect to the nation and the people in it. It’s redundant, to me. But you have the right to do it, and I support that right.

    It is my wish that in the future you might be not so quick to question someone’s patriotism when that person doesn’t do the same things you do with regard to the flag or the anthem, however. This conversation began because you witnessed a large number of people not doing what you do with regard to the national anthem, and you questioned their patriotism because of it. I’m not saying you were wrong, but I think your reasons for doing so weren’t what they should have been.

    As I first stated, of course, this is just my opinion.

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 8, 2009

  19. It is my wish that in the future you might be not so quick to question someone’s patriotism when that person doesn’t do the same things you do with regard to the flag or the anthem, however. This conversation began because you witnessed a large number of people not doing what you do with regard to the national anthem, and you questioned their patriotism because of it. I’m not saying you were wrong, but I think your reasons for doing so weren’t what they should have been.

    Yes I do question the Patriotism of the masses who are not preforming the proper rituals of respect for our country’s symbols as set forth by a government elected by the people. My reasons for questioning it are based on the overwhelming show of “patriotism” shortly after 9/11 and the steady decline since.

    My assumption here is that the largest portion of those not observing the ritual are doing so out of apathy and not a concientous objection. Again it’s the apathy I have a problem with.

    Maybe I should have questioned the “Patriotism” of FOX’s production team who elected to show us the folks who are not observing the rituals as opposed to showing the folks that do.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 9, 2009

  20. Wow. “I’m out of it for a while and everyone gets delusions of graduer.” 😉

    I’ll have to catch up after work, but for the record my earlier bingo needs an “@Hank and Stev” I hadn’t realized Mr. Modro had posted in there too.

    I’ll be back, but I just have one quick thought.
    Disrespecting a community’s rituals is disrespectful to that community.

    Comment by drcheckmate | February 9, 2009

  21. A few things before I drop back off the radar again.

    I don’t question people’s patriotism when they don’t perform the rituals, I question their maturity and sense of community. That needs expansion that I don’t have the time for right now.

    I think a lot of your disconnect, Mr. Modro, could be greatly eased by a really good course of study in the power of ritual and how common it is in our day to day lives with out even realizing it. I don’t mean any insult by this. Your posts give me a very weird sense of deja vu. They read to me like something I would have written four years and a degree and a half ago.

    Conversely, I think the same course of study would help you out too, Stev.

    I’ve cut and pasted a bunch of quotes from everyone and will be addressing this fuDGEing awesome conversation in more detail as soon as I can.

    Ritual and languages are technologies… Ugh… I HAVE to go to sleep now. Sorry.

    Comment by drcheckmate | February 10, 2009

  22. I think a lot of your disconnect, Mr. Modro, could be greatly eased by a really good course of study in the power of ritual and how common it is in our day to day lives with out even realizing it.

    Perhaps you are correct, Doctor. I am aware to some degree of the importance ritual and symbolism have in the human psyche. I tend to forget this, however, as these things are less important to me than they are to many others. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why others continue to cling to these things, but it’s not a matter of stubbornness so much as the basic building blocks of human psychology, apparently.

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 10, 2009

  23. Disrespecting a community’s rituals is disrespectful to that community.

    But how far does a community’s right to enforce those rituals extend? Have you ever heard the quote, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”? Does a community have the right to demand conformity to its rituals and symbols by others who do not believe in them?

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 10, 2009

  24. Yes I do question the Patriotism of the masses who are not preforming the proper rituals of respect for our country’s symbols as set forth by a government elected by the people. My reasons for questioning it are based on the overwhelming show of “patriotism” shortly after 9/11 and the steady decline since.

    I think we’ve arrived at an insoluble difference of opinion regarding whether rituals are necessary for respect. I also think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on whether the “patriotism” shown after the September 11, 2001 attacks was “real” or not in the first place. I’m okay with that if you are. 🙂

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 10, 2009

  25. Perhaps, I would benefit from some additional schooling (who wouldn’t), but my esteemed Dr. that is a question of time and money 😎

    To answer Mr Mordo’s recent questions:
    But how far does a community’s right to enforce those rituals extend? Have you ever heard the quote, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins”?

    In every other instance of community, (Scouting, Fraternal Organizations, your House of worship, RPG group, etc.) you CHOOSE to join that community. As such you probably participate in theose rituals without question. Natural born citizens do not have a choice about joining this community. Your rights to not participate in the rituals associated with being an American were paid for by people who shed their blood for those rights.

    Does a community have the right to demand conformity to its rituals and symbols by others who do not believe in them?

    Here’s the crux of our “Insoluble Difference of Opinion”, I am coming from the viewpoint that the majority of Americans believe in the validity of these symbols and those being shown NOT participating are doing so out of apathy more than anything else.

    Your apparent viewpoint is that the majority Americans NOT participating in the rituals are doing so out of a concious choice and descision.

    After 24 posts on this topic I think you and I can agree to disagree. 😎

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 10, 2009

  26. “I tend to forget this, however, as these things are less important to me than they are to many others. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why others continue to cling to these things, but it’s not a matter of stubbornness so much as the basic building blocks of human psychology, apparently.”

    I forget too. Have to remind myself once in a while. As for me, some rituals are just fun to participate in. Sure, there is an element of indoctrination in many, but only if the participant lets them selves be indoctrinated.

    As for “schooling” on ritual, I’ll see if I can’t come up with a reading list and maybe make it a properly gamer-geekly blog post over at the lair.

    26 comments and no Godwin’s Law. Amazing! 😉

    Comment by drcheckmate | February 10, 2009

  27. 26 comments and no Godwin’s Law. Amazing! 😉

    Excuse me, the lower floors called. Manager down there wants to know who cranked up the AC, says things are freezing over.

    😉

    Comment by Andrew Modro | February 10, 2009

  28. No Goodwin’s law because I usually try to maintain civility. Flame wars do no one any good. Name calling does not help to make your point.

    Thank you for the lively discussion.

    I hope to have more discussions as lively as this one.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | February 10, 2009

  29. It would seem to me that Nascar stands for Patriotism and I don’t understand why every driver and crew would not respect the country and fans by doing the honorable thing and show some reverance when the National Anthem is played. I’m sure that in school now this isn’t even mentioned butthen they don’t teach much of anything except anti-Christian doctrine and socialism.

    Comment by James D Vaughn | June 20, 2009


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