When my son joined the military it brought me to a whole new level of patriotism. Patriotism is no longer lip service. The fact that my son is willing to put his life and his time on the line in defense of this nation feels to me as something akin to the feeling I had when I brought him into life. There is depth of love. There is a fierceness that I would put my life on the line for. There is a fanaticism to my politics, yet an effort to see the other person’s point of view. There is a willingness to remember that the United States is a melting pot, and that our constitution brings freedom and liberty to all people, all colors, and all genders. Therefore I will speak out against hatred and short-sightedness when I find it.
But most especially I speak out for the freedom to worship as I choose. Those things that I give my love and devotion to – those things are my religion. Patriotism is no less a religion than Christianity, or Buddhism, or the Faith of Allah. Heathenism is the religion of my Swedish ancestors before they became Christian. The first Americans – some still hold to their ancestral religions, which are Earth and Nature based religions. I honor their rights to their ways. I have my own ways of honoring the Earth, my ancestors Elder religion and the teachings of Jesus that I grew up with.
So let us speak no negatives of any man or woman for the beliefs and the loves they hold that are different from our own. This is a land of justice from sea to shining sea, and liberty under law. And so may it continue for many more hundreds of years.
Gods of my fathers, and my mothers, let us have the illumination of consciousness to feel deeply, see broadly, and care more. Let us remember what we stand for, what we are willing to give a true yes or a true no to. Let us honor another’s right to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the sun of America. Amen.