My Tribute to America – Sat 14th Jul 07

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”.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “My Tribute to America – Sat 14th Jul 07”

  1. Darren Says:

    Good article, and I agree that America is a great nation. In fact, I intend to move there if they’ll have me!

    I’d also recommend you read “United States of Europe”. The EU is also a great project, especially in the area of secularism (see the recent declaration by the Council of Europe) and I do think that we, the British, need to be more involved.

  2. BlackSun Says:

    Great tribute. As an American, I too wish America would live up to its constitution, image, and potential. Right now, it is tragically adrift.

  3. The Exterminator Says:

    Hey, Evan:

    You said: Granted, no part of the original text has ever been revised or removed, but the Constitution has been amended 27 times!

    Some of the Amendments do very explicitly revise the original text (XII, XVII). Other Amendments (opinions differ on which these are) revise the Constitution implicitly. And, by the way, one of the Amendments (XXI) was even used to repeal a previous Amendment (XVIII).

    Also, although “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” is a famous phrase, it first appeared in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The U.S. was founded as a republic, not a democracy. It could be argued that government “by” the people was not really part of the original package. (The founders — perhaps foreseeing the election of populist idiots like George W. Bush — did not feel comfortable entrusting their newly free country to the “mob.” In fact, at least some of the first ten Amendments were written specifically to guarantee that rabble-rousers would not be able to remove certain fundamental rights merely by democratic legislation.)

    If you’re interested in the American Constitution, I recommend a fairly simple book as an introduction: The Words We Live By by Linda R. Monk.

  4. evanescent Says:

    The Exterminator said:
    “Some of the Amendments do very explicitly revise the original text (XII, XVII). Other Amendments (opinions differ on which these are) revise the Constitution implicitly. And, by the way, one of the Amendments (XXI) was even used to repeal a previous Amendment (XVIII).”

    Apologies for not being clear. Of course some of the amendments do REVISE the original text. What I meant to say is the original text has never been, shall I say, crossed out, or deleted, or removed. However it has been updated many times by amendments. The point being the difference between a secular text and supposed divine texts in holy books.

    “Also, although “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” is a famous phrase, it first appeared in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. ”

    You’re correct. I didn’t mean to imply those words appear in the Constitution, and although they weren’t used at the time of founding, in my opinion, they accurately reflect how the US was founded. Although this is my opinion and I might to be wrong.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “The U.S. was founded as a republic, not a democracy”… the US is a democratic republic, is it not? Or are you saying it wasn’t necessarily originally founded as such?

    “(The founders — perhaps foreseeing the election of populist idiots like George W. Bush — did not feel comfortable entrusting their newly free country to the “mob.”

    This is why I think the bicameral system of a Senate and a House of Representatives it a good idea. So each state has an equal vote regardless of size, but the general population also speaks by number of voices. And the two together affect legislation.
    (However, none of this stopped the man with less votes getting elected in Bush’s case! – someone will have to explain that to me!)

    Thanks for the book recommendation, and cheers again for the comments! 🙂

  5. The Exterminator Says:

    I suggest you read the Constitution, if you haven’t already done so. The founders were wary of two things: (1) aristocrats and (2) majoritarian mob rule. So they designed a system that would avoid both. Representatives were elected directly by the people. Senators were not, nor was the President. (Nowadays, Senators are elected directly by the people; I’m not sure the government is better for it. Presidents still are not.) Guarantees were built in to protect individual rights.

    There’s a tendency to over-romanticize the democratic leanings of the founders — and, in fact, I believe, to overrate democracy in general. The founders knew that the tyranny of the masses was always a lurking possibility, so they went out of their way to avoid that eventuality. Hence, the Bill of Rights, which prevents the majority from having complete sway over individual interests. That’s why our laws can be declared unconstitutional, because there are certain liberties (supposedly) not subject to majority rule.

    I, personally, don’t necessarily believe in universal democracy. I believe in universal freedom, with constitutional guarantees. I shudder when I hear our president speak of bringing “democracy” to the Middle East. Theocratic governments can easily come to power — and retain that power — in a democratic state. Such a democratically elected theocracy, by definition, would be opposed to individual liberty, particularly to the freedom of the minority that doesn’t conform to the religious orthodoxy.

    Democracy, in and of itself, is not the panacea that simple-minded speechmakers would have us believe. The founders knew this.

  6. Lamech Ohwobete Says:

    I love the American people and their constitution;especially foresightedness of the drafters of the constitution and strongly believe that someday I travel to the US and live the American dream.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: