Growing up, my fundamentalist parents tried to teach a lot of wacky "values" that just didn't make sense to me. Let's start with patriotism. I feel lost trying to understand this concept. Even as a small child I didn't see what was good about that. I understand being concerned about the community/country you live in but ... I don't love my country. It's just the place I happen to have been born. I'd rather think of myself as a citizen of the world. I think if more people thought that way the world would be a better place. There are other countries that are just as good as if not better than ours in many areas. I don't believe in traipsing around the world with the indignant remark "but I'm an American!" on the tip of our tongues. That kind of patriotism and national pride fuels racism.

I watched my parents shake their heads and disapprove of president Clinton and yet they tried to teach me that we all must respect him because he is in a place of authority ... excuse me?? Without disrespect for authority there would have been no American revolution. If religious fundamentalism existed and had its way back then where would we be now? It was secularism and respect for the individual that brought us the revolution.

I give people respect as fellow human beings when I meet them and expect them to live up to it. I take away that respect when I believe that person is no longer worthy of it. I don't give respect based on age, social status, or position of power/control. Screw that.

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Comment by robin on January 13, 2009 at 8:59pm
My dad is patriotic to the point where he yelled at my sister and I when we were much younger for parroting back the National Anthem the way someone sang it at a baseball game. After watching the nightmare that was W's Presidency for 4 years he said he "was afraid of John Edwards because he reminds me so much of Clinton." Because Clinton was so bad, right?

So, yeah. I understand. IMO we all have value whether we are American or not.

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