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I know I am a day late.  I had thought about this post yesterday and as the time went I thought maybe I’d just skip it.  The idea haunted me and I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do anything until I wrote this post.

I’m against war.  I feel more things can be accomplished with peace than with the violent act of war.  That does not mean I hate our military or that I don’t support our troops.  I grew up in a military family.  I lived on a military base when I was twenty.  I appreciate everything the military has done for me and my family.  I believe strongly in their cause.  I believe in the work that the military does at home.

I believe that it’s my father’s work in the military that helped teach me to be charitable, to be strong and to fight for what I believe is right.  It taught me how to be a true patriot.

I don’t hang a flag on my porch.  I don’t say the pledge of alliegence.  I don’t support our government’s decision to go to war.

I know what people think – how can you say you are patriotic and yet you admit all those things.  Hmm – perhaps we have forgotten what it truly means to be an American.  Perhaps we have forgotten what it means to be free.

Our forefathers created America so that we could get out from under tyranny.  They designed the government so that we could voice our displeasure.  We were given the right to choose our own religion (note – it never said we could choose our own christian religion).  We were told we not only had the right to speak up but the responsibility to tell the government they were doing it wrong. 

We have responsibilities as Americans – we are to be in charge of our government and it’s decisions, we vote, we protest, we keep church out of the government.  I am sure the forefathers had enough foresight to understand that our religious beliefs would lead us in our choices when it came to government but the idea was to prevent any church from having power over the government.  It, also, gave us freedom.

No where did the forefathers say that our freedom was to be at the expense of others.  Granted, they owned slaves and were, generally, wealthy white men but their words still work today.  We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That means the government can’t take away the right to marry whom you love so long as they are capable of making that decision.  Children can’t make that decision but an adult can.

That means I don’t have to believe in Christianity to be an American.  I don’t have to support the government’s choices.  I don’t have to support the troops (though I do).  I don’t blame the soldiers for the decisions of their superiors.  I am sad when they die just as I am sad when the poor die because they can’t get medical treatment or when a man is beaten because of prejudice.  It’s the failing of man who choices war over peace and it breaks my heart.

I believe in socialized medicine but I also believe in a person’s right to choice natural medicine over conventional medicine.  I believe that if someone wants to live in a cave on property they own then they should be allowed to.  I believe that everyone should have affordable access to whole foods.  And I believe that our government could make the choices that protect the people over big business.  And unfortunately, I believe it’s our fault for not taking responsibility for the shortcomings of our government. 

So on this Memorial Day – I didn’t think as much about our fallen soldiers as I did about our dying government.  My heart breaks with the thought that our soldiers are dying for no good reason.  They are not fighting for our freedom any more.  And we are not, either.  If you want to make a difference, then make yourself heard.  Register to vote and then vote.  Take the time to ask those questions that you want answers to.  Don’t let your government officials be elected without knowing that they are truly going to make the sort of difference you want.  Don’t forget that your freedom should never come at the price of another’s and that working together does more than fighting each other.