Where Are the True Patriots?

by Dave Batcheller, written in 2007.

I have been searching – and America is waiting – for true patriots to emerge who will take a stand for the great nation that is being subverted and gradually replaced with one totally different than the one birthed by our Founding Fathers.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word patriot as “one who loves and zealously supports his country”. This simple, yet profound definition gets poured through a filter of modern or popular interpretation and only then gets applied to our personal lives. The result of this filtering, unfortunately, often changes or dilutes the true meaning of patriotism.

The American Perversion of Patriotism

For many Americans, patriotism consists of having an occasional warm, fuzzy feeling about their country. These people think that waving a flag, pasting a bumper sticker on their car, or even voting is the equivalent of patriotism. This shallow, non-committal version of American patriotism is the product of laziness, apathy and a refusal to take personal responsibility. Yet it still allows us to somehow feel good about ourselves and about our nation without really affecting our daily lives.

Another common perversion of the meaning of patriotism in America is based upon the widely accepted premise that we are intrinsically better or superior to others. When separated from ethics, morality, and faith in God, this deadly attitude leads to arrogance and self-delusion. This attitude of superiority is often flaunted as “patriotism” in the United States. We are also frequently reminded of all those who bravely served or gave their lives for our country, regardless of the political maneuvering, deceptions, destruction and other human beings killed in the process of war.

Patriotism that forgets or attempts to change the values and principles that this nation was founded upon is yet another perversion in America. Without the same moral and religious foundation or convictions as our founding fathers, we are left with an empty shell, a distant memory of true greatness. Without a true adherence to the principles laid forth in the Bible and the U.S. Constitution, we must resort to double-talk and political manipulation to maintain the illusion of patriotism.

Types of Patriots in America

In America, we have all types and varieties of “patriots”. There are abundant numbers of occasional and armchair patriots, part-time patriots, talking patriots, pseudo patriots, misguided patriots, etc. While our nation and its’ government continues to drift away from the foundation it was built upon, the American people, for the most part, have been inclined to sit by and watch. This is hardly a representation of the definition to “love and zealously support” one’s country. Until we, as Americans, accept and assume our individual and personal responsibility once again, this pattern will not change.

A Patriot by Other Names

Oh, how words are used to convey their intended meanings! How different it sounds to call someone a “freedom fighter” than a “terrorist”. While people may be labeled as “rebels”, “militants” or “insurgents”, the truth is that from the other persons’ perspective, they might regard themselves as patriots. Who is to know for sure the hearts and motives of men? When deception, greed and corruption abound, does the usage or marketing of different words make our true behavior right?

We regard highly the early Americans who were considered rebels and revolutionaries by the British. We think of the Confederates as rebels even though they wanted nothing more than the same type of independence from an oppressive government. And nowadays we span the globe defending freedom while insisting that the world accept our version of “democracy”. And we do this while not following our own Constitution!

Characteristics of True Patriots

Deep conviction is in the heart of true patriots – the type of conviction that is stronger than personal pleasure or fulfillment. A true patriot will not be apathetic or content with mere talk in the face of crisis. Passion for the truth and justice will flow from this deep conviction, causing the patriot to re-prioritize his life and devote himself to the cause he believes in. Gone will be blaming others and making excuses. He will view himself as being in battle already and will adopt that mind set and lifestyle, rather than choose a life of ease and comfort. He or she will accept, at a very personal level, their responsibility as an American citizen to become actively involved and to stand up for what is right at all costs.

Looking in the Mirror

Perhaps the hardest thing for us to do as humans is to take a deep, long look in the mirror. It is far easier and less painful to shift the focus to someone else. Proverbs 21:2 states the condition of human nature by saying “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.”The path of this human tendency leads us into pride, self-delusion, and criticism of others.
At this juncture in American history, there is a critical need for true American patriots once again to rise up and defend the principles and liberties our nation was founded upon. The time for apathy, talk, and being distracted or preoccupied is over. If you have read this article to this point, you are now faced with a very personal decision. What will you do now? If we do not choose to respond with firm commitment and resolve, we will continue to witness the erosion of our Republic, until one day we will wake up wondering how it was all lost. Who will we blame then?

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