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Kymberlie Ingalls is native to the Bay Area in California. She is a pioneer in blogging, having self-published online since 1997. Her style is loose, experimental, and a journey in stream of consciousness. Works include personal essay, prose, short fictional stories, and a memoir in progress. Thank you for taking a moment of your time to visit. Beware of the occasional falling opinions. For editing services: http://www.rainfallpress.com/

Monday, July 4, 2011

Old Glory, New Hopes

The debate wages on.  Are we one nation, under God, or just one nation, indivisible?  I'll wager that we are divisible, though, aren't we?

Is God what makes a nation?  Funny, but I thought it was citizenship, and allegiance, as said the original pledge:  I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

God is what makes a religion, which is defined as a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons.  Okay, I guess patriotism is technically considered a religion too then.  I wonder, though, how many Christians would be so tolerant of those who choose to reciteone nation, under Buddha,” or one nation, under Allah.” 

We may be a largely Christian nation, but let us not forget another pledge: 

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Nothin’ in there that if you show up on our shores without a Bible in your hand, it’s a boot to the nearest ship out.  So, for those of you who are passionate about the added (in 1954, to be exact) under God,” – as I see sworn in a very loud declaration frequently on my Facebook page (MY GENERATION GREW UP RECITING THIS EVERY MORNING IN SCHOOL WITH MY HAND ON MY HEART. THEY NO LONGER DO THAT FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING SOMEONE!  LET'S SEE HOW MANY AMERICANS WILL RE-POST THIS AND NOT CARE ABOUT OFFENDING SOMEONE!) – have at it, but please also respect those who still wish to pledge to their nation, but wish to leave God out of it. 

I tell ya though, Red sure makes a compelling argument for the cause:

My ambivelence to religion does not make me less of a citizen.  And on this day of days, Independence Day, I am here alone at 3:04 a.m. and wondering what this day might mean to me.  No holiday of this sort has quite been the same for any of us since 2001, has it?  We went from purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain to we’ll put a boot in your ass, it’s the American Way!”

And the American Way is what we’re really celebrating, isn’t it?  Isn’t this our holiday?  To shout out what we do that keeps our country running, even on its worst day? 

I worked 96 hours last week on the ambulance!

“I drive an 18-wheeler 65 hours a week.”

“I'm at work right now on my 9th straight 12 hour graveyard shift making electricity so everybody out there can stay cool in this heat!!

My husband works every day in a hot, sweaty shop, supplying parts to factories and farmers, with a goal to keep our home and our health.  And he hopes that someday America will find its way back to its independence, and the glory it was built on.

I suppose if I were to preach a sermon from a red, white and blue hilltop, it would be this: 
Let us always learn the lesson of independence. Whether at war with the world, with each other, or ourselves, we should strive for peace, tolerance, forgiveness, and strength in ourselves. For one day, I'm going to celebrate our nation, and hold hope for those in need of home, food and love. When the fireworks have faded, let us remember to reach out our hands to our fellow citizens. Let us rise up, not knock each other down.
“You can see them every morning, working together like spokes inside a wheel, they keep this country turnin’ around.  For everyone who works behind the scenes with a spirit you can’t replace with no machines, let me thank you for your time…”

The Pledge Of Allegiance / Francis Bellamy   
The New Colossus / Emma Lazrus

America The Beautiful / Katherine Lee Bates  
40 Hour Week / Alabama

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