girl waving flag

Pushing Patriotism Under Disingenuous Guise of Innocence

What is it with adults who just can’t help themselves from pushing their selective version of patriotism—or religion couched as patriotic politics—on the rest of us? And when one pushes back, no matter how polite, or harsh yet pointed, the response to this encroachment, they act wounded. Turning the tables to deflect from their words and actions as if they are offended by your offense at their pushy or clueless attempts to shove their beliefs onto your psyche.

You can just hear them asking, wide-eyed, “But, don’t you believe in God?” “Don’t you love your country and want God to bless it?” “How can you be offended by God and his blessings?” And then there’s the ubiquitous excuse, “But I didn’t intend it that way.”

First, whether I believe in a god or not is no one’s business but mine and is nonetheless completely irrelevant to the actual issue. And it doesn’t matter what is intended or unintentional. What matters is it happened, either with arrogant, manipulative, or coy purpose, or with absolutely no clue as to how inappropriate it was. Both are offensive and unacceptable.

Like a recent email received from the management company hired by my HOA to run our over-55 community. The communication was for the purpose of attaching the HOA newsletter. Problem was, a “quote” was added to the body of the email, ostensibly related to Memorial Day, yet that somber holiday was not in any way mentioned.

The email included a lyric from a smarmy country music tune commandeered by the MAGA crowd for its rallies. This employee quoted the song of a right-wing entertainer who performs it at Republican campaign events. A little ditty about how “God” “blesses” the USA and he’s proud to be American because his freedom comes from “men” (no women to be honored, apparently) who died to “give” him his rights.

I won’t quote the song verbatim because, unlike the email sender, I have a clue about copyright infringement when it comes to music lyrics. Nor will I name the singer because, unlike the email sender, I do not promote MAGA morons or find them quote-worthy.

For me, at the very least, this was tone-deaf sharing of insipid right-wing propaganda on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend when the world was reeling from the gun slaughter of not-so-free innocent school kids just days before.

But, bottom line, why on earth would quoting this song make any sense when addressing members of a community you work for? People who may not share your personal idolization of a traitor or want “God” brought into an HOA newsletter missive.

And why should the onus be on me to explain this to a management company employee who has no right to insert her personal preferences for deity or hero worship on members of a culturally diverse community?

The HOA doesn’t even allow clubs with a religious or political purpose. How is it okay for the hired management company to let its managers promote anything of the sort?

There are some who would likely argue that it was all so very friendly and innocent, that it didn’t bother them, so it shouldn’t bother me. This ignores the reality that it was blatantly inappropriate, period. Not to mention people have different experiences in life that make them more sensitive to say, bigotry, than others.

If I am offended and let you know it, the problem is exacerbated when you stoop to condescend or make me feel bad for not thinking how wonderful you are for trying to shove your god and your twisted patriotism down my throat.

I’ve been down this road before. People of this ilk absurdly insist that Jesus was white and American, and that his male father is the one true god, and a vengeful, spiteful, hateful, petty, judgmental god at that. The same sort who will insist that everyone stand for the national anthem and mindlessly recite the pledge of allegiance—or else.

They want to persecute and prosecute people, forcing them to be patriots and Sunday worshippers in a secular democracy. Oh, the irony. Utterly lost on the willfully narrow-minded spewing their patriarchal “God, guns, and country” crap at the rest of us.

But it was just a feel-good song quote. Why am I so mean and unpatriotic?

Forced patriotism, once it reaches government levels, is fascism. It has a way of creeping up from the populace, beginning with small groups and spreading outward because of those who keep silent and don’t speak up about how wrong it is. Look what’s happened with the fanatic-stacked, not-so-Supreme Court. Religious faith has nothing to do with patriotism and should have no role in judicial decisions. And it shouldn’t be the controlling factor in entire state or local governments.

I’m not in grade school anymore, so I don’t need to stand in lockstep and pledge my allegiance to a flag so that others can get off on saying “one nation under God” while they conveniently eschew “liberty and justice for all.”

Kids in grade school have no liberty these days anyway, because they have to be worried about gun-toting maniacs mowing them down. Stone cold killers who are wholeheartedly supported in their bloodbath gun slaughter by those who would judge others based on whether they believe in their god and have nothing to offer but hollow “thoughts and prayers.” Repugnant, selfish human beings.

I also don’t need to stand for the national anthem at NFL games while they sit in red MAGA caps swilling beer and denigrating minorities as loudly and lewdly as possible. Not to mention how they disrespect the flag they want to force others to pledge allegiance to by putting an image of their cult leader’s face across the stars and stripes. They proudly fly these desecrated American flags along with Confederate flags at rallies where they like to sing that aforementioned song about God blessing America and how proud they are to be American.

Some might find me intolerant of this management company employee who maybe just wanted to share her idea of country music’s take on patriotism, politics, and patriarchy for Memorial Day. But it’s not part of her job and this was not a personal email to her friends.

I push back against the disingenuous bullshit because too many folks have spent years not doing so, and that’s why our nation and our democracy is in violent, bloody shambles.

It’s not harmless, it’s heinous. And it can start with one simple email ignored or excused as unintentional. Because of course there will always be more, there will always be another supposed wide-eyed innocent just sharing her indoctrinated ideology under the guise of her favorite song.

Moreover, there’s this thing one learns in law school wherein a person is presumed to either “know or should have known” that what they were doing was wrong. Whether they intended harm or not.

A person acting not on their personal behalf, but as an employee of a corporation, either knew or should have known that they should not send emails espousing about “God,” for starters, and not pushing a decidedly politicized—through media and social media—version of patriotism.

But what if she didn’t know this song and its singer/songwriter is associated with MAGA and the Republican Party? Perhaps she thought it merely a patriotic, warm and fuzzy quote for the upcoming holiday for those who have lost their lives in defense of democracy?

So, everyone else is supposed to see it that way solely because someone surprisingly uniformed about the world around her and what she herself is promoting does? No. Hell no.

Once again, the disingenuous who think their idea of patriotism is or has to be embraced by every American, and that their god is everyone’s “God” or should be because of what they personally believe, are the offenders, not the innocent victims.

They’re not some little girl waving a flag on Independence Day. They’re grown adults who should damn well know better.

Folks should keep their distorted god, their twisted, sick version of patriotism, and their terrible taste in country music out of emails sent to members of a secular residential community. It’s bad enough that we have politicians with absolutely no common sense or human decency trying to claim that forcing kids to pray to their god in public school will somehow assuage the homicidal urges of gun fetishists.

6 thoughts on “Pushing Patriotism Under Disingenuous Guise of Innocence”

  1. Not to excuse his prior bad associations, but said singer did refuse to play at the NRA/MAGA convention held days after the Robb School shooting. I was intrigued by all the “Patriotic” people that pulled out of that. I don’t know if sent any more of a message than anything else, but it made my heart feel a litter better. We’ll see if this continues for the next convention or gathering.

    Loved the article.

    1. Lauryne Wright

      Thanks. And yes, the singer did refuse the NRA convention. I supposed the mass slaughter of children with weapons meant for war was even too much for someone who has supported this monstrous atrocity called MAGA and their cult leader all along. It is amazing what it takes for some to grow a conscience.

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