The 5 Pillars Of Patriotism
In a day when openly expressing your love for the United States can be misconstrued and for some, even divisive, celebrating our great nation can be a bit dicey and teaching patriotism is almost headed underground.
If you are brave and you understand the blessing it is to live in this great nation, read on.
Patriotism is different from jingoism or nationalism. You can love your country without being hateful of other countries. Patriotism shows pride without chauvinism; it celebrates the opportunities we are afforded because of what it means to live in America.
We are the only country on the planet where you can show up and immediately call yourself "an American." You can't arrive in France or Japan and do that - in fact, they will kick you out without the proper visas and other paperwork.
In a time when many public schools no longer support teaching patriotism and in fact, may teach anti-American tenants, we must do everything we can as parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to teach our future generations about why this is the BEST country on the planet.
So what are the tenants of patriotism? Here are five pillars to hold to:
1 - Know Your History
With so many statues being pulled down under the guise of "distasteful" history, charges of racism or some other perceived evil, we run the risk of losing our perspective on why things were good or bad. Erasing our history is NOT the answer.
Learning American history, with all its warts, is the only true way to understand why this is a country people want to live in - they risk their lives to come here. Why families moved here generations ago and STAYED.
Did you know several times during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington had bullets go THROUGH his clothes several different times? The Native Americans believed he was protected by a supernatural force.
Did you know that the reason why President Franklin D. Roosevelt is on the dime is because he was a champion for the March of Dimes non-profit that helps protects premature babies?
We have a rich history and we need to teach our kids about it.
2 - Have Faith
Like it or not, our country was founded on the principles of Judeo-Christian doctrines such as the rights we are given come from GOD, not the government. As the Founders wrote in our Declaration of Independence, we "endowed by our Creator, with certain inalienable rights..." meaning those cannot be taken away by a president or a governing body.
If you look at the Declaration of Independence, clearly we're a nation that believe in God. We believe God gave us rights and that we loan those rights to the government. That is very different from any other nation on the earth." - Jackie Gingrich Cushman, "How to Raise An American Patriot"
Holding on to that faith that we are free people and those freedoms come from God is very important to teach our kids so that they know and understand this too.
3 - Be Good Citizens
This means we need to lean into being a part of the community. Fly the flag. Attend Independence Day parades. Thank a veteran. Show your kids how much you love this country.
4 - Do Your Duty
VOTE - it's the one thing we can do to have our voices heard (and if you believe we need voting reforms, get involved with your local election board, political party or run for office and make the change!)
Listen NOW to our special Independence Day Podcast
Although it's a joke for Americans to avoid this, serving on a jury is a fascinating way to see how our judicial system works.
Write editorials for your local newspaper or website and speak up to your members of Congress if you have an opinion on what's happening.
Take your kids to your state or county courthouse and let them see what it looks like. Most places give tours. Visit Washington, D.C., as a family - that will help them see even better what it looks like to serve America.
5 - Pass It On
Tell people why you love America - pass on the benefits of living in America. Encourage your children to stand up for being American to their friends. It might be the only way that friend will hear about our great nation and why we love her.
Let them see you speak up for what's right, not just through a generic social media post, but how you live and how you treat people and the way you view our county. It's up to us, as parents, to emphasize American exceptionalism. Without our voice, our kids will hear the worst from the media, academia and entertainment figures.
Stand up for this great nation. As Abraham Lincoln noted from biblical teaching - "A house divided cannot stand." - Let's stand together for America, the beautiful, wonderful, shining city on the hill that holds the beacon up for the rest of the world.
God Bless America.
To learn more ways to teach patriotism, pick up a copy of my book for 50% off here: raisinganamericanpatriot.com