Friday, July 1, 2011

Special July 4th Guest Column

My friend and fellow heart-transplant recipient, Dale Flowers, has been "ruminating" again and written an article that, in my opinion, is perfect for this Independence Day Weekend. He makes some good points and takes some people to task as he lays out what he thinks are some of the problems facing our country today. His points are especially fitting when we consider that by the time we celebrate the 2012 July 4th, we will have began the primaries for selecting the country's next president. Dale gives us some things to think about as we celebrate our freedoms this weekend. Enjoy.


Theodore Roosevelt stated that “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.” This definition came at a time when, like today, politicians were more concerned with “party loyalty” rather than “national loyalty.” Young men and women are dying because they are patriots. They are fighting for their country. People today support these young men and women for that reason.  They are doing the job they signed up to do – defend the Constitution of the United States of America. They do it for the same reason other veterans have done it, to stand by their country.

John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to be patriotic: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Far too often the reverse is the attitude today. We wear our feelings on our sleeve. We look out for number one. We will act like a child kicking and screaming, because we don’t get our new toy. This selfish attitude of “me first” is destroying the very thing that these patriots in uniform are fighting to protect. It is destroying the very fabric of our nation.

Do we still have patriots today ? Yes, the nation is full of them. They teach us, protect us, heal us and clean up after us. You can find them at a disaster with food, blankets, and chain saws. You will find them raising funds, giving their time and energy in service projects. You will find them at town hall meetings, politely asking questions and keeping the speaker’s feet to the fire. Churches and service organizations are full of patriots...

Patriots want to “give back” to the nation. Their reach is outward, not inward. They are involved with service projects because they want to leave a better nation for their children. They stand and take off their hats when the flag passes by or the national anthem is played. They are prepared to make any sacrifice in order to preserve this country for their children.

Why, then is our nation is such bad shape ? The answer is simple. We have made the mistake of placing people in a position of power whose focus is inward and not outward. They are not interested in the good of the country. They are interested in the good of their party and what is best for them. They seek to gain and maintain power. The only interest they have in the “little folks” is to be sure they keep them in power. These people are destroying the very fabric of our nation. They chip away at our freedoms with regulations and executive orders. They ignore the first amendment regarding religion.

What can we do ? We can elect patriots instead of career politicians. We need statespersons, not party hacks. We need to send people into positions of power who love both God and country. We need to elect those who still believe we are “One nation under God”.

Dale C. Flowers
P.O. Box 904
Hendersonville, TN 37077

The Sheepdog wishes everyone a Happy 4th of July. When you're celebrating, cooking out, and watching fireworks, I want to encourage you think about why we are still able to celebrate our nations birthday 235 years later. It's not because the President, Congress, or The Supreme Court say we can. It's because thousands of brave American men and women have fought and died to protect our freedoms through the years. They did so because they were patriotic Americans who believe in the same founding principles that the country's Founding Fathers did over 200 years ago. Whenever you see a veteran this weekend, be sure to go up to them and say a heartfelt, sincere "Thank You." Then, when you go to the polls next year, do your part to protect freedom by only voting for candidates who have those same founding principles and values. 
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