Tuesday, May 3, 2011

God Bless America

Do you know I hate that phrase, "God Bless America."

I've heard it a lot since Osama bin Laden died.

When I hear it. I hear arrogance. I do want God to bless America, but I would also like him to bless Pakistan, Rwanda, Brazil, and any other place that exists in our world. I know that he does too because you see temples dotting the earth, Saints gathered in all areas of the world. It seems like we think we have a monopoly on his blessings. While I might be wrong, that is what I hear in the phrase. Do you realize that the LDS church also includes "God Save the King," in the hymnal?

I've heard it mentioned that we are so lucky to have our children play soccer and other such blessings, while I am not clear on every nations politics I do know that England, Italy, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland, and especially Canada---Canada has more freedoms that the USA---they also enjoy a plethora of freedoms similar to ours.I hope that more countries are added to that list. I do not want to be the only country that experiences picnics, travel, education, protection, economic opportunities, and a free discussion of ideas.

I have a hard time reveling in someone's death. Bin Laden was 54 years old. Somewhere there is a mother grieving for a son that she lost (I don't know if his mother is alive), a son that she raised, held, feed, comforted, and grew in her womb. How do I have cause to dance in the streets when I think of that?

While he is the head of an organization that professes terror, I am not delusional enough to think that there aren't others to take over, others who feel the same. There is a never ending supply of others. There will be backlash. They were raised in terror---raised with horror----raised with bombings frequent---loved ones of theirs died as innocent citizens. Why are we surprised that they have chosen this route and theology?

The only part of this whole situation that brings me joy is that President Obama is gaining some recognition for his good work as the president. I'm glad that it will help clench his re-election. He deserves our respect. The men and women who leave their families, live in peril, who experience discomfort from long marches, heavy packs, horrible heat and humidity, crappy food, and sand, may those people be looked over, may those people know how we appreciate them. They have sacrificed. They deserve to be recognized for their work. I do.


Jenny Livingston said...

I got called out at work for saying that I though the celebration of his death seems a little barbaric. I'm certainly not sad that he's dead, but you won't find me dancing in the streets over the news. One of the ladies I work with apparently thinks that kind of thinking makes me un-American...

Ami, Joel, and Dane said...

I think it's easy for us as humans to misconstrue something being good as something being better than everything else. I think most would agree that America is a place of freedom and opportunity, but a lot of people take that to another level of thinking everywhere else sucks compared to here. It used to really irritate me, too, but now I just view that attitude as ignorant and just tell myself I'm better than them. How's that for irony?
I agree with you about feeling weird about people dancing in the streets to celebrate bin Laden's death, but I also acknowledge that I have been very minimally affected by his terror and this war. I would probably feel different if I had loved ones die in 9/11 or in the war. It is a complicated issue.

Rachelle said...

Another well written article. Again I agree with you. I had mixed feelings as well. If his death somehow rid the world, and my children's future of evil and terrorism, I would be ok with it, but like you said- there could be the next person to step up, who could be even worse.

I do however like this pattern of "good" news. First the royal wedding, and then people getting so happy about this. I think that we need to have good news more often. People need to be brought together like this instead of the news bringing fear and hate. Hopefully we can find some more positive to bring us together!

Mallory said...

I am agree and disagree with you on parts of this post. I agree that we shouldn't be jumping up and down about this mans death. Someone else will just take his place. I don't think I would give Obama the credit you are giving him. It was skilled military people who got him I would give them the credit. I am glad to be an American, but I think there are many nice places in the world =)

Teresa said...

I agree with a lot of what you wrote and a lot of the comments people have written.
Chris and I were just discussing last night how seeing everyone dance in the streets doesn't sit well with us. I am glad he is dead, but I don't think anyone's death is ever a cause for outright celebration. I wondered how I would feel if I had family or friends die in 9/11 and I would feel relieved. I would feel that justice had been served, but I don't think I would be one of those people out in the streets. (Although, as Rachelle said, if his death meant an end to terrorism, that would be something to celebrate)
And I agree with you that, of course, there are a lot of other wonderful countries and it is arrogant to think that America is "the best", or that our ways are the only right ways, but I think it's okay to ask God to bless America. I don't think we should expect him to bless America more than he blesses Germany,Canada, Japan, or anywhere else, but we should always be praying for him to bless our country. those are my thoughts, anyway.