by Missouri Rep. Ed Emery (R-126 including the counties of
Barton, Dade, Jasper and Polk)
"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle." --George William Curtis
This week in the Missouri state Capitol, a large rally was held in favor of defending state sovereignty. Rep. Tim Jones and Senator Jane Cunningham spoke about their respective bills filed to protect Missourians’ right to choose their own healthcare and not be forced into the federal government’s plan under threat of fines or imprisonment. This centralization of more and more power in Washington D.C. is fostering a citizens’ movement to understand and defend personal liberty and the federalist principle of state sovereignty - a governing principle captured eloquently in the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
I have not attended a larger rally in the capitol than the January 13th event with the possible exception of a pro-life rally. Many of us who had co-sponsored the healthcare rights bills joined the speakers on the platform and observed these citizens who clearly love their God, their country, and their families. They were in Jefferson City because they sense threats to all three.
In the context of a sovereign God, every threat brings with it an opportunity, and I believe the opportunity before us is that of an alerted population. The men and women at the Capitol on January 13th confirmed the surge of patriotism (love of country) capturing the hearts and minds of Americans.
Patriots are not born, they are grown, and there are only two suitable seed beds. One is military conflict. Most veterans are patriots because they are tenured in blood and personal sacrifice. Whether or not they understand American exceptionalism and fully grasp its character, they love our country and our flag because they have defended it against the evil of its enemies.
The other seed bed of patriotism, however, grows not from the conflict of war but the conflict of ideas. It grows out of an understanding of what has made America great – in influence, power, prosperity, and above all charity. These men and women are patriots because they have learned the principle(s) of America’s greatness.
Countries are not all the same; neither are governments, economic models, or religions. Some do not deserve thoughtful patriotism. America does! Americans are waking up to what it means to be an American, to the value of liberty and the threat of dependency. Patriots are being grown; that is a good thing.