The word ‘patriot’


Once again, people are taking the word “patriot” and ruining it.

A word that was never meant to be political is now being used by a variety of people and groups to show how much they supposedly love America. Well, their actions tell a very different story.

American is a warm, welcoming and open country. We will take your tired and your hungry. We are all in favor of everyone having and enjoying freedom.

Isn’t that right?

Well, many who wrap themselves in the flag in the name of “patriot” these days don’t seem to understand that. In fact, many seem bent on voicing hate and division and a wide variety of anti-American ideals.

The latest group to do so is the Patriot Front. You have probably heard of these whiny children because they were recently arrested for planning to riot at a gay pride event in Idaho.

If you didn’t know, June is Pride month. This is when the LGBTQ community celebrates the freedom to be themselves. Freedom, celebration – very American things, if you ask me.

Look, I realize there are many people who, for a variety of reasons, do not want to celebrate gay people or gay culture. Fine, no one is asking you to.

But rioting and harming those who do is not only illegal, it is not what America is all about.

So, this Patriot Front – which sounds like a real jackboot organization, if you ask me – is a white nationalist group made up of young men who apparently don’t want everyone to have the same freedoms they enjoy.

Thirty-one of these wannabe storm troopers were recently arrested before they could actually cause the havoc they planned, thankfully. And as always seems to be the case with these hate groups, they were dressed like some kind of military force.

Please, stop with the dress up. Our military is better than you and your small-minded friends will ever be. Please feel free to actually join the military and protect ALL Americans.

Sadly, right now in our country extreme right-wing hate groups are a serious threat. And that not only goes for gay Americans, but for many minority groups and others. Hating others because of their color or religion or sexual orientation is not at all American if you ask me.

Sadly, the Internet has made spreading the message of hate and recruiting much easier. It is hard to understand how this many Americans are so full of anger and rage.

Look, there are people who have a different sexual orientation than you everywhere. You don’t have to like it, just like they don’t have to like you. But every American has the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

I have many gay friends, some from childhood. I have written before about one guy in particular, who I have known for as long as I can remember. He is a realtor living in the West and has been with his now husband for more than 30 years. They got married, when the law changed, decades into their committed relationship.

To me, that is something to celebrate. I don’t find people loving each other wrong. I am glad when people find others they love and commit too. It’s awesome.

Some people seem to have a hard time with others enjoying their freedom, especially if it goes against their beliefs. Well, that’s tough.

I celebrate with my friends this month and am thankful that in 2022 they can more openly celebrate who they are and those that they love. That is an America I want to live in – an American which is truly equal for all.

And if you really are a patriot, you understand that.

Brad Jennings is the editor of the Ogle County Life.

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