The last post got me thinking about the parallels between being a parent and being a patriot.
As I've mentioned, I'm a mom, raising four kids. I know a lot of you out there are parents or pet owners (yes, it applies there too!). Now, which is the better parent - the one who says, "My little darling is just perfect! He can do whatever he wants!" as Little Darling pulls the wings off flies, bullies other kids on the playground, steals their toys, lies, and disrespects others, or the one who corrects Little Darling's behavior?
Most people would not dream of allowing their children to grow up cruel and selfish. Children are born selfish by nature as a survival instinct, but it's a parent's job to teach the child to get along with others, to share, to wait their turn, to put themselves in other people's shoes, to respect others. That makes for a happy, well-adjusted child who has friends, who does well in school, and later on does well in life. To not give a child limits is to neglect and abuse them. We even treat our animals with more kindness by training them.
If a kid eats too much candy he gets sick. If he isn't given nutritious food, he becomes weak and sickly. If he isn't given chores and responsibilities, he doesn't understand how to take care of himself. If he's given every toy or thing he demands, he will not understand the meaning of money. He'll be spoiled, greedy and what's more, unhappy and dissatisfied without knowing why.
I see our relationship with our country that way. To say "America's perfect and if you criticize it you're unpatriotic" does our great country a huge disservice. Nobody wants America to be a spoiled bully, but if we do not discipline her, that's what happens. I love my country too much to do that.