Are you sure you're proud of your country?

What is the purpose or benefit of pride?  After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, American flags sprouted up everywhere, along with platitudes like "God bless America."  Gallup began polling Americans annually ever since with this question: "How proud are you to be an American — extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud or not at all proud?"

The question is skewed.  The opposite of pride is shame, and a real scale would have included as many gradients of shame as for pride.  An accurate axis includes both positive and negative values.  Guaranteed, given the tilt of the culture, it would have produced a wider scope of sentiment.  The latest poll (as of this writing) published that 38% responded with "Extremely proud."

But were all those patriotic displays from 911 expressions of pride?  What if the question was "How grateful are you to be an American?"

Are you grateful that 100% of those who live in "poverty" in America are considered "wealthy" by 80% of the rest of the world?  Are you grateful to live in the only country whose founding documents declare that the people rule the government, rather than the converse?  Are you grateful to live free of fear from invading armies?  Are you grateful for modern amenities such as electricity, indoor plumbing, wireless internet, Bluetooth, cell phones, air-conditioning, heat, automatic transmissions, power-steering, medical care, etc., ad nauseam?

Sure, other countries have those things.  Where'd they get them?

What has pride got to do with any of that?  Even those who would have ranked high on the shame spectrum would yet appear on the positive side of the gratitude scale.  (To whom they ascribe gratitude would be interesting.)  Those 911 displays were expressions of love of country rather than pride.

Among the seven deadly sins, pride is the chief and progenitor.  There is a particular sin named after a city that was destroyed in the Bible, called Sodom.  Scripture says that the sin of Sodom was pride (Ez. 16:49-50).  Today, practitioners of that proclivity identify themselves by the term "Pride" and wave their own flag.  Irony is poetic.

There are also factions of society that apply the term "Pride" to their skin tone, as if that had anything to do with moral superiority.  Those who bandy this drivel about demand reparations for cultural sins two centuries past, based on outward appearance.

This pale author's ancestors are 25% French, 25% Irish, and 50% Slavic.  The word, "Slav" derives from the term "slave," going all the way back to the Roman empire.  There were Irish slaves on the American continent long before the international African slave trade was a thing.  Skin color means absolutely nothing when it comes to victimhood.

Although the founding documents declare that "all men are created equal," proponents of "pride" are quick to point out that the men who penned those words owned slaves.  Duh.  They were born, apart from volition, into a community and family where slavery was the norm.  They had no more culpability in the nature of their nativity than the slaves did in their own.

But unlike millennia of generations before them, they did something about it — as did the hundreds of thousands of pale men who sacrificed their lives on battlefields to end slavery.  For some macabre reason however, those demanding reparations feign to forget them.  Maybe they're not grateful.

One of the chief protagonists of the movement for equal rights expressed that view in a speech, wherein he stated that he had a "dream" that his children would see a day where they were judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  Now those who shriek about pride are doing everything in their power to kill that dream.  Fie.

The back of the dollar bill sports the phrase "E Pluribus Unim," translated, "Out of Many, One."  It celebrates that America has one culture comprising many members.  The modern use of the word "pride" is an attempt to segregate the "one" into contending factions:  Re-Pluribus, Un-Unum Us.  Division is a strategy to destroy: "divide and conquer."

Most of the people propagating "pride" phraseology do so out of sincere compassion for their fellow humans, calling it "social justice."  They don't know that they're being played as pawns in a gambit for domination that, if won, will find them in gulags, branded as useful idiots: blind, pathetic fools.

Don't despise those on the opposite pole of politics.  They're not malicious; they're deceived.  History bears the scars of communist subversion, which those who ignore are destined to re-experience.  Pray for — do not curse — those poor fools.  Mercy.

Heartfelt love, motivated by gratitude, is the catalyst for American patriotism.  Not pride.  God bless.

Mike VanOuse is a retired Factoryjack and Bible-thumper.  His biblical commentary can be found on Substack, and his books are splayed at

Image: Pashi via Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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