Monday, March 19, 2007

how can you hate "The Colonel"?

Canadian Tim Challies posted his Things I Hate About America and it got me thinking.

Would not an insider have even more to hate? Of course, I think we have a bit of a love/hate relationship with our* country. There are things we love about it, but because we love it there are things we hate, because it could be better. Perhaps it deserves better than it receives.

For me there are times when I have hate and love for the same aspect. For example, I love that we have free speech. I love it until someone blasphemes Christ does desecrates the cross and calls it art. I love freedom of religion, but I hate the implementation of that (a) puts all systems of belief on the same level of respectability and (b) becomes a bias against Christianity under the cloak of freedom from religion.

Also, I love that I have the freedom to have a blog, but I hate that some folks spare us to death with some of the slooge they write on their blogs.

I hate that our country is still so racially divided and preoccupied with race, either in an antagonistic way or in an undue obsession with it. This could be seen in one person seeing no problems with race at all and another injecting race into a situation where it is irrelevant.

I hate that the churches in this country are so segregated and that church growth methodology actually encourages such with the effectiveness of the homogeneity principle.

I hate the polarization and false dichotomy in this country on just about every issue. For example, you're either with the president or with the terrorists. While I tend to be a supporter of the president, I realize that one could be a dissenter without aiding and abetting criminals, though some do go too far.

You are either against people having guns or you are in favor of school shootings. No, maybe some of us believe in the Second Amendment, but think evildoers shouldn't kill innocent people with them.

You either want any and all people to come to this country illegally so they can get the benefits of citizenship without any of the costs involved (e.g., paying taxes) or you hate foreigners, forgetting in your self-centeredness that all our ancestors (sans descendents of Native Americans) were at one time immigrants.

Every issue has to be a litmus test issue with two, and only two, distinct binary options available. This is often true in the Christian world as well. You either do/think/feel/believe this way (i.e., like I do), or you don't love Jesus.

I hate that helpful and/or friendly customer service is nigh unto extinct in this country. I tend to see the glass as half-empty, admittedly, but I'm shocked anymore when I get a friendly human on the phone or a helpful earthling in a store. Fast food tends to be the worst, but I guess there you get what you pay for. I really hate when they waffle the order, particularly at the drive through.

Though I don't hate the Colonel with his beady little eyes, I do hate the commercialism of the US and what appears to be prominent product placement in movies. (Remember the mockery of this in Wayne's World? It's only got worse.)

I hate that the emphasis on the individual oozes into the church to the point of consumerism and an emphasis on "personal" Christianity to the detriment of the community.

Having lived elsewhere and traveled to other continents I also have something with which to compare the US. I have also had the opportunity to see Americans and how they operate outside of their natural habitat. It's not pretty. The "ugly American" is not fabrication and there were many times I found myself hating the arrogance and ignorance of Americans overseas. For example, on a mission trip to Germany, I wanted to crawl under the table when a lady on the trip threw a bit of a fit at dinner and couldn't believe they wouldn't have the menu in English.

That being said, I hate America's ignorance and apathy with regard to the rest of the world and the limited existence this country has had on the historical scene. I remember as a teenager eating dinner in someone's house in England, a house that was twice as old my my country of origin. That helped put things in perspective for me.

I hate this country's obsession with sexuality and its contribution to the objectification of women. What does a woman in a bikini have to do with the quality of the beverage or the effectiveness of the razor? Why does every sitcom have to resort to the tired sexual innuendo to get cheap laughs? Why does a movie have to be tainted by a flash or two of nudity, adding nothing to the storyline but a few cheap thrills for the immature in the audience?

There's more that could be said, but I'll leave it at that. If I say anymore the terrorists have already won. There is much I love as well, don't get me wrong. And I might echo the sentiments of thousands, consequently millions, that though it has faults, it's still the best country in the world in which to live (next to Texas, of course).

What about you? What do you love about the USofA? What do you hate?

*For the sake of the reader's sanity I won't get into the assertion that my country is really Texas, for there's nothing about the Lone Star State that one could hate. That would be too one-sided of a discussion.


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