Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A+ Civics

This morning I decided to take the mock citizenship test on msnbc. I'm thinking that since this week is the Fourth of July--the day we celebrate our national independence, the day we decided that we don't want to be ruled by a foreign government that doesn't have our interests at heart--there have been extra articles and stuff online about patriotism and American-ness.

I surprised myself by getting all 20 questions correct. Most of them I will say I flatly knew, and a few I was pretty sure about, and on one I just made a good guess. And of course they were all multiple choice which made it decidedly easier. For passing the test, I got a message at the end which read:
Welcome to the United States! (And, truth be told, you know more about this great land than most Americans.)
So a test that is required to become a citizen, most Americans couldn't pass? So being a good American doesn't hinge on knowing trivia like how many amendments there have been to the constitution or the line of presidential succession? What does it take to be a good American these days? (Just in case anyone wants to be called such, that is.)

I ask because a while ago I remember listening for only a few minutes (couldn't stand any longer) to Sean Hannity's radio program, while his call in guest informed him that he, Hannity, was a great American. To which Hannity replied to the caller, "You're a great American." Why all this patting on the back? What makes them such great Americans? I can sum up in three basic points.

1) "Support the troops"
2) "Support Bush"
3) "Support Israel"

In other words, be a blind neo-con who gets violently angry at any criticism of the government, the military, or Israel.

What I think is sad though, is that there was a time in this country when God came first. All this blustering about patriotism (Obama's speech got waaaay too much press) just makes me wonder when Americans started worshiping their country instead of God? Now it seems like everyone just wants to outdo the crowd in their love of country. I think it's a kind of radical extremism bound to land America, all its proud wealth and democracy, in the toilet.

So what will I be doing on the Fourth of July? Just like the rest of the Muslims all over the world, I'm going to jummu'ah. InshaaAllaah.

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