Thursday, September 4, 2014

Patriotic Dissent

Can you be critical of the actions of your government without being seen as unpatriotic? Can you be reverent of the founding documents of your country, but disparaging of the founders, some of whom helped to draft those documents? Can you love America while criticizing important Americans? Or even Americans in general?

 I once heard someone say that she really admired the Quran, but she hated Moslems. It sounded so funny to me at the time. I chided her on this, asking how that was possible, and she said that Moslems universally misinterpret their holy book. I have since heard someone say the same thing about the Bible and Christians.

Any really broad use of a term invites misunderstanding, which is why I changed the blurb of Theodosia and the Pirates: The War Against Spain from what it used to be to this:
What was the blurb like before? It was more or less the words to the War Against Spain book trailer:

When understood in context, these words are very patriotic and show reverence to America's ideals, as put forth in the constitution. But when read out of context, they can be seen as unpatriotic.

That is actually what Theodosia and the Pirates: The War Against Spain is all about. How can you remain loyal to the ideals of your country when your countrymen violate them with impunity? Do you have to go underground with your patriotism?  If you can't practice freedom openly, do you have to furtively support those ideals? Is your country the land, the people, the government or the ideals?

It is young Jules who expresses some of these questions toward the end of the book.

We don't have to put anyone's head on a plate to set the record straight. Nor is it unpatriotic to point out when any governmental action or citizen's attitude is in conflict with the founding documents.

But since people who have not read the book may not know this is what it is about, it is best to be a bit more expository in the descriptive blurb. They can wait until after they have read the book to ponder what it would mean to be "more American than the Americans."


  1. Oh, very nice description, Aya! I love it - it now sounds a bit more like a disaffected man who dearly loved his country, but was shunned by the very same country. The same problems we're having today, eh?
    It definitely sounds like a very engaging book. I have it here in my stack now and can't wait to read it!

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I do think the blurb is more balance now. Thanks for the input!

      And yes, these are the same problems we are facing today. They seem to have been ongoing for quite some time.