The Flags We Fly

There’s a strange scent of fire to the air these days. 

The scent of casual people sitting by the bonfire, beer in hand, and talking about burning it all down. 

This isn’t anything new. 

The punk kids did it, the radicals do it, the rebels do it, and anyone that’s ever been burned by a system they didn’t believe in or fully understand thinks of taking a torch to the world. 

The fact is that all political sides are closer to their ideas than they think.
The problem has become though that some are actually lighting torches and wielding them without really understanding what it means. 

Never in my life have I seen such brazen, proud hatred that people boast about now. They fly offensive flags on the sides of their homes. They put angry bumper stickers on their cars. They shout slurs and slanders at people they will never know as more than a face. Many of us support cottage industries that are fueled by hate. There are political candidates that thrive on it and cash checks because of it. 

We are gleefully angry at one another and want to make sure everyone knows. 

And it’s CRAZY!

That we demand the world conform to whatever we believe, whatever we worship, and whatever we look like. 

That we demand that people get out of OUR ways and do what WE want because we are more important.
That we carry our guns around everywhere we go, not out of fear but out of pride and as a threat not to mess with us. 

Once upon a time we were a nation that prided itself on its diversity and the many voices that made up our song. 

Now we loathe that. 

I won’t say that the desire for that diversity was ever full, but we at least believed that what made our nation strong was one another. 

We have forgotten our history. 

We have forgotten our wars. 

We have forgotten our struggles. 

We would rather listen to someone making money off of our hate than to listen to our hearts and the faith we claim to have. 

So many people who pretend to believe in god and the afterlife but fill their hearts with hatred like so much wine. 

So do they get a hall pass to be so hateful in the eyes of god or do they simply believe in an Old Testament god that is one of wrath, and if that is the case, well, I would watch how I tread just the same.
That god was easy to anger. 

It’s sad that as we ruin our planet, kill off the creatures that live here, fold our arms at the horrors of others, and yawn at people wanting the right to be themselves and this has all been monetized so someone else can get rich off of the oil of our anger. All they need to do is shout WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN and people raise their heads and fists and march on whatever enemy is harming the babies today. 

I know what I believe. 

I know what I support. 

I know that I am angry, but I never fly flags of hate, nor get into people’s faces to tell them what I think of them. 

I know that, angry as I may be, frustrated as I am, I am not trying to burn the world down around me because I know what that means. 

The Russians did that once, against the Nazis. The idea being that they’d all rather die than let someone take what was theirs and who they were. 

I see the wisdom of that but I also see the bystanders that burn in our fires as well, as they try to just stay out of the way and live in peace as the fires rage around them. 

Sadly, there are no bystanders in these culture wars though, and if the world burns, we all burn with it. 

No matter what side you stand on or god your kneel to or flag you fly. 

We all burn. 


I write books. Go get one. 


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