The New Pride Month

The New Pride Month

Let’s talk about pride.

Pride, as a noun, is defined as a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from some relationship, association, achievement, or possession that is seen as a source of honor, respect or the like. As a verb it means to be especially proud of something or someone.

When you think about pride what comes to mind? Pride in yourself, your country, your children, family members, or friends?

Let’s look at patriotism.

Patriotism is a love of country. This is a term that can be applied across the world. A love of one’s homeland. It literally means being proud of your own country. Unfortunately, today’s society has distorted the meaning, created a negative connotation, and made the term “patriot” a label for a specific political leaning group of people who believe in defending the Constitution and the original founders’ intentions.

I call myself patriotic. I am proud to be an American. When I hear the national anthem and look at the American flag, I feel a sense of pride because it reminds me of the gratitude I have for what this country has done for myself and the rest of its citizens. I am proud of the principles and dreams which represent the United States of America.

As another month-long celebration of “pride” begins, I can’t help but think that what I’m proud of as an American is only celebrated a few days a year. Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, and Memorial Day are the ones most people acknowledge in some regard. There’s also Flag Day and Constitution Day but few people even know when those dates fall on the calendar, much less celebrate them in any way. Doesn’t the history of this nation, the sacrifices made before and those many still endure to protect our freedoms deserve a whole month of acknowledgment as well? They do. Thus, in my eyes, June is indeed pride month, American Pride Month.

In considering my American pride I also thought it would be wise to consult my faith. Although my public declaration of Christianity is newer, my belief system has been rooted in it for decades. Similarly, the United States of America was founded with religious principles.

According to the Bible, pride causes the wicked to lie about the righteous as we read in Psalm 59:12. For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride. Knowing this we can understand that a person trapped in their pride will often lie to make themselves look better and to make others look worse. Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves in violence. Psalm 73:6

So, is pride a bad thing?

It’s not a simple answer. What it comes down to is who the pride, or proudness, is focused on. Is it self-serving? Or does it praise another? A parent can be proud of their child for doing well in school. A nephew can be proud of their aunt for bravely battling cancer with a positive attitude. However, when a person proclaims greatness about themselves in an overly celebratory manner - that is what God believes can lead to sin. For the overly “proud” person often exudes this extreme confidence as a mask for their actual fears and anxiety, which are the direct result of their refusal to humbly rest trust in God. Another way to think of this concept is by seeing it as an “I” problem. God doesn’t condemn pride when it’s being proud of someone else’s accomplishments, heroic efforts, and even valiant failures. Pride becomes a sin when it is rooted in “I.”

That said, every person should have a sense of “proper pride,” with that being a sense of their worth and dignity which establishes self-respect. Dignity contains humility and gratitude, attracting people to your “goodness.” Improper pride projects arrogance and egotism which repels people.

Patriotism is a pride in one’s country (not self), thus it is not rooted in an “I” mindset. As long as one’s love of God remains greater than their love of country (or idolization of anything else), it is not sinful. One patriotic song that brings things full circle is “God Bless America.” Written as a thank you to the United States for the privileges and rights afforded to its citizens, this song ties together religion and pride.

So, I’ll say it here… God Bless America. Let’s celebrate June as American Pride Month with the flag of the United States of America… not rainbows.


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1 comment

Jenny, exceptionally well done, well said. It is exactly how I feel and I do have great pride for our great country, Bless you and your family

Donna Stone Weaver

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