I happen to love The Star Spangled Banner. I think about those in my family and others who've fought for our freedom when I hear it. I also think about the times I visited communist countries in Eastern Europe before the fall of Soviet communism, and how proud I am that most of those countries are now free in substantial part due to American resolve.
But I agree with this editorial, "Thinking is Patriotic" from the Toledo Blade.
Our freedom is the freedom to think and to show our love of country in ways that may offend. I don't feel good when someone protests in this particular way. But I am proud to live in a country that protects peaceful protest and offensive speech. And that is particularly true of speech in the name of racial tolerance and equality. We need more gutsy kids who care enough to get involved. We don't have to feel all warm and fuzzy inside to have respect. And that is what the First Amendment is all about.