Old Glory is being blown by a gentle breeze, the smell of brisket, burgers and sausage waft through the air. It’s fourth of July and it’s a big deal in the Mitchell family.
It isn’t all about the stars and stripes banners hanging on the patio. It isn’t even the food. It’s sharing the greatest day in American history with some of the greatest Americans I know.
Since I can remember, Independence day has been an unannounced, no-invitations sent nor needed, family reunion. Four generations share stories and just catch up.
Conversation on politics and world events inevitably ensue and even in a closely-related set of Conservatives have differing ideas on how to solve the myriad of problems facing America.
Discussions of the Constitution and elections are intermingled with accounts of recent fishing, hunting, hiking and camping trips. Obviously, we are accidentally doing exactly what a Harvard Study said we do – we are indoctrinating our children and each other as American patriots.
The indoctrination is subtle, but it’s there. We are teaching our kids to disagree with their government when it gets too big, does too much, or limits liberties. We are teaching them that debate about our government is healthy and can be had and should be had. We are teaching our children that they are a part of the political system.
When we question the validity of the electoral college system, one-man one-vote, NATO and the U.N. we aren’t telling each other or our kids what to think. We often disagree on the problem or solution on many things. Instead, we are reminding everyone in attendance that they must be actively learning about and participating in the future of our Republic
That is my kind of indoctrination. My kind of Independence Day.