Pardeep Kullar Myths America Lives By The American Creed is spoken through myths that tell of the meaning and purpose of our country. These myths testify to the love and patriotism that we have for America. Each epoch had its own myth that it lived by in creating the American Creed that justified the existence and action of our nation. Based on the cynical response, if a collective group of Americans detested to the stories that hold America together and concluded that they were false, our nation would be in danger at that point.
The problems that exist in America would take the forefront and question the existence of our country. The absolutist response, on the other hand, claims to the righteousness of America and supports the actions pursued by our nation in tumultuous times. Although the absolutist response tries to affirm the American creed, it undermines it at the same time. The Myth of the Chosen People first emerged amongst the Puritans in the colonial period. It basically stated for people to love each other with a brotherly love and to take on one another’s burdens.
In time, this myth changed from “chosen for the good of the neighbor” to chosen by God for “special privileges in the world”. The Myth of Nature’s Nation emerged during the Revolutionary Era. It basically claimed that humans had unalienable rights. But in order to justify the oppression that existed in American culture in the nineteenth century was affirmed by claiming that nature did not include Native Americans or Blacks. They Myth of the Christian Nation was created through the Second Great Awakening. It emphasized to keep behavior in line with the teachings of Christ.
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But this myth quickly embedded the myth of the chosen people and the myth of nature’s nation into it, so that even Christ’s teachings gave special privileges and rights to only certain selected Americans. The Myth of the Millennial Nation emerged during the early national period. Americans believed that America would lead the world into an age of freedom. This myth too has been absolutized. Americans believe that they are pushing the world towards freedom by forcing others to be free by actively engaging in war. The Myth of the Innocent Nation came into being in the twentieth century.
It is rooted in all the other myths, making it very powerful. This myth is grounded in disillusion and tells no truth in its story. After the World Wars, Americans believe that because they had faced great evil, they were righteous and innocent in all of their acts. Although America’s involvement in Vietnam, made the claim to innocence very questionable, they myth prevailed and is stronger now than ever since the 9/11 attacks on America. So once again, America’s interference in the Middle East is perceived as one of innocence.
The African American perspective is included to critique the myths America lives by as it shows the other side of the coin. Because African American experience was very different from the White American experience, it adds a component of truth to the myths that is nonexistent from the other perspective alone. Although African Americans express a different perspective, they also express a validity and hopefulness in the American Creed that they wish will one day be carried out to its truest measures.
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