Paperwork was filed today by the Snow administration declaring January 20, 2017, the date of the Inauguration, to be a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” The one page document emphasizes the idea of American Exceptionalism, the belief that the democracy and liberties of the United States are unique in the world, while underscoring that this ‘exceptionalism’ can only exist through the maintenance of “faith in our sacred values.”

These values are laid out in the next paragraph in an almost Orwellian fashion, as they are introduced not as universal rights, but privileges which must be earned:

There is no freedom where the people do not believe in it;
no law where the people do not follow it;
and no peace where the people do not pray for it.

While the action of marking a presidential inauguration as a recognition or celebration of the occasion has become tradition in the Capitol, this particular proclamation’s assertion that basic tenants of America like freedom, law, and peace are only available to those deemed worthy is immensely troubling.

This vision of American ‘Patriotic Devotion’ sets up Snow as a deity, doling out basic tenants of America are only to those who he deems worthy enough to receive them.

How many of us won’t make the cut?

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