Where to Turn When Patriotism Seems to be Dying

by Jun 27, 2024Christian living, Culture, Government, Justice, Worldview0 comments

Many people have moved to Idaho looking for, in essence, a patriotism retirement community. In their minds, if patriotism isn’t already dead in many parts of the country, it’s in its wheelchair, subsisting on a regimen of pills and injections. I remember in twelfth grade in my Philadelphia public school class, the teacher asked us what we would do if we were drafted for a war. Nearly every student said they would flee the country. The city of Star, where I live, beckons visitors to a home where patriotism receives a new lease on life, rejuvenated by flags, fireworks, and freedom.

Yet even here, one can find a defensive patriotism that reveals a concern for its fragility. Beneath the fanfare, there is a haunting doubt: What if America’s great values were to start crumbling here, as well? You will find patriotism’s real threat in that very question.

Patriotism is loving your country—that’s plain enough. And just like loving a person, that means you praise, encourage, and defend her good qualities while wishing to heal and improve her bad ones. But what are America’s best values? Maybe we can all agree on the founding vision of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Ah, but what are those things? And how do we best approximate those values in our lives and our laws? Which liberties, for example, should be protected and which curtailed? When two competing rights come into conflict, which should give way to the other? These underlying questions reveal how people can agree on a value but oppose each other on its execution.

Patriotic pride rejoices in your piece of a shared vision of the collective good. But what happens when your vision is not shared so collectively? Your warm feelings of patriotism will sour into bitter nostalgia, or perhaps something darker. We need something more secure.

What we want is a land where justice reigns and good always triumphs over evil. We only get that with Jesus. We often don’t see his reasoning, but we can trust that his character and power are beyond question. For those in his kingdom, he promises to work all things together for their good. His kingdom will never be toppled. There is no fear of him aging out or succumbing to corruption. He knows no competition. He has never been vetoed or had to lobby or fundraise. The values of his kingdom will never be compromised.

Our country is a beautiful land. It was founded on lofty ideals and judicious principles meant to restrain man’s propensity for selfishness. Love for your country is as natural and healthy as love for your family. But America, even in your best imagined dream, will always fall short of the purity of the values we long for. If you know you can turn to Jesus to find this perfect kingdom, then your patriotism to this imperfect country will be more resilient.

 

An earlier version of this article was first published in the Star Courier

 

P.S. Check out my interview with Moody Radio this week about discontent and achievement addiction

Read More 

Where to Find Wisdom

Where to Find Wisdom

“Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand” – Proverbs 8:1-2 Cult leaders build followings by designing mazes of hidden knowledge. A hooded figure beckons you into a hidden house,...

Why You Can’t Let Yourself Feel Content

Why You Can’t Let Yourself Feel Content

I’ve prayed about discontentment. I’ve confessed it. I keep a gratitude journal. But it was only this past year that I got a breakthrough as to the real problem. I don’t want to be content. I’m afraid of it.   I look at successful people and I hear and recycle in...

The Sanction of Sin

The Sanction of Sin

“She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, “I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows.” – Proverbs 7:13-14 Does a wolf in sheep’s clothing know what he’s doing? Of course. That’s what makes it so terrifying when you catch the...

You’ve Overcommitted–Now What?

You’ve Overcommitted–Now What?

“My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor;...

Leave a comment.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DON'T MISS ANYTHING!

DON'T MISS ANYTHING!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest content.

You have successfully subscribed!