Patriotism vs. Nationalism

Over the past few days I have continued to think about the proper relationship between Christianity and County (see Allegiance). (Special thanks to Amy, Travis , and Abigail for their helpful insights regarding this subject). I believe that David Black's recent post regarding patriotism and nationalism (neo-patriotism) is very helpful. David writes the following:
True patriotism is love of country, not love of government. Neo-patriotism is mindless worship of the state.

True patriots refuse to honor government above God. Neo-patriots gladly deify government.

True patriots understand loyalty as adherence to the ideals upon which the country was founded. Neo-patriots believe in blind submission to the bureaucrats currently running it.

True patriots believe that eternal vigilance is necessary to keep politicians under check. Neo-patriots are willing to entrust their lives to politicians thinking this means loyalty to the ideals spelled out in the Constitution.

True patriots believe in the old Constitution heart and soul and abhor all but the most limited and narrowly defined forms of taxation because they believe their money belongs to them and that the federal government only needs enough funding to perform its few, narrowly defined, constitutional duties. Neo-patriots don’t mind sacrificing most of their earnings to unelected bureaucrats, nor do they mind relying on Washington for a host of taxpayer-funded benefits.

Neo-patriots think that if you criticize U.S. foreign policy or the country’s obsession with security you are “unpatriotic.” True patriots believe that the exercise of critical judgment is
absolutely necessary to any civilization that is to stand or forge ahead, and that it is both their right and duty to criticize their government. They concur with President Theodore Roosevelt: "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country."

Some of you may also be interested in this article on civil religion.

1 comment:

Rita said...

I just caught up on the news - congrats on the new Ashley family addition!