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writing things down…

Patriotism and Religion

The Christian Science Monitor has two thoughtful editorials relating to the confluence of patriotism and religion. They both end with similar challenges: Americans need to read more about their history.

“I hope the evangelicals [who claim Founders as their own kind] and the people who say the Founders were atheists or agnostics,” Professor Holmes says, “will do more reading.”


This July 4, Americans – and their leaders in particular – must take care not to play the patriotism card against opponents. They should refrain from questioning “love … for one’s country” (as Webster’s defines the word), and keep instead to a debate about the substance of ideas, and how well those ideas fit within the Founders’ democratic framework. To do that, they must be familiar with the founding history and documents. Which augers a little reading this year, along with burger flipping.

Any thoughts?

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2 Comments»

  ck wrote @

My thought?

Too late….

Seriously, though, it’s easier to just accept what someone says about history than to do reading yourself. It’s simpler to assume that what you value ought to be the transcendent Law of the Land than it is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

I don’t have too much hope for the success of those pleas–noble as they are.

  B-W wrote @

“Now there’s a militant hostility to every public expression of faith.” (says Bob Morrison in the first article)

This is a favorite complaint of conservatives that I see as being blatantly untrue. But, to be fair….

“The modern notion that we’re being overtaken by a theocracy and that evangelical Christians are running amok – I think that’s just kind of a madness that comes from people who have no historical perspective.” (says Gordon Wood at the end of the same article)

Which I see being equally untrue, to be sure, but definitely demonstrates a perspective (not that of the author) that not only DOESN’T see such an attack against faith, but sees those in faith as having disproportionate presence in society.

While a better understanding of our history may be helpful, I have little trust in any ability to be fair to it, given that we don’t even seem able to discern our PRESENT at all fairly….


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