Why you should care
Because we all said the pledge of allegiance as kids — but do we still mean it?
Last week, we asked: Is patriotism good for America? You answered, and here are your thoughts, edited for clarity.
Thomas Jefferson Franklin III, Lynchburg, Virginia
I have lived over 60 years and traveled to every state and dozens of countries. Acknowledging the “gift” and uniqueness of America can be an instrument to honoring God. What we do with the foundation he provides is up to us. One has to be careful and not slide down that slippery slope of idolatry, and this is where one’s wisdom applies.
Patriotism is good! Nationalism is good, and ordained by God. Globalism is a mindset of the enemy. We will eventually try to continue down that path and the results will be devastating. Nimrod learned a lesson from God with the first recorded attempt at globalism. Sovereign nations are Biblical and each of our nations should focus on our people, while having open hands to trade and share things with others.
James C. Daniels, Grove City, Ohio
Patriotism + hubris = jingoism. If the U.S. isn’t there yet, it certainly is on its way.
Patriotism and hypernationalism are two very different things. Teddy Roosevelt once said that it was the duty of Americans to criticize the president or other politicians when the citizens felt the elected officials were not acting in the interest of the people. The whole structure of the U.S. Constitution is to allow the citizens to hold their representatives accountable. That doesn’t happen if everybody just smiles and waves a flag and pretends nothing is wrong.
Bob Wirths, Fayson Lakes, New Jersey
It is unfortunate that we equate patriotism with war. Too many people will give you that pre-recorded slogan about “all those men who died for their country” like trained parrots. It’s so trite. You can certainly be a patriot in peacetime. Just make the nation a better place than when you found it in some small way.
Patsy Blasko, Sandusky, Ohio
Thank God that we have patriotism and the concept of freedom of speech. God bless the men and women who have protected our great country in the past and now. This we’ll defend!
Tom DeFigueiredo, Goshen, New York
While I like my country and am grateful, patriotism is a thing of the past with just lines drawn in the dirt. The internet has opened communication to 90 percent plus of the world, and we really need to think as a collective to not destroy the planet. We are all stupid evolved monkeys and need to act up to the intelligence we have been gifted with.
Jason Garcia, Las Vegas, Nevada
Patriotism is always good! The meaning is to love your country. Patriotism is not a pissing contest trying to prove what country is the best. Patriotism is not ignoring your country’s flaws, but trying to eliminate those flaws. Blind patriotism is not patriotic at all.
Ever notice that those who question patriotism also tend to be miserable liberals with nothing positive to say?
As a Brit who moved here to look after his ill mother-in-law, I find patriotism here to be very jingoistic. Most Americans are attached to symbols, even when they have a history of racism. In the U.K. we call those people flag-waving morons. Americans’ understanding of their own history is very poor — it makes me laugh when an American just assumes that America is the best at everything without any knowledge on the subject.
Things have improved, though: More people are questioning their leaders and the wars the troops are sent on; the millennial generation understands that the rest of the first world is far more advanced in many ways and has begun to question America’s place in the world. In my eyes, a patriot is someone who questions everything he finds wrong with his beloved nation and tries to change it.
Gary Davis, Columbus, Ohio
Patriotism has become “my country right or wrong.” That is a mistake. If you truly love your country, you must acknowledge when it is wrong in hopes of righting it.