Can Christians Be Patriotic?
This might be odd for a pastor to say, but my two favorite holidays aren’t religious holidays. They happen to be Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. I consider myself a patriot; I love my country. I love that I have a US Passport that I can proudly show wherever I go in the world. I love listening to Morning Edition on NPR every July 4 because their news staff reads the declaration of Independence. I remember in second-grade learning how to fold the flag and how we were to treat it with respect. I love that we are a nation made up of people from all corners of the earth. I love that our diversity of thought, heritage and religion is a feature of our nation and not a bug.
Now, being African American, my love for the United States isn’t blind. I’m well aware of the history of slavery and later Jim Crow and how that affected my ancestors. I know that even though the worst of racial hatred is passed, we still have work to do. I’m thankful for people like Rev. Martin Luther King who pushed our leaders and our nation to live up to the words found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I wholeheartedly agree with writer James Baldwin when he said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”
There is nothing wrong with being patriotic as long as we keep the main thing the main thing.
Check out the video to hear what I have to say about patriotism, discipleship and Christian Nationalism.