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Patriotism

Our national anthem honors a damaged flag that persevered. So too our democracy – and our nation – will survive and persevere if we commit ourselves to help it more fully live up to its ideals. […] Read More

Nationalism means putting country above humanity, while patriotism means putting humanity ahead of country and self. We must never allow the former to be equated with the latter. […] Read More

Are you an American Christian or a Christian American? The difference is important and has everything to do with which part of your identity comes first. […] Read More

Once upon a time, Vacation Bible School (VBS) lasted a week, took place in the morning and featured a highly structured opening assembly. During the assembly, the pianist would play a “stand-up chord” (a major lift) and a “sit-down chord” (a minor fall) to signal us when we were to stand up or sit down. […] Read More

An NFL player, self-identified as a devout Christian, decided to “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem last season. It was a silent protest on behalf of Black Lives Matter. He is biracial and was raised by white parents. I can only assume that matters of race are acutely and personally important […] Read More

Just a few blocks from my house stands a very large and active mainline Protestant church. I’ll leave the denomination unnamed. Throughout the year, it sponsors and hosts numerous special events including seasonal worship services attended by hundreds if not thousands. Its Vacation Bible School yard signs are all over the neighborhood, and I see […] Read More

Memorial Day is a day to honor men and women who went into battle but did not survive. With their lives, they paid the ultimate price. The late U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf once said, “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men […] Read More

How shall we honor the fallen and our veterans? Patriotism and nationalism are problematic words, for they carry at least two meanings and several sides to the story of our democracy. We need only look to Frederick Douglass’ speech – “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” – to realize our differences of […] Read More

A pastor new to his church removed the American flag from the sanctuary. He received a death threat as a result. His leadership in that church was brief and unhappy. Meanwhile, at another church, a patriotic holiday rolled around. So did the military hardware. The flag was not only prominently displayed, it was paraded into […] Read More

The challenge of Jesus’ resurrection was the focus on a recent article in America magazine. “Unlike previous communities in which the bond among members forges itself through those it excludes and scapegoats, the gratuity of the resurrection allows for a community shaped by forgiven-forgivers,” Grant Kaplan observed. What he is saying, among other things, is […] Read More