Christian patriotism--an appreciation of what was, a realism about what
is, and a devotion to what must be: all three at once. If we stop short,
at the first, we deserve the charge of being anachronists, ancestor worshippers,
reactionaries. If we try to base everything on the second, it's too easy
to fall into the trap of parochialism, sectionalism, nationalism. And,
of course, if we ignore the past and the present--putting all our eggs
into only the basket of the future--we end up hopelessly out-of-touch
idealists and utopians.
What a Christian
view does for patriotism is to provide balance--protecting us from
falling for fast but simplistic answers, jumping on trends and bandwagons
of extremism. All other brands of patriotism are partial. When all three
in balance, we're looking at a higher patriotism, one that is firmly
rooted in a regard for the rich lessons of the past, one that enables
us to take seriously our present-day responsibility to work constructively
within all the various family groupings of today's world, and a patriotism
that looks beyond today's limited and temporary goals to envision a world
made one--as the Kingdom of God.
a Christian Perspective"
By the Rev. Dr. Robert Hansel
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