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“There is a strong tendency in modern American society to treat patriotism as a dangerous sentiment, a passion to be guarded against. But this is a serious misconception. To begin with, we should acknowledge that there is something natural about patriotism, as an expression of love for what is one’s own, gratitude for what one has been given, and reverence for the sources of one’s being. These responses are instinctive; they’re grounded in our natures and the basic facts of our birth. Yet their power is no less for that, and they are denied only at great cost. When the philosopher Aristotle declared that we are by nature ‘political animals,’ he meant that we are in some sense made to live in community with one another. It is in our nature to be belonging creatures. One of the deepest needs of the human soul is a sense of membership, of joy in what we have and hold in common with others.”
— Wilfred M. McClay, Land of Hope
I celebrate Professor McClay’s description of patriotism. Too often we hear of people comparing patriotism to fascism, to a Nazi mentality, to a kind of primitive unifying theme for countrymen to come together. Instead, McClay explains that our patriotism brings us together to honor those values we hold in common, to share our joy of living in a country that was founded in freedom and gives us the opportunity to become our greatest selves.
The effort to denigrate patriotism is just another example of Progressivism’s determination to criticize America and all of us who celebrate her founding, and they discourage our efforts to reject tyranny wherever it shows its ugly face. We know that socialism is only one more step toward relinquishing our freedoms and destroying love of country.
On a personal level, I appreciate the values that support my pursuing my religion in any way I wish; that takes no position about how I live my life, what work I do, which people I associate with, what books I study, what guns I shoot. Every day, we see efforts to infringe on those opportunities we love.
We must continue to fight for those opportunities: patriotism is one way to challenge those who would strip us of them.Published in