Patriotism

Happy Fourth of July!

I remember growing up in a culture of patriotism.  Community events would feature patriotic speeches.  Politicians of all parties would wax eloquent about the greatness of America.  In school we actually had classes on “Americanism” in which we learned about American heroes, studied the principles of democracy, analyzed the virtues of free market capitalism, and lauded the distinct American ideology of liberty, equality, and individualism.  We also learned all about flag etiquette.

I now see that much of that was a reaction to the Cold War and to the ideological conflict with Communism.  (This was in the late 1950s and early 1960s.)  I also see quite a bit of idolatrous civil religion.  Still, there is a virtue in loving one’s country, and I remember the thrill I experienced upon first seeing the monuments and historic buildings of Washington, D.C.

Does any of that kind of patriotism still exist any more?

Of course then came the Viet Nam war.  The nation was split generationally and culturally more than politically, at least at first.  (The president who presided over that war was arguably the most liberal of them all, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and most Democrats, such as those in my hometown–we had never met a Republican–were all for him.)  But, by the time I was in college, my peers mostly opposed the war and grew cynical about America, to the point of out-and-out anti-Americanism.

The other side with its patriotism turned kind of nasty too, with its “America, Love It or Leave It” bumper stickers and its “My Country, Right or Wrong” loyalties.

Then came further disillusionment with Nixon, then Carter’s “malaise.”  But Ronald Reagan made  it possible to “feel good about America again.”  The end of the Cold War with the decisive victory of American ideals over those of Communism made us giddy with patriotism.

Today, though, I don’t see much of that.  The left is still cynical about America, but now that can increasingly be said also of the right.  The anti-government fervor is so strong that it sometimes bleeds over to complaints about our institutions, our history, and our culture.

When some of these folks do praise America, they do so because they say it gives them freedom.  But that’s a love of freedom, rather than a love of country per se, with America treated as an instrumental good, rather than as something good in itself.

Does any of the old-style patriotism still exist?  Should it exist, or is its passing a good thing?  Is nationalism too atavistic, too potentially war-like, to be encouraged too much?  Or is there a love of country that needs to be preserved and possibly even taught in schools?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    It still exists, although it’s more prominent among older generations. And you’re right, Dr. Veith: patriotism can turn into an idol if it’s not put in its proper place (which brings up an interesting discussion as to whether or not churches should be celebratory about patriotism concerning the 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc., as some, particularly in the Reformed camp, would say this is a form of idolatry).

    Admittedly for myself it’s becoming harder and harder to be a contemporary patriot. I’m viewing myself more as a “nostalgic patriot,” loving what this country was but not so much what this country is becoming.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    It still exists, although it’s more prominent among older generations. And you’re right, Dr. Veith: patriotism can turn into an idol if it’s not put in its proper place (which brings up an interesting discussion as to whether or not churches should be celebratory about patriotism concerning the 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc., as some, particularly in the Reformed camp, would say this is a form of idolatry).

    Admittedly for myself it’s becoming harder and harder to be a contemporary patriot. I’m viewing myself more as a “nostalgic patriot,” loving what this country was but not so much what this country is becoming.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    I strongly believe that a love of country needs to be taught in schools. In the past year I have come across far too many editorials that stress how America is not great. That is the stuff that is being taught in many classrooms. The school district in which I reside is considering dropping American History from grades k-8 in favor of environmental education. Thankfully I teach in a Lutheran school and do not have to do that

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    I strongly believe that a love of country needs to be taught in schools. In the past year I have come across far too many editorials that stress how America is not great. That is the stuff that is being taught in many classrooms. The school district in which I reside is considering dropping American History from grades k-8 in favor of environmental education. Thankfully I teach in a Lutheran school and do not have to do that

  • nativetexasn

    Listened to the Declaration of Independence being read on NPR this morning-always inspiring reminder of what our forefathers were willing to do for this country. There is more obvious patriotism now than when my husband came home, totally disabled, from Viet Nam, but as in those days it doesn’t really “hit home”. Lots of flags flying, patriotic stickers, etc. but few willing to do what’s best for the country. Kind of discouraging.

  • nativetexasn

    Listened to the Declaration of Independence being read on NPR this morning-always inspiring reminder of what our forefathers were willing to do for this country. There is more obvious patriotism now than when my husband came home, totally disabled, from Viet Nam, but as in those days it doesn’t really “hit home”. Lots of flags flying, patriotic stickers, etc. but few willing to do what’s best for the country. Kind of discouraging.

  • reg

    Unfortunately those who are most vociferous about patriotism are often those who really don’t love this country. Think of all the politicians who use appeals to patriotism for their own purpose whether leaning left or right. Overly vocal patriotism is often the last refuge of the scoundrel. True patriotism, like true faith is best expressed in a quiet dignified manner.

    I recently saw a documentary on Bush the first on HBO. He spoke of how when war broke out virtually all his fellow students and he enlisted, without much fanfare, simply because it was the right thing to do- I wonder how many today would do this under similar circumstances- very few I suspect.

    All virtues are dieing, civics, patriotism, honor, selflessness, charity, etc.

  • reg

    Unfortunately those who are most vociferous about patriotism are often those who really don’t love this country. Think of all the politicians who use appeals to patriotism for their own purpose whether leaning left or right. Overly vocal patriotism is often the last refuge of the scoundrel. True patriotism, like true faith is best expressed in a quiet dignified manner.

    I recently saw a documentary on Bush the first on HBO. He spoke of how when war broke out virtually all his fellow students and he enlisted, without much fanfare, simply because it was the right thing to do- I wonder how many today would do this under similar circumstances- very few I suspect.

    All virtues are dieing, civics, patriotism, honor, selflessness, charity, etc.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    This was written back in another time government was nothing to write home about:
    The Fourth Petition.

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    God gives daily bread, even without our prayer, to all wicked men; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it, and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

    What is meant by daily bread?–Answer.

    Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clothing, shoes, house, homestead, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful magistrates, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

    This is a reminder that I return to when i’m concerned about our government.

    Lord have mercy.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    This was written back in another time government was nothing to write home about:
    The Fourth Petition.

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    God gives daily bread, even without our prayer, to all wicked men; but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it, and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

    What is meant by daily bread?–Answer.

    Everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as meat, drink, clothing, shoes, house, homestead, field, cattle, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful magistrates, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.

    This is a reminder that I return to when i’m concerned about our government.

    Lord have mercy.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I work in the Army. I notice an unspoken assumption of shared patriotism. Someone who showed a lack of patriotism would be seen as strange and potentially risky.

    However this patriotism doesn’t assert itself in gaudy manufactured ways but in natural expressions of heartfelt loyalty and duty to America.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I work in the Army. I notice an unspoken assumption of shared patriotism. Someone who showed a lack of patriotism would be seen as strange and potentially risky.

    However this patriotism doesn’t assert itself in gaudy manufactured ways but in natural expressions of heartfelt loyalty and duty to America.

  • Grace

    Most people have come to this country in the past 20 years, not because they love our country, but because they want what we have.

    The countries who represent this attitude are mainly from Asia, the middle east. We in southern California see it daily – in our communities, business, and many other facets of our lives.

    Those who have come from northern Europe are grateful, for having the opportunity, to come to the United States. They are FAR and away different from the rest.

  • Grace

    Most people have come to this country in the past 20 years, not because they love our country, but because they want what we have.

    The countries who represent this attitude are mainly from Asia, the middle east. We in southern California see it daily – in our communities, business, and many other facets of our lives.

    Those who have come from northern Europe are grateful, for having the opportunity, to come to the United States. They are FAR and away different from the rest.

  • Kathy

    As a Naval Academy graduate who spent five years as a Marine Corps officer, I love our country and our values, especially the type of country described by our Constitution. Our family, including my three sons, always feels that patriotic goodness about our country every year when we watch Navy beat Army in football; not just the football game, but the character and encouragement of the midshipmen and cadets brings forth that patriotic feeling. This is one way that we pass that patriotism on to the next generation.

    However, as a home-educator (homeschool mom), I am bothered that so many homeschoolers equate Christianity and patriotism. God brings about kingdoms for His own purpose, and His kingdom far outweighs the kingdom of the United States. My loyalty is to Him and I pray to accept and serve whatever earthly kingdom He puts me in. I appreciated Dr. Veith’s chapter on the two kingdoms in his The Spirituality of the Cross. I dislike that we have a flag in our church and that we sometimes sing songs that are more patriotic than worshipful.

  • Kathy

    As a Naval Academy graduate who spent five years as a Marine Corps officer, I love our country and our values, especially the type of country described by our Constitution. Our family, including my three sons, always feels that patriotic goodness about our country every year when we watch Navy beat Army in football; not just the football game, but the character and encouragement of the midshipmen and cadets brings forth that patriotic feeling. This is one way that we pass that patriotism on to the next generation.

    However, as a home-educator (homeschool mom), I am bothered that so many homeschoolers equate Christianity and patriotism. God brings about kingdoms for His own purpose, and His kingdom far outweighs the kingdom of the United States. My loyalty is to Him and I pray to accept and serve whatever earthly kingdom He puts me in. I appreciated Dr. Veith’s chapter on the two kingdoms in his The Spirituality of the Cross. I dislike that we have a flag in our church and that we sometimes sing songs that are more patriotic than worshipful.

  • http://mikeerich.blogspot.com Mike Erich The Mad Theologian

    Patriotism can become an idol, but I believe it is at its best, as G. K. Chesterton said, when it is a love for the place which is our home. It is when it starts to develop utopian pretensions, not realizable in a fallen world, it becomes idolatrous.

  • http://mikeerich.blogspot.com Mike Erich The Mad Theologian

    Patriotism can become an idol, but I believe it is at its best, as G. K. Chesterton said, when it is a love for the place which is our home. It is when it starts to develop utopian pretensions, not realizable in a fallen world, it becomes idolatrous.

  • http://deltasix9r.blogspot.com Klaatu Fabrice Aquinas

    My response to this 4th of July, 2012. (see web site) This coming from a USMC veteran (cold warrior).

    Happy Dependence Day

  • http://deltasix9r.blogspot.com Klaatu Fabrice Aquinas

    My response to this 4th of July, 2012. (see web site) This coming from a USMC veteran (cold warrior).

    Happy Dependence Day

  • reg

    Grace,
    People have always come to this country for primarily economic reasons, whether they be the Irish (escaping famine) or Italians (escaping poverty) or Jews (escaping pogroms and ghettos) of a past era or the Vietnamese, Chinese of Mexicans of today. They then become acculturated and integrated and appreciate the blessing of freedom. But it always has been economics first and then with time love of country. (At least since the end of the puritan era). Even the blond, blue eyed northern Europeans came for economic, not esoteric freedom reasons.
    I believe your views on immigrants (even legal ones) are dangerously nativist and reflect what has been said of every wave of immigrants by those already here.

  • reg

    Grace,
    People have always come to this country for primarily economic reasons, whether they be the Irish (escaping famine) or Italians (escaping poverty) or Jews (escaping pogroms and ghettos) of a past era or the Vietnamese, Chinese of Mexicans of today. They then become acculturated and integrated and appreciate the blessing of freedom. But it always has been economics first and then with time love of country. (At least since the end of the puritan era). Even the blond, blue eyed northern Europeans came for economic, not esoteric freedom reasons.
    I believe your views on immigrants (even legal ones) are dangerously nativist and reflect what has been said of every wave of immigrants by those already here.

  • Grace

    reg,

    My observations, are based upon where I live, and what I’ve observed for over twenty five years. Having said that, I have lived in several areas of southern CA, which are a mecca for many immigrants who are legal. Add to that northern CA, within the San Francisco areas. These are the areas where much of the legal immigration is streaming through our country.

    Many of the career position such as engineering are taken by those from Asia and the middle east. Our own citizens, are who are more than educated and capable are not getting these positions.

    Asians are allowed to come to this country IF, they have the funds to buy a home cash, or real estate. I don’t agree with it.

    I could be wrong, but it sounds to me, as if you don’t live in the larger cities on the west coast.

    This is not the past reg, this is NOW, the reasons for coming to the U.S. for those who are educated are much different then the a long gone era which you describe.

  • Grace

    reg,

    My observations, are based upon where I live, and what I’ve observed for over twenty five years. Having said that, I have lived in several areas of southern CA, which are a mecca for many immigrants who are legal. Add to that northern CA, within the San Francisco areas. These are the areas where much of the legal immigration is streaming through our country.

    Many of the career position such as engineering are taken by those from Asia and the middle east. Our own citizens, are who are more than educated and capable are not getting these positions.

    Asians are allowed to come to this country IF, they have the funds to buy a home cash, or real estate. I don’t agree with it.

    I could be wrong, but it sounds to me, as if you don’t live in the larger cities on the west coast.

    This is not the past reg, this is NOW, the reasons for coming to the U.S. for those who are educated are much different then the a long gone era which you describe.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, your racist slip is showing.

    As we have told you before, what you say about immigrants today, was said about the Irish when they came, the Italians when they came, etc etc. reg’s answer is entirely correct – and interestingly enough, the same pattern repeats itself here in Canada, but also in South Africa, Australia and elsewhere. In South Africa, for instance, a major Portuguese contingent arrived with the end of Portuguese colonialism in Angola and Mozambique in 1975. When I was growing up, they were called names I cannot repeat in polite society. Yet, in as short a time period as 35+ years, thing have already started changing.

    Here in Canada, there is already a noticeable difference between first and second generation immigrants from Asia.

    You really need to let go of your prejudiced views. It is unchristian.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, your racist slip is showing.

    As we have told you before, what you say about immigrants today, was said about the Irish when they came, the Italians when they came, etc etc. reg’s answer is entirely correct – and interestingly enough, the same pattern repeats itself here in Canada, but also in South Africa, Australia and elsewhere. In South Africa, for instance, a major Portuguese contingent arrived with the end of Portuguese colonialism in Angola and Mozambique in 1975. When I was growing up, they were called names I cannot repeat in polite society. Yet, in as short a time period as 35+ years, thing have already started changing.

    Here in Canada, there is already a noticeable difference between first and second generation immigrants from Asia.

    You really need to let go of your prejudiced views. It is unchristian.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Most people have come to this country in the past 20 years, not because they love our country, but because they want what we have.”

    Yeah, well my ancestors came for a “free” piece of dirt that they could actually own. One northern European co-descendant of one of my ancestors collected over a million dollars in farm subsidies during the past two decades. I’ll bet he really loves his country, er, government. I am not saying he doesn’t work hard. But there is no question the givement has been very very good to him. How would he be doing back in Denmark or Germany about now if his ancestors had not come here? Better than he is doing in Nebraska? I bet not. The same? Maybe because they have government healthcare and pensions, etc. but that would likely add up to less than he is getting here and he would only get what he needs, not cash payments.

    Anyway, I don’t really think people love their country, as in the actual dirt. Rather they love the nation, that broad community of genetically related people that they can relate to and empathize and identify with. The Japanese seem the most extreme example of homophiles. The US as a proposition nation based on principles, not blood, enjoyed analogous affinity among its members until our more recent breakdown due to idealogical divisions. When what holds a group together is religion or philosophy or even prosperity, then once that is gone, then nothing holds them together. That is where we are now. At most we agree on the words in the Constitution, but not what they mean. Without agreement on the meaning and philosophy of that document, we literally have nothing holding us together because we are diverse in every other way. Diverse unions aka empires are held together by force, not love. Consider the irreligious. They are not held together by any religious belief. There is no agreement there. There is also the left and right among them. Their only means for order is external force. How can you love that? Contrast that with religionists whose common belief adds some measure of cooperation.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Most people have come to this country in the past 20 years, not because they love our country, but because they want what we have.”

    Yeah, well my ancestors came for a “free” piece of dirt that they could actually own. One northern European co-descendant of one of my ancestors collected over a million dollars in farm subsidies during the past two decades. I’ll bet he really loves his country, er, government. I am not saying he doesn’t work hard. But there is no question the givement has been very very good to him. How would he be doing back in Denmark or Germany about now if his ancestors had not come here? Better than he is doing in Nebraska? I bet not. The same? Maybe because they have government healthcare and pensions, etc. but that would likely add up to less than he is getting here and he would only get what he needs, not cash payments.

    Anyway, I don’t really think people love their country, as in the actual dirt. Rather they love the nation, that broad community of genetically related people that they can relate to and empathize and identify with. The Japanese seem the most extreme example of homophiles. The US as a proposition nation based on principles, not blood, enjoyed analogous affinity among its members until our more recent breakdown due to idealogical divisions. When what holds a group together is religion or philosophy or even prosperity, then once that is gone, then nothing holds them together. That is where we are now. At most we agree on the words in the Constitution, but not what they mean. Without agreement on the meaning and philosophy of that document, we literally have nothing holding us together because we are diverse in every other way. Diverse unions aka empires are held together by force, not love. Consider the irreligious. They are not held together by any religious belief. There is no agreement there. There is also the left and right among them. Their only means for order is external force. How can you love that? Contrast that with religionists whose common belief adds some measure of cooperation.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – I have had interaction with people that actually love the country as in rocks and trees and dirt much more than the more nebulous concept of nation, especially in the newer countries like the US. One of them was a history professor and mystery writer from Texas who died last year. One could even call it “Love of Locale”.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – I have had interaction with people that actually love the country as in rocks and trees and dirt much more than the more nebulous concept of nation, especially in the newer countries like the US. One of them was a history professor and mystery writer from Texas who died last year. One could even call it “Love of Locale”.

  • Grace

    KK @ 15

    YOU WROTE: “I have had interaction with people that actually love the country as in rocks and trees and dirt much more than the more nebulous concept of nation, especially in the newer countries like the US. One of them was a history professor and mystery writer from Texas who died last year. One could even call it “Love of Locale”.”

    You don’t live here – one “professor and mystery writer” must have influnced you more than reality. It’s pure NONSENSE!

  • Grace

    KK @ 15

    YOU WROTE: “I have had interaction with people that actually love the country as in rocks and trees and dirt much more than the more nebulous concept of nation, especially in the newer countries like the US. One of them was a history professor and mystery writer from Texas who died last year. One could even call it “Love of Locale”.”

    You don’t live here – one “professor and mystery writer” must have influnced you more than reality. It’s pure NONSENSE!

  • Grace

    KK @ 13

    “Grace, your racist slip is showing.”

    There is no so called “slip” it’s a reality within the state I live.

    California has been, for decades, just as New York, the entrance to the United States. What we witness now, and in the past 20 years is a very different situation, one you know nothing about.

  • Grace

    KK @ 13

    “Grace, your racist slip is showing.”

    There is no so called “slip” it’s a reality within the state I live.

    California has been, for decades, just as New York, the entrance to the United States. What we witness now, and in the past 20 years is a very different situation, one you know nothing about.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @15 Yeah, I figured someone might mention that. I grew up in an area with a lot of palm trees and to this day, I get all nostalgic and warm fuzzies when I visit a place with lots of palm trees. When I say that folks don’t love the dirt, I am thinking that the thing they love is more community than the actual place, especially a place as huge as the USA. It is more relative than absolute.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @15 Yeah, I figured someone might mention that. I grew up in an area with a lot of palm trees and to this day, I get all nostalgic and warm fuzzies when I visit a place with lots of palm trees. When I say that folks don’t love the dirt, I am thinking that the thing they love is more community than the actual place, especially a place as huge as the USA. It is more relative than absolute.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace @ 16: Read what I said, not what you think I said. I said that some people are like that – and not only in the US, but especially in newer countries like the US. BTW, he is not the only one. Love of place is sometimes much stronger than love of country. What is so bad about that?

    Grace @ 17 – I’m so sorry I said anything about anything. I mean, all the history books are wrong. You are so special, and where you live is obviously different than the rest of the planet, throughout history, that your words transcend any knowledge that anybody might ever have, or read, or experienced. No matter that this has been well documented. No matter that I myself have ties to immigrant communities going through this revolution. The great Goddess Grace knows better, and we all better toe the line.

    You are one arrogant old codger, aren’t you?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace @ 16: Read what I said, not what you think I said. I said that some people are like that – and not only in the US, but especially in newer countries like the US. BTW, he is not the only one. Love of place is sometimes much stronger than love of country. What is so bad about that?

    Grace @ 17 – I’m so sorry I said anything about anything. I mean, all the history books are wrong. You are so special, and where you live is obviously different than the rest of the planet, throughout history, that your words transcend any knowledge that anybody might ever have, or read, or experienced. No matter that this has been well documented. No matter that I myself have ties to immigrant communities going through this revolution. The great Goddess Grace knows better, and we all better toe the line.

    You are one arrogant old codger, aren’t you?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg, in the discussion I had, it appeared as if it is a mixture of things – the actual land and the community living on that land. Imagine this was an area which had “swapped countries” – they might be part of different nations as in political entities, but the still live in the same place, with the same people, and the same countryside. Now that love might be greater than for the nation as a whole. In my conversations, it appears that some people feel that way even if they did not live in such a contentious territory. The loved the land, and the people tied to that land – I’m not sure you could separate the two. Someone who moved away became something else.

    Maybe in these big countries, like the US, or Canada, one could imagine it as people living in an Empire, loving their Province (but the Empire maybe or maybe not).

    Personally, I actually like this view. After all, why should love a transient political entity more than the soil on which you live, that was there a thousand years ago, and will still be there a thousand years from now, together with the people that have been around for countless generations etc etc. Of course, people move, but you see where this is going. I suppose one could call this a form of patriotism. But most definitely not nationalism. I’m quite ok with the former. Not so much with the latter.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg, in the discussion I had, it appeared as if it is a mixture of things – the actual land and the community living on that land. Imagine this was an area which had “swapped countries” – they might be part of different nations as in political entities, but the still live in the same place, with the same people, and the same countryside. Now that love might be greater than for the nation as a whole. In my conversations, it appears that some people feel that way even if they did not live in such a contentious territory. The loved the land, and the people tied to that land – I’m not sure you could separate the two. Someone who moved away became something else.

    Maybe in these big countries, like the US, or Canada, one could imagine it as people living in an Empire, loving their Province (but the Empire maybe or maybe not).

    Personally, I actually like this view. After all, why should love a transient political entity more than the soil on which you live, that was there a thousand years ago, and will still be there a thousand years from now, together with the people that have been around for countless generations etc etc. Of course, people move, but you see where this is going. I suppose one could call this a form of patriotism. But most definitely not nationalism. I’m quite ok with the former. Not so much with the latter.

  • Grace

    KK

    YES, YES, KK you’re right on top of it.

    And then there is this “You are one arrogant old codger, aren’t you?” :razz: I haven’t heard that old phrase since my great uncles used to spew it forth when they were wrong, bone headed wrong, red faced!

    This reminds me of all the nonsese you blew about when we were discussing “evolution” – Rocks and other material, and your being a geologist superseded the Bible, and the exact words right in the middle of the Ten Commandments.

    For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
    Exodus 20:11

  • Grace

    KK

    YES, YES, KK you’re right on top of it.

    And then there is this “You are one arrogant old codger, aren’t you?” :razz: I haven’t heard that old phrase since my great uncles used to spew it forth when they were wrong, bone headed wrong, red faced!

    This reminds me of all the nonsese you blew about when we were discussing “evolution” – Rocks and other material, and your being a geologist superseded the Bible, and the exact words right in the middle of the Ten Commandments.

    For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
    Exodus 20:11

  • DonS

    To get back a bit to the original post ;-), my patriotism is rooted on the ideals for which this country was specifically founded. The emphasis on the worth and value of specific individuals, rather than the so-called “common good”, is truly unique in world history. It mirrors the value that God places on each individual, choosing to have a relationship with each one of us, rather than a sect, or race, or ethnic group.

    What I treasure more than anything is the emphasis on an absolute set of rights for each individual, granted by God and guaranteed by the state, as against the state and enforceable even when the outcome of so doing might be deemed as being inconvenient or detrimental to the state. The government serves us, rather than the other way around.

    In recent years, we have begun to slide away from this unique perspective — determining to erode individual rights for the good of the state or the common, and wherein our government has grown to view its citizens as having a primary purpose of serving itself. May we be wise enough to arrest this trend before it becomes irreversible.

  • DonS

    To get back a bit to the original post ;-), my patriotism is rooted on the ideals for which this country was specifically founded. The emphasis on the worth and value of specific individuals, rather than the so-called “common good”, is truly unique in world history. It mirrors the value that God places on each individual, choosing to have a relationship with each one of us, rather than a sect, or race, or ethnic group.

    What I treasure more than anything is the emphasis on an absolute set of rights for each individual, granted by God and guaranteed by the state, as against the state and enforceable even when the outcome of so doing might be deemed as being inconvenient or detrimental to the state. The government serves us, rather than the other way around.

    In recent years, we have begun to slide away from this unique perspective — determining to erode individual rights for the good of the state or the common, and wherein our government has grown to view its citizens as having a primary purpose of serving itself. May we be wise enough to arrest this trend before it becomes irreversible.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Chased into a corner, change the subject. Some things never change.

    DonS, but is that patriotism? Or philosophical idealism? Because patriotism is love of land and people. For instance, if the majority of Americans decide to say become a (true) Socialist state, and rewrite the constitution, while lets say Russia adopts the old ideals of the American Republic, will you still love the US, in spite of them abandoning the original ideals, or will your allegiance shift to the United States of Russia?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Chased into a corner, change the subject. Some things never change.

    DonS, but is that patriotism? Or philosophical idealism? Because patriotism is love of land and people. For instance, if the majority of Americans decide to say become a (true) Socialist state, and rewrite the constitution, while lets say Russia adopts the old ideals of the American Republic, will you still love the US, in spite of them abandoning the original ideals, or will your allegiance shift to the United States of Russia?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BTW, my first line referred to Grace, and her natterings.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BTW, my first line referred to Grace, and her natterings.

  • SKPeterson

    Actually, I too have known, and still do know, people who’s patriotism is more visceral than cerebral. It’s not that they don’t have a concept of a larger American whole, it is that it is mediated by concepts of culture that are deeply associated with place and its influence on patriotic identity. Appalachia is rife with it. So are rural areas of the PNW and the intermountain West. And, Texas is like a whole ‘nother country.

  • SKPeterson

    Actually, I too have known, and still do know, people who’s patriotism is more visceral than cerebral. It’s not that they don’t have a concept of a larger American whole, it is that it is mediated by concepts of culture that are deeply associated with place and its influence on patriotic identity. Appalachia is rife with it. So are rural areas of the PNW and the intermountain West. And, Texas is like a whole ‘nother country.

  • Grace

    KK @53

    No, not chased into a corner or anywhere else. :lol:

  • Grace

    KK @53

    No, not chased into a corner or anywhere else. :lol:

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I too have known, and still do know, people who’s patriotism is more visceral than cerebral.

    But why do people feel this visceral patriotism?

    I have patriotic feelings but my older son thinks we should get together a group and buy an island to escape from this mess. He he he, well I am sure his great great whatever thought the something like that when he stepped onto a boat headed for the Massachusetts Bay. I mean, at some point, you just look around and think you have to get out of dodge. But like Reagan said, now there really is no place to go. Well, space, I guess. Some actually do want to go there. So if the billionaires ever do colonize space, who will they take with them? Hot chicks? Nerds to run everything? Uh, oh, rambling again.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I too have known, and still do know, people who’s patriotism is more visceral than cerebral.

    But why do people feel this visceral patriotism?

    I have patriotic feelings but my older son thinks we should get together a group and buy an island to escape from this mess. He he he, well I am sure his great great whatever thought the something like that when he stepped onto a boat headed for the Massachusetts Bay. I mean, at some point, you just look around and think you have to get out of dodge. But like Reagan said, now there really is no place to go. Well, space, I guess. Some actually do want to go there. So if the billionaires ever do colonize space, who will they take with them? Hot chicks? Nerds to run everything? Uh, oh, rambling again.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 23: The beauty of the Founders’ wisdom is that a mere majority of Americans cannot re-write the Constitution. It takes a super majority — 2/3 of each House of Congress plus ratification by a majority of each of 3/4 of all state legislatures.

    The definition you propose for “patriotism” (“love of land and people”) is not the one I was thinking of, or one I am familiar with. Universally, the definition I find is “love of one’s country”, or similar. For me, the ideals of individual liberty and freedom are fundamental to my love of country. If my people ultimately choose the illusion of security offered by an ever-expanding and coercive centralized government over their individual liberties hard-won at great personal and aggregate cost by our forefathers my country will be unrecognizable to me. But I will continue with all my energies to remind them of how much they are throwing away for a bit of pottage.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 23: The beauty of the Founders’ wisdom is that a mere majority of Americans cannot re-write the Constitution. It takes a super majority — 2/3 of each House of Congress plus ratification by a majority of each of 3/4 of all state legislatures.

    The definition you propose for “patriotism” (“love of land and people”) is not the one I was thinking of, or one I am familiar with. Universally, the definition I find is “love of one’s country”, or similar. For me, the ideals of individual liberty and freedom are fundamental to my love of country. If my people ultimately choose the illusion of security offered by an ever-expanding and coercive centralized government over their individual liberties hard-won at great personal and aggregate cost by our forefathers my country will be unrecognizable to me. But I will continue with all my energies to remind them of how much they are throwing away for a bit of pottage.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – I hear what you are saying, but you are avoiding the question: Let’s say 75% of Americans decide that everything should change as I said above, in spite of all your efforts. What then?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – I hear what you are saying, but you are avoiding the question: Let’s say 75% of Americans decide that everything should change as I said above, in spite of all your efforts. What then?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Just to be a pain in the rear, what about the nation of Israel? They had a famine and ended up in Egypt. Got out of there. Went back to Canaan/Palestine. Got conquered and carted off to Babylon. Went back to Palestine. Got conquered and many carted off to Rome. Yet, they were still a nation, a community bound by blood and belief but often not by their location. They are pretty patriotic. Social science indicates they are more patriotic than average. They are very picky about who can live in their country and very determined to protect their little piece of dirt now that they have it back. So much so that despite being a teeny weeny group, they are very big lobbyists here in the US on behalf of Israel. Okay, you get the picture. They are bound by history, heritage, religion, culture, identity, but far less so by land.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Just to be a pain in the rear, what about the nation of Israel? They had a famine and ended up in Egypt. Got out of there. Went back to Canaan/Palestine. Got conquered and carted off to Babylon. Went back to Palestine. Got conquered and many carted off to Rome. Yet, they were still a nation, a community bound by blood and belief but often not by their location. They are pretty patriotic. Social science indicates they are more patriotic than average. They are very picky about who can live in their country and very determined to protect their little piece of dirt now that they have it back. So much so that despite being a teeny weeny group, they are very big lobbyists here in the US on behalf of Israel. Okay, you get the picture. They are bound by history, heritage, religion, culture, identity, but far less so by land.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – I would disagree – they have experienced diaspora, but land is an enormous draw to them – “Next year in Jerusalem” and all that. I think one could even say that their separation from their physical land formed the great pathos at the center of Jewish history.

    I mean, the current conflict with the Palestinians, which has been the dominant theme in the Middle East since 1919 – and one of the overwhelming themes in world politics – as all about land, not culture, genetics and religion (insofar as these can be separated from land).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg – I would disagree – they have experienced diaspora, but land is an enormous draw to them – “Next year in Jerusalem” and all that. I think one could even say that their separation from their physical land formed the great pathos at the center of Jewish history.

    I mean, the current conflict with the Palestinians, which has been the dominant theme in the Middle East since 1919 – and one of the overwhelming themes in world politics – as all about land, not culture, genetics and religion (insofar as these can be separated from land).

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 29: Avoiding the question? I thought I was pretty clear. The Constitutional ideals of individual liberty and inalienable rights, given to us by our Creator and merely guaranteed, not granted, by our government are fundamental to my love of my country. If the U.S. were to stupidly throw away its unique constitution in favor of the merely promise of “rights” granted or withdrawn at the sole discretion and favor of the government, it would not be the country I love.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 29: Avoiding the question? I thought I was pretty clear. The Constitutional ideals of individual liberty and inalienable rights, given to us by our Creator and merely guaranteed, not granted, by our government are fundamental to my love of my country. If the U.S. were to stupidly throw away its unique constitution in favor of the merely promise of “rights” granted or withdrawn at the sole discretion and favor of the government, it would not be the country I love.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    But does that mean you would transfer your love and allegiance to another country that then implements those liberties and rights? How would you view the US then?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    But does that mean you would transfer your love and allegiance to another country that then implements those liberties and rights? How would you view the US then?

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 33: You’re ranging too far into the hypothetical. I don’t know what I would do if things came to that, or what other country that would be.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 33: You’re ranging too far into the hypothetical. I don’t know what I would do if things came to that, or what other country that would be.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – read my original question again.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – read my original question again.

  • DonS

    That’s even more hypothetical, Klasie. Russia had its chance to adopt a U.S. – style constitution in the early ’90′s and did not. Now its citizens find themselves under the thumb of an old KGB operative and a long way from any hope of inalienable rights.

  • DonS

    That’s even more hypothetical, Klasie. Russia had its chance to adopt a U.S. – style constitution in the early ’90′s and did not. Now its citizens find themselves under the thumb of an old KGB operative and a long way from any hope of inalienable rights.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS, it is a hypothetical situation. Substitute Russia with any country that strikes your fancy.

    Let me repeat the question: If America abandons those ideals you hold dear, but another country adopts them, would your patriotic feelings switch to that country?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS, it is a hypothetical situation. Substitute Russia with any country that strikes your fancy.

    Let me repeat the question: If America abandons those ideals you hold dear, but another country adopts them, would your patriotic feelings switch to that country?

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 37: Why are you so insistent that I answer this hypothetical? I don’t understand — there are far too many factors, and too many variants to intelligently respond. I pray, though, that America will never be so foolish as to throw away its hard won heritage and its honor of intrinsic human rights.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 37: Why are you so insistent that I answer this hypothetical? I don’t understand — there are far too many factors, and too many variants to intelligently respond. I pray, though, that America will never be so foolish as to throw away its hard won heritage and its honor of intrinsic human rights.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Because, DonS, you claim that your patriotism is essentially towards ideals and principles (#22). I was testing that claim. Because if it is true, you would follow those ideals & principles if they “move” from the US to any other country, as described in #37. If it is not true, well then either you would accept & love your country even though you don’t agree with things, or you would be unable to understand the question….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Because, DonS, you claim that your patriotism is essentially towards ideals and principles (#22). I was testing that claim. Because if it is true, you would follow those ideals & principles if they “move” from the US to any other country, as described in #37. If it is not true, well then either you would accept & love your country even though you don’t agree with things, or you would be unable to understand the question….

  • Grace

    KK,

    There is no test, that you, or anyone else can concoct, as to ‘what if’s’ regarding the United States. It’s been tried by others who are not citizens, just like yoursellf, living here, or elsewhere, trying to get an answer that isn’t available.

    You serve up a number of hypotheticals, of which no one can read into the future, and then give a reasonable answer. All situations have more to them, then what you propose.

  • Grace

    KK,

    There is no test, that you, or anyone else can concoct, as to ‘what if’s’ regarding the United States. It’s been tried by others who are not citizens, just like yoursellf, living here, or elsewhere, trying to get an answer that isn’t available.

    You serve up a number of hypotheticals, of which no one can read into the future, and then give a reasonable answer. All situations have more to them, then what you propose.

  • DonS

    So, Klasie @ 39, by saying “I was testing that claim”, what you were really saying is “I don’t believe you”. And your test was that, if what I was saying was really true, then necessarily this would mean that if my country abandoned its founding principles and documents, and there were another country in the world which better matched my values, i.e. the founding values of the U.S., then I must throw over my country and adopt this other country. As opposed to, say, working to convince my countrymen of the error of their ways, even, perhaps, at the cost of my own life.

    Your test is flawed. ;-)

  • DonS

    So, Klasie @ 39, by saying “I was testing that claim”, what you were really saying is “I don’t believe you”. And your test was that, if what I was saying was really true, then necessarily this would mean that if my country abandoned its founding principles and documents, and there were another country in the world which better matched my values, i.e. the founding values of the U.S., then I must throw over my country and adopt this other country. As opposed to, say, working to convince my countrymen of the error of their ways, even, perhaps, at the cost of my own life.

    Your test is flawed. ;-)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, do you understand what “hypothetical” means?

    Just to help you out, here is the Oxford Definition:

    adjective
    based on or serving as a hypothesis:
    let us take a hypothetical case
    supposed but not necessarily real or true:
    the hypothetical tenth planet
    Logic denoting or containing a proposition of the logical form if p then q.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, do you understand what “hypothetical” means?

    Just to help you out, here is the Oxford Definition:

    adjective
    based on or serving as a hypothesis:
    let us take a hypothetical case
    supposed but not necessarily real or true:
    the hypothetical tenth planet
    Logic denoting or containing a proposition of the logical form if p then q.

  • Grace

    KK

    You’re off again on one of your tangents. You go down the road of “hypotheticals” without reading your own posts, which are full of them. LOL

  • Grace

    KK

    You’re off again on one of your tangents. You go down the road of “hypotheticals” without reading your own posts, which are full of them. LOL

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – no, it isn’t flawed. Your answer means that you love your country at least as much as you love your ideals. Or, that you are unable to distinguish between the ideals and the real, physical entity. But I think the former.

    At least it means that you do not love your ideals more than your country.

    The reason I asked all this is that I’m testing some opinions expressed here and elsewhere – notably, in Veith’s second last paragraph, as well as something another American wrote earlier this week, namely that the US is more like a religion, than a country. Your response is quite interesting in this regard. In your case, based on the analysis above, I would say that although your patriotism is more traditional (Love my country, want the best for it), there are elements of religious fervour present as well. Also, there is the elevation of the individual above the Common Good, as you expressed it. This is a rather strong philosophical step, and one I myself refuse to take – I believe in what one could call a critical balance between individual good and common good. Others, of course, elevate the common above the individual – and are just as wrong, in my estimation. I have a friend, Classically trained, down there in the States, who recently wrote a lot about this – and commented on how much antagonism he felt when he questioned the elevation of Individualism. BTW, he’s quite a bit to the right in his politics…. He made the point that philosophers as far apart as Aristotle and Locke question this – yes, even Locke, who says that individuals can let their own understanding of Natural Law be overridden by their passions, hence it is good that people come together, give up some of their rights etc etc. And Aristotle says that true individualists are found only as beasts or gods (in his pantheon, that is).

    This of course points to an unresolved tension in your individualistic concepts of your own country – and, I would argue, that that understanding of individualism is the root cause of your current political conflict, and national anxiety levels (a recent study indicated the US to have the highest anxiety levels in the world , although they blamed meritocracy: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/trickle-down-distress-how-americas-broken-meritocracy-drives-our-national-anxiety-epidemic/259383/)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    DonS – no, it isn’t flawed. Your answer means that you love your country at least as much as you love your ideals. Or, that you are unable to distinguish between the ideals and the real, physical entity. But I think the former.

    At least it means that you do not love your ideals more than your country.

    The reason I asked all this is that I’m testing some opinions expressed here and elsewhere – notably, in Veith’s second last paragraph, as well as something another American wrote earlier this week, namely that the US is more like a religion, than a country. Your response is quite interesting in this regard. In your case, based on the analysis above, I would say that although your patriotism is more traditional (Love my country, want the best for it), there are elements of religious fervour present as well. Also, there is the elevation of the individual above the Common Good, as you expressed it. This is a rather strong philosophical step, and one I myself refuse to take – I believe in what one could call a critical balance between individual good and common good. Others, of course, elevate the common above the individual – and are just as wrong, in my estimation. I have a friend, Classically trained, down there in the States, who recently wrote a lot about this – and commented on how much antagonism he felt when he questioned the elevation of Individualism. BTW, he’s quite a bit to the right in his politics…. He made the point that philosophers as far apart as Aristotle and Locke question this – yes, even Locke, who says that individuals can let their own understanding of Natural Law be overridden by their passions, hence it is good that people come together, give up some of their rights etc etc. And Aristotle says that true individualists are found only as beasts or gods (in his pantheon, that is).

    This of course points to an unresolved tension in your individualistic concepts of your own country – and, I would argue, that that understanding of individualism is the root cause of your current political conflict, and national anxiety levels (a recent study indicated the US to have the highest anxiety levels in the world , although they blamed meritocracy: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/07/trickle-down-distress-how-americas-broken-meritocracy-drives-our-national-anxiety-epidemic/259383/)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, you are singularly unsuccessful at comprehension as well as logic. I was explaining to you, who apparently do not know the meaning of the word, what hypothetical is – because I was setting up a hypothetical situation for DonS. Your inability to understand this is quite revealing.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Grace, you are singularly unsuccessful at comprehension as well as logic. I was explaining to you, who apparently do not know the meaning of the word, what hypothetical is – because I was setting up a hypothetical situation for DonS. Your inability to understand this is quite revealing.

  • Grace

    KK @ 44 and 45

    You haven’t set up anything – what you’ve done is transparent, your test failed.

    Whatever you think of my “understanding” means little to me. You’re games and tests are frequently used by those who have nothing to do but twist answers, and ask more obtuse questions, to pass their time!

  • Grace

    KK @ 44 and 45

    You haven’t set up anything – what you’ve done is transparent, your test failed.

    Whatever you think of my “understanding” means little to me. You’re games and tests are frequently used by those who have nothing to do but twist answers, and ask more obtuse questions, to pass their time!

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 44: Well, I am obviously honored to have been selected as the subject of your expert and, I am certain, well qualified psychological analysis. To think that you got all that from my refusal to participate in an absurdly simplistic thought experiment that, in contrast to the complexities of real life, posited only a stark single alternative, should my country somehow fail to continue to live up to its founding ideals. And further, that because I value the absolute protection of certain individual rights by the state as against the state, that somehow qualifies me, and other like-minded Americans, as anxious civic religion fanatics.

    Amazing.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 44: Well, I am obviously honored to have been selected as the subject of your expert and, I am certain, well qualified psychological analysis. To think that you got all that from my refusal to participate in an absurdly simplistic thought experiment that, in contrast to the complexities of real life, posited only a stark single alternative, should my country somehow fail to continue to live up to its founding ideals. And further, that because I value the absolute protection of certain individual rights by the state as against the state, that somehow qualifies me, and other like-minded Americans, as anxious civic religion fanatics.

    Amazing.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ooohh, we are touchy, aren’t we?

    Experiments are always simpler than real life. That is why they are experiments. And I honoured your response. And I observed though that the elevation of the individual above all else (well, except maybe God) could be a cause of much anxiety, as it contrasts with human nature, as many philosophers, including some which likely had a large influence on your founding fathers. BTW, I never accused the Founding Fathers of doing this. But I did observe that many, yourself included, seem to be doing this in the present. And also, I did not say you are anxious. But that the high anxiety, as Americans themselves have documented, might correlate with the modern notion of the Individual sine qua non.

    Don’t shoot when you are not shot at. Of course, doing so is a sign of an anxious temperament ;) (This is a jibe, btw. In case you felt the urge to shoot again…)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Ooohh, we are touchy, aren’t we?

    Experiments are always simpler than real life. That is why they are experiments. And I honoured your response. And I observed though that the elevation of the individual above all else (well, except maybe God) could be a cause of much anxiety, as it contrasts with human nature, as many philosophers, including some which likely had a large influence on your founding fathers. BTW, I never accused the Founding Fathers of doing this. But I did observe that many, yourself included, seem to be doing this in the present. And also, I did not say you are anxious. But that the high anxiety, as Americans themselves have documented, might correlate with the modern notion of the Individual sine qua non.

    Don’t shoot when you are not shot at. Of course, doing so is a sign of an anxious temperament ;) (This is a jibe, btw. In case you felt the urge to shoot again…)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BTW, your inclusion of the word “certain” in your second last sentence is important. This is more akin to the “critical tension” I wrote about in my response @ 44. Good.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    BTW, your inclusion of the word “certain” in your second last sentence is important. This is more akin to the “critical tension” I wrote about in my response @ 44. Good.

  • DonS

    Klasie, I AM going to shoot again, because you did not honor my response. My response was that I was not going to answer your hypothetical because it was far too prospective in nature. However, your comment @44 assumes a “no” answer.

    Additionally, please note the very significant difference between “elevating the individual above all else (well, except maybe God)” and acknowledging that the individual is endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights, guaranteed, but not given by the government. I never said that the individual should be elevated above all else, that was your language. I said that it is a very good thing that the U.S. is founded on the principles of protecting the inalienable rights of the individual over the common good, i.e., even when it is inconvenient to the state. I trust that you can discern the distinction between these two principles.

  • DonS

    Klasie, I AM going to shoot again, because you did not honor my response. My response was that I was not going to answer your hypothetical because it was far too prospective in nature. However, your comment @44 assumes a “no” answer.

    Additionally, please note the very significant difference between “elevating the individual above all else (well, except maybe God)” and acknowledging that the individual is endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights, guaranteed, but not given by the government. I never said that the individual should be elevated above all else, that was your language. I said that it is a very good thing that the U.S. is founded on the principles of protecting the inalienable rights of the individual over the common good, i.e., even when it is inconvenient to the state. I trust that you can discern the distinction between these two principles.

  • SKPeterson

    I understand KK’s hypothetical and I think I understand Don’s point, as well. I don’t think KK’s hypothetical is too prospective in nature. In fact, it is something of rather keen import, particularly from a historical “American” vantage point. Witness the transformation of the American colonists from British subjects to U.S. citizens. By doing so, the colonists transformed not only their ideological landscape, but imprinted it upon the new nation. Contrast that with the Tories – those who could not and would not assent to such a transformation. They were expelled and exiled, divorced from the land, as it were, due to irreconcilable differences.

    To a great extent Don, what KK is asking is “Under what conditions would you be like a Tory? What would make you be an exile from your homeland, either willingly or not?” If your assent and adoption of American ideals is the basis for your patriotism and not some hold of, or love for, the land, and those ideals are somehow rejected to such an extent that they are no longer viable, would you leave in search of a nation that did hold to what were once “American” ideals? What if the U.S. becomes more like how Russia or the Ukraine are today? (It’s not that inconceivable now is it?) Would you seriously consider leaving if the ideals of individual liberty were then to be found somewhere like Chile, or Viet Nam, or Botswana? Don’t consider cost in the equation at this point. Simply, would you leave if you found that the ideals that undergird your patriotism are dishonored and devalued in the U.S., but honored and valued in another country?

  • SKPeterson

    I understand KK’s hypothetical and I think I understand Don’s point, as well. I don’t think KK’s hypothetical is too prospective in nature. In fact, it is something of rather keen import, particularly from a historical “American” vantage point. Witness the transformation of the American colonists from British subjects to U.S. citizens. By doing so, the colonists transformed not only their ideological landscape, but imprinted it upon the new nation. Contrast that with the Tories – those who could not and would not assent to such a transformation. They were expelled and exiled, divorced from the land, as it were, due to irreconcilable differences.

    To a great extent Don, what KK is asking is “Under what conditions would you be like a Tory? What would make you be an exile from your homeland, either willingly or not?” If your assent and adoption of American ideals is the basis for your patriotism and not some hold of, or love for, the land, and those ideals are somehow rejected to such an extent that they are no longer viable, would you leave in search of a nation that did hold to what were once “American” ideals? What if the U.S. becomes more like how Russia or the Ukraine are today? (It’s not that inconceivable now is it?) Would you seriously consider leaving if the ideals of individual liberty were then to be found somewhere like Chile, or Viet Nam, or Botswana? Don’t consider cost in the equation at this point. Simply, would you leave if you found that the ideals that undergird your patriotism are dishonored and devalued in the U.S., but honored and valued in another country?

  • SKPeterson

    To be honest, asking myself this question leaves me conflicted. Intellectually, I could see leaving if such a thing would come to pass. The question though is: Where? Accompany that with great trepidation, family ties, community relations, and the willingness to stay becomes quite strong.

  • SKPeterson

    To be honest, asking myself this question leaves me conflicted. Intellectually, I could see leaving if such a thing would come to pass. The question though is: Where? Accompany that with great trepidation, family ties, community relations, and the willingness to stay becomes quite strong.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – you understand my question exactly.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    SKP – you understand my question exactly.

  • DonS

    SKP, despite the fact that Klasie somehow feels, now, that you understand his question “exactly”, your question is nuanced, probably because you didn’t ask it with an agenda in mind. Klasie’s was not, because he did have an agenda. As a reminder, here is Klasie’s original question: “For instance, if the majority of Americans decide to say become a (true) Socialist state, and rewrite the constitution, while lets say Russia adopts the old ideals of the American Republic, will you still love the US, in spite of them abandoning the original ideals, or will your allegiance shift to the United States of Russia?” So, Klasie wanted a simple yes or no answer as to whether, under the hypothetical circumstances, apparently without consideration of other factors like livelihood, family, property, etc., I would throw over my roots and transfer my allegiance to the “United States of Russia”. And he was shocked that I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, give him that yes or no answer.

    Now, to answer your question, I don’t know. Patriotism (love of country) is not necessarily synonymous with loyalty — I can see myself being loyal to something or someone I don’t necessarily love, without violating my ethics or values. That loyalty may be rooted in my desire to protect my livelihood, family, property, etc., or because I believe there is a possibility that the love could be rekindled if circumstances were to change.

    Klasie, if SKP really captured what you intended with your question, then my answer should suffice. I certainly did not interpret your question as being the same as the one SKP has now asked, but perhaps that is a shortcoming on my end.

    You did not respond to my comment @ 50. I would be interested in understanding how you believe that the “common good” and “the individual good” can be held in “critical balance”. The “common good” is necessarily a subjective standard. The inalienable rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution are necessarily objective, and must be protected absolutely, regardless of their potential impact on the “common good”, or they are meaningless. U.S. philosophy is that the common good is best realized by guaranteeing that each individual retains the full measure of his inalienable rights.

  • DonS

    SKP, despite the fact that Klasie somehow feels, now, that you understand his question “exactly”, your question is nuanced, probably because you didn’t ask it with an agenda in mind. Klasie’s was not, because he did have an agenda. As a reminder, here is Klasie’s original question: “For instance, if the majority of Americans decide to say become a (true) Socialist state, and rewrite the constitution, while lets say Russia adopts the old ideals of the American Republic, will you still love the US, in spite of them abandoning the original ideals, or will your allegiance shift to the United States of Russia?” So, Klasie wanted a simple yes or no answer as to whether, under the hypothetical circumstances, apparently without consideration of other factors like livelihood, family, property, etc., I would throw over my roots and transfer my allegiance to the “United States of Russia”. And he was shocked that I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, give him that yes or no answer.

    Now, to answer your question, I don’t know. Patriotism (love of country) is not necessarily synonymous with loyalty — I can see myself being loyal to something or someone I don’t necessarily love, without violating my ethics or values. That loyalty may be rooted in my desire to protect my livelihood, family, property, etc., or because I believe there is a possibility that the love could be rekindled if circumstances were to change.

    Klasie, if SKP really captured what you intended with your question, then my answer should suffice. I certainly did not interpret your question as being the same as the one SKP has now asked, but perhaps that is a shortcoming on my end.

    You did not respond to my comment @ 50. I would be interested in understanding how you believe that the “common good” and “the individual good” can be held in “critical balance”. The “common good” is necessarily a subjective standard. The inalienable rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution are necessarily objective, and must be protected absolutely, regardless of their potential impact on the “common good”, or they are meaningless. U.S. philosophy is that the common good is best realized by guaranteeing that each individual retains the full measure of his inalienable rights.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Don, let me answer the question with a question (well 2): Are all rights limitless? And if a right has a limit, why?

    Ponder that.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Don, let me answer the question with a question (well 2): Are all rights limitless? And if a right has a limit, why?

    Ponder that.


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