Prophet or Patriot ….

2014-07-04_09-49-37“I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”  – James Baldwin I am so encouraged to read in my Bible that there have always been people of God who have chosen to be prophetic over being patriotic. I am part of a tradition that has always had prophets to speak out against the evils of war, injustice, and poverty. Although I love this country, if I have to choose, I would rather be a prophet than a patriot. I refuse to let my love of God be overshadowed by a sentimental, uncritical love of country. The thing that many people misunderstand about prophets is this: they critique the country not because they hate it, but because they love it and want it to be better. Even though Jeremiah prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, he wept bitterly over the city when it happened just read Lamentations. Prophets are not afraid to call their nation out so that it can become even greater. That is true patriotism. It means loving your country enough to want it to be better and live more faithfully to the ideals it claims to believe. SOURCE:  Prophet or Patriot | Shawn Casselberry | Red Letter Christians.

These words spoken by Shawn Casselberry over at Red Letter Christians almost totally reflect my feelings about this issue. I love this country and celebrate the fourth of July just as adamantly as anyone else but I keep my love of country in perspective with the rest of my life. First comes my God, then family followed by humanity and then finally country.

I have often been labeled unpatriotic on this blog and other places because of some of my criticisms of my country. But as James Baldwin and Shawn above say I criticize it because I want it to be better….

Happy Fourth of July Everyone

2 thoughts on “Prophet or Patriot ….

  1. I’ve never read anything unpatriotic on this blog.
    One of the coolest things about our country is the idea that we can disagree without fear of arrest.
    My husband was once approached for a discussion in China. The young man was asking if he was really allowed to disagree, in public, with his leaders. It was such a foreign concept to this man.
    Debate is something I cherish, deeply, and so grateful that I was fortunate to have been born in a country where it is encouraged!

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  2. Thanks for the kind words Janette. Yeah the more you know about this country the more you love it for being so much different than much of the rest of the world. But we can’t become complacent; we have to keep getting better….

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