“Sister Janelle plays ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ on the organ, but no one belts out the words. I do not think this is because the sisters are unpatriotic, nor do I think they don’t love and bless this country. But to be a monastic is to live as a citizen of the world. It requires love for every country on the planet.” Judith Valente
“The nation is the most pervasive of all the gods, in any time, in any culture. True patriotism is not worship of our nation but rather, in the light of our worship of the God of justice, to conform our nation’s ways to justice. …We can insist on a distinction between our country and our government. …Let it be clear: it is because we say Yes to what our country ought to represent (“liberty and justice for all”), that we must say No to what our government has come to represent (“truth… on the scaffold, wrong … on the throne”). When a government traduces the ideals of a country, it is an act of loyalty to oppose the government. Let us never concede that because people have been elected to public office they are exempt from challenge and critique; on the contrary they are more than ever subject to challenge, and critique, because they now speak and act not just for themselves but for all of us….” Robert McAfee Brown (1986)
“My understanding of Jesus Christ went like this: Everything comes beneath the cross – nationalism, tribalism, patriotism, networks, even kinships. The cross is that critical juncture where catastrophe defines our condition and offers salvation, not in the name of a specific ideology or theology, but in the simple name of love. It is love that saves us from the tyranny of chauvinism and its many manifestations.” Cornell West
“I am the sort of Christian whose patriotism might be called into question by some on the grounds that I do not take the United States to be more beloved of God than France, let us say, or Russia, or Argentina, or Iran. I experience religious dread whenever I find myself thinking that I know the limits of God’s grace, since I am utterly certain it exceeds any imagination a human being might have of it. God does, after all, so love the world. …Making God a tribal deity, our local Baal, is embarrassing and disgraceful.” Marilynne Robinson
“Render … to God the things that are God’s.”
Moving From Head to Heart
- Is your patriotism ever questioned?
- Does your faith save you from “the tyranny of chauvinism and its many manifestations?”
- Is your God a “tribal deity?”
Abba, guide our allegiances.
For More: Unexpected News by Robert McAfee Brown
Thanks for following and sharing “Daily Riches!” – Bill