Patriotism: Both Sides of the Border
Most summers, we make a family trip to Canada to visit mrs. wjcollier3’s family. Even though I have been nearly a dozen times, I am always struck by some of the similarities, as well as some of the differences, between our two great nations. One of those areas is patriotism.
Americans tend to be incredibly patriotic. We look for any excuse to fly a flag, support the troops, or sing “God Bless America”. Our level of patriotism tends to take on a religious fervor. Even in our churches, we place our love of country at a high level. In my church, right now there is an American flag at the front of the room. Don’t get me wrong. If anyone should be proud of their country it is Americans. We have a history rich with God’s favor. In spite of our flaws, we have a system of government that allows us more freedom than virtually anywhere else on the planet.
Yesterday, July 1, was Canada Day. That is the day Canada celebrates its independence as a nation. We were in Canada this past Sunday, the Sunday before Canada Day.
Most Canadians are proud to be Canadians. And justifiably so. It is a fine nation. They just don’t make a fuss about being proud. Those big, obnoxious displays of patriotism are so, well, American. (Sometimes I think that as proud to be Canadian as the people are, they are equally proud not to be American.)
This past Sunday was different. There were several patriotic moments throughout the church service devoted to Canadian pride. The congregation sang “O Canada”. A lady sang a modern patriotic song about Canada.
Over the past few years I have moved away from overtly patriotic displays in and during church services. I am proud of my country and our spiritual heritage. But I have come to appreciate more and more the fact that we are citizens of another kingdom.
In the past there have been those who held the view that America was the new version of God’s chosen people. We have interpreted the Old Testament promises to Israel as if they were written to America as a nation.
I realize this is a little rambling. As I sit, preparing for a July 4 Sunday, I struggle with what level of love and devotion we are to have to our earthly citizenship. What role does that play in our Kingdom citizenship? What do you think?