What is real patriotism?

The 4th of July, Independence Day, traditionally has been a day to celebrate the birth of the United States as an independent nation, freed from the constraints of being a colony of England, then one of the world’s great powers. The signers recognized the seriousness of what they were doing, and the Declaration is largely an apologetics text explaining the reasons for their revolt from what they considered despotism.

Of special interest for July 4, 2014 is that the first two sentences of the Declaration refer to God. In the first sentence our founders refer to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” as their reason and authority setting up a separate and equal country among the nations. In the second sentence they profess that it is their Creator who has created them and Who gives them the right to secede.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence is a profoundly religious document, not in the sense of quoting the Bible or ecclesiastical document, but in the sense of recognizing their creature-hood and the Creator as the Source of all life and good.

When the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified on December 15, 1791, religion was still important in the minds of Americans, and so was their negative experience with the established Church of England. Thus we read:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It is simply absurdly anti-historical to regard the First Amendment as anti-religion or as a national freedom from religion.

As Catholics and others know very well, the “free exercise” of religion is under great attack. This past week’s Hobby Lobby by the U. S. Supreme Court was a partial reaffirmation of religious freedom, but the battle is far from over. As far as I can see, the Court did not address the irrationality of the HHS claim that there is a compelling need for every woman to have free unnatural forms of birth control. With birth control devices and drugs cheap and widely available, no reasonable case can be made for a compelling need that can be met only by forcing employers to provide these things for free.

Lost in the argument has been the increased immorality aided and abetted by the promotion of contraception. And that brings us to a most important consideration for the Fourth of July. The words of President George Washington in the masthead of this blog site still hold true: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

It is national suicide to pretend that his words are obsolete.  Real patriotism will both keep them in mind and act on them.

2 thoughts on “What is real patriotism?

  1. Beautifully said, Mr. Kippley. It saddens me to say that if I had anywhere I felt safe quoting you, I most certainly would, over an over again. Unfortunately, there is almost no such place in the U.S. as of now. It’s shameful, really. We are considered evil for loving people. PEOPLE. If we value human beings more than money, more than things, more than “freedom” to waste our lives partying or being entertained, we are outcasts, and we and our children are unwelcome to set foot out in public. Kids are annoying to all these adults who apparently have no idea that they were kids themselves not so long ago, and would not have liked being treated with such disrespect. What’s ironic is that when people consent to hating children, they consent to being terminated themselves. When the most evil people have a firm belief that some people, other people, deserve to die (babies in the womb for now…), it’s only a matter of time… Our sins, as a nation, are going to take their toll. We should never have taken away the basic rights of little American babies; “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”.

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