As we celebrate our nation’s birthday through the signing of the document that said all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, let us remember that patriotism is a virtue and a moral necessity for this republic to survive and thrive.
In the Catholic Church, patriotism was always considered not only a praiseworthy but even a necessary virtue. Other Christian denominations, of course, also hold up patriotism as virtuous. Loyalty to one’s rulers and country is also a feature of the Jewish tradition. The Founders of America were the inheritors of this Judeo-Christian tradition—and with a country as unique and idealistic as America, patriotism very naturally became considered both a moral and a civic obligation.
It is key to note that patriotism does not imply blind enthusiasm for every action of one’s government or leaders.
But in America we must be careful to note that when Americans make serious mistakes, it is because they have failed to live up to our own principles, which glorify liberty and justice for all and guarantee to every man the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That is where patriotism is so different from the vitriol of the radical left against all the greatness that has also been achieved by our nation.
We should be proud to be Americans. Who would not be proud to follow in the steps of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Armistead Lafayette, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, U.S. Grant, Louisa May Alcott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Booker T. Washington, Albert Bierstadt, George Patton, Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, and so many more?
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