Why a faith that transcends all nations leaves room for patriotic devotion.
I will say this for "God bless America": As a prayer (and it is a prayer, not an idolatrous boast), it gets human nature right. As embodied creatures, we can't pour our hearts into lofty abstractions like "humanity" or "the world." Instead, our pulses beat to the rhythms of flesh-and-blood communities, with their histories and traditions, their customs and folkways, their neighbors and friends, and their paradoxical pairings of good and evil, glory and tragedy. We can't escape feeling inspired or haunted by what Abraham Lincoln called "the mystic chords of memory." continue reading >>