Ignoring the dangerous, opportunistic blathering from the Trumpsters, it seems to me that the more liberal statements following the Orlando tragedy do not go far enough. Statements like “Muslim Americans are just as much Americans as ‘we’ are,” “Muslim Americans have just as much or even more of a stake in opposing extremism,” and “Islam as a religion cannot be blamed or condemned” are all true enough as far as they go.
But such sentiments also serve to unfairly lock in Muslims citizens to an all-inclusive supportive or positive position toward our national behavior. Muslim citizens should not be put in the position of having to posture as jingoistic, super-patriots. Muslim citizens should be completely free to criticize those aspects of national life that fail to meet high moral and ethical standards.
Patriotism does not mean my country right or wrong. The highest patriotism, in addition to appropriate support, means monitoring critically, and constantly calling the nation back to its own highest ideals of internal and external behavior. As poet Adrienne Rich put it, “A patriot is one who wrestles for the soul of her country!”
And, as William Sloane Coffin said, “The true patriots are those who carry on a lover’s quarrel with their country as a reflection of God’s eternal lover’s quarrel with the entire world.”
Read more at the Alliance of Baptists Blog…