Is it good for us to love our country? There is an important distinction between patriotism and nationalism.
Bruce Ashford, author of One Nation Under God discusses the difference.
“Patriotism is an appropriate love for one’s own country.”
According to Bruce, patriotism lapses into nationalism when your nation becomes your god or your functional savior. Nationalism supplants Christianity.
“When you view the primary evil in the world as people who are not like you having authority over you.
“It might be somebody of a different race, tribe, nation, religion,
“You begin to define evil as people who are different than you and you elevate the nation to status of a god and savior. We are seeing right now in the election cycle.”
Historically, nationalism has developed into Fascism which is a form of authoritarian nationalism which originated in Italy during WWI.
“That’s not a trajectory we want to get on – patriotism toward nationalism toward fascism.”
As Americans, it’s important to understand that God doesn’t love us more just because we are Americans. How as Christians do we resist and push back against nationalism?
“Christian nationalists like the phrase, one nation under God because in their minds we’re a favored nation above all other nations. It’s a theological fact just like it is every other country. Every nation is under God.”
That is a statement of sovereignty. For American Christians One nation under God is also a moral aspiration because we want our country to follow God.
“It’s a moral aspiration for us to that we as believers, whether a majority or a prophetic minority, want our country to track with God and His Will.”
It is important that we look at politics with a longer and broader view recognizing that only God offers salvation.