To the extent that we use America’s freedoms to serve our vices, more and more freedoms will have to be taken away from us.
… But you do love America if you celebrate those Americans who made your great life possible.
Love for country is greatest when it is an extension of your love for the people who have created the conditions of peace and prosperity you benefit from.
There are many people we owe dearly for what we have in America: great politicians from Patrick Henry to Henry Hyde, war heroes from the Minute Men to the Marines, and even the myth-makers from Parson Weems to Stephen Spielberg.
You do love America if you are a principled critic.
America has always needed critics to point to its founding principles and remind Americans of the standards they are failing to live up to. It needed critics to pull it back from slavery, to give women the right to vote, to ensure its economic freedoms are for all and not just for the powerful … and it needs us now to remind Americans that the right to life applies to babies and that religious freedom applies to Catholics at work.
Idolaters can’t do that; they don’t dwell on faults. Ideologues can’t do that; they will look instead to get their will done by fiat. And libertines won’t want to do that. Only religious people can do it. And it won’t happen unless we do.
Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.