A Few Good Links and a Hymn on the Fourth

Stare into the face of America.

Stare into the face of America.

I was going to write something this 4th of July, but I decided not to. It’s been a busy week already. Maybe next year. Still, as our nation celebrates Independence, I figured I’d offer up a few helpful links for your consideration:

First, Ryan Hoselton over at Christ and Pop Culture gives us a quick history lesson and reminds us:

On July 4th, Americans will wave our flags proudly, belt out our national songs triumphantly, and consume our barbecue and lemonade a little too freely. Why? Because we live in America, the best nation this planet has had the privilege to host. I’m grateful to be an American, and I enjoy the many freedoms and benefits that come with my citizenship. Nonetheless, our nation’s history has a track record for taking patriotism beyond gratitude and into nationalist idolatry. Many Americans through the years have harvested a superiority complex—a mentality and posture that has been harmful to our country and others. Patting our backs for our supreme eminence is not how we should be celebrating this holiday.

Brett McCracken offers up a defense of patriotism as nostalgia for home:

Patriotism is more existential than ideological, I think. It’s less about propagandistic justification for “exceptionalism-oriented” foreign policy (though it can be this) than it is a natural feeling of admiration and nostalgia for the place we call home.

My buddy Carson T. Clark offers up his annual downer of a post exposing 10 Myths about Independence Day (read at risk to your good mood):

This week a lot of American Christians are experiencing a patriotic fervor that’s premised upon historical falsehoods concerning our country’s origin. Let’s correct some of those misconceptions, shedding light on the Top 10 most unsightly facts that most of these folks haven’t heard, or refuse to acknowledge, about our country’s war for independence.

To lift your spirits, the best version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Page CXVI. This one has been stripped of some the more nationally-idolatrous verses and is simply beautiful:

Finally, an apostolic injunction for Christians looking be faithful to King Jesus in the way they relate to their nation:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Timothy 2:1-2, ESV)

Soli Deo Gloria

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