Today in church for the closing hymn we sang “America the Beautiful,” and I seriously had a hard time. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with patriotism, but it was difficult for me to feel patriotic singing words like “O beautiful, for heroes proved in liberating strife,” when we continue to invade countries that didn’t attack us first.
“Thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears!” This line bothered me quite a bit too. Are we talking about America or Heaven?
Maybe the song is how America should be. It’s just hard for me to feel patriotic when there are so many problems, and I’m so much better off than Mexicans, or Africans or whoever. I think the only way we can truly be grateful to live in this prosperous country and not be arrogant is by doing our best to help others, whether they live next door or in Darfur, whether they are legal or illegal, whether they watch Fox News or the “liberal” mainstream media. We’re all immigrants.