My country ’tis of thee: Evangelicals score highest on patriotism

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God Bless America sign on a chalkboard with vintage American flag image courtesy Shutterstock

God Bless America sign on a chalkboard with vintage American flag image courtesy Shutterstock

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WASHINGTON (RNS) White evangelicals are also more likely than any other religious group surveyed to believe that God has granted the U.S. a special role in history and to say they will likely attend a public July 4th celebration.

  • David Thompson

    Right-wing nuts are jingoists. Living in the south for 32 years has brought me into contact with hundreds of Republicans and they all have been jingoists as soon as you get a few drinks in them. They are far from being a shining example of what America stands for, unless you count misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia as qualities.

    There are economic reasons to remain in the south, but I am actually embarrassed to be included in the southern demographics. I think our educational system speaks volumes about the illiteracy of the patriotic south. Republicans sure aren’t churning out very many Nobel Laureates.

  • Liam Sauer-Wooden

    @David: I was born and reared in the Deep South. Lived there until September of 1987 when I could no longer endure the overt backwardness and hatred directed at anyone who was “different”. People there might have the internet and smart cellphones, but they have a 19th century mentality.

  • John Smith

    “Eric Metaxas, the popular Christian author and speaker, said evangelicals “are not patriotic and pro-American in a tribalistic, nationalistic, or jingoistic sense.”” He’s kidding, right? I was raised in the South (Alabama, Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina) and still live in Virginia. As a group, Southerners, and evangelical protestants in particular, are the least thoughtful “patriots” I’ve ever encountered. They are the personification of tribalism, jingoism and nationalism. It’s only been in the past forty years or so that they have started to identify with the Stars-and-stripes and less with the Stars-and-Bars, but the mindless xenophobic passion is still the same as it was decades ago.

  • Jeff Coghill

    Patriotism is not a sentiment, it is an activity. There are more real patriots running Girls Scout troops, volunteering in schools, coaching Little League or serving on community boards and committees than there are in all the smug white protestant churches and bellicose American Legion Halls across America. It’s not about the flag, the national anthem or “supporting the troops”. It’s about honoring those that serve America (past and present) and working together to build an America with freedom and responsibility for all.

  • Nate Mullikin

    Being an evangelical Christian requires you to practice repeating that your god, being god, can do anything that he wants. This is a necessary skill in dealing with the apathy and inconsistencies of religion and real handy while be patriotic- irregardless of the country. The more secular you become, the less you consider yourself American and the more you think of yourself as human. You are much less apt to march-step to anything. You think more.

  • Eric Hielema

    One only need look at history and the harbingers of fascism to see the danger and ignorance that comes with extreme patriotism.:

    Extreme nationalism – check
    Fervent religious dedication – check

    While our churches are losing their flocks in the big picture, those that remain become more and more locked in their tenuous grasp, clinging to religious dogma. And, as the article points out, their belief in American exceptionalism is bar none. Ignorance begets ignorance plus violence.

  • Eric Hielema

    Great post Jeff!

  • Lauren

    Irregardless is not a word. Regardless, or irrespective.

  • Chris Broadwell


  • Arlene Sanchez Walsh

    I’d like to know if there is data separating these numbers out by ethnicity/race and class? I’d bet that there are different numbers if we factor in those categories, I don’t see that here in the article

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  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    The comments tell you what demographic RNS readers come from. And it isn’t the patriotic one.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    Thus you deny the status of patriot to anyone who disagrees with you. All three elements of the motto of the original French Revolution–Liberty, Equality
    And Fraternity (Brotherhood)–are discarded by the modern American Progressives. The Progressive watchwords are Conformity, Superiority of the Politically Enlightened, and Suppression of the Religious Underclass. The characteristics of the working poor, including their faith in God, their willingness to work with their hands and their backs, and their loyalty to family, are ridiculed as the hallmarks of the Common Man, whom Progressives regard as a sucker who is not smart enough to be allowed to make decisions for himself, let alone make decisions about public policy through elections and initiatives. The enlightened rulers are the Progressive alternative to dangerous democracy.

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